Orangutan Enrichment Competition!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our amazing new Orangutan Enrichment Competition here at The Great Projects! In return for creating a new and exciting form of enrichment for the orangutans at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary, you have the chance to win a two week volunteering holiday to Borneo to create your enrichment idea at the project and watch the orangutans interact with it! This page will tell you all you need to know about the competition and its rules and regulations, so read up, start thinking of an idea, and enter it in! (Oh, and be sure to read until the end of the page - you might be able to see which other entries you're up against!)

What Is The Prize?

Should you be lucky enough to win, the prize for this competition is a fully paid for two week volunteering trip to the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary in Borneo in June or July 2017. With flights, food, and accommodation paid for, all that’s left for you to worry about is how much the orangutans will like using your enrichment idea! Be prepared to get your hands dirty though as you will be spending the two weeks volunteering at the sanctuary and making a difference to the lives of over 200 orangutans! You have until the 31st March 2017 to get your entry in, so take your time and perfect your idea!

What Do I Have To Do?

Your task is to design a new and exciting piece of enrichment for the orangutans to use at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Centre. Once you have decided upon the design and the way in which your enrichment will stimulate the orangutans, all you have to do is make a short video for us! This video can consist of you either creating a prototype of your enrichment idea at home, or talking us through a plan of how you will make your enrichment if you are unable to get hold of some of the equipment! It’s that simple!

Learn More About Enrichment

To help you learn a little more about exactly what orangutan enrichment is and how it is currently used over in Borneo, our volunteer coordinator Kate has created a helpful video telling you everything you could ever need to know! In this short video you'll see the orangutans at Samboja using some of their favourite enrichment items, so please feel free to use these as inspiration for your ideas! If you would like a little more information on enrichment, read our blog post which looks at things in a little more detail.


Things to consider

The Items Available To You - As you will see in the list below, the remoteness of the project means that certain pieces of equipment are very hard if not impossible to come by! This means that the project is limited in what it can use to create enrichment and that you will need to be creative with your enrichment idea! You can use materials including (and similar to):

  • Bamboo (two types: thick and hollow inside or thin twig like bamboo)
  • Leaves of any size
  • Sticks or Wood
  • Fruits and Vegetables (There is access to a wide range of both at the project, so chances are yours will be fine!)
  • Seeds (Sunflower or Pumpkin)
  • Porridge Oats
  • Popcorn
  • Agar Jelly
  • Natural Food Colouring
  • Spices and Herbs
  • Ice
  • Newspaper
  • Wood
  • Rubber

The Equipment - As for the equipment that will be available to you out in Borneo, it is very similar to the items you would have at home and these include:

  • A blender for pureeing fruit and vegetables
  • As many tools as you would find in the average toolbox
  • Power tools for drilling
  • Freezers
  • A whole forest full of natural leaves, fruits, and branches
  • A gas powered cooker for boiling or heating things up

The Limitations - There are some limitations to consider too when planning your enrichment idea. There are over 200 Orangutans at the sanctuary, so ideally your enrichment idea should be:

  • An object or a puzzle that can be given to the orangutans
  • Inexpensive
  • Relatively easy and fast to make
  • Able to be reproduced on a mass scale
  • Safe for the orangutans
  • As natural as possible so that when the orangutans are released back into the wild their rehabilitation environment has been as dehumanised as possible
  • Most of all -simple!

The Orangutans Themselves - You also need to remember that the orangutans are wild animals and that:

  • They are extremely intelligent animals
  • Adult males are almost 7 times stronger than the average human, but they can also be gentle when they want to be so bear this in mind!
  • Orangutans love exploring new smells, sights, textures and flavours, so get creative!

How To Enter

  1. The first thing you need to do is to think up an interesting and different idea for a piece of enrichment for the orangutans at the sanctuary. Keep things simple with an intuitive twist and you will be well on your way to coming up with a winning idea!
  2. The next step is to film yourself either making or planning out and discussing your enrichment idea. This will show us how it works to keep the orangutans stimulated, and how simple it will be to make. You can film yourself making your idea from scratch, or if you can't quite get your hands on all of the equipment you need you can send us a video with a drawn out plan which you are talking through! The most important thing of all is that we see your passion for helping the orangutans come through in the video.
  3. The final thing to do is to upload your video to our Facebook page and to either inbox/email us your contact details so we can get hold of you. You can also email your video in to [email protected] and we will upload it for you. After this, it is just a case of waiting for our volunteer coordinator at Samboja, Kate, to choose the winner!

How will the winner be decided?

The winner of the competition will be chosen by our resident orangutan expert Kate, who also just happens to be the volunteer coordinator at Samboja! She will sit down and watch each of the entries, judging them on inventiveness, usability for the orangutans, and how easy they will be to create out in Borneo. Once she has chosen the most worthy and well thought through idea, the winner will be notified and will be able to start planning their trip! Kate will be making her decision after the competitions close date in March, so keep your eyes peeled for an update!

*Please note that in the event of a large number of entries coming in, the TGP team in the office will be creating a shortlist from which Kate can choose her eventual winner. She will still be using her expertise to pick the deserved winner though, so don’t worry!

Competition Terms and Conditions

There is one prize consisting of a 12 night volunteering holiday for one person to the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in East Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo on either the June 4th or 18th, or July 2nd, 9th, or 30th start date in 2017. The prize will go to the person who has created the best piece of orangutan enrichment as decided by a chosen judge.

To enter this prize draw, entrants must submit a video of themselves making their enrichment idea with some explanation of their thought process or submit a design of their idea, again with an explanation of how it will work. The video must then be submitted onto The Great Projects’ Facebook wall or to [email protected] remembering to leave contact details. Entries must consist of items which can be found on the list on the Enrichment Competition Page.

The prize includes: return economy flights from the winning entries most appropriate airport to Balikpapan in Indonesia; a 12 night stay at the Samboja Lestari Orangutan Project in a twin share room at the Samboja Ecolodge, 3 meals a day whilst on the project, return airport transfers from Balikpapan Airport to the project site, and the chance to create the winning piece of enrichment and witness the orangutans interact with it.

The prize does not include: travel arrangements between the winners place of residence and the departure airport, visas or travel documentations needed for the winner to fly to/enter Indonesia, any vaccinations needed by the winner or travel insurance.

The prize is non-exchangeable, non-transferable and non-refundable. There is no cash alternative. No purchase necessary for entry.

Winners/claimants of holidays are responsible for ensuring that they hold valid passports and any necessary visas or other necessary travel documentation for the trip in question.

Only one entry per named entrant and contact details must be provided.

The winner agrees that their name may be used in promotional material relating to the competition.

The prize draw is open to residents worldwide aged 18 and over. The competition closes on 31 March 2017 at 11.59pm GMT. The winner will be decided by a judge from the project site in Borneo. The winner will be notified within 15 days of the competition closing.

Flight Terms & Conditions:

  • The issued tickets are non-extendable, non-transferable and no changes are permitted.
  • Seat availability of prize-winner tickets per flight are limited and subject to allocation at the airline's discretion.
  • Flights may include stopovers if they are needed