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Borneo Wildlife Volunteer

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Borneo, Malaysia
Boreno Wildlife Volunteer
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Trip Code: MYSVBW1
Duration: 12 Days - 12 Days
From £895 for 12 Days
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Pygmy Elephants Community Volunteering Malaysian Landscape

Play a key role in the conservation efforts of Borneo’s rainforest and help to protect the precious habitats of Orang-utans, Pygmy Elephants and many other endangered species. Learn all about life in the rainforest on community development programmes and get stuck in to vital habitat restoration as you soak up this unique and diverse environment.

Wildlife in Borneo
Borneo’s rainforests have been under threat for many years and have been severely affected by deforestation caused by logging and plantations. This has had a devastating effect on the local wildlife, leaving many endangered animals vulnerable and without a safe habitat. Furthermore this puts huge strains on the local communities that have lived off the rainforests and rivers for many generations. The Kinabatangan Floodplain rainforest in Borneo is particularly at risk and it is imperative that urgent conservation work is undertaken to restore the habitat of over 250 bird, 50 mammal, 20 reptile species and many more. 

There are a number of endangered species that inhabitit the rainforest that you may encounter during your project, including the proboscis monkey, sun bear, bear cat and the clouded leopard. 

Your Borneo Wildlife Safari Placement
Throughout this project you will have a hands on and proactive role in the conservation of Kinabatangan rainforests whilst helping to provide sustainable solutions to the local community. You will begin your project in the beautiful area of Sepilok which is part of the suburbs of Sandakan, where you will receive a thorough induction into the Corridor of Life and importance of conservation work in the area. The following day you will make your way to the Sukau village Wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Borneo’s rainforest, home to many unique and interesting animals including singing gibbons, orang-utans, proboscis monkeys, sun bears, hornbills and the pygmy elephant.

Your Borneo Wildlife Safari Volunteer Role 
Habitat Restoration
One of your main roles in Sukau will be vital habitat restoration to ensure that Orangutans, Pygmy Elephants and many more of Borneo’s diverse species of wildlife have a safe and sustainable home for years to come. You will be involved in planting trees as well as maintaining other plots of land that have been planted by previous volunteers to ensure that the trees have a maximum survival rate. Restoring plots of land is extremely important as it creates corridors of greenery allowing wildlife to travel easily between fragmented areas of forests, particularly encouraging healthy orang-utan and pygmy elephant populations. 

This will include tree-planting, nursery care and seedling generation, sapling maintenance, mulching and composting, clearing invasive species and also tree growth data recording. 

You will also be involved in wildlife population observations which are vital to gather information for the future success of conservation efforts in the area. These are conducted from a boat travelling down the river in which you will observe endangered wildlife roaming along the river banks. 

Working with the Community
You will also have the unique chance to work with the local community that live along the Kinabatangan River throughout the project. This tribe are called the “Orang Sungai” which translates to “people of the river”, who have lived and depended on the rainforest and river for many generations. Working with the community is an integral part of the project and the aim is to implement sustainable projects to engage locals in the conservation efforts of the rainforest so they have the knowledge to protect the land for years to come. 

This begins in the local school, which all the children aged between 6-12 from the village attend. These children are ultimately the future guardians of the rainforest and it is important that they understand the risks and vulnerability of their environment so that they can proactively protect it. You will therefore spend time developing conservation programmes at the school that will encourage them to take responsibility of and cherish the environment they live in.

There will be many opportunities for cultural and community interaction throughout this programme as you learn local skills required for their daily livelihood and assisting them on projects. Most lunch and dinners will be served in the private homes of the villagers, where you will get a chance to chat to the locals and learn all about daily village life and their fascinating relationship with the rainforest. Learning some Malay prior to coming would greatly help in conversing with the shy Orang Sungai.

Orang-utan Rehabilitation
On your final day you will learn all about Orang-utans as you visit the world famous Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre, as you watch them being fed and learn all about the challenges that the centre faces. You will also visit the Rainforest discovery centre which will reinforce all that you have learnt about the rainforest over the past week. 

