Dawn's Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Adventure
Dawn's Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Adventure

Dawn's Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Adventure

The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project

The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project

11 Nights from $1,744.00

Help to restore Borneo’s rainforest and provide a safe home for wild orangutans and pygmy elephants.

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Laos Wildlife Sanctuary's Recent Rescues

Laos Wildlife Sanctuary's Recent Rescues

Discover the amazing rescues that have taken place at the Laos Wildlife Sanctuary over the past month, including baby scorpions, endangered reptiles, a recovering owlet, and rare grey langurs. Join us in celebrating the sanctuary's efforts to rehabilitate and release these incredible animals back into the wild, and find out how you can get involved.

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Orangutan Jeffrey moves to the new island at Samboja!

Orangutan Jeffrey moves to the new island at Samboja!

Over the last few months, the volunteers have worked closely with the local staff to help the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation prepare and renovate the new island at Samboja Lestari. The new island is now ready for orangutans Jeffrey and Yuyun to call home! This incredible achievement showcases the power of teamwork.

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Volunteer’s Achievements at Samboja This Month

Volunteer’s Achievements at Samboja This Month

This month, volunteers at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project have made some incredible achievements! They’ve renovated a platform for Fleur, the sun bear, and made significant strides in renovating the new orangutan island, where Jeffrey and Yuyun will soon make their new home.

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Posted by Beth Mills on 8th Jul 2024 3 mins

The following blog was written by volunteer Dawn McIntyre, who joined The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project in June:

This was my first volunteering trip and without doubt, THE best thing I have ever done. From booking this trip nearly a year ago I was in good hands right up to my departure date, The Great Projects team was on hand to assist with any questions and they were so helpful. I arrived in Sandakan, Borneo a little weary from the flights (understandably)! and met up with some fellow volunteers en route which was great - The Great Projects had put me in touch with some of the people going.

Our driver was already at the arrivals waiting to take us to our accommodation. When we arrived we were all so impressed by how friendly the staff was and the rooms were great, we had a dorm-style room for one night which was fun. If you love being in the great outdoors then this is the place to go. There were toilets, showers, and mozzy nets over the bed and although it was basic (what do you expect), it was still really comfortable and we all thoroughly enjoyed our first night there.

On the second day, we moved on to the village where we would be staying for the next 8-9 days. The staff were great, the food delicious and the accommodation was comfortable. There were macaque monkeys everywhere! We saw a beautiful owl that would visit the pier every night and a lovely snake - harmless, coiled around a big tree next to where we would sit and have our meals.

Our tour guides Mark and his apprentice Mus were magnificent, so full of knowledge on the area and the animals we saw - which were A LOT! They were a lot of fun.

Rhinoceros Hornbill

Along the river tour we took every day, we saw a variety of beautiful birds from eagles to hornbills, kites to egrets.

Baby Orangutan

We saw orangutans, twice we saw a mother and her baby - I was overwhelmed when we saw them.

Orangutan and its baby

We also saw proboscis monkeys, gibbons, long-tailed macaques, pig-tailed macaques, a crocodile, and a water monitor lizard.

Proboscis monkey in tree

A feast for the eyes for animal and bird lovers!

Monkey in tree

During our stay we were volunteering in the forest, maintaining the newly planted trees from last year and planting new ones - we planted 500 trees between the 8 of us in our group.

Volunteers Planting Trees

The work is so rewarding at the end so you don't mind the heat and the odd mozzy bite.

Volunteer Group Photo

The work they do there is helping the wildlife - in particular the orangutans and sun bears enabling them to move through the forest safely. Due to the deforestation of the area from logging and palm oil plantations, there has been a significant reduction of forest area for these beautiful animals to live in.

The planting of these trees is vital and the restoration of the forest will repair the damage caused by years of destruction. Go and volunteer and make a difference, I promise you, it will be the best thing you will ever do!

If you feel inspired to help make a real difference to Borneo’s incredible wildlife, why not join The Great Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant Project too?

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Ray commented 1 week ago
Great to read your report Dawn. this was our first volunteering 1n 2015 and we are delighted that the wonderful Mark (who knows so much about birds and wildlife) is still running the project. Since then we have taken part in a further 4 projects - would have been more without covid! We also loved The Gorillas in Uganda, the Cheetas in Namibia and this year, the big 5 in South Africa. Best 'holidays' ever! Thanks for allowing us to relive the experience. Ray and Lynne

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Dawn McIntyre
replied 5 days ago
Thank you Ray, your adventures sound amazing!
I feel very honoured that my words have been used to
promote The Great Projects. It was the best experience of my life. There are so many projects to choose from and finances depending(!) I intend to do a LOT more xx