Batang Ai Volunteer Project

  • Destination: Malaysian Borneo

 Departs: 13th of every month

 Duration: 14 days

 Price: £850

Download the full project details brochure here

Batang Ai National Park is home of the wild orangutan population in Sarawak. There has never before been an opportunity to volunteer in this area – you can visit the park and trek through with a guide, and we offer this in our Orangutan, Rainforests and Tribes Tour, but this is the first time a volunteering project has been permitted in the park. Spending 6 full days there (excluding the travel days) will give you a unique insight into this rather untouched rainforest, and give you ample opportunity to spot the orangutan and other resident, though shy, wildlife. Initial work will be focused on maintaining and developing infrastructure such as boardwalks and ranger stations to allow for further research to take place in the future. We will also be installing monitoring devices, such as camera traps, which will need checks and maintenance.
This first week of this trip is intended to show you the other wonderful parks and animals that Sarawak has to offer, as well as to allow you to acclimatise to the heat, humidity and rainforest environment. You will also have a taster of our volunteering project at Matang Wildlife Centre, which will warm you up for the work ahead in Batang Ai!

Day 1

Arrive in Kuching, Malaysian Borneo

Transfer to Basaga Lodge, a comfortable and stylish guest house, to meet Orangutan Project staff and your fellow volunteers for a welcome dinner and briefing. Make the most of the hot shower, air conditioning and swimming pool before departing to more simple amenities!

Day 2-3

Travel to Bako National Park

Spend your time trekking through the hugely varied rainforests, relaxing on the beautiful secluded beaches, taking boat trips to see the scenery or watching the varied wildlife. You spend one night here, and we strongly recommend doing a night trail to maximise the chance seeing wildlife

Day 3-4

Travel to Kubah National Park

Travel to Kubah National Park at the end of day 3, and have a relaxing evening in the shared houses here. You will have the chance to do another night walk to see quite different wildlife, and will have an educational talk from resident conservationists. After this chance to recharge, you will spend day 4 trekking! You will walk through the beautiful Kubah via a lovely waterfall to your next destination, Matang Wildlife Centre

Day 4-6

Matang Wildlife Centre

You will spend these 2 days being toured around the park, meeting the conservationists working in the field, trekking through the jungle, creating enrichment and potentially helping out with small manual labour tasks.

Day 6

Travel day

Take the 5-6 hour bus journey and the hour’s longboat journey to Batang Ai National Park, the home of the wild orangutan

Day 7-12

Batang Ai National Park

This is a unique opportunity to work towards conservation efforts of endangered flora and fauna within Batang Ai National Park. Your work here will range from checking camera traps to maintenance of trails and infrastructure. There will also be opportunities for treks to simply try to spot the wildlife that lives there – it is the only spot in Sarawak that there is a chance to see wild orangutan! There will also be work assisting local communities that live adjacent to the park, developing sustainable eco-tourism initiatives with them to provide alternate revenue streams and securing their future on their land.

Day 13

Travel back and Semenggoh

Travel back to Kuching, stopping at Semenggoh Orangutan Centre on the way for the chance to see semi-wild orangutan. Though they cannot be considered ‘truly’ wild, there is something unforgettable about seeing these animals in the trees. Spend a final night back in Basaga for a farewell dinner with your group, before transfers to the airport the following day (day 14)

Additional Information
Start Date 13th of every month
Duration 14 days
Cost £850
Price Includes All essential food and drink
Donation to the project
Price Excludes International flights
Travel insurance
Booking Please note that bookings directly with us means that a significant proportion of the money you pay is a donation to our work here on Borneo, and no ‘admin fee’ is levied. However, we have an administrative team of one, and they are based at Matang Wildlife Centre. So if you do not hear back within 30 minutes, please bear with us – we will always endeavour to respond within 48 hours maximum. For more information please contact [email protected]


Project Ethos
If it has always been your dream to hold a baby orang-utan, this is not the project for you. We are aware that to give rescued orang-utan the best chance of rehabilitation, they need to remain as far removed from people as possible. Having these animals exposed to mass market tourism and countless volunteers only serves to decrease their chance of returning once again to life in the trees. We believe that volunteer projects with a stated mission to help these endangered animals should do just that, and not simply provide photo opportunities for Western visitors. With that in mind, your work on this project will always be contributing to the progression of this centre, and not necessarily tailored towards what the volunteer may most enjoy! In saying that, participants to date have found this project incredibly worthwhile and enjoyable – please contact them via our Facebook group Project Orangutan to hear from them first-hand. Also please read our No Contact Policy for more information