insyte to the programme

This incredible adventure tour of Sarawak provides an in-depth opportunity to spend time with the iconic and indigenous residents of Borneo, both human and ape.

The jungles of Sarawak are home to many of the last remaining orangutan on earth.

With increasing pressure on their natural habitat, more and more orangutan find themselves displaced or captive, so rescue and rehabilitation centres are vital to the species’ survival. We spend 2 days at award winning Matang Wildlife Centre where you’ll tour the centre, meeting the orangutans, sunbears, macaques and other animals who call Matang home; you’ll learn about the vital function of Matang and join the volunteer team in food preparation and the creation of vital enrichment.

A visit to Semengoh rehabilitation centre allows you to see released orangutans living in the semi-wild, swinging gloriously free in this large tract of native rainforest.

And in Batang Ai National Park, we stay deep in the rainforest as guests of the Iban tribe; and in addition to learning all about their traditions and jungle life, here there is a chance to spot a truly wild orangutan on one of our daily treks deep into the jungle.

We spend 2 nights with the Bidayu people, sleeping in a traditional bamboo longhouse and enjoy an unforgettable bamboo rafting trip on the river, then another 2 nights in a Malay beach village with opportunities to see turtles, gibbons, flying lemurs; and beautiful corals and fish life snorkelling off the beach. And no visit to Sarawak is complete without a day hiking in spectacular Bako National Park, home to beautiful secluded beaches and an incredible array of wildlife including the famous proboscis monkey, slow loris, tarsier and much more. Wildlife lovers and those interested in exploring off the beaten track will love this adventure in the rainforests of Borneo.

itinerary (example only)

Day 1

Arrive at Kuching Airport (airport code KCH) where you’ll be picked up and taken to a lovely Kuching guesthouse. Depending your arrival time, there may be chance to explore the city or kick back and relax with a swim in the pool. In the evening you will enjoy a welcome dinner with your guide and a full briefing ahead of our trip departure tomorrow.

Days 2 - 3

We head to Matang wildlife sanctuary, a journey of around an hour. Here, after settling in, you will enjoy a full tour of the centre and meet the project staff and conservationists before rolling your sleeves up to assist with the volunteer program. You will engage in a wide variety of activities, of which your main focus is feeding, cleaning and providing enrichment for the orangutans, sun-bears, macaques, and other animals in residence here.

Days 4 - 5

Secluded and remote, Bako National Park sits on the tip of a peninsula accessible only by boat. Bako is by far the best location in Sarawak for spotting wildlife in its natural habitat, with troops of proboscis monkeys, long tailed macaques, silver langurs, slow loris’, tarsiers, civet cats, flying lemurs, wild boar and a vast array of birdlife calling this paradise home. 

Bako is a wonderful place for hiking (a huge choice of well-marked trails) or for kicking back on a secluded beach – either way you’ll find the scenery breath-taking. Save some energy for after the sun goes down, as a guided night walk is not to be missed – Bako’s nocturnal creatures come to life after sundown and we use our torches to find their sparkling eyes in the trees and undergrowth.

Days 6 & 7

We spend 2 nights as guests of a Malay village community in a beautiful coastal area. We stay in traditional housing on the beach front and there’s lots to do here. Go snorkelling and explore the underwater world, with its corals and many tropical fish species – if you’re lucky you may even see green turtles in their natural habitat. Go trekking in the neighbouring national park, Tanjung Dato, where there is the chance to see wild gibbons, flying lemurs, bearded pigs, amazing insects and other wildlife.

Community work is also an option – from activities with the children to helping with painting of the village school, our groups like to give back where possible. The community has also developed a turtle conservation project, so there may be opportunity to get involved here – this is anything from helping clean up the beach area to night patrols to help protect nesting turtles.

Days 8 & 9

We spend 2 nights with a Bidayau community, one of Sarawak’s indigenous Dayak groups where we learn about the traditional culture of this tribe and perhaps even see human skulls in their longhouse, kept from the head-hunting days of the past. See the rainforest from the serenity of a bamboo raft, which you will have the opportunity to steer down the beautiful river! We collect food from the river banks along the way before our guides prepare an unforgettable meal in the forest. A pre-dinner swim in the river is a great way to cool off and helps work up an appetite ! Accommodation is in a traditional wooden longhouse with shared bedrooms and amenities.

In the evenings there will be opportunities for volleyball or beach soccer or to watch documentaries about turtles which will help you to widen your knowledge about these amazing creatures. Thursday nights we have a bonfire and dinner at the beach.

During your stay here, we’ll take a break from working one day for a trip to Crystal Bay, a beautiful beach and a great spot for snorkelling.

Days 10 - 13

Deep in the pristine tropical rainforest of Batang Ai National Park and accessible only by longboat, we spend our next few days with an Iban community learning their traditions and exploring the jungle. This experience is absolute seclusion and isolation where we trade our phone, internet and electricity for the sounds, sights and smells of nature. This area is home to Sarawak’s last remaining wild orangutan population (a little over 1,000), so summon all the good luck you can for an encounter with this amazing great ape.

We take many jungle treks with our guides from the Iban community - for the best chance to spot wildlife we stray from any paths and navigate steep ridges in areas of forest that have never been walked (imagine that!). A little over 1/3 of our groups manage a sighting – but even if not, we are sure to see other wildlife as well as orangutan nests, sunbear claw-marks, animal footprints and much more in this magical place. Our lodge is just across the river from the Iban settlement, and we connect with the villagers by joining them fishing or weaving, by learning about their traditional methods of cooking (we’re sure to sample their rice wine) and by having fun with traditional games. This is truly an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Bornean rainforest.

Day 13

En-route back to Kuching, we pay a visit to Semenggoh, Sarawak’s most famous orangutan rehabilitation centre where the semi-wild residents live freely in a large area of pristine rainforest – close-up sightings are virtually guaranteed here at Semenggoh, and if you’re lucky we’ll see a mum with her young. Back to our Kuching guesthouse for a shower, a drink or two and a farewell dinner – a chance to reminisce over all the amazing adventures we’ve had in breathtaking Borneo.

Day 14

Say goodbyes this morning as we head to the airport for onward flights. Or add an extra night or two and enjoy the relaxed pace of Kuching a little while longer.


start date

3rd of each month (also 17th of each month May - September)


2 weeks

minimum age

18 if solo, 15 if travelling with parents

important info

  • Fly In/Out : Kuching (KCH)
  • What’s included: Meals, accommodation, return airport transfers, donation to orangutan rehabilitation centre, English speaking guide, 24/7 emergency support.
  • What’s not included in cost: Flights, travel insurance.
  • Accommodation: Varied, multi-share with shared facilities
  • Food: All meals provided
  • *Prices start at £1249pp for 13 nights. Prices will be confirmed in writing prior to booking. 


{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-5bf3', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}
{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-be62', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}
{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-0a06', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}
{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-658a', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}
{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-63dd', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}
{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-fe64', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}
{{errors.first('rs-b49b-4e50-31ab', 'rs-b49b-5732-3059')}}

Message Sent.

orangutans & tribes of borneo orangutans & tribes of borneo orangutans & tribes of borneo


This product has been added to your cart