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Malaysia Orangutan Project Volunteer

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Malaysia Orangutan Project Volunteer

Help to provide vital support to the conservation efforts of the magnificent orangutans whilst exploring the splendours of Malaysia

Prices from US$2,195

A country of energetic cities, culinary sensations, scenic beaches and breathtaking national parks packed with a plethora of wildlife, Malaysia has so much to offer that sets it apart from the rest of South Eastern Asia. It is a mixing pot of cultures and diversity, boasting a rich heritage from festivals and cuisines; to traditional architecture and rural crafts. Malaysia finds itself on the bucket list for most travellers, its main allure being that it offers up something different for every visitor!

Malaysia is a part of some of the oldest tropical jungles in the world, home to some of the most interesting wildlife that cannot be found elsewhere! This project takes place in Borneo, and the wildlife centre is home to an array of enchanting species such as sun bears, binturongs and macaques have all made their home here. However, the main focus here remains on the critically endangered Orangutan, which stands as the symbol of conservation and captures the hearts anyone who visits. 

Native to Indonesia and Malaysia, the Orangutan population can now only be found in the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra and in the number of wildlife sanctuaries throughout Borneo. Severe threats such as mass deforestation, mining and forest fires leaves these empathetic animals exposed to further threats such as hunting and the pet trade, with a large number orphaned or severely injured as a result. This project is therefore the perfect opportunity for you to experience the true beauty of Malaysia, while working toward the care and conservation of these animals, without which the orangutan population would have been lost long ago.

Don’t miss out on this once in a life time opportunity to provide vital support to the conservation efforts of the magnificent orangutans. You will be able to leave a lasting impression on the Centre’s wildlife to provide a positive future for the animals, whilst making memories exploring the splendours of Malaysia.




  • Help in the care and conservtion of teh critically endangered orangutan
  • Come face to face with magnificent orangutans as well as many other animals within the rescue centre
  • Take a day trip to another rehabilitation centre, visit caves and beaches along the way
  • Explore everything Malaysia has to offer


  • Minimum age of 18 years


Location Borneo, Malaysia
Activities Orangutan husbandry including feeding and eclosure enrichment
Enclosure maintenance and cleaning
Day trip to another orangutan rehabilitation centre, caves and beaches
Accompany staff on night walks and observe animal releases and relocations
Transport Airport transfers included
Accommodation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Shared volunteer houses


Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Equipment advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier T-shirt (UK only)
In-country Accommodation
Food Allowance
Airport Transfers
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup


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.


The Wildlife Centre works hard to take in the many animals found to be vulnerable and injured within what should be their natural rainforest home. This projects overall goal is to work in collaboration with organisations towards genetically sustainable orangutan populations in large, well-protected habitats, to secure the long-term future of the species as well as other species inhabiting the rainforest. Volunteers provide a vital contribution for both funding and actively helping with the work undertaken at the Wildlife Centre, with the aim to rehabilitate and release as many of these animals back into the wild as possible.

From working to improve husbandry standards to providing enrichment for the orangutans, your time spent volunteering here will be highly enjoyable and rewarding


The project runs by dates rather than days of the week and therefore you may be required to work on a Saturday or Sunday. However, you will get 2 days off a week and may be able to take more if you wish. You will be working from 8:15am – 12pm and 2pm-5pm each day. There are 4 main areas where volunteers will provide support – Animal husbandry, animal enrichment, construction and maintenance. Generally, volunteers will carry out husbandry tasks every morning, followed by one of the other 3 activities in the afternoon.

Husbandry – Tasks will include feeding, cleaning and caring for the animals. There are 3 husbandry areas where volunteers will assist:

1. Orangutans

2. Sun Bears

3. Small Primates

Each morning starts at 8:15am with husbandry of the 3 animal areas. This will include going into animal enclosures to hide their food whilst the animals are still in their night houses – this can be really fun and will require you to channel your inner orangutan, monkey or bear! Encouraging the animals to engage in natural foraging behaviours keeps them stimulated mentally and physically which is critical for their welfare. 