• Plant trees and maintain planting sites important for orang-utans and pygmy elephants. 
• Learn about orang-utans in the stage of rehabilitation and process of releasing them back into the wild. 
• Understand the threats to habitat and wildlife and have the unique chance to make a personal impact in the conservation efforts. 
• Live in the same village as the Orang Sungai ‘people of the river’ and collaborate with them through sustainable community projects. 
• Trek through and learn about the mysterious rainforests of Sabah. 
• Raise awareness on responsible living and travelling amongst tourists, local community and students.
• Interact with students at local schools in an education programme focused on conservation activities.
• Spot macaques, deer, elephants and birds in the trees that were planted by past volunteers! 

Download the Malaysia Country Info Brochure - Click Here!

Quick Facts

Trip Name
Borneo Wildlife Volunteer
Trip Code
Sandakan Airport (SDK)
Minimum Duration
12 Days
Minimum Age
Trip Type
Wildlife & Conservation
From £895 for 12 Days
£ 195.00
Preferred Duration
This is a 12 day placement only
You do not need any specific experience to take part in this programme, however a passion and interest in wildlife and animal welfare is required. It is also essential that you have a good work ethic and enthusiastic attitude towards the programme.
Ideal for
Gap Year and Career Break Volunteering in Malaysia; Wildlife Conservation in Malaysia; Rainforest Conservation; Wildlife Volunteering Overseas.
• • •

Arrival Dates

Arrival / Start dates are on the 21st of every month. Please contact our Travel Team to check availability.

Note: Arrivals should be on the 21st, please aim to arrive early in the day as you will receive a welcome dinner and project briefing on the evening of the 21st. Your programme will end after exactly 11 nights.

British nationals visiting Malaysia do not need a visa for stays up to 90 days. To read more about your visa requirements you can click here. 
• • •


Project Activities
All conservation activities and equipment will be provided, so that you can make a direct contribution to the volunteer projects.
Accommodation is provided for the duration of the programme. You will be staying in a longhouse style guesthouse on arrival in Sepilok, a basic but comfortable lodge in Sukau and a shared hotel room on your last night in Sandakan. All accommodation will have communal areas, kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Airport Transfers
An arrival transfer from Sandakan Airport (SDK) to your accommodation is provided, as well as a return transfer at the end of your programme.
A comprehensive induction and orientation will be provided by our team at the start of your trip, including safety, orientation, and project briefing.
All project related transport is included.
Entrance Fees
Entrance fees to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and the Rainforest Discovery Centre
All pre-departure advice and support will be provided, as well as 24 hour support from our dedicated teams in Malaysia and the UK.
Equipment and Medical Discounts
Changing Worlds customers will receive 10% off Travel Equipment, Medical Supplies and Vaccinations from Nomad Travel Store.
A small donation is made to help support the continued conservation work of the project.
All meals will be provided for you during your stay in the village. This is part of the project’s commitment to bring alternative and sustainable income sources to the local community. Dinner on the last evening in Sandakan is not included as this will give you the chance to eat out at one of the local restaurants.
• • •

Not Included

Flights; Travel Insurance; Visas; Vaccinations; Camera Fees; Spending money; In country travel; Laundry service; Soft drinks, alcohol and snacks; Extra activities not on itinerary.
• • •

Corridor of Life 
Your project will be based in a small village called Sukau along the stunning Kinabatangan River. Kinabatangan River is the longest in Sabah, Malaysia stretching 560km from the centre of Borneo through to the Sulu-Sulawesi sea. Home to a wide range of unique flora and fauna, the river is at the epicentre of an amazing biodiversity and subsequently requires long term conservation efforts to ensure that the wildlife has a protected habitat for many years to come. 

Through the cooperation of the government, WWF, NGO’s, private companies and individuals, a section of land surrounding the river has been designated as a high priority conservation area which has been named the ‘Corridor of Life’. The ‘Corridor of Life’ is home to over 250 bird, 50 mammal, and 20 reptile species, along with 1060 plant species and much more. This habitat remains under threat due to deforestation and this initiative aims to provide sustainable solutions to protect their habitats, where people, wildlife, nature-based tourism and local forest industries thrive and support each other in a positive way. 

Sukau Village 
Sukau village is approximately 2 hours from Sandakan airport and is located within the ‘Corridor of Life’, along the Kinabatangan River. There are approximately 1,000 people living in the village, who are affectionately referred to as the Orang Sungai or ‘people of the river’. This tribe have lived off the river and rainforest for many generations, relying on the environment to provide their food and drinks, medicine, hunting tools, building materials, clothing, carrier bags and even cosmetics, however today many of the local people make a living through tourism, plantations and related village businesses. 

