Location: Perak, Borneo, Malaysia
Duration: Minimum 2 weeks
Start Dates: Project is on-going, and you can join at any time, depending upon availability. Placements start each Monday
Cost: from £400 GBP per week - see Costs section for more details
Includes: all food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation and all project related activities
Does not Include: flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations
- Gain experience on a rehabilitation project working to the long-term conservation of orangutans
- Flexible placement, tailored according to your interests and abilities.
- Serious placement on a conservation project in the jungle.
This specifically designed project takes place in Taiping, Perak and is meant to offer both theoretical and practical knowledge and skills related to conservation, management and field research methods. It is mostly attended by students majoring in Conservation Biology, Zoology, Veterinary Medicine or Animal Science.
The project site, located on a 35-acre island within a 7000-acre freshwater lakeside, has developed from a sanctuary for visitors to experience first-hand and learn about orangutans to a recognized conservation facility and referral center for the endangered Bornean orangutan. The sanctuary is a centre dedicated to training, developing and enhancing the capacity of students and scientists to carry out research and activities on the animals and their habitat.
You will have a unique chance to contribute towards the long-term improvement of orangutans’ conditions and to learn and ask questions about each individual animal's case. You will be involved in various tasks, some of which are physically demanding, and you should be prepared for anything that comes up. Some of your duties will be related to construction, maintenance, enrichment and husbandry. You may build climbing structures for the orangutans and boardwalks for the tourists and staff. Since the rainforest affects the longevity of all man-made structures, regular maintenance such as cleaning, painting and repairing is needed to ensure that anything that is built does not rust/rot or get eaten by termites. Enrichment is of utmost importance for the mental and physical well-being of the orangutans and you will be involved in producing enrichment materials for the orangutans. You will also assist in cleaning, feeding and caring for the captive animals as well as farming and planting, food preparation and care for the orangutan exhibition area.
The work at the conservation centre requires a good level of fitness, patience and flexibility and it can be challenging due to the heat and humidity. You will contribute with your enthusiasm and energy and will become a member of the staff. You will get a chance to learn the Malaysian approach to work which differs from the Western.
On your first day you will explore the culture of Taiping and you will get to know the people of Perak. You will start work on your second day and start carrying out tasks related to husbandry, construction work, enrichment and maintenance. You will be free to rest on the weekend and continue with your work on Monday.
When working around the animals, you are expected to follow a strict set of guidelines. These include never feeding the animals anything outside of the provided diet, and always following the instructions of your supervisor. These rules are in places for the protection of both you and the animals you will be working with.
During weekends you can explore the surroundings as well as destinations further afield in Malaysia, thanks to the ease and speed of travel. Popular weekend trips includes the capital Kuala Lumpur, Penang Island and Georgetown World Heritage site. Local attractions include the city of Taiping, a night market, and Kuala Sepetang where you can see mangroves and eagles.
Travel and Accommodation
Accommodation in Perak is a hostel dormitory, 4 to 6 participants per room, private room with a queen bed is also available. Western shared toilet & bathroom installed with hot water system. The centre is surrounded by plenty of shops, banks, atms, 7-11, supermarket and a shopping mall within 5 minutes walking distance.
We provide for 3 meals during weekday (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and 1 meal during the weekend (breakfast). Local restaurant around the corner and across the road, all just a stone's throw away.
Malaysian food is tasty and diverse and you can expect to experience a myriad of flavors and meals during their stay. Typical dishes include wanton noodel (noodles and pork dumplings either dry or soup), nasi goreng (fried rice and vegetables) or roti canai (is a type of Indian influenced flatbread found in Malaysia. Breakfasts are varied and and include toast, cereals, etc. Tea, coffee and purified water is available at the house. We do not recommend that you drink water straight from the tap.
The working week is Monday to Friday and you will have weekends off. For many people, this will be a once in a lifetime trip to Malaysia, and interns generally take advantage of the weekends to explore the surrounding area.
After a tiring work, you may visit Bukit Merah Water Theme Park by the beautiful lake to enjoy sunset view and even try to taste the freshness of coconut water and also ABC (Ais Batu Campur), local dessert with local food at the stalls.
On weekends, you can get involved in some of the following activities;
- Visit Taiping, one of the oldest towns in Malaysia
- Night market
- Wet market
- Kuala Sepetang, for eagle spotting and a visit to the mangroves
- Minimum age 18.
- Passion and enthusiasm to work in conservation and not afraid to get your hands dirty
- No previous skills are necessary, however you will need to be physically fit.
- Minimum 4-weeks commitment - 30+ hours a week
- Necessary vaccinations.
- Necessary flight & visas.
- Full travel & medical insurance. Full assistance will be provided in getting everything you will need ready if you choose our Premium Support.
£400 GBP per week as an intern (min. 4 weeks), or £475 per week as a Volunteer (min. 2 weeks)
* Check the latest currency conversions with xe.com
** All payments incur a 5% bank transfer fee
*** Placements are confirmed with a 1 week deposit
Project Fee includes food, accommodation, airport pickup, orientation, in-country support and project activities.
Private rooms are available for an additional £100 per week.
What's not included:
Flights, insurance, visas (if applicable) and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these arranged if you choose our Premium Support.
Premium Support Upgrade
We understand there’s a great deal to plan and organise for your trip. When booking a Placement, many of our participants choose to purchase our Premium Support Upgrade to benefit from the expertise, knowledge and experience of our Project Coordinators.
We can provide the personal advice you need to ensure your trip is organised with excellence and planned with efficiency; ensuring the very best experience possible. Read more about how we can help you.