Orangutan Wildlife Conservation

Volunteer at a world-renowned zoo and spend 2 weeks on a pygmy elephant and orangutan tour in Sabah.

About the Program

The Malaysian Orangutan Experience is a four-week adventure, which allows volunteers to work closely with orangutans and other animals in Kuala Lumpur’s renowned Melaka Zoo, before travelling to the beautiful jungles of Borneo for a unique volunteering experience, monitoring wild populations of orangutans and elephants on Sabah's great rivers.

The program begins in the vibrant capital city of Kuala Lumpur, and volunteers work at Malaysia's national zoo for the first two weeks of the trip. Whilst at the zoo, volunteers spend time working with a variety of animals, particularly with orangutans. The aim of this part of the program is to familiarise volunteers with a wide variety of Malaysian animals and how conditions can be improved in captivity, through creating environment and food enrichment.

The second half of the tour sees volunteers enter into a remnant of paradise, known as the Lower Kinabatangan Floodplain Rainforest. This stunning natural environment is part of the World Wildlife Fund's protected 'Corridor of Life', and is home to orangutans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, hornbills and pygmy elephants, as well as a host of other rare wildlife.

At the end of the project, volunteers are taken to visit the famous Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre, which provides the opportunity of getting even closer to these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

Suitable for


Typical day

Usual working days are from Monday - Friday including the following tasks.

  • Habitat restoration
  • Animal conservation
  • Community projects
  • Environment protection

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Other Skills
No special skills are required for volunteers on this project. However, all volunteers will need a positive mental attitude, commitment to the cause and its aims and ability to work well as part of a team.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Malaysia? Volunteer World directly connects you with The Great Projects

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Free-time activities

In your spare time you will be able to explore the surrounding area, this will depend where you are in your time off.



What's included?
  • Airport transfers
  • Overland transportation
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated
  • Meet and greet at Kuala Lumpur Airport and Sandakan Airport
  • All volunteering activity equipment
  • Local guides
  • English speaking project leader
  • Conservation donation
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

Volunteers should arrive at Kuala Lumpur airport on the project start date between 7am - 5pm where they will be met by a project representative and taken to each of the sites and accommodations in turn. You will also need to book an internal flight to arrive in Sandakan by 5pm on the 21st. Your final departure flight will therefore be from Sandakan.


The arrival night in Kuala Lumpur will be spent in a city guesthouse in either a twin share or dormitory style room. Once at the zoo, volunteers will share rooms in a house within the zoo grounds. The houses include bathrooms with cold showers, a kitchen with hob and fridge and communal area.

During the introductory night in Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary, volunteers will stay in a dormitory-style room in a traditional longhouse. These will have shared toilets and hot water showers. Whilst in Sukau, the volunteer accommodation consists of a village run B&B in the middle of the village. Rooms are shared with other participants and have attached bathrooms with toilets and showers.

The last night in Sandakan will be spent in a comfortable, basic hotel room in the city.

Dorm Room Guesthouse Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Whilst at the zoo, volunteers will be given a weekly allowance for food and beverages that can be spent on weekend trips to the supermarket or in the canteen on site at lunchtime. Whilst in Sukau, meals will be prepared for volunteers to be eaten with the locals.

Internet Access
Sorry, no access at the project site
4 weeks (min. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Sandakan/Malaysia between 4 weeks and 4 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Malaysia

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Malaysia. Please check the visa regulations for Malaysia.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Malaysia.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Kuala Lumpur International Airport (klia) (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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Malaysia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malaysia.
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Malaysia upfront.
Sandakan, Sandakan, Malaysia