Wildlife Protection

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founded in 2012
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Coordinator | Vanessa
Coordinator | Vanessa
Checking and maintaining camera traps in a Karst forest located in the Leuser Ecosystem and home to many threatened species. Monitoring of flora and fauna. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Stay Wild was founded by Vanessa Rowe, a former zoo keeper from New Zealand who visits the project several times a year.  The project is managed on the ground in Sumatra by Alex, also a former zoo keeper from New Zealand! Dr Kathryn Strang from New Zealand is our science adviser and oversees our camera trapping program. Our primary source of income for paying the local team salaries is volunteers! All of the New Zealand team are self funded.

Wildlife volunteers spend most days in the forest helping to check our camera traps, do border patrols and monitor wildlife. We have a number of cameras spread over an area of Karst forest and these are all checked at least once a month. Occasionally we have cameras set up in other locations, for example if a farmer has reported sun bears or tigers in their area we will put up cameras to monitor the situation and come up with solutions for deterring the wildlife.

Our aim is to establish a list of animal species using the forest (including identifying individuals/family groups particularly of primates), document location of unique flora (Amorphopallus Titanum is common in this forest!) and to determine what the deforestation rate is. At present we have a big problem with local people clearing this forest to grow crops for additional income. This is a complicated issue that we are working towards finding a solution for.

Transport to other communities is by motorbike. Our team members drive but you need to be comfortable travelling as a passenger. We provide helmets to wear. 

Other aspects of our program that you could be involved in include, tree planting, rubbish collection, animal welfare program, data entry of camera trap data and helping to upskill our team with their English!

If you have a particular interest or skill such as photography, marketing, social media applications please let us know!

Accommodation is in Orchid Bungalow, a public guest house located right beside our study location of the Karst forest! You will often be woken to the sound of Siamang or Lar gibbons singing. You have your own private bedroom with bathroom, fan and electricity although power cuts are fairly frequent here! All meals are cooked for you and eaten in the communal restaurant, they are predominantly vegetarian. Snacks can be purchased in the village nearby and other necessities such as toiletries are available in Bohorok (20 mins away by motorbike). There is wifi available however this can sometimes be slow or non existent in the case of a power cut! 

Orchid Bungalow is right beside a beautiful river, ideal for swimming after a day of trekking in the jungle!

Typical day

The project is Monday to Friday. The weekends are free for you to explore other destinations or relax at Orchid Bungalow, Batu Katak. Your food and accommodation is included for the weekends if you choose to stay at Orchid Bungalow.

The days activities start at 9am. Volunteers need to be ready to start at this time so ensure you are in the communal restaurant for breakfast by 8am at the latest. 

Camera checking and border patrols can mean spending a half or full day in the jungle depending on the location of the cameras scheduled to be checked at the time. If spending a full day we eat lunch in the jungle. 

English classes are Thursday and Friday afternoons. It is not compulsory for wildlife volunteers to go to these but we do encourage you to attend at least once to get a full picture of our programs. 

We undertake animal welfare as required (when dogs are due to be treated or when requested by a village to visit them) and these are scheduled into your activities depending on the dates you are visiting. 

The days activities generally finish at 4pm and volunteers can relax by the beautiful river, swimming or reading in a hammock.

Free-time activities

There are many activities to do in Batu Katak on your days off including visiting one of the many caves, additional trekking into the national park, or participating  in the local volleyball or soccer games.

Bukit Lawang is only 30 minutes away by motorbike, there are markets if you want to do some shopping or buy souvenirs with many different places to eat including 'western food' if you feel like a change! Bukit Lawang is a lot more 'touristy' than Batu Katak so its good for socialising and meeting other tourists with live music every weekend. There is also a population of semi wild orangutan habituated to people that are easy to view if you want to go trekking here.

Further away other destinations include
Batu Rong Ring (approximately 1-2hours away by bike/car), very remote with magnificent caves and jungle to explore
Tangkahan (approximately 4 hours away by bike/car), very beautiful river and a small herd of captive elephants which you can help to bath or participate in a jungle walk with. We do not support riding of elephants although this activity is also offered.
Lake Toba (you need more than a weekend to experience as its more like 7 hours away by car), cooler climate with a stunning lake and mountains.

Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (fluently)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Medium to high level of fitness
Positive attitude
Common sense and good communication skills
High personal level of health and safety
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 09:00 - 16:00

What's Included

Services by Stay Wild Tiger Protection

Fees cover food,accommodation, water

Stay Wild t-shirt 
Pick up from Medan airport in private car and transport to the project location
Visit and donation to local wildlife rescue centre
Contribution towards the projects running costs eg local team salaries and petrol

Airport Pickup at Kuala Namu International Airport

Airport pick up is included in your fee. Our driver and a member of the Stay Wild team will meet you when you arrive at Medan (Kuala Namu) Airport. The drive to Batu Katak is approximately 4 hours. Please let us know if you would like to buy a local sim card and data (very cheap) on the way, or if you need to get money out from an ATM. Please avoid money changers at the airport as they are very expensive.  Transport back to the airport or to your next destination must be arranged separately although we can assist with this.


Accommodation is provided at Orchid Bungalow in Batu Katak. Volunteers have their own room (or shared if preferred) with electricity, fan, western toilet and shower. Wifi reception is limited at times. There can be power cuts especially in stormy weather

Food & Beverages

Three daily basic meals are provided plus snacks such as delicious fresh fruit. The meals are predominantly vegetarian, please advise us if you have any specific dietary needs so we can cater for you. All meals are eaten in the communal restaurant area. Water is included in your fee as the tap water is not drinkable here. Please bring a reusable water bottle as we aim to minimise environmental impact. This can be refilled as needed from the kitchen in the restaurant.

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kuala Namu International Airport (KNO) in Kuala Namu. We assist you to find cheap flights to Indonesia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Indonesia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Indonesia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Indonesia.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Volunteers can arrive at any time throughout the year :)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
$ 395
2 weeks
$ 632
3 weeks
$ 888
4 weeks
$ 1,161
6 weeks
$ 1,575
8 weeks
$ 2,047
12 weeks (max. stay)
$ 2,990
Average fees
$ 322 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Stay Wild Tiger Protection will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Stay Wild Tiger Protection during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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  Asia South-Eastern Asia Indonesia  Batu Katak, Jalan Timbang Jaya

Wildlife Protection

Checking and maintaining camera traps in a Karst forest located in the Leuser Ecosystem and home to many threatened species. Monitoring of flora and fauna.


Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

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