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.
Usual working days are from Monday - Friday including the following tasks.
In your spare time you will be able to explore the surrounding area, this will depend where you are in your time off.
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.
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.