Assist a small island community in their day-to-day life, whilst being enriched by the culture and traditions that are unique to Borneo.
About the Program
Arrive by boat on to your paradise island home in the South China Sea, Camp Mantanani. Blue skies, towering palm trees, crystal blue waters and ancient drift wood decorate the white sands. Behind the idyllic surface lies a number of environmental and socio-economic challenges facing this isolated island community. You’ll make a difference to the community that our camp is based alongside, working on projects to combat waste management, inadequate school facilities and overfishing. Help teach conversational English to the local children and arrange games and sports sessions to keep them active and engaged in their education. You’ll have time to relax and soak in island life on Mantanani. Snorkel, kayak, swim and get yourself up early to walk to the tip of the island for the most beautiful sunrise you’ve ever seen.
The second two weeks of your programme will be spent back on the mainland at Camp Bongkud, under the watchful eye of mighty Mount Kinabalu. We’re building a kindergarten here, so you’ll be involved in improving the local education infrastructure. The area is rich in culture and history; we’ll take you to visit tea plantations (see where your cuppa started life), buddhist temples and WW2 memorials. You’ll become part of the community during your month in Borneo, truly immersed in the local culture and inspired by the warmth of the people you meet.
Day 1: Welcome to Borneo!
Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, where you will be met at the airport by a member of our Camp Borneo team and transferred to your accommodation in the city. Here you will meet our Country Manager who will run an arrival briefing for you and your group before your welcome dinner.
Day 2: Welcome to Camp Mantanani
After a much needed sleep and a good breakfast, you will be transferred to Camp Mantanani. You will take a boat over to the paradise that is Mantanani!
The Camp Manager will give you a tour of the island. You will also have an overview of what your time here will involve. Then it’s time to choose your bed in your new beach style longhouse home!
Day 3-8: Project work / Activities at Camp Mantanani
You will spend 10 days volunteering alongside the island communities. This is your chance to get stuck in to some valuable initiatives such as helping to build community toilets, teaching basic English to primary age children, working on our marine conservation & awareness programme and running fun activities and sports sessions with the local children.
Day 9 & 10: R & R Weekend on Mantanani Island
This time is yours and you can spend it relaxing on the long white sandy beach which is just in front of our camp. You can kayak as well as swim and we highly recommend watching the sunrise or sunset at the tip of the island.
Day 11 & 14: Project work / Activities at Camp Mantanani
Day 15: Welcome to Kota Kinabalu city
We’ll transfer you back to Kota Kinabalu for an overnight stay.
Day 16: Welcome to Camp Bongkud
Upon arrival you will meet our Camp Bongkud staff, including your Camp Manager who will show you around. You will also be given an overview of what your time here will involve.
Day 17-18: R&R Weekend in Bongkud
A well deserved weekend off and a perfect time to enjoy the hot spring pools at Poring Hot Springs. You will also be taken on a tour of Ranau and Kundasang.
Day 19-22: Project works/ Activities at Camp Bongkud
You will spend 7 days working on community projects which include the building of a kindergarten. Then it’s time to say your final goodbyes to the locals (be warned that this is never an easy part of your experience!)
Day 23-24: R&R weekend in Bongkhud
Day 25-27 Project Work / Activities at Camp Bongkud
Day 28: Transfer to Kota Kinabalu
You will be transferred back to Kota Kinabalu for last night stay in the city for a farewell dinner with your Camp Borneo team.
Day 29: Trips Ends in Kota Kinabalu and Departure Day
We will say our goodbyes and transfer you to KK airport 2 hours before your scheduled flight time.
Usual working days are Monday - Friday from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM and will include the following activities.
Top up your trip with a variety of water sport add-ons, including PADI scuba qualifications or fun dives.
You can also spend some time in the sabah capital Kota Kinabalu which has some great bars and restaurants and plenty of shopping opportunities.
All of your in-country transfers are scheduled by us, including your airport pick up. We employ our own drivers and they will be there to greet you at the airport, holding a Camps International board so you can't miss them!
Our permanent and fully staffed camps are co-located with the communities with whom we work. Accommodation ranges from traditional thatched buildings to tents. All camps have clean toilets and private washing facilities (not all camps have hot water, but it is refreshing!), and all camps are designed to feel like your second home. There's nothing like chilling out at the end of the day around the camp fire, under the stars.
Our locally employed kitchen teams will provide you with three delicious meals a day. There's unlimited fresh drinking water and a real mix of local cuisine with some western classics to fill you up after a day of project work. Our kitchens always act as the heart of any camp and our staff work extremely hard to consistently create a great standard of food for most dietary requirements.