You will have the chance to immerse yourself in the local community as your work is predominantly based in and around the village, so you will get to know the friendly locals, become accustomed to their way of life and even have the unique opportunities to join them in their homes for meals.  

Arrival night in Sepilok:
Your first night in Sepilok is based in a shared dormitory style room in a traditional style longhouse overlooking the beautiful Malaysian landscape. There will be shared hot water showers and toilets. 

During the project you will be based at a basic but comfortable bed and breakfast in the heart of the village. There are dormitory style rooms with shared toilets and showers. Breakfast will be served in common area overlooking the river. The bed and breakfast is within walking distance to the village and the jetty.

Sandakan (last night):
Your last night is in a hotel in Sandakan where you will share a room with other volunteers. Toilets and showers are shared. The hotel is within walking distance from of the town promenade which has all the amenities you need, including cafes, shops and restaurants. 

Day 1
You will be met at Sandakan airport by our friendly driver who will take you back to your longhouse style accommodation to settle in for the night. In the evening you will meet for a welcome dinner and introduction to the programme, where you will learn all about the Corridor of Life and your role on the project. 

If you arrive early you can explore the beautiful town of Sandakan, with it’s charming shops, temples and restaurants.

Day 2 - 10 Project Days 
After breakfast you will receive a transfer to the project site in Sukau. 

After settling in to your accommodation, you will be given a thorough health and safety briefing followed by an orientation around the village. During your project days you will get stuck in to your habitat restoration and community development roles as outlined on the trip details tab. 

Day 11
After breakfast you will head to Sepilok. Here you will visit the Rainforest Discovery Centre and Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre where you will learn all about the challenges of Orang-utan rehabilitation and the wonderful conservation efforts of those that work there. 

On the last evening you will spend a night in a hotel in the heart of Sandakan. This evening will be free for you to explore the local area, soaking up the buzz of the town. Dinner is not included on your last night allowing you to make the most of the variety of delicious restaurants nearby, there is a lovely rooftop restaurant where you can watch the sun-set, chill out and reminisce on your time on the programme! 

Day 12 
Departure day - check out of the hotel and receive transfer to the airport.

Please note this is an example itinerary and all activities are subject to weather conditions, school calendars and community requirements. 

Malaysia Map

Like two countries rolled into one, Malaysia is divided into two stunning areas, the western peninsular and Borneo in the east! The peninsular, flaunting a concoction of Malay, Indian and Chinese cultural influences, and the third largest island in the world Borneo, home to seemingly never ending jungles that are teeming with life, remote tribal groups and some of the most unique landscapes in the world!

From the dazzling highrise buildings of the capital Kuala Lumpur, to the beautiful rural villages made up of traditional longhouses across Borneo's magical regions. Malaysia is world renowned for the vast array of wildlife that has blessed this diverse nation, with the great Orang-utans commanding the treetops of Sarawak, to some of the worlds best diving spots off the East coast of Sabah, be prepared for a truly unique and captivating Malaysian experience!

Quick Facts
South East Asia
Bordering Countries
Brunei, Indonesia, Thailand
Capital City
Kuala Lumpur
Federal constitutional monarchy
approx. 30 million
Bahasa Malaysia (Malay), English
Malaysian Ringgit (RM) (MYR)
Main Exports
Refined Petroleum, Petroleum Gas, Palm Oil, Integrated Circuits, and Computers.
The climate of Malaysia is driven by its equatorial position, extensive coastlines on tropical seas and monsoonal winds. Malaysia has uniformly high temperatures throughout the year, alomng with high himudity and high ranifall.
Time Zone
UTC +8
Malaysia Flag

Fun Facts
• Malaysia has it's own Loch Ness Monster. The Jakun Orang Asli people believe their is a dragon that inhabits Tasik Chini lake called the Naga Seri Gumum.
• Malaysia has 9 different royal families, all reigning at one time, the highest number in the world.
• Malaysia is home ot he largest citrus friut in the world, the Pomelo. It can reach the size of a football and can weigh between 1-3 kg.

