Malaysia Tiger Conservation

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1. In Brief

Malaysia is a paradise of lush forests, pristine beaches and tropical islands. World renowned for its diversity of wildlife and people, this incredible country offers visitors a wealth of activities and fascinating things to see and do. The result of this fantastic melting-pot of culture is a relaxed, open-minded way of life, and the Malaysian people are famous for their hospitality. 

Based in the small rainforest town of Merapoh, this project makes a valuable contribution towards the protection of tigers, elephants, leopards and other indigenous species within the Taman Negara National Park, by reducing the once devastating poaching which occurred within the corridor between the two mountain ranges. Local guides will make it seem effortless to trek through the humid rainforest pointing out animal signs that you would never have noticed. 

You will also have the chance to visit a local Batek village where you will learn about their culture and daily activities. In return you will teach them basic English skills which will allow locals to benefit from the local tourist industry. A day will also be spent exploring the impressive local limestone caves. This project is a once in a lifetime chance to get involved in vital conservation as you monitor wildlife and protect endangered animals from poaching, and all while enjoying a slice of rainforest life in Malaysia.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • Learn to track tigers, leopards, elephants, tapirs and sun bears
  • Contribute to anti-poaching efforts
  • Experience remote rainforests, limestone caves and the local indigenous communities 

PROJECT REQUIREMENTS 

  • Medium level of fitness required as jungle walks can be up to 6 hours in very humid conditions
  • Minimum age 18 years 

FAST FACTS

Location Merapoh, Malaysia
Activities Track tigers, leopards, elephants, tapirs and sun bears
Explore remote rainforest
Help with anti-poaching efforts
Experience life with local indigenous communities
Teach English for a day
Use camera traps to track animals
Half day limestone caving
Transport Bus from KL for approximately £8
Accommodation Dormitory-style rooms in volunteer house
 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Food
Accommodation
Project orientation and training
Transport to project site
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ back-up
 

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

PADI DIVE TRAINING

On the Frontier Marine Conservation Group Projects, we will train you to PADI Advanced Open Water before you begin undertaking important biological surveys. Depending on how long you spend on the project, you may also have the option to take further courses up to Divemaster!

Please see the "Dates and Costs" tab for dive qualification prices or ask your volunteer advisor for more information.

Find out more about PADI qualifications.

2. The project

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

This project aims to reduce human impact in the wildlife corridor between the Taman Negara National Park and the main mountain range in West Malaysia where poaching is at its peak. The corridor is used as a highway by wildlife to get between the two large forest reserves. Tigers, elephants, rhinos, leopards and sun bears all use the corridor to find the resources they need to survive and thrive. 

Malaysia has the second highest tiger population in the world after India, and so the conservation of this mighty creature within its natural habitat is paramount.  As you trek through the dense jungle you will collect vital data on the range and movement of this impressive species by finding and identifying animal tracks and vital signs. As you walk in the lush tropical rainforest you will also act as a deterrent to poachers, to ensure the animals have the environment they need to breed successfully.  This project is designed for you to get a real hands-on experience tracking wild animals and conserving their natural habitat. With a bit of luck you will be within viewing distance of some of the most beautiful animals on earth. Even if you don’t always get to see the more elusive animals you will be tracking, you are guaranteed an adventure no matter what!

WHAT WILL I BE DOING? 

You will be part of a dedicated team who work to keep this corridor free from poachers by organising and running anti-poaching patrols. You will trek through the forest in walks lasting between 5 and 7 hours, searching for tracks and signs of wildlife presence. The local guides will point out amazing indigenous flora and fauna, and will identify signs of the wildlife that you may have never spotted on your own. The routes are chosen based on surveys which need to be completed for the local conservation partner. The walks are also meant to keep watch for poachers and snares. If snares are found then their GPS locations will be recorded and the snares destroyed. You will also help monitor camera traps, which capture the movements of elusive and camouflaged animals. You will definitely find some surprises as you check these! 

We ask for you to have at least a medium level of fitness in order to keep up with and learn during these exciting jungle walks. Also, keep in mind that you will be working in a tropical rainforest environment where humidity can reach 90- 100%.  

You will spend half a day exploring some of the 60 limestone caves in the Merapoh region. The caves reveal the history of the region, both human and natural, with some containing underground flowing rivers and waterfalls while others display drawings from indigenous tribes centuries passed. The caves are also home to a range of cave fauna such as swiftlets, bats, snakes and invertebrates. Who knows what you may discover in their dark depths!       

