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Jungle Trekking and Sea Turtle Conservation

Merapoh, Malaysia

Agency | GoEco

Help with conservation efforts of two endangered animals species on land and in the water: Tigers and Sea Turtles.

The project

Malaysia is home to an array of different animals, including the elusive tiger on land and the striking sea turtle beneath the water.With approximately only 340 Malayan Tigers left in the wild and 2 out of 4 sea turtle species virtually locally extinct in Malaysia conservation efforts are in huge demand.

As a volunteer on this dynamic project you will help with conservation efforts of these two endangered animals. You will be involved in exciting conservation and research activities, including trekking through the lush forests of Merapoh and snorkeling in the aquamarine waters of the Perehentian Islands. You will also be engaging with and providing aid to the indigenous Batek tribe through community projects and guarding turtle nesting beaches at night.

The location

Malaysia is home to an array of sights and sounds. Made up of buzzing cities, idyllic islands and exotic, lush forests - it truly is a magical place. You can spend your days admiring mosques and temples, visiting remote villages or cosmopolitan skyscrapers.

Volunteers on this project will get to spend one week exploring Merapoh, the gateway to Taman Negara National Park, home to the oldest rainforest and limestone caves on earth. The second week will see a complete change in scenery with a move from lush greenery to idyllic white sands and crystal clear water on the Perhentian Islands, two little gems with a typical island vibe.

Volunteer Work

Week 1

During your first week you will be based on the border of Taman Negara working to reduce human impact in the wildlife corridor between the Taman Negara National Park and the primary mountain range in West Malaysia – where poaching is most common. The passage is the last connection between Taman Negara and the mountain range and is currently used by a large collection of wildlife to move between the two. Without the corridor, populations of tigers, elephants, sun bear’s, tapir and leopards would be doomed. By trekking in this area of lush tropical rainforest, as well as collecting vital data on animal tracks and signs, you will be acting as a deterrent to poachers.

During this week you will also visit the renowned limestone caves and an indigenous tribal village, the Batek, where you will learn about their lifestyle and host  English classes for their children. The inclusion of the local people is vital to the conservation of the wildlife corridors as essentially, the local people are the eyes and ears of the forest. You will join the Batek on foraging walks as well as camp overnight in the rainforest.

Weeks 2 and 3

Your adventure now slows down a pace and as you head to the Perhentian Islands where you will be involved in essential photo identification research, as well as guarding turtle nesting beaches at night. You will join volunteer efforts developing a population consensus of sea turtles on the islands – males, females and juveniles. You will also help to train local snorkel guides and tourists on tourist conservation. At night, you will visit turtle nesting beaches and help inform the fisheries staff when a turtle is nesting on the beach, preventing poachers from stealing the eggs.

Please note

Volunteers may extend their stay on the Perhentian Islands in order to continue the turtle conservation and research tasks. They can do this for up to 8 weeks.

Typical day

Volunteer work could include

Week 1

  • Jungle walks and how to spot wildlife track and animal snares 
  • Learn about Tigers and other local wildlife and the importance of preserving the wildlife corridor
  • Visit the Batek tribe and learn about their lifestyle living harmoniously in the jungle
  • Host a “Conservation English” session for children of the Batek tribe

Weeks 2 and 3

  • Turtle night beach patrol
  • Turtle Photo ID Research
  • Snorkeling
  • Educate tourists and village boatmen on turtle conservation

Free-time activities

During your stay at the project you won't be having much spare time. We always recommend to add an additional week beforehand or after the project to explore beautiful Malaysia. 


Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 16 years old on the program start date. Of course, there is an exception for children that are accompanied by their parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Good level of English
Good physical fitness
Enthusiasm and to be open-minded
Time Commitment
Regular working hours are hardly predicable. It mainly depends on the work force. Get in touch with GoEco straight ahead to get more infos about current to dos and objectives.

Suitable for


Any questions? Just ask. We at GoEco are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation

Included Services

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We refund your fees if GoEco cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by GoEco.
Services by GoEco

  • Accommodations:  Dormitory style accommodation
  • Food: Three meals a day
  • Insurance: Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
  • Support: Local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support

Please note

Airport Transfers are not included. Volunteers will make their own way from TSB Bus station in Kuala Lumpur to Merapoh Village (approx. 4 hours, the bus will cost around $15 one way). You will be collected at the station in Merapoh. Transfers to and from Merapoh to the Perhentian Islands will be provided.


Week 1: During the first week you will be staying at the volunteer house, in mixed gender dormitories with up to 5 other volunteers. Pillows and linen are provided. The accommodation has air-conditioning and a shared bathroom that has cold water showers and squat toilets. 

Weeks 2 and 3: During the second week you will be staying in mixed sex, dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms.

There is no internet access but good telephone reception in Merapoh village. There is limited internet access and good telephone reception on the Perhentian Islands.

Laundry service is available at an additional fee at both locations.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Three meals a day are provided during the course of the project. Meals can include a collection of Western and Malaysian fare. You will also have the opportunity to try some local cuisine at nearby food stalls and/or night markets. The project can cater to vegetarians and vegans. Please note that pork and alcohol are not permitted in the local villages.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees. An airport pickup isn't included within the program fees either.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) in Kuala Lumpur. We assist you to find cheap flights to Malaysia.
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 Malaysia provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Malaysia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malaysia.
Costs (Prices in USD)
3 weeks (min. stay)
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Merapoh/Malaysia between 3 weeks and 8 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. GoEco will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Malaysia.
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 GoEco during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

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