Orangutan & Wildlife Rescue Volunteer Project, Java

Length
1 to 12 weeks
Housing
Hostel
Age
Min. 18 years
25 travelers saved this program

Hosted by

Azeeza Nasir Profile Picture
Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures
Project Coordinator: Azeeza

About This Program

Volunteer with Orangutans, gibbons, a baby Sun Bear, Crocodiles and various birds. This centre near the city of Yogyakarta is making good strides towards helping the animals brought into the centre.

Java is the main gateway for wild animals being smuggled illegally from the islands of Borneo and then shipped off alive and dead around the world. The centre works closely with the government and royal family to help confiscate wild animals smuggled in from Borneo and other forests.

Highlights

  • Yogyakarta is the cultural capital of Java and there are plenty of things to see and do on your days off
  • Join a range of traditional and local cultural experiences including gamelan lessons and batik lesson
  • Become personally acquainted with the 7 orangutans currently living at the Centre

Volunteers will provide care for orangutans and other orphaned and injured wild animals who are preparing for rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild. Volunteers will also be helping in cleaning enclosures as well.

Following your arrival, airport transfer, orientation and safety briefing, a typical day will look like this:

6:30 Breakfast & Brief
7:00 Meet Your Keeper – Prepare for work
7:30 Enclosure Cleaning
9:30 Coffee Break and Snacks
10:00 Feeding Time
11:00 Enrichment or Maintenance
12:00 Lunch
13:00 Working with your keeper or Enrichment
14:30 Feeding Time
15:00 – 17:30 Kids Club English/Community English/Cultural Engagement/Release site
18:00 Dinner

An individual daily schedule, including free days for sightseeing, will be created based on your length of stay and the animals’ needs at the time.

What's Included
  • Return airport pickup from Yogyakarta International Airport (JOG)
  • Accommodation
  • All activities as per itinerary
  • Accident Insurance
  • English-speaking program facilitator
  • Donation to the project
What's Not Included
  • International and internal airfare
  • Visa application/fees
  • Private transfers
  • Meals and accommodation when traveling independently
  • Insurance and luxuries
Housing

Shared (single sex) twin rooms with en suite (cold) shower and Western style toilet. Rooms come with air-con, drinking water dispenser and tea / coffee facilities.

There is a communal lobby area with a television, where volunteers can socialize and also enjoy meals together. All meals are included but you will have access to the stove and refrigerator in the kitchen should you require them, as well as a washing machine.

All rooms have private balconies where you can dry laundry or simply relax overlooking the forest.

Internet access is available at the volunteer accommodation..

Meals

Three meals per day plus snacks, tea and coffee and free drinking water. The food is fresh and healthy and our in-house chef can even cater to vegans.

Due to the rapid destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests, hundreds of orangutans and other critically endangered species are dying or losing their homes. The orphaned young are frequently sold into the illegal exotic pet trade, condemned to spend their lives in cramped cages, eating unsuitable diets and performing dangerous and demeaning tricks for human entertainment.

The rescue facility receives animals confiscated from illegal ownership under the Protected Wildlife Law and wherever possible, preparing them for rehabilitation. Those who cannot be returned to the wild due to health or behavioural conditions may make the Centre their permanent home.

Video and Photos

Pricing and Availability

Reviews

95%
based on 23 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.7
  • Fun 9.3
  • Value 8.7
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 15 of 23
Default avatar
Cindy
10/10

I didn't want to leave my Indonesian family

My first ever experience at volunteering and I was so nervous. I wasn't to sure what to expect before I left. I had read all the information, twice or more. Fortunately there was full contact with the volunteer coordinator at WRC and all my odd questions were answered. On arrival all my fears disappeared as I was introduced to my new family and shown all I needed to know. I really felt welcome and loved/appreciated. The excitement I felt the following morning waking in a jungle to gibbons calling but still having those essential creature comforts. I was only able to stay 2 weeks and time flew by so fast. All I want to do now is return and give all my babies that I looked after big cuddles. Once a volunteer always a volunteer. Thank you WRC for letting me have this amazing experience.

How can this program be improved?
I wouldn't change a thing.
Yes, I recommend
Courtney
9/10

Interesting experience

I had the chance to actually get to know one of the keepers quite personally. He shared stories of his hardships and family. It allowed me to understand how difficult life can be for a Javan native and the fear of their own children never moving beyond the village they are born in. Although poverty stands out, the richness of the land, its animals and its culture stands out.
I had the chance to get close to Dwi, a former animal vet at the sanctuary, and she told me of her dreams to leave the island and do something more. I even experienced a wedding party and was amazed how people with little can give so much and feed a village as a blessing for their wedding day. I dont have just one story, I have a collection of events that shaped my thinking. Today, Parjono, lives ten minutes away from me married to a former volunteer and so a piece of Indonesia will always be here with me in America.

How can this program be improved?
I think it would be nice to have had more time to socialize with the Indonesian employees to get to know them more.
Yes, I recommend
James
9/10

Experience of a lifetime

Was just overwhelmed from the start with how friendly and helpful the locals and staff at the centre were with assistance from getting in out of Jogjakarta and driving us to Mount Merapi, plus everything in between. Would definitely recommend this program if you are after a social immersersion experience aswell as working with a wide range of animals including Orangutans, Sun Bears, Eagles, Slow Lorris and many more.

