Matang Wildlife Centre Volunteer Program

Through 2012-2013, our price for a two week volunteering placement was £602 per person, which was roughly RM2750. The chart below demonstrates the division of this money through 2012 between expenditure on our project site, and expenses incurred through the volunteers themselves:

Expenditure 2012



  • Cost of the volunteer: includes nights spent at Basaga, food budgets, costs associated with transportation, tourism days, maintenance to and rental of housing at Matang
  • Expenditure at Matang: includes salaries of local staff, daily food rations for the animals, veterinary care, materials for construction projects, husbandry equipment, enrichment foods and devices, maintenance supplies, and funds for research projects (camera traps, habitat surveys, wildlife surveys etc).


We endeavour to meet the living expenses of our Western staff through means other than volunteer contributions such as day-tourism ventures, fees obtained through professional speaking engagements and other commercial tourism products. Our Western team is not salaried, we simply cover food and accommodation.

 Where money is remaining at the end of a given month (which is not always the case, depending on how many volunteers have come through), we save this money for spend on larger projects, such as new enclosures or equipment such as radio telemetry tracking and receiving devices. Generally, the income from the volunteer project is tied up in the daily running costs of Matang (not including the cost of the volunteer themselves). Many of our larger projects and/or purchases have been made through donations, with some assistance from extra money earned from months with lots of volunteers.

As of December 2012, Orangutan Project has spent RM2,383,890 at and on Matang Wildlife Centre, which is almost £500,000 or $800,000. We are proud that a small volunteering project has been able to create such a significant financial contribution to conservation and animal welfare.


Cuddle an Orang the ethical way!

Help fund our work with this soft Orangutan toy - £17+postage.

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  • "...The whole experience was amazing, the keepers were  so friendly and taught us so much about the animals... It was one of the best experiences of my life and would do it again."
    Erika, UK
  • "Going on the 2 week volunteer trip to the Matang Wildlife Centre will remain one of my top 5 life experiences".
    Tessa, AU
  • I've been every year since 2009 and will continue to visit every year until I become too old and doddery to get on a plane. The most life changing experiences of my life!!
  • "Yes, it's hard work, but the satisfaction you get from knowing you are helping to make a difference in these animals' lives makes it all worthwhile."
    Sue, AU
  • In the past 2 weeks I've done more than I ever thought possible. I've helped with enrichment and husbandry at Matang Wildlife Centre with orangutans, sun bears, gibbons and many others. Seen flying lemers glide, wild pigs run on the beach, sunsets like no other, been bitten by a leech, mixed cement by hand, carried wheel barrow after wheel barrow and shovelled so much s*?it I'm considering adding it to skills on my c.v. I've learnt so much and it's been a truly life changing experience and to top it off I've met some amazing people! I'll be back Borneo! Volunteered April 2016
    Jade Galley

Facebook Feed

Another cheeky pic of the gorgeous and playful Simanggang captured beautifully yet again by Feb volunteer Kolin :) ...

Thanks to Cath for this wonderful video of the beautiful Blossom doing what sun bears do best! ...

This gorgeous wee Malayan Porcupine was released into the national park after a short stint in captivity. ...