1 independent reviews for Borneo orangutan conservation volunteering

Reviews for Borneo orangutan conservation volunteering


review 26 Dec 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

There were many. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Being surrounded by other volunteers committed to improving the world condition was inspiring. The work was challenging but it was obvious that the volunteers were necessary and helped to improve the animals daily life.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Make sure you are comfortable with what is very similar to a “camping” experience. You will be wet a lot of the time so I recommend men’s bathing shorts for both men and women with a quick drying top or bathing shirt. It is simply too hot to wear rain gear. I took 21 pairs of socks and two weeks worth of underwear and was glad I did. I often changed 2-3 times per day to keep as dry as possible. Laundry takes two days or more to dry so bring enough clothing to compensate for that. You can borrow Wellies there so don’t invest in any unless you have a favourite pair. You won’t be bringing them home. Similarly your work clothes will likely stay behind and be used as enrichment material for the animals.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The wildlife sanctuary is seriously over subscribed and the animals are not in a good place. This is through no fault of the forestry men, charity, staff or volunteers but it can be a bit of a shock from what is presented on the operators page. The volunteers are desperately needed and they are put to good use and do contribute to an improvement in the conditions of the animals. Does it support conservation? Not as much as it could. Does it benefit the local people? I imagine that could be worked into the vacation as well.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

I would go back but this time I would have a more realistic view of what I was walking into. The basic conditions are perfectly fine and definitely not a hardship. In fact the challenges were fun. If you are looking to be involved with active conservation, rehabilitation and returning animals to the wild this is not happening. It did at one point in the history of the sanctuary and may well again but at the moment it is a facility with far too many animals and so many species that the time needed to fulfill their mandate simply no longer exists. Having said that it was an extremely valuable experience and I encourage anyone who is truly committed to helping animals (and people) and putting their money where their mouth is with respect to making the world a better place to participate in this opportunity.
14 days KO 30/12/19

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