How can this program be improved?
Comfier beds and cushions for social area.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Sarah
9/10

My WRC Adventure

I could write an essay about my experiences but I wont. I have had a brilliant 2 weeks working with the Animal Keepers and Vet. The keepers are very patient and try hard to communicate in English. Accomodation and food is good and you definitely won't go hungry. I was a bit shocked that there were air cons in each room.

The staff, keepers and volunteer coordinators truly care for the animals wellbeing here.

I was lucky enough to help work on the baby sun-bears indoor enclosure and see her transition to this bigger cage.

The volunteer coordinator is very helpful, especially weekend day trips and transport. Seeing I was at WRC by myself for the first week this was very helpful and reassuring.

I actually wish I was staying an extra week. You definitely need to stay more than one week as you really get the hang of things.

How can this program be improved?
Just remember there is a lot of cleaning and mosquitoes so cover up. I found long sleeves and long pants.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Gracie
10/10

2 weeks at the wildlife centre Jogja

I volunteered at the wildlife centre Joga for two week in January and it has been an amazing to work with the staff and meet and learn about all the incredible animals they have here. The mornings here start with a wake up call from the gibbons, macaques,orangutans and birds- what better way to start the day! The animal keepers are very welcoming and have answered any questions I have had about the centre, Java and most importantly the animals themselves, this is also true of the project co-ordination Renea who has made me feel extremely welcome as well as being a great source of knowledge about the culture,traditions and language of Java and Indonesia.
You are provided with everything you need at the centre good accommodation, amazing food, great company and incredible animals, the local people are very friendly and accomdating and I settled into the way of life with ease.

They have over 150 animals at the centre and I loved meeting all of them, but my favorites were defintely the orangutans they are just incredible animals and are cared for very well at the centre. Enrichment for the animals is also a large and very rewarding part for the programme, stuffed bottles, bamboo fruits parcels and frozen treats are but a few of the food enrichment treats we gave to the animals, frozen treats being a particular favorite of hot and humid days.
I would definitely recommend the programme to anyone who loves animals, wants to learn and try something a bit different. My experience here has been one the most rewarding trips I have ever had and provided me with more confidence and experience to continue my studies and career in working with animals.

How can this program be improved?
The one thing I would change is to get the sunbears enclosure built so he had more room and the orangutans enclosure expanded so they could be separated.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Jess
10/10

Everyone should volunteer here!

I volunteered at the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Jogja through the Ecoteer program. I originally chose this program because of the comfort level that I felt in with all my correspondence with the Ecoteer staff and founder Dan Quilter. However, I went back for a second stay because of how wonderful my experience was. I was drawn to the Centre by the animals, but I found that the staff and locals were the ones that made the most impact on my experience. The Centre is very beautiful with many surprise amenities, such as air conditioning in the rooms, wifi on site, and a private local chief to make all the meals for the volunteers. Each morning is spent with a different animal keeper, where you act as their assistant while they care for their specific animals. The afternoons were for “special assignments”, which could consist of animal enrichment activities, building nests, assisting the onsite Veterinarian, and other necessary daily tasks for the well-being of the animals. After the work day is finished, the volunteer coordinator has cultural activities set up for each evening. During my stay there was the option to learn to play Gamelan (Music of Indonesia), visit a local animal release site, kids club with local school children, teaching English to local adults, and participate in a batik arts class. The volunteers have the weekends off so they can explore the local area. The volunteer coordinator will also set up a local driver for you to go wherever you desire, at a very fair and low price. Over all, the energy at the Centre is tranquil, welcoming, and secure. All of the staff are so friendly, easy going, and happy to assist with any needs you may have. And my favorite is that there are constant sounds from animals that became like a harmonious song always playing in the background. If you decide to volunteer at the Animal Rescue Centre in Jogja… be prepared to work, be prepared to learn, and be prepared to leave a better person.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Helen
10/10

An incredible two months

I stayed at WRC for two months in May-July 2015 and I can't recommend it highly enough.

The staff and the greater community are incredibly welcoming; they both taught me Indonesian words and made me the most delicious food. Joining in the kids' club and community English sessions was a great chance to experience the local culture, and the staff from WRC were great at showing volunteers around and helping us see some of Jogja's hidden gems.

Small volunteer groups means you really get to interact with the animals and actually feel like you're making a contribution to the centre.

I loved everything about my stay and will definitely be back.

How can this program be improved?
Volunteers should definitely be made aware that this is a wildlife centre, not just an orangutan centre. There are currently only 7 orangutans in almost 200 animals.

The centre is doing everything it can to raise much-needed funds - it will be great to see bigger enclosures and more facilities in the future.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Lusi
10/10

Jogja week

This volunteer program was a great way to see Jogja, spend time with locals and work with wildlife. Spent lots of time with locals and learning bits of Indonesian, overall it was a really well organized experience.

