Malay Explorer & Volunteering

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Malay Explorer & Volunteering

from £2,955
Duration: from 2 months
Countries: Malaysia
Work with orangutans for a month, then spend another couple of weeks exploring the length of Malaysia, before ending up in Bali to relax at the end of an eventful trip. Oh, and we’ll chuck in flights for this price too!

Malay Explorer & Volunteering

Start off by flying into Kuching, where you'll start your orangutan placement working with International Animal Rescue to help rehabilitate these incredible animals so they are fit and healthy enough to go back into the wild.

Helpful Project Information

This orangutan volunteer programme is designed to support International Animal Rescue, by helping with the build of a fully functional orangutan rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in the middle of Indonesia's lush jungle.

New Construction at the Centre

Volunteers work at IAR’s temporary wildlife conservation and rescue centre in Ketapang, on the construction of the much-needed, new orangutan sanctuary.

With the centre expanding, volunteers may partake in helping to erect electric fences and mix concrete to make bases for new cages to stand on. Also the building of boardwalks and bridges to make access easier for personnel and new climbing towers and feeding platforms for the orangutans in the forest school areas


Due to the damp tropical nature of the area and the boisterousness of the orangutans, boardwalks and towers often need general upkeep and repair. The insides of buildings need repainting and cages regularly need their structural enrichment changed.


Volunteers may also be involved in the process of producing enrichment for the resident orangutans. This promotes natural behaviours and will enhance the potential for rehabilitation to release as well as improve the lives of the orangutans. Please note that there will be NO direct contact with orangutans during this or any other activity.

Farming and planting

To help keep the food bills down we are growing our own local produce to help feed the orangutans. This involves activities from planting fruit trees and harvesting vegetables to making organic compost. As more land is being bought some areas of it need reforesting.

Cage Maintenance

All the cages at the centre need regular maintenance, especially in terms of changing the fixed enrichment of hammocks, ropes and tyres. The orangutans in the large socialisation cages can be particularly destructive and enjoy taking things apart. All new cages always need to be fitted with various items along with hammocks in all the night cages. The volunteers often make the new hammocks and swings and refit all the various cages.

Day Off

On your day off each week you will get to explore other areas of Ketapang. Hutan Kota is a natural park where you may get the chance to see wild proboscis and macaque monkeys as they make their way to the rivers edge to settle for the night. There are also local beaches where you can watch the sunset while drinking from a coconut. The town of Ketapang also has markets, a Buddhist temple and numerous local shops. You will also get the opportunity to visit the old Transit site, though no longer in use by IAR you can see what the centre has evolved from.

By then you'll have a pretty good idea what it's like to spend your time in the rainforest, so it's time to explore some more of this diverse country on a tour that'll take you all the way from massive, capital city Jakarta, to Bali via one or two spots inbetween:


Day 1Jakarta
Arrive at any time.

Day 2Jakarta(1B)
Free day to explore. Enjoy one of two street food crawls with the group and CEO while in Jakarta.

Day 3Jakarta/Cianjur(1B)
Venture to Cianjur via Bogor, visit the floating villages, and opt to teach English to local children. Experience local life by spending the night at a homestay.

Day 4Cianjur/Bandung(1B)
Enjoy an orientation walk of the sprawling city of Bandung, then take some time to explore independently.

Day 5Bandung/Yogyakarta(1B)
Travel from Bandung to Yogyakarta on a scenic train journey.

Days 6–7Yogyakarta(1B)
Spend free time visiting local sights such as the Buddhist Borobudur temple complex, Javanese temples, or Mt Merapi.

Day 8Yogyakarta/Tawangmangu(1B)
Enjoy an optional stop to explore the Prambanan temples, then opt to continue on to the Sukuh Temple with its erotic carvings. Follow this with a beautiful walk through small villages and farms to Tawangmangu.

Day 9Tawangmangu/Malang(1B)
Take a scenic journey to Bromo Tengger Semeru NP.

Day 10Malang/Bromo(1B)
Continue travelling east across Java to reach Mt Bromo.

Day 11Bromo/Kalibaru(1B)
Enjoy an early morning hike to view the enchanting moonscape of Mt Bromo.

Day 12Kalibaru/Pemuteran(1B)
Head to Bali and the beach with time to relax or explore the national park.

Day 13Pemuteran(1B)
Chill out in Bali. Opt to take a snorkelling or diving trip to Menjangan Island.

Day 14Pemuteran/Sanur(1B)
Travel to Sanur via hot springs and pristine cascades before a final night out with the group.

Day 15Sanur(1B)
Depart at any time.

Wind up in Bali at the end of your trip before flying home from Denpasar. It's all part of the service.

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Further Details

More information about this gap year opportunity...

Price details:

from £2,955


Call 0333 333 9923 to enquire or book


London (Heathrow) >> Kuala Lumpur >> Kuching (overland) Denpasar (Bali) >> Kuala Lumpur >> London (Heathrow)


Return economy class flights
Orangutan volunteer placement with International Animal Rescue
Overland adventure tour from Java to Bali

About StudentUniverse

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