Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures

Program Reviews

Default avatar
Hannah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing time here, it was so cool to be up close to the wildlife. All of the keepers are nice and make the time in the animal area even more exciting. I got to work alongside keepers, vets and also help with tasks like enrichment and maintenance as well as animal feeding! Javan dinner, english community and Kids club are great activities and keep the weeks different and interesting. I was able to help monitor the orang-utan and sun bears and help cleanup the turtles ponds. There is plenty of places to visit on the weeks: Waterfalls, temples, city centre, forests and lakes.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Got to help observe the orang-utans and sun bears.
Raye
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was one of the school expedition Team Leader's who traveled with a team of students from Rhyl High School to Merapoh.

Our project was to help start the refurbishment of one of the houses, so that it can be used as a school house. It was great to have the Batek children getting involved and learning how to dispose of rubbish in the recycling bins we made.

We spent a morning with the Batek people in the Jungle, learning to wild fish and make bamboo tea. We also experienced how to track animals.

It was an absolutely amazing experience for everyone.

Default avatar
Pei Yan
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was lucky enough to spend 2 weeks at this beautiful island. As a Malaysian, it was extremely rewarding for me to be able to do something meaningful in my country, which also happens to be a tropical paradise! The organisation is relatively small, which is perfect because you get the chance to bond with the amazing interns volunteering there. The whole group is made of people from different countries, which I loved; however, it was also a little disappointing to see so few Malaysians being interested in conservation projects like this. If you're Malaysian and you're reading this, good on you because you're halfway there! (now go click the sign up button will ya?)
Enough talking about the people, the turtle experience is truly one of a kind. I saw turtles for the first time at my very first snorkel survey. It was such a wonderful experience watching it swim around and feeding off sea grass, we then took pictures of the turtle, for photo identification later in the day. Throughout the past 2 weeks, I saw so many turtles, from our snorkel surveys and snorkel tours. It's amazing watching these wonderful creatures swimming about in the waters.
I think the best experience for me though, was when I encountered my very first nesting turtle. I was so amazed by mama turtle, looking for different spots for the perfect nest, laying hundreds of eggs, one by one, and slowly making her way back towards the sea. I was truly mesmerised by this whole process, of mama turtle, of mother nature. Imagine having a 170kg of weight at your back and you've only got flippers to drag you across the sand??!! I don't know about you, but I'm sure I can't! Hats off to you turtles!

What would you improve about this program?
- better hut at nesting beach Tiga Ruang, had a storm the first night i was there and the roof was leaking water and windows can't be closed properly. (on other nights when there are no rains the hammocks are a great place to sleep though!)
- more activities in the afternoon (after lunch?) could perhaps create more activities in public awareness / integrating with the local villagers.
Default avatar
Kristina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I applied for this project because it sounded like a great mix of conservational activities, and it was! I learnt a lot in the jungle about identifying animal tracks, and how this is useful in terms of conservation. The project manager Izereen was really knowledgeable about different animal species and made the project very interesting.
It was great to meet so many people from different backgrounds all interested in conservation, and to share the experience with them. The staff and interns were all really fun and welcoming, and made it so easy to immerse yourself in the projects.
The turtle project was so amazing and I think releasing baby turtles is always going to be one of the highlights of my life. It was so cool to see the turtles up close, and learn about identifying turtles, and analysing data so that we were actually having a positive conservational impact, not just a holiday.
Both projects were involved with the local communities, buying local produce and for example helping teach the Batek children one morning, and going camping with a few of the Batek villagers.
Other highlights were caving in the jungle, sleeping in hammocks on the beach, and eating Wid's delicious food :D
Would recommend the project to anyone who likes animals and travelling!

What would you improve about this program?
Two weeks in the jungle rather than one! Also the timetabling of activities could be better in the jungle - some days were jam packed but others we had hours off in the afternoon / evening.
Joanna LaFrancesca
Joanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I volunteered with Fuze Ecoteer on the conservation program in Merapoh Malaysia, and it was absolutely amazing. Going into it, I wasn't sure what to expect. I've never been to Malaysia, nor had much experience with conservation work. I was interested in learning more and experiencing a new part of the world.

The Fuze Ecoteer staff were very helpful and supportive throughout the whole experience. The interns and volunteer coordinators at the project site were really knowledgable and passionate about conservation. It was as treat to experience the jungle through their eyes. Even though myself and another volunteer were there just for the week, we felt very welcomed by the staff and like we had been friends for much longer.

Some of my personal favorites from the week:

- Camping with the Batek! These women are incredible, we got to witness them building their shelter from the forest. Something I'll remember forever.
- The Malay dinner and night markets! I love Malay food (and the evening actives that involved food :) ) and interacting with the locals.
- Trekking in the forest with the group and being totally overwhelmed (in an awesome way) by the sounds, smells, sights of the jungle.
- Lastly, just taking in the views of the massive limestone rocks and caves from the back of the truck.

Merapoh is a magical spot, and Fuze does a really fantastic (and community-centric) job of showing it off. Highly recommend, feel free to email me with any questions!

