You are here



  • Email from participant to Responsible Travel:

  • First a HUGE thank you to ALL of you for making this awesome experience possible.It exceeded my wildest dreams :-) So many wonderful memories :-)
    However the biggest thanks of all MUST belong with you guys at APE. I have no words to express the admiration I have for you guys.You are so dedicated, knowledgeable,kind and understanding.You rock. I plan to return next year for 6 weeks,health and stamina permitting.All I require is the thumbs up from APE :-) Fareea very diplomatically said that every volunteer contributes to the project in their own way !! I did my best !!!
    Now for some of the highlights.This is soooo hard as every day was a highlight,
    having a zoo in your back yard was nuts,the interaction with the volunteers,co-ordinators,keepers,locals,the wild life,the food etc.etc. :-)
    The journey from KL to Melaka,getting to know each other,the welcome Harith gave us,briefing then tour of the Zoo.
    Getting so close to the animals,gaining their confidence and rapport,making their enrichments and seeing their reactions.The keepers giving us the benefit of their experience and knowledge and making us part of their team in every way. Awesome experience :-)
    The afternoon that so many of the keepers came away from their tasks to have a photo session and then returned to their tasks,this was so special :-) A huge thank you to Harith for organising this.
    The lunches with some of the keepers in the buffet near the Zoo = yum,yum :-)
    Drinking coconut milk from freshly harvested coconuts.
    The day spent with the big cats :-)
    Falling in love with the Sun Bears :-)
    The day trip by bus to KL on a day off,the Aquarium,Butterfly Garden and Hibiscus Gardens = what a day :-)
    Harith's face when he saw the tools spread out on the floor :-)
    The outing on the boating lake :-)
    I was really choked saying farewell to Harith after his kindness and ensuring that we enjoyed the project to the maximum. Thank you Harith and I am so grateful that I had the pleasure to meet and to work alongside KC :-)
    The drive from Sandakan airport to Panganakan Din,meeting up with the new volunteers,the long house and magical setting.Meeting Mark,his welcome every bit as warm and professional as Harith's :-)
    The journey from Pangankan Din to Sukau,getting to know each other.The discussion with Mark regarding the production of Palm Oil.This was so informative and was the first of many such discussions we had.His knowledge and ability to weigh up all sides of a subject were equalled by his knowledge and expertise about the wildlife.I still do not know how he manages to spot some of the wildlife :-)
    The census from the boat especially the one at night = awesome,what a privilege.
    Enjoying a coffee every morning on the veranda at Greenways watching the sun rise,early morning mist permitting !! Priceless
    The boat commute to work in the morning with the mist hovering over the water,the dawn sounds from the forest = mind blowing :-)
    The captain's :-)
    The meals in the villagers homes,the aunties and their families,all so kind and welcoming,the food absolutely without fault. Priceless :-)
    Spotting our first wild Orangutans on the way to work on Good Friday morning. There are no words for such an experience especially when the baby popped it's head out !!! :-)
    The walk in the jungle,spotting a Storm Stork,the cave.Brilliant.
    Being shown how to cook local delicacies and cooking our lunch :-)
    Gomantong Caves,the bats and the raptors.Then the python on the return journey. Some outing for sure.
    Hearing a bull elephant trumpeting.It is a shame we did not see any of the pygmy elephants.However this and the sound of 2 Rhinoceros Hornbills taking flight immediately above us in the jungle will stay with me for the rest of my years.
    The Minister of Tourism's visit with the local dancers in their traditional costumes and local instruments = we were so privileged to see this ;-)
    The afternoon with the school children.Their enthusiasm and knowledge of the english language was incredible.So much fun ;-)
    To see the weeds,grasses,vines etc.cleared and the new saplings planted was so rewarding.I hope they will continue to grow,thrive for many more years.The work is hard and sweaty.Mark has incredible stamina,kept an eye to ensure we all drank enough,that we took a rest if need be and kept us motivated ;-)
    The final day at Sepilok with the visit to the Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre,the Sun Bear Conservation Centre and then, the icing on the cake for me,meeting up with Harith,Fareea and the volunteers on the Sun Bear project for lunch. Awesome finale :-)
    I could go on but I won't as these were the main highlights of an amazing 4 weeks in the company of some very,very special people = the APE team :-)
    Thank you again guys you are doing an amazing job in such a friendly but professional manner.Thank you for this unforgettable experience in your country.
    Finally thank you all for making this all possible :-) Till next time :-)
    KIndest regards,


    Peter Lowe, Czech Republic
     Orangutan Encounters, March 2016

  • I have participated in many volunteer projects (and worked as a coordinator on some) and I have to say that this is one of the best for organization, real community involvement, delivering on expectations and apparent sustainability. Well done and thank you. You should be very proud of what you do here.

    Amanda Bright, UK
     Borneo Wildlife Safari, June 2015

  • They put the animals and environment first which is very refreshing.  

After two weeks of working at Zoo Melaka, my expectations have been totally exceeded. Before arriving at the zoo, I was expecting to be doing menial tasks that had an indirect affect upon the Orangutans. However, having finished my time have, I have come to realize that in fact, the work that we, the volunteers, do here has a direct and influential impact upon not only the Orangutans but all the primates and any other animals. For example, completely re-building the Stump-tailed macaque enclosure and adding vital improvements to Ecah and Mardia’s enclosure.

Alexander Charles Jefferies, UK
 Orangutan Encounters, May 2015


  • I have personally experienced their family programme and our entire family still derive great pleasure reminiscing the lessons we learned and the experiences of the rainforest.  It was after this experience that we decided to represent APE Malaysia in Sweden as we could see the difference it made for the local community and environment.     - Read the full testimonial here -

    Anna Schrotti, Sweden
    Agent representative of