IAR (International Animal Rescue) Orangutan Project in Indonesia

Company : The Great Projects
Activities: Career Break / Animal Volunteer Projects / Expeditions / Conservation Volunteer Projects / Wildlife Tours
Countries: Borneo / Indonesia
Location : West Kalimantan, Borneo
Duration: 2 weeks to 4 weeks
Approx Costs: 750 to 1250 £ Pound (UK)

Volunteer with IAR in Indonesian Borneo to help build a wildlife centre for critically endangered orangutans. 

International Animal Rescue was created with one sole purpose: to come to the aid of suffering animals around the world. This involves the rescue of animals in danger and, wherever possible, the return of rescued animals to their natural environment and the provision of permanent sanctuary for animals that can no longer survive in the wild.

In 2010, IAR finalised plans to construct an orangutan sanctuary in Ketapang, Indonesia. The staff at this strive to house, rehabilitate and release orphaned or injured orangutans back into the wild. In August 2011, construction began on Phase 1, thanks to a £400,000 investment and the help of many volunteers. Phase 1 was completed in early 2013, and the first baby orangutans were moved into the centre in January. In 2014, the team at IAR, alongside volunteers, built an island adjacent to the centre, and this is where some of the more boisterous juveniles go from forest school to the next stage of their rehabilitation. 



Day 1
Arrive at Kuching Airport. Transfer to the project accommodation and enjoy a welcome dinner with the project leaders, and other volunteers.

Day 2 - 10/21
During this time you will spend 6 days out of 7 working at the centre and get involved in a whole host of activities. Work varies from month to month, but you can see an outline of some of the activities you could be taking part in below. 

Day 11/22
This is your last full day on the project so it is time to say goodbye to the orangutans and your new human friends too! You'll get to enjoy a final meal with everyone before resting up before a day of travelling tomorrow. 

Day 12/23
This is your final day and you will take a private transfer to Ketapang Airport for your return flight home,


Project Activities

On this project you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project.


With the centre expanding, volunteers may partake in an array of tasks, which will vary depending on what is most necessary at the time. You may be mixing concrete; helping to erect electric fences; or contributing to the building of boardwalks and bridges, making access easier for personnel. You will also work on the construction of enclosures for the centre's younger orangutans, among other tasks put in place to aid the animals at the centre.


Volunteers will 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.

Farming and planting

To help keep the food bills down, the project grows its 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.

Fixed Enrichment

All the cages at the centre need regular maintenance, especially in terms of changing the fixed enrichment of hammocks, ropes and tyres as to keep the orangutans entertained.

Start Dates

9th and 20th of every month

Costs / Benefits

• 11 Nights: £875
• 22 Nights: £1250

What's included in the price of the project?
• Airport transfers
• Overland transportation
• Accommodation and meals (lunch and dinner, Monday-Saturday)
• All volunteering activity equipment
• Local guides
• English speaking project leader
• Conservation donation

What's not included?
• All flights and visas
• Vaccinations
• Travel insurance
• Alcoholic beverages


This project requires a reasonable degree of physical fitness.

In order to join this project you will need a tourist visa. You will be able to get one of these on arrival into the country of Indonesia, but please note that you will have to pay for this there and then when you arrive at the airport. The cost is currently $25 for a 30-day visa.

Booking / Enquiry

Booking Enquiry

The Great Projects IAR (International Animal Rescue) Orangutan Project in Indonesia Reviews

An experience you will never forget

I went to volunteer with orangutans with The Great Projets and I would highly recommend both them and this projects. You really get to make a difference and help with enriching activities. I participated for 2 weeks but would like to go back and participate for longer. It is easily one of the most incredible experiences of my life.

By: Ryan Cookson
Nationality: British
Age: 26

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