Orangutan conservation vacation in Borneo

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2020: 3 Jan, 3 Feb, 3 Mar, 3 Apr, 3 May, 3 Jun, 3 Jul, 3 Aug, 3 Sep, 3 Oct, 3 Nov, 3 Dec
Vacation type
Small group vacations
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group leader
As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travelers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.

Responsible tourism

Orangutan conservation vacation in Borneo

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.


The project works with a local wildlife center to re-establish rehabilitation and release of orangutans into the Malaysian State of Sarawak. The orangutan sub-species, Pongo Pygmaeus Pygmaeus, is the most endangered of all the orangutan species and needs urgent action now. The support and manpower of volunteers goes towards working with local people, Malaysian authorities and universities, international experts and charities to find a sustainable solution to the problem of orangutan decline.


All of this project’s ground staff, guides, animal keepers, drivers and facilitators are employed directly from the local communities bordering the conservation areas. This provides employment, education and community engagement directly from the conservation and tourism activities the project is involved in. Not only does this deliver benefits to the individuals and communities the project works with, it goes a long way towards relieving the pressures local communities can place on conservation areas, through illegal activities in the absence of financial alternatives or through lack of awareness.

3 Reviews of Orangutan conservation vacation in Borneo

4.5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 26 Aug 2019 by

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

It was a highlight to see the orang utan Ganti and her baby come in from the
forest - and the sunbears are truly awesome! But really it was the whole experience that I'll remember. It was a great group of volunteers and the team on the ground were terrific.

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

Read all the information and understand that hard work in hot conditions is just what it says. Understand that the focus is the animals, not your comfort. For example, we had no running water for much of our two weeks - and that's
just what happens sometimes!

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

Yes. The ethos of the project kept that top of mind. But it's a drop in the ocean compared to what's needed.

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

It was amazing, confronting, educational and fun. I'd recommend it
most to people who want to think about and challenge the way westerners view and experience the world.

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2011 by

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

Staying with the local tribe in the jungle.

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

Take your large back pack for the full duration and a smaller one for each section, large enough for 5 nights worth of items.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes definitely.

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

10 out of 10.

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2011 by

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

Learning about and working with the animals at the wildlife center at Matang; tribal-style living deep in the rainforest, and the guides' ability to source food from nature with fishing spear and machete - and much, much more.

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

Be open to all the wonderful experiences you will have - and ensure your fitness level is at least moderate for the bushwalks!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


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

Just brilliant: 10 out of 10! Would love to go back someday soon!

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