Bukit Lawang Trust

Wildlife Monitoring

Bukit Lawang, Indonesia show on map

Non-profit | Bukit Lawang Trust

A community based project to ensure the survival of the Sumatran tiger and wildlife living in the Leuser ecosystem. The goal is to obtain protected status for this area.

Bukit Lawang Trust partners with organizations throughout the region with like minded goals and helps connect volunteers with the organization. One of our partners is 'Stay Wild' in Batu Katak.

Wildlife Monitoring Assistant

Stay Wild is a community based project to ensure the survival of the Sumatran tiger and other wildlife at the edge of the Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra, Indonesia. The team have land they are permitted to patrol and monitor outside of the National Park in Batu Katak. The goal for the organization is to take note and track the plethora of wildlife in the area and eventually publish in a scientific journal to achieve two goal: bring awareness to the wildlife in the area, and hope that the revelations will help the government and other organizations act to protect and possibly expand the protected national park area.  Too often animals affected by deforestation and human conflict end up dead or in captivity for the rest of their lives.

Stay Wild aims to protect endangered and vulnerable wildlife by bringing awareness and their camera traps have caught orangutans, siamangs, white gibbons, civets, deer, sun bears, and more. Tigers are the apex predator in the jungles of Sumatra and in North Sumatra they occupy the Gunung Leuser ecosystem. By protecting the tiger we are protecting the whole ecosystem. The project primarily consists of regular jungle patrols.

We aim to build a lasting engagement that will foster the stewardship of the flora and fauna in North Sumatra, specifically around the Gunung Leuser Ecosystem. The key to saving the tiger and its habitat is through empowerment and education of the local people.

The team consists of two Environmental science experts from New Zealand and five local guides. The position consists of patrolling the ungle on most days, taking detailed notes, mapping the area, checking camera traps, finding new locations for camera traps, swapping the batteries and memory cards of the camera traps, data entry, group discussions, lots of trekking, and more!

The project begins in the village of Batu Katak, North Sumatra a lush and beautiful village in between the national park and an incredible river. Volunteers will stay in a Bungalow.

Other activities include: teaching English, construction, developing new office, garden/farm, garbage pickup, teaching about their experience to local students, community involvement

Typical day

A typical day in the Wildlife Monitoring Programme

Weekdays: After the initial orientation, you will volunteer for roughly 4-6 hours per day. However, the wildlife monitoring programme is dynamic and things may change daily. The start times and daily workload varies but a typical morning schedule is as follows:

8:00 AM Volunteers wake up and have breakfast. Breakfast and all meals are vegetarian and served at the Bungalow. After breakfast volunteers begin trekking.

8:30 AM - 12:00 PM Volunteers will monitor wildlife using GPS, use GPS to map the area, seek out new locations for camera traps, trek to the camera traps and change memory cards, data entry.

12:00-2:00 PM Lunch is served at the Bungalow. After lunch there will be a post trek meeting to discuss the days events and sort out a plan for the next day.

Details on Arrival

Our project is ongoing and volunteers can arrive at most times but we do not want too many at a time so please apply soon!

Free-time activities

Our volunteers love reading in the hammocks or hanging by the river. It is just a ten minute walk to a beautiful waterfall. During the evenings and mornings it is common for volunteers to read, write, play music, relax, and go swimming in or inner tubing on the river.

At the weekend there are innumerable places located nearby that are must see!

Bukit Lawang - Famous for treks to the jungle to spot orangutans and the biggest of the villages in the area. At the weekend there are bars with live music, western restaurants, and local markets for shopping.

Tangkahan - Has an elephant camp where visitors can bathe elephants in the river. We support bathing them, and the projects but we do not support riding the elephants and hope you will share that belief with us.

Batu Rongring

Berestagi - For long weekends or traveling before or after volunteers can visit this lovely town in the mountains and go trekking. It is a bit colder here and that makes it a popular place among locals and tourists!

Lake Toba - A beautiful island (Samosir) in the middle of the lake is home to waterfalls, hot springs, beaches, and more.

Water Sports

Program Requirements

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
Physically fit, interest in wildlife, environmentally conscious. Data entry and computer skills a plus!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08:00 - 16:00

Suitable for


Included Services

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Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Bukit Lawang Trust cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Bukit Lawang Trust.

Before your journey

Profound consulting and ongoing support (free)
Bukit Lawang Trust (your host organization) provides consulting and is keen to answer all your questions. Once you reserved your spot, you will receive the contact details of your volunteer project.
Online preparation course (optional, from $49)
Prepare yourself and become a confident and well informed traveler. Global Travel Academy takes you on a journey before you leave home, helping you to become one of the world's greatest travelers. Our trusted partner for online learning offers courses in "International Volunteering", "Travel Health & Safety" and "Travel Safety Abroad".

On-site services

Services by Bukit Lawang Trust
Breakdown of Fees: Please write in the box, what you are using the fees for. E.g.: Is food, accommodation, airport pickup included? Do you buy any equipment with the money etc.?
Fees cover accommodation, food, airport pickup, some laundry and help cover the costs of the organization - predominantly wages to local staff and purchasing new cameras.

A private room with a double bed, mosquito net, fan and western toilet are included in the cost. Food, water, tea and coffee is included.  Food is mostly vegetarian but there is a village 8 km away that has a few restaurants which serve meat. 

There is wifi now available (sometimes the connection can be slow because it is the jungle!) but it is usually good enough for social media and video calls.
Airport Pickup at Kuala Namu International Airport

It is about four hours from the airport and we send a driver and a team member to meet you.


A large room with a western toilet and shower, fan, a mosquito net, a small desk, and a few chairs at the front.

Food & Beverages

We provide three meals a day plus some snacks, food is mostly vegetarian. Water, tea and coffee is included.

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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
1 week (min. stay)
5 weeks
7 weeks
9 weeks
16 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees

You can volunteer at the project site in Bukit Lawang/Indonesia between 1 week and 16 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. Bukit Lawang Trust 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 Indonesia.
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 Bukit Lawang Trust during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.
  Asia South-Eastern Asia Indonesia  Bukit Lawang, Jalan Bukit Lawang

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