Travel Highlights
• Visit the stunning Perhertian Islands of the coast of peninsular Malaysia; voted some of the most beautiful islands in the world!
• Lose yourself (not literally) in the epic rainforests of Borneo, and discover amazing wildlife along the way, such as the majestic Orang-utan.
• Scale all 4000m+ of the Malaysia's highest mountain, Mount Kinabalu, located in the stunning Sabah region of Borneo.
• Take a river cruise through the Kinabatangan Rainforest and try to spot the mysterious Pygmy Elephant.
• Shop till you drop in the lively metropolis of Malaysia's capital city, Kuala Lumpur. 

Orang-utan Kinatabangan Rainforest Volunteer in Maslaysia

Where is Malaysia?
Malaysia is a stunning nation located in the travel hot-spot of South East Asia. To the north of Malaysia you will find Thailand, to the south you will find Singapore and Indonesia, and to the east is the Phillipines. The Malaysian nation consists of some 13 states, 11 of which can be found on the main Malay Peninsular (known widely as West Malaysia), and the other 2 will be found dividing East Malaysia on the magical island of Borneo.

This enchanting nation is split in two by the South China Sea, stretching for over 400 miles (640 km) between East and West Malaysia. Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur, is found in the heart of the West Malay peninsular. 

What is the climate like in Malaysia?
Malaysia is situated in the heart of the equatorial region, and therefore is blessed with a tropical climate, combining high temperatures, high humidity and high rainfall throughout the year. There is a reason why Malaysia has some of the highest density of rainforest in the world, and quite simply it is the rain!

Being hot and humid throughout the year means that there is not really a best time to visit, it is just best to avoid the Monsoon which affects the Eastern regions in Borneo. Between October and March the eastern climate is cast into heavy rainy periods, and due to the rough weather during these months it is advised to avoid travel to Borneo during this period.

The average temperature in Malaysia throughout the year is 35 °C (95 °F), and the average rainfall throughout the year is high at 250 cm (98in) per year.

What languages are spoken in Malaysia?
The main language spoken throughout Malaysia is Malay (Bahasa Malaysia), however English is also widely spoken in most developed areas, and where English is not spoken our team will provide you with a bilingual guide (so don't worry!). Some of the other languages spoken throughout Malaysia are Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, Hindi, and wide range of local tribal dialects.

Who are the People of Malaysia?
The largest ethnic group in Malaysia are the domestic group of people known as the Malay. The Malay account for more than half of Malaysia's total population, and are a mainly Muslin, meaning that all people visiting Malaysia are expected to abide by Muslim law and be respectful of the local customs. The other key ethnic groups in Malaysia consist of the Chinese and Indians, who have been emigrating to Malaysia since the 15th century, and who's religious beliefs tend to be Christian, Buddhist (Chinese) and Hindu (Indian).

Malaysia also have a wide range of tribal groups within the country, including some of the world's most notorious groups including The Iban, who became known for practising head-hunting of other tribesmen in their native Sarawak river regions. They are generous and placid peoples, however are sticklers for etiquette, and abide by many rules that govern their communities. Tip: Never enter an Iban longhouse without being invited in! 

The Kadazun Dusun are the largest ethnic group found in the region of Sabah, Borneo. They are an ancient group of people who believe that everything has life, including rocks, trees and rivers, however in recent times some of this group have been converted to Christianity or Islam.

Finally, the Orang Sungai (meaning River People) are a group of indigenous people native to the rivers in Sabah, Borneo. They make their homes along the rives and benefit from the corridor of life that the rivers bring, making their livings from fishing and generally follow the Islam religion.

Wildlife in Malaysia
The wildlife in Malaysia are among some of the most diverse in the world. As Malaysia is a tropical nation, with the majority covered by dense rainforest, which plays host to an incredibly diverse array of flora and fauna. With over 210 recognised species of mammal, over 620 species of bird, upwards of 250 species of reptile and a staggering 150+ species of frog found in Malaysia, it is not shock that Malaysia attracts a huge range of wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists each year. 

Malaysia's Borneo regions are renowned for its array of rainforest wildlife, including the Orang-utans (meaning People of the Trees), Pygmy Elephants, the worlds smallest bear – the Sun Bear, and so much more! As well as the rainforest, Malaysia's marine life does not disappoint, with the country's coastal regions comprising an area that is known as the Coral Triangle, which is known widely for it's vast array of marine and coral species.

