Experiences & Testimonials

Still not sure if a trip to Borneo is right for you? Get inspired by the testimonials and images from some of our previous volunteers:

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“I was at Matang for 2 weeks in July and can honestly say that it was the most incredible, rewarding, educating, challenging and life changing thing I’ve ever done.
I have learnt (and am still learning) SO much about conservation (and sadly, the complexities of it in today’s world) and the best part was that I got to meet and work with the most amazing people, who share my passion; some who were fellow volunteers, and some who dedicate their lives to animal welfare and running Matang.
I would highly recommend Project Orangutan – book for as long as you can though, I guarantee you won’t want to leave!”
Natasha, 2013

“Having had dubious experiences with paid for ‘volunteering’ in the past I was apprehensive to book onto the Matang project but having read testimonials I  took the plunge and it is one of the best things I have ever done. I now understand that when done well, paid for volunteering is not only necessary but  essential for the projects, and couldn’t be more worth it. I have boundless faith in the staff to ensure the program is ethical, and always puts the animals welfare before profit – a rare thing indeed. The project is demanding and hard work, but an incredibly meaningful experience that you won’t regret. I have been back multiple times, and will no doubt be back again! The number of volunteers that keep in touch and return to the project time again and time again is better than any testimonial I could give.”
Rachel Anderson

“We worked hard, but seeing projects progressing – in some cases to completion – was hugely rewarding. Watching the animals benefit from the little things we could do and witnessing the dedication of the fulltime Project staff made me feel so lucky to be part of the team – even for a little while. And hey, I learned some things! Such as…sweating is not fatal, gibbons’ arms are always longer than you think, it takes approximately 5 minutes to acclimatize to the smell of sun bears (unless they’ve eaten porridge) and hard physical work is actually really satisfying, even fun – especially when it’s in the company of awesome animals and awesome people.”
Sinead

“The two weeks of volunteering that I did with Project Orangutan was one of the best experiences of my life. The work was hot & hard, but the team I worked with & knowing I was helping to give the orangs & other animal residents at Matang a better life made it more than worthwhile. I have no hesitation in recommending anyone with a sense of adventure & wanting to make a difference, to volunteer with Project Orangutan.
Cassandra

“I absolutely loved my time at Matang. I met some amazing people and some amazing animals, but most of all I learnt so much about the plight of the orangutan which made the work all the more worthwhile. It was hard at times, but everyone is so helpful and I felt like I was always in good hands! I did not want to leave and I am already planning to go back. I came back to London with a huge amount of respect for the work that the people at Matang are doing to try to save the orangutan from extinction, and a need to spread their message! I feel so privileged to have been a part of this amazing project”
Olivia, United Kingdom

Mosquito, leeches, 36 degree heat, flash floods, beer,rice wine, Iban tribes, orangutan and animals galore accompanied by Leo, Natasha, Richard, Alvin and Christina equals the best holiday adventure ever. We went in July 2013 and have not stopped taking about out experience. Paris, New York and London can wait. Go to Matang as soon as you can!
Christelle and Kazu

“My 4 weeks at Matang not only achieved a life long dream for me, but also helped me mature and grow in confidence. The work the staff do at Matang on a daily basis is staggering and it’s a truly inspiring feeling to be able to be even the smallest part of it. Hard work and sweat is not only essential, but so rewarding! It is a time in my life that I think of everyday, until of course I find the time to return again!”
Sophie, 20, Cambridge, United Kingdom

To Past and Future Volunteers
It has been over a month now since my Matang adventure ended, and still I think about the people, the place and animals on a daily basis. This was the most memorable and life changing experience of my life. To all those who are interested in volunteering DO IT! You will change in ways you never though possible, your mind will be opened and you will learn so much. Being a volunteer at Matang is so much more then you could imagine. Working alongside Natasha Beckerson, Leo Biddle, Kerrie Chalker and Richard Lukau is not only an honour but a privilege. Each one of these lovely people bring so much passion and knowledge to to the table, and no matter how many volunteers they receive and work with they manage to make everyone feel like they are apart of a family. You may choose to volunteer as an individual but you become a team and you leave with a family and life long friends. The work is not easy, it will test you in ways you never thought possible, being a volunteer is not about doing the work that you feel like or love to do it is about stepping up and doing work that needs to be done regardless, and you will be better for it. I never thought in a million years that I would have mixed cement by hand haha but I did… ( and I kind of enjoyed it ) You become physically and mentally stronger then ever before and trust me, you will be surprised on what you can actually handle and achieve. For someone like me who is going to school to do something at least similar to this it was even that much more worth it. It was a reality check and eye opening! I look forward to the day where I can see these wonderful people and animals again!
Brianna, California

