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Orangutan Conservation Volunteer Project, Indonesia

3 Weeks from

minimum age

  • Actively contribute to forest conservation and wildlife research efforts
  • Learn from experienced researchers and scientists working on a common cause
  • Experience tropical wildlife like orangutans roaming about in their natural habitat
  • Meet people from around the world and experience the natural beauty of Borneo

Food, Lodging & Travel 

For the volunteers joining the Forest Conservation Volunteer programme, they will be at a base camp located just inside the forest-edge, which is approximately one hour by car, boat and small train, from the provincial capital of Palangkaraya. Facilities in camp are basic but comfortable. The accommodation in dormitory huts, where volunteers stay in shared single-sex rooms with 2 bunk-beds per room. They are equipped with mattresses, pillows and mosquito nets. There are also a meeting room for teaching lessons and an office, with electricity in the evenings, kitchen and dining room, with on-site cooks. There are several shared local style squat toilets and shower rooms using water pumped from below ground, and there is an area for washing clothes and boots.  There is mobile signal and internet at the camp, while this can be scrappy. Purified water is provided for everyone to drink.

Volunteers joining the Forest & Wildlife Research Expedition will be based at a temporary small research camp in the Mungku Baru forest. The camp is equipped with a kitchen, dining area and washing facilities. Facilities here are basic, with drinking water from the river (boiled), bathing in the river, electricity in the evenings only, and communications by satellite phone. Volunteers usually sleep under tarpaulin tents with rice sack beds. The camp is three hours from Palangkaraya, reached by a combination of car, boat and travel on foot.

Volunteers will in both camps be helping with all aspects of camp operations including cooking, cleaning, washing up etc.

Vegetarians/Vegans. Food served at the camp is simple Indonesian cooking and the team makes every effort to accommodate vegetarian and vegan diets. Whilst it is possible to accommodate these and other dietary requirements at base camp, this will be more difficult in town, especially for vegans.

Please note that volunteers on both programmes will spend the first two and last two nights at a hotel in Palangkaraya city, where volunteers usually share a double room with main meals included. During the first two days, volunteers get an introduction talk and have the chance to buy the last things they need before going to the forest.

Volunteer butterfly survey in BorneoHow to get there

Volunteers should arrive in Palangkaraya (Tjilik Riwut airport), which is the capital of the Central Kalimantan province and where the programme starts and ends. Volunteers should arrive on, and not before, the official start date of the volunteer programme, where they will be met by local project staff at the airport. Volunteers will then stay in the city for two days before going into the forest.

Visa for Indonesia

As a volunteer, you would need to get a Social / Cultural visa to do voluntary work in Indonesia. The visa is valid for 60 days. You will have to include an invitation and sponsor letter in order to apply for a Social / Cultural Visa, which you will be able to request from our local project partner in Indonesia, if you are accepted on the project. Please allow at least 30 days for the visa process to be fully handled, and take contact to your local consulate/embassy for updated information related to your nationality. It is for the individual volunteer to make sure to check that they are eligible before applying, and that they follow the instructions provided. Not doing this might prevent you from gaining the visa successfully. Please ensure that you have at least four empty pages and six months validity in your passport.

Health Information

Consult your GP to receive updated travel information about required vaccinations and anti-malarial medication. Typically the project recommends Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Tetanus, Diptheria, and possibly also Rabies and Japanese encephalitis vaccinations. The project location is in a peat swamp which has mosquitoes, so precautions need to be taken to avoid being bitten. Malaria is rare in this region, but mosquitoes can transmit other diseases, including dengue fever and chikungunya fever. The best prevention is to use repellents, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long trousers in the forest, and sleeping under a mosquito net. Clothing can also be treated with permethrin. If you react badly to mosquito bites, ensure you have a good supply of antihistamine tablets and cream.

Orangutan Conservation Volunteer Project, Indonesia

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