Note: I am a Go Overseas employee, but the above review is an honest personal reflection of my recent volunteer trip with Fuze.

Karol
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Me and my friends were in Merapoh for few days but in the end we felt like we were there for a month. So much to see and Explore.

Thanks to ecoteer we had an amazing Opportunity to meet indigenous tribe - Batek, see a cave snake, Scorpions, take an offroad 4x4 ride, treeclimbing, and camping in a middle of a jungle. That was a big inapiration and that gaves us great memorys. Highly recommended! Amazing place, amazing crew, amazing views and storys about Batek like this when one lady from Batek community met a Tiger and she scuttled him by kicking a rock. Must to see and hear!

Default avatar
Ella
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the best couple of weeks at the project on the Perhentian Islands in July/August 2016. I had an amazing time, as well as learning so much about turtle conservation, as well as the environment in general which certainly lead to many lifestyle changes afterwards.
I'd never seen turtles before, and as they're my favourite animals, this was such a special experience. You get to see many turtles in their natural environment; feeding, nesting and babies heading to the sea for their first swim.
Would thoroughly recommend this to anyone who was thinking about going

Default avatar
Ian
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved:
1. treks
2. Batek,
3. Spotting animals & pug marks (saw tiger marks on 2 different treks)
4. bushcraft (blowdarts, lean-tos, bamboo cooking)
5. teaching English (3 X Batek & 1X Meraph village)
6.night markets
7. caving (one with waterfalls & climbing inside the best)
8. night drives (4 leopard cats, 2 x palm civets, 1 owl)
9. river swims
10. getting to know people on the project, local Malay, & Batek
11. Malay dinners

Suggestions for future volunteers:
1. use the local Cap Gajah rubber shoes for treks (best for muddy tracks, river crossing & easy access to remove leeches) 2. pack less (1 pair shorts, 1 short sleeve shirt, 3 pair underwear, 3 pair socks, 1 long sleeve shirt, 1 pair light but tough pants, swimwear, hat, sandals, sunglasses, strong bug repellent, 2 X 750 ml water bottles)
3. buy a SIM card with data for your smart phone,
4. Learn all you can when you're hear by reading (culture & lang of Malay & Batek, local wildlife, Malaysian history), asking questions, and talking to everyone you can.

I do hope to return one day, maybe not to Meraph, but definitely to another Ecoteer Malaysia project. You are doing important work and I have enjoyed my stay here in Merapoh and the time in 2012 in Perhentian at the Cmmty Proj there. Keep up the good work!

What would you improve about this program?
1. Sort out the trash & recycling (I helped to clear out a massive heap of recyclables during my stay & identified several sources of info in the village about trash pick up -- stores with dumpsters, villagers collecting glass)
2. Keep up the improvement projects on the roof (it has a lot of potential if you get more shade trees & some sort of shelter from wind/rain/sun, possible rain water harvesting)
3. Don't require your interns to regularly drive 12 hrs round-trip to drop folks at other projects (this is not a good use of their time & its a morale killer)
4. Buy some cheap solar chargers to reduce electricity costs & night vision goggles to make night drives more enjoyable
5. Consider doing night treks as these are offered by local adventure companies and will likely be more fruitful than drives
6. Engage more regularly with local Malay villagers. I and several other interns & volunteers were surprised how many villagers did not know anything about Ecoteer or the house. Maybe hold some local info sessions thru the mosque or just do regular walks thru the village talking to folks.
7. Better record keeping & hand-over of admin duties when people leave. I was told several times that I owed 5000RM after I paid GoOverseas & the Ecoteer person took several days just to confirm that I had indeed paid. Also, the Know Before You Go Guide & email contacts for the program were not updated properly. I booked in Aug 2016 and when I tried to reconnect in March/Apr 2017 it took me several weeks to find the right people to talk to about the project.
Default avatar
Yu
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The trip is funny.I met about 10 persons from different countries.Through communications,I know some cultures and customs of their country.During the program,we done some meaningful works together,like teaching kids English, cleaning beaches,playing games with kids,learning how to make doughnuts,visiting the Local etc.Besides,you can enjoy beautiful scenery.The people there are kind and friendly.Trust me,you gonna love it.

What would you improve about this program?
Maybe organize more activities .
Alenya
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent a fantastic three weeks with the Merapoh and Perhentian Island teams. It was towards the end of my 7 month backpacking journey and it was a great break from the constant travelling I'd been doing.
The projects were a good mix of work, fun and relaxation; with the heat and after some of the strenuous surveys and trekking, the empty hours in the afternoon were a welcome reprieve.
The staff and interns were all fantastic people; all knowledgeable and passionate about the work that they are doing, and keen for you too enjoy it as much as they are. They are always helpful and open to any question you might have. The projects are very social environments, inclusive of everyone present; especially on the Perhentian Island where you will no doubt get to know the people from the other projects too.
The experience has inspired to get more involved in conservation and hopefully participate as an intern/staff one day myself.

What would you improve about this program?
I would have appreciated a little more information regarding daily schedule before I arrived and a little more detail about the activities we were performing. Although, everything was pretty well explained by the staff and interns when we arrived.