More than just an Orangutan Holiday

More than just an Orangutan Holiday

Posted by Sam Hopkins on 13th Dec 2013

"The time we spent here was life-changing…the buzz you get from this type of volunteering is addictive and gives you a very different perspective on life..."
We love hearing back from volunteers about their experiences on our projects, and this week we have been lucky enough to receive some feedback on our 'Malaysia Orangutan Experience' from past volunteers James Craddock and Dr Rachel Louise Nowak.

This is a fantastic project, offering volunteers the unique opportunity to spend time working closely with animals (including orangutans) in Zoo Negara, Kuala Lumpur, and to have a positive impact on habitat restoration within the lush rainforests of Borneo which makes this project s much more than just an orangutan holiday. It also offers the opportunity to spend time with the local community in Sukau, bonding with the villagers over theimportance of habitat restoration and orangutan conservation.

Why did you get involved in the project?

"Our interest was focused on orangutan conservation and the programme appealed to us because we would be able to help captive orangutans, see them in the wild and get involved in the rebuilding of habitats for them".


What kind of work did you get involved with whilst here?

"We were involved with animal enrichment (like creating puzzles) whilst here, which is absolutely critical for the crafty and very endearing captive orangutans and chimpanzees at the zoo! This included carpentry for habitat construction, animal feeding, cleaning enclosures and even helping to construct a new hammock. After letting the dominant female orang utan out, she went straight up to the hammock and climbed onto it. Although these animals have no facial expression, we could see in her eyes that she was so pleased. It brought a lump to our throats!" Craddock recalls.
"The zoo workers are really fortunate to be able to care for the animals: it must be so satisfying!"

What did you make of the project facilitators?

"The programme organisers here are really special. Their passion and commitment to improving orangutan welfare really helps to make the experience as rewarding as possible for volunteers. It really opened our eyes and made us feel like we were really making a difference".


What did you make of the project?

"This volunteer programme was not a vacation and it was about working as hard as possible to make a difference for others and the environment. Our views of vacations have changed now and we are much more eager to look at volunteering and supporting locals through home-stays when we plan our future travels," says James. "What's more, we fell completely in love with Malaysia and that will last a lifetime".

"It might seem crazy to use your holiday to do volunteering work. Anyone can lie on a beach but everyone should try volunteering as it will be one of the best experiences you will ever have".

It's fantastic to hear such great comments on this project, and we welcome all feedback and picture updates from any one of our thirty projects! Please [email protected] if you would like to contribute.
For more information on the 'Malaysian Orangutan Experience', please click here.
Also keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages for news on our most recent updates!


Share this Article...

Share this article with your friends and followers by using the social media buttons below.


Leave a Comment...

Wanting to add something to this story or just let us know your thoughts? Just leave your comments below. Please be aware that all comments will be moderated: abusive behaviour or self-promotion will not be allowed.

500 characters remaining

Has this blog inspired you to volunteer? If so, why not enquire today? Simply fill out an enquiry form, and allow a member of our travel team to assist with your query! Please note that blog comments are not monitored by the travel team, so any questions related to bookings may be missed.


Featured Blog Arcticles


Featured Videos


Experience The Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary

See what you could get up to as a volunteer at the Namibia Wildlife Sanctuary! This volunteer project offers you the chance to get up close and personal with some of the country's most iconic species.

Discover The Great White Shark Project

Come face to face with one of the world’s most misunderstood predators whilst aiding great white shark conservation. As a volunteer, not only will you get the incredible opportunity to dive with sharks, but you will also assist the team in raising awareness of the great white as you work alongside tourists and local school children to provide them with knowledge of the local environment and the importance of living in harmony with South Africa’s marine life.

Volunteers Review Their Experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary

Volunteers talk about their recent experience at the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo.

Latest Blog Arcticles


Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

Achievements at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in 2022

After 2 difficult years, we finally welcomed volunteers...

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle’s Orangutan Experience at Samboja

Merle shares her experiences from her time spent...

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

An Invasive Species: The Lionfish

Many invasive species have made their way to all corners of...

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

Sun Bear Update From Samboja Lestari

After a lot of hard work by the June 2022 volunteer group,...

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Latest From The Great Orangutan Project!

The Great Projects volunteer coordinator, Jess, is...

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

An Update from the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project!

Samboja Lestari welcomed back volunteers this month, and...

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy & Drew's Great Gorilla Experience

Kathy and Drew joined The Great Gorilla Project in January...

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Raja Ampat Diving Project - Magical Manta Ray Moments!

Manta ray season is at its peak at the Raja Ampat Diving...


Where you can go
Contact Info
UK Office
The Great Traveller Ltd,
3 Dairy Yard
Star Street
Ware, Hertfordshire
SG12 7DX
United Kingdom

Opening hours:
   Mon-Fri 8:30am–5:30pm
   Sat 10am-4pm

T: +44(0) 208 885 4987