How can this program be improved?
It should be advertised more accuratly, as a wildlife rescue centre not just orangutans and also as a local culture experience.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Phil
8/10

Phil Shove

Highly capable animal keepers . Lots of animals in need of care. Your involved daily with the enclosure cleaning, feeding and enrichment of the animals you're responsible for on that given day - one day you'll be birds, orangutan etc.

What this place needs is financial backing. This place has taken on that many animals in need there isn't enough enclosures to suit each amimals natural habitat.

More help is needed to acquire release sites. This place does a great job but could be making an exceptional difference given the funding.

How can this program be improved?
The live feeds but that's not feasible. Especially if trying to rehabilitate.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Helen
9/10

hard work, very satisfying

My son (12 years old) and I enjoyed our experience at Jogja wildlife rescue centre. We found out how the animal keepers work very hard and consistently all year around. The animal keepers made the animal interaction both fun and informative. We enjoyed the enrichment program for the animals and felt we could make a difference with our manual labour.
I agree with other volunteers comments that other activities would be good after the 3pm stop work, as the evening are long otherwise.
The school visit was enjoyable and my son loved the interaction with the village children.

How can this program be improved?
Other activities for the volunteers after the 3pm stop work in the centre.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
claire
9/10

great time and felt I was making a difference.

great accommodation and food.Really felt that the Centre staff cared about our well-being.Manual labour with a purpose and such a sense of achievement when viewing the fruit of our labours.Loved the interaction with the animal-keepers and their families.Enrichment programme for the animals immensely satisfying.

How can this program be improved?
I wouldn't go during Ramadhan
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Emma
10/10

Amazing Experience

I had the most fantastic experience in WRC. All the staff were extremely friendly and helpful in creating a safe environment for the animals. All the animal keepers genuinely care about the well being of all the animals.
Each day was packed with something different from the day before so there you are learning something new every day.
I was not expecting such nice accommodation & was pleasantly surprised. The meals served daily was always varied and tasty.
Visiting the Javanese family's home for dinner was brilliant - the host family were so welcoming & friendly.

How can this program be improved?
I cannot think of anything.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Alla
9/10

Amazing Experience

I found that working for BSBCC for a month was an amazing experience! It allowed me to learn about these awesome little bears who had difficult pasts, but will be able to eventually get back to the wild with the extensive care and love of the employees. The rehabilitation was evident in almost everything they did and the bears seemed to be happy and respond well to the gradual changes to get them used to the wild. All the people I worked with were very passionate about what they did and cared a great deal for the bears and the program. I really loved how I was treated as an employee. I did everything they did and felt like I was really getting a feel for what it is like to be working in an animal rehabilitation center. I also met some great friends and learned some things about the culture. This program really encouraged me to take a step forward and visit another country across the world and to feel like I also made a difference in volunteering for a good cause instead of simply taking a vacation. The only thing is that it is a lot of money to put out and I wished that it could be less expensive as I did pay my own way to get there and volunteered all my time. However, it is still well worth it and the money covers all expenses, the company is great and easy to work with and a good portion goes to the center itself as a donation to the cause you work for. So all in all it is an excellent opportunity and I don't regret it for a second!

How can this program be improved?
Less expensive.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Nisha
9/10

Character building

My friend and I went for a 1 week volunteer program.
My friend is not a animal lover like me so she was scared at first, when days went by, she was more passionate than me. Overall, it was life changing.

How can this program be improved?
It would improve by having an afternoon activity.
The daily volunteer program involves till 3pm and the volunteers do nothing till night, so i would recommend more fun activities to be packed in a day.
Yes, I recommend
Default avatar
Mallory
10/10

Amazing animals, inspiring people and breath-taking scenery!

My two week volunteer experience at Jogja Wildlife Rescue Centre was absolutely incredible. From the word go, I was welcomed by centre staff and made to feel at home. Each day I was given the opportunity to assist in various tasks such as feeding and preparing food, cleaning enclosures and providing enrichment to the orangutans, gibbons, sun bear, bear cat, parrots, eagles, porcupines, slow loris and a whole list of rare and intriguing animals! It was a privilege to be up and close with such animals and to work alongside the animals keepers and centre staff.

My entire time spent at the centre was amazing but some highlights for me were learning more about the illegal wildlife trade, getting to know staff and volunteers at the centre, riding amongst beautiful Jogja on the back of a motorbike, teach Environmental English at the local school, Javan dinners at a member of staffs home on a Friday night and visiting Borobudur Temple!

This is an exprience you will not regret! I just hope I will get to visit the staff and animals sometime again!

Yes, I recommend

Questions & Answers

I was considered somewhat an oddity at 66 and called Grannee,Strong Grannee but never found the work too heavy or taxing.I would imagine one’s state of health would be more important.
Hi Jeremy, it looks like 18 is the minimum age. Here's a great interview from an alumni who took a break before going to university to volunteer with this program-- http://www.gooverseas.com/interview/program-interview/89821

Interviews

Meet the Alumni
Meet the Staff

About Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures

Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures is a travel company with a bite!

Our team are all experienced and passionate, with two of our project staff currently studying for their PhD and a third planning to. Our business model utilizes revenue generated from...