Gap Year and Career Break Travel in Malaysia
There is simply no better destination for those who are looking to get away from the beaten backpacker routes and explore a country that will take you back to the roots of travel. The relaxed and welcoming nature of Malaysia's people will make any gap year or career break visit to this spectacular country well worth the time. Experience the beauty of Malaysia's stunning islands, such as the Perhertian Islands and the Langkawi Islands off the coast of peninsular Malaysia, or delve deep into the exotic rainforests and discover am whole new world of incredible wild-life and indigenous people!

Some people find the concept of paying to volunteer a bit strange. The truth is you don’t actually pay for your volunteer placement. That part is free. Your money goes on all the other benefits around it.
Project Assessment
Before you see a placement on our website, a lot of background work has gone on. We have met with local organisations, vetted in-country staff, conducted rigorous safety assessments and thoroughly evaluated the benefits of the placement, both for you and the community. Only then do you get to see the placement on our website and book your place, safe in the knowledge that it is well-structured and beneficial to the local community.
Help Choosing Your Placement
If you are not sure which placement or country to choose, our hugely informative Travel Advisors are here to help. They are a friendly bunch, have all travelled extensively and can offer lots of advice on choosing the right placement for you. This makes the task of deciding to volunteer in a foreign country much less intimidating, and far more exciting.
Pre-departure Advice
Once you have booked your placement, you will be assigned a dedicated Travel Advisor to offer essential pre-departure advice on vaccinations, visas, kit lists and more. They will also be on call to answer those important last minute questions like “how many pairs of socks do I need?” and “can I take my mobile phone with me?”
Help with Flights and Insurance
We do not include flights and travel insurance in our placement fee. This avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. It also gives you flexibility to plan any further travel before or after your volunteer placement. We do, however, offer lots of help on this through our leading flights and insurance partners, providing you with an easy booking facility and the best prices around.
Airport Pick-Up
Landing in a foreign country for the first time can be daunting. This is why we ensure our in-country staff are there to meet you on arrival. There’s nothing like seeing a friendly face when you walk out of a new airport. And once we have given you a warm welcome, the in-country staff will take you back to your accommodation where you can meet the rest of the team and other volunteers.
Arrival Orientation
We will take you through a local orientation and placement induction on arrival. This will introduce you to any useful amenities and local customs, and it will also show you how to stay safe while volunteering abroad. Our team also have lots of handy travel tips and advice if you are thinking of exploring the country in your spare time.
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation is included in all of our placements. Our volunteer houses, family home-stays and shared residences are comfortable and very sociable places to live while overseas. In some destinations, you may be able to upgrade to alternative accommodation. Just contact us for details. We endeavour to supply food on all of our placements, however in some cases this is not always possible. In many cases you will receive at least 1 meal a day, please see the project summary for further details.  
In-Country Staff
Your safety and enjoyment is extremely important to us. That’s why we have dedicated in-country teams to look after you throughout your placement. Our staff live nearby, can be reached 24-hours a day and will check-in with you throughout your placement to ensure everything is running smoothly, and you are happy in your new environment.
24-Hour Emergency Support
In addition to our in-country staff, you will benefit from our international support network. You will be given emergency contact details before you leave which you can call in the event of a crisis. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ongoing Project Support
For every volunteer who travels with us, we make a donation to support the work you do in-country. This donation funds future initiatives in the countries and supports the local community, ensuring that those living in disadvantaged communities also have opportunities to develop.
Recruiting More Volunteers
In order to provide a reliable flow of volunteers to our placements overseas, we have to spend a chunk of money on recruiting people like you. Our projects simply wouldn’t survive if we didn’t. It costs to maintain a website, an office, phone lines and a team of dedicated Travel Advisors to answer all your questions! 
Borneo Rainforest Flights Adventure Travel
There are quite a few things to consider and to organise before you travel to your chosen destination to take part in your trip or tour with us.

Flights and Insurance
Flights and insurance are not included on your placement which means you will have to arrange them before you leave. But don't panic, this is simpler than you may think! To make life much easier for you, we offer a free, personal booking service through our chosen flights and insurance partner – StudentUniverse, part of Flight Centre. They will guide you every step of the way.

Please only use this service here and do not go into one of their branches as this can complicate things for us.

Browse or book flights using our search engine. Click here to access it.