Just over a year ago I full field my dream volunteering with the animals at Matang Wildlife Centre in Borneo the whole experience was amazing, the keepers were  so friendly and taught us so much about the animals care and took us out on jungle walks and showed us how to make nests for the Orangs. It was one of the best experiences of my life and would do it again.”
Erika, 56,  United Kingdom

“Volunteering with the animals at Matang Wildlife Centre is something I’d wanted to do for years, but it was never the right time and flying off to Borneo on my own just seemed a bit too daunting.  But one day, the fear of regret if I didn’t go became greater than the fear to go, so I jumped online (before my courage failed me) and booked the trip.  The connections we made with the animals were very special and something most people will never experience.  The staff looked after us and as volunteers we looked after each other, enjoying some local sightseeing on our days off.  You will be surprised by how much you are capable of and you will inspire your friends back home to follow their dreams too”.
Carlene, 38, Auckland, New Zealand

“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. The relationships you form with both the animals and the people are things to be cherished and it makes you want to return again and again and again. I’ve just come back from my second one month stint at Matang and can see it becoming a yearly event. I took two friends with me ( both in their 60s) this time and they fell in love with the place as well. I highly recommend this as a place you will learn to love.”
Sue, 56, Geelong, Australia

“Going on the 2 week volunteer trip to the Matang Wildlife Centre will remain one of my top 5 life experiences. Getting to work with the amazing Orangs up close was incredible, and seeing their incredibly human-like mannerisms was truly breathtaking. My favourite animal at the centre was ‘Cebu’ the gibbon”.
Tessa, 30, Sydney, Australia

“Matang…more than one year later I still have a wide smile in my face when I think about it.
I come from Austria – you know alps, cool lakes, fresh air… and was searching for some difference, so I found a way to experience the rainforest and get in touch with all species I´ll meet.
Yes, I had a great time – 7 Weeks Borneo, 5 Weeks Matang = 100 new friends
But let me tell you this will cost you a little work! Tasha (the leading human female) will introduce you to the reality of daily responsibilities and physical enjoyments to keep a “Zoo“ running, but she is not just wonderwoman, she is an awesome human being and great fun! Leo the alpha ape is just indescribable, a driven soul, a honest buddy, a person I could listen to day and night, a real thinker of the Jungle I learned a lot from! As well the facilitators became great friends and they were always involved in to some of my funniest adventures in or around Matang – uuuuhaaaa!
I don´t want to start talking about animals because when you go there, they will lead your impressions anyway, they make you smile, they touch your soul, they steal your food and suck your blood! But to wake up in the morning with the calls of the gibbons, work the whole day thru next to bears, birds and dudes like Aman, and then go to bed with cicadas, owls and other jungle sounds made everything already worth it for me! You will have a great time – have fun, bring some working gloves, climb a tree and help them change the world bit by bit!”

Tristan, 31, Austria

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Cuddle an Orang the ethical way!

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

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Testimonials

  • "Going on the 2 week volunteer trip to the Matang Wildlife Centre will remain one of my top 5 life experiences".
    Tessa, AU
  • "...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
  • "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
  • "You will be surprised by how much you are capable of and you will inspire your friends back home to follow their dreams too".
    Carlene, NZ

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A lovely portrait of Lollie, the youngest pig tailed #macaque at the centre with cheek pouches bulging full food. Thanks to Dom for the photo :) ...

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Its all go construction wise here at the moment. Old #sunbear nightdens are being repaired and work has resumed on the new #macaque enclosure. Cement mixing is yet again imminent! ...

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Ting San's baby, doing great at 5 days old Photo by Dominic Kelundek Dom ...

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