You will find your day spent teaching conversational English to the people of the local village, Batek, particularly rewarding. You will give a 3 hour English teaching session focusing on environmental topics. Don’t worry if you are not a teacher as you will have help preparing for this! The Batek people enjoy these sessions but also take them seriously; helping them learn English is a fantastic way of making sure they can benefit from the local tourism industry. In return, they will teach you about their history, culture and how they live day- to- day on their fruit plantations.

SAMPLE ITINERARY

Sunday

Arrive at Merapoh, briefing and introduction to animal tracking.

Monday

Six hour jungle trek.

Tuesday

Six hour jungle trek.

Wednesday

Morning - Prepare for conversational English lessons.

Afternoon - Visit to the local limestone caves.

Thursday

Visit Batek Village to teach a 3 hour conversational English class and experience the Batek way of life.

Friday

Six hour jungle trek

Saturday

Jungle walk and checking on camera traps used the area.

Sunday

Early morning departure.

3. What to expect

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will fly into Kuala Lumpur airport before making your own way by bus to Merapoh where you will be met by local staff. We will help you with details on how to get there yourself.

We recommend that you arrive into Kuala Lumpur the night before the project start date. Your Frontier Volunteer Coordinator can help you make any accommodation and transfer arrangements however these would be at your own cost. 

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Throughout your project you will be staying in a dormitory style volunteer house. Rooms will be single sex with 10 beds each and ensuite bathrooms. The rooms will be basic but clean, tidy and comfortable. There are also shops within walking distance of the hostel to satisfy any cravings you may have.   

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

Each day you will receive a continental-style breakfast and a packed lunch to take out with you during the day. For dinner, you will be provided with a food allowance which you can spend at local restaurants, primarily Malay and Chinese. This flexibility allows you to decide exactly what you want to eat to satisfy any hunger you may have after your day’s adventure. If you want to spend more than the budget, or buy treats such as milkshakes or chocolate bars then you are more than welcome, but you are responsible for covering any additional costs. 

Lunch and dinner on your day of departure are not included, and so you will be responsible for finding your own food. 

Malaysian food is heavily influenced from a variety of cultures from all over the world; the fusion of Malay, Chinese and Indian, Indonesian, Thai and Arabian flavors create a symphony of aromas and exotic tastes. Most of the food will be focused on rice and noodles mixed with vegetables or meat. 

Eat like the locals by trying a tasty Nasi Dagang for breakfast, or join the cult following in Kuala Lumpur addicted to Hokkiem Mee noodles, and blow your taste buds away with the deliciously simple BBQ Satay stalls dotted on every street corner. The multicultural community of Malaysia has many cultural differences however they are all passionate about their cuisine creating a unique, delicious culinary style. 

4. The reviews

I HAD THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE  | 24 Nov 2014
If you get an opportunity to do something like what I did, and if you have an interest in outdoor...

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THANK YOU TO EVERYONE INVOLVED  | 20 May 2014
I went on the Tiger Trail project in Malaysia with Frontier in April 2014. During the week I did ...

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Contributing towards tiger conservation!  | 6 May 2014
I’ve enjoyed every second of the last week and all the people I have met and been with, it ...

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A lifetime experience!  | 20 Mar 2014
I started the programme in a quaint volunteer hub with a rustic charm, it provides with the basic...

Read more


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5. Gallery

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6. Extras

During your free time you will have the opportunity to explore Merapoh if you wish, or you may decide to just relax and recuperate after your long day in the field. 

From the peninsula and across the South China Sea to Borneo, Malaysia is brimming over with exciting and unique world heritage sites and flourishing forests ready and waiting for you to discover. After you complete your project why not discover Kuala Lumpur’s spectacular landmarks by taking a hop on hop off bus tour around the city, learn how to cook like the locals with cooking lessons or take a stroll along the canopy skywalk in a nearby national park. Other opportunities include exploring the tea plantations and refreshing mossy forests of the Cameron Highlands, or taking an eco-bike tour through Melaka or discovering your inner peace with yoga lessons along Langkawi’s spectacular beaches. Whatever your preferences you are sure to find endless activities to get involved in before the start or after the end of your project. Please remember to bring any additional funding to cover such activities that do not form part of your Frontier project.

7. Dates and Costs

COSTS

8 days US$945

DEPARTURE DATES

Participants are required to arrive by 9:00am on the following project start dates:

2016

The project starts on Sundays and runs from February to November.

3rd, 17th April

1st, 15th, 29th May

12th, 26th June

10th, 24th July

7th, 21st, 28th August

11th, 25th September

23rd October

6th, 20th November

Duration 

8 days / 7 nights

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt

In-country

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Project orientation 
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

Flights

Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .

Visas

For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.

Insurance

You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.


LEGAL STATEMENT
Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

8. How to apply

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.


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