Alternatively you can call them on 03300 585032 and mention you are considering or are going away with Changing Worlds and let them do the hard work. They will also be able to provide you with adequate travel insurance.

Travelling after your trip with us? Need a round-the-world ticket? Not a problem... just discuss this with them too.

Why are flights not included?
By not including flights in our trips and tours, it avoids us having to pass on unnecessary admin charges to you. This keeps the cost of your trip lower and also means you have the freedom to search around for the lowest fares and most flexible tickets that fit your travel plans. It also means you can benefit from the expertise of our preferred partner.

What happens when flights and insurance are booked?
When you book any trip with us, you will gain access to our online Travel Centre, personalised for you. In here you will have all the information about your trip and how to plan for it, including the contact details for our in-country team and address you will be staying at.

There are also some forms we need you to complete before you depart, covering areas like your dietary requirements, next-of-kin, medical information, flight arrivals details and more.

Do I really need travel insurance?
We take the safety of our travellers very seriously. You must therefore book adequate travel insurance before you come away with us – you simply won’t be able to participate in your trip or tour if you don’t. Although policies vary, your insurance must include emergency medical expenses, personal accident cover, and repatriation. We also recommend that you book baggage, personal liability and cancellation cover.

Some of the countries where we work will require you to have a visa. We provide guidance for this against the Trip Summary tab so you can check whether your nationality requires it. If a visa is required we will provide a letter of invitation, if the embassy requests this, as well as all the relevant information you will need to complete the visa application process. This information is provided after you book with us. With all visa applications it is important that you have sufficient space available in your passport for the relevant visas required for your travels, and that your passport is valid for at least six months after your planned date of return.

Please note we have no control over the issuing of visas and this is at the embassies discretion. We will help wherever possible though.

At least 6 – 8 weeks before your chosen travel date you should visit your local GP or Nomad Travel Clinic to discuss your vaccination and medication requirements. Your medical professional will be able to advise you of any recommended and required vaccinations for your chosen destination(s).You should inform your doctor of all of your destination countries, and what activities you plan on doing, and in which regions you plan to stay while you are there, as different regions and activities have different health risks in some countries.

Some destination countries will require you to produce a certificate of vaccination in order to enter the country, so be sure that you understand any vaccination requirements for your chosen destination, so that you do not have any issues when passing through customs.

Above all you should make sure you are well prepared for your travels, so that you have the best experience possible whilst overseas!
Speak To Us
If you have any questions or would like some more information, simply contact one of our friendly Travel Advisors. You can give us a call, request a call back or drop us an email and they will be able to answer any questions you might have.

Book Your Place
Once you have decided to travel with us, you can secure your place by paying a small deposit. You will then be able to pay the rest of your placement fee in easy-to-manage instalments.

Welcome Pack
Once we have received your deposit, we will send you a welcome email confirming your booking. This will contain your personal login details for your Travel Centre – an online account full of useful information about your destination, you chosen project and all the things you need to do before you depart.

Personal Information
We will ask you to provide some key information to help us create the best overseas experience for you, such as medical and dietary requirements, any previous language lessons you have done, and what you’re hoping to get out of your time abroad. We may also ask you to complete a police background check.

Flights and Insurance
You will need to book your flights and travel insurance before you leave, and then provide us with these details. We do not include flights and insurance in the project fee (to avoid passing on extra admin costs to you) but our partners will help you find the best options around.

Next you will need to get your visa for your trip. British citizens do not require visas unless they are planning to work before or after the course, in which case a Working Holiday Visa will be required. We will also provide you with lots of information to make obtaining your visa very straightforward.
Final Payment
We will ask you for your final payment 90 days before your scheduled departure date. Once paid, you will be ready to pack your bags, grab your passport and get on the plane! 
1) What is the minimum age restriction?
Minimum age for this project is 18 years old.

2) Are meals included in this trip? 
Your welcome dinner in Sandakan is included, when you arrive at your accommodation please check with reception what time you are due to meet your programme coordinator for dinner. 

All meals will be provided for you during your stay in the village. This is part of the project’s commitment to bring alternative and sustainable income sources to the local community. Dinner on the last evening in Sandakan is not included as this will give you the chance to eat out at one of the amazing local restaurants. Home cooked meals can be tailored to suit dietary requirements. Please let us know a month before you travel so that the villagers have time to prepare.