Enrichment – Without a stimulating environment, these animals can become stressed, bored and sick as a consequence and therefore creating enrichment items or structures is one of the most important jobs of a volunteer. You will get to make varied enrichment and then watch the animals use it which is a fun and worthwhile activity for everyone involved!

Maintenance – The jungle enviroment jungle environment is harsh, anything that is built needs regular maintenance to ensure its longevity. Volunteers play a crucial role in the maintenance of the project site, and without this added manpower, the in country team would not be able to continue their conservation efforts in the way the currently do! This work is usually a lot of cleaning, painting and repairing enclosures.

Construction – These tasks will be varied and could include:

Climbing structures for orangutans, sun bears, clouded leopards and other animals

Building ponds for crocodiles, orangutans and turtles

Building boardwalks for tourist and keeper access

Creating feeding platforms in the jungle for animals that are soft released

Assisting with the creation of new projects and enclosures

When volunteering on this project you will be treated as a member of staff and therefore if during your stay there are any animal surgeries, animal relocations or released happening, you may get the chance to observe these! You may also get the opportunity to accompany a staff member to do night walks – many of the amazing wildlife if nocturnal and so night walks can be an amazing experience!

During your time on the project you will also get the chance to go on a field trip day which involved visiting another orangutan rehabilitation centre, some beautiful caves and a beach! This is an amazing day out for all involved. 

The work you will be undertaking will be varied and so you should be prepared for anything! Many of the tasks you will work on will have an obvious and immediate impact on the welfare of the animals you will get to know well. Although the work is physically demanding and always outdoors, it will be hugely rewarding.

Although the days will be long and you will be working hard, there will be plenty of free time to explore the jungle, to socialise in the evenings with other volunteers, or simply relax and enjoy a book for some down time. You will also have days off during your stay – as a once in a life time trip to Borneo, volunteers should take full advantage of these and explore the surrounding area or go further afield! Popular weekend destinations include: Bako National Park, Kuching City, Damai Beach, Sarawak Cultural Village, Gunung Gading National Park, Santubong for kayaking trips, and Kubah National Park. Staff on the project can help you book these trips once you arrive and meet other volunteers. 


Upon your arrival at Kuching airport you will be picked up by a member of in country staff (if arriving on the project start date and between the hours of 8am and 6pm) and driven to Basaga Holiday Residencies in Central Kuching where you will spend the first night of your trip with a welcome dinner included at 6pm. If you are arriving outside these times, you will need to make your own way to the accommodation and will need to arrive before 6pm in order to make the welcome dinner. You can easily catch a taxi from the airport in Kuching. You will spend the night in Kuching before being transferred to the Wildlife Centre which is situated within Kubah National Park.


You will be staying in shared volunteer houses. There are 5 houses available for volunteers, each with 2 or 3 rooms. The houses may be mixed sex, but rooms will be single sex. Each house has western style toilets and showers; however there is no hot water due to the hot climate you will be living in. All the houses will have secure locks. Whilst there are no safes in the house, there is an office which gets locked up and a safe on the project site that volunteers can use for small items if they wish. 

The accommodation is basic but comfortable. The houses all have electricity – but be prepared for frequent power cuts which can last several hours. Each house also has its own kitchen which is set up with utensils. Volunteers can also pay for a laundry service if they wish.

There is a small shop a 5 minute walk from the centre where volunteers can buy beer, soft drinks and ice creams. But for supermarkets and grocery shopping, volunteers will need transport as these are about an hour drive away. 


Volunteers will receive a kitty of 100RM per week to use towards food and will be taken grocery shipping once a week in order to buy their own groceries and cook for themselves. Kitchen appliances are basic (gas hobs, fridge/freezer, kettle, toasters). Malaysian cuisine doesn’t have the need for ovens and so they will not be found in the volunteer houses. This is a great way for volunteers to get to know each other and cook together in the evenings and learn to cook some traditional Malaysian cuisine. 

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project


2 weeks US$2,195

4 weeks US$3,195


Nearest airport(s): Kuching (KCH)


  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


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