You will need to bring money for bottled water however boiled/ purified water will be provided on site. You will also need extra money if you wish to purchase snacks and fruit. 

3) What accommodation is provided?
Arrival night in Sepilok:
Your first night in Sepilok is based in a shared dormitory style room in a traditional style longhouse overlooking the beautiful Malaysian rainforest landscapes. Shared hot water showers and toilets. 

During the project you will be based at a basic but comfortable bed and breakfast in the heart of the village. There are dormitory style rooms with shared toilets and showers. Breakfast will be served in common area overlooking the river. The bed and breakfast is within walking distance to the village and the jetty.

Sandakan (last night):
Your last night is in a hotel in Sandakan where you will share a room with other volunteers. Toilets and showers are shared. The hotel is within walking distance from of the town promenade which has all the amenities you need, including cafes, shops and restaurants. 

• Are there laundry facilities available at the accommodation?
You will have the option to wash your own clothes in the sinks at the accommodation, or pay for a laundry service in the local village. Make sure you agree a price for laundry before handing over your clothes.

• Can I book a private room? 
Private rooms are available at the lodge in Sukau at an additional cost. Please note that this is dependent on availability so please ask a travel advisor for further information. 

4) How many hours a day will I be volunteering on the Project?
You will be volunteering for between 5-6 hours a day on the project.

5) What Activities take place throughout the day?
Your daily activities will be a mixture of important habitat restoration and sustainable community projects. The habitat restoration will include tree-planting, nursery care and seedling generation, sapling maintenance, mulching and composting, clearing invasive species and also tree growth data recording. You will also be involved in wildlife population observations which are vital to gather information for the future success of conservation efforts in the area.

You will also have the chance to work with the local school to provide environmental education to children aged between 6-12.

6) Will I be given a responsible role or assist in the activities?
As a volunteer you will be provided with constant support from the local in country team to ensure that you are safe at all times throughout the project. 

7) What experience do I need?
You do not need any particular experience to take part in this project, however a good work ethic and positive attitude is very important. Please be aware that habitat restoration work can be tough and it is essential that you are prepared to work hard.

It is also important to note that standards of life in Malaysia are not the same as at home, so please be respectful of the Malay way of life!

8) What support will I receive in country?
You will receive constant support from your on-site programme coordinator, along with on-going support from the local staff on the project. As well as hands on support whilst on the project you will also benefit from a 24 hour support network in Malaysia and the UK in case of any emergencies whilst in-country.

9) What can I do in my free time? 
Tree planting can be very tiring and you will be getting up early so free time is usually used to rest. There are many nature books that you can read in the mini library, lovely walks around the village and in the evenings you can engage the villagers and children in sports and ball games. 

10) When can I arrive?
Please arrive on your start date. Welcome dinner and briefing is usually at 18.00 hours but do check with reception upon checking in. 

11) When should I book my departure?
You should aim to book your departure or onward travel on the 12th day of the programme. You will receive a transfer back to the airport on this day. Please see the detailed itinerary on the Extra Info tab.

12) Is transport included?
All transport related to your programme is included. Any additional transport for individual travel in Malaysia will have to be budgeted for by the volunteer.

13) Will I need a Visa?
No visa is required for volunteers from the UK and most European and Western countries for a stay in Malaysia of up to 90 days. Please check with your local Malaysian embassy for your specific visa requirements for your country.

14)  Will I need vaccinations?
Please consult your local GP or Travel Nurse approx. 6 - 8 week prior to travel to check your vaccination history. 

15) What is the climate like in Malaysia?
Malaysia is situated in the heart of the equatorial region, and therefore is blessed with a tropical climate, combining high temperatures, high humidity and high rainfall throughout the year. The average temperature in Malaysia throughout the year is 35 °C (95 °F), and the average rainfall throughout the year is high at 250 cm (98in) per year. 

16) Can I bring donations?
Yes, donations to the local school would be greatly appreciated. This could include good English/ Malay books about animal and wildlife that can be used in the village library.
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    Stephanie Memory , Teaching, Germany
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  • What a Blast! I can honestly say that I could not have had a better time in Costa Rica as I did. Everyone was so friendly, helpful and up for a laugh, all making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone, and might even come back at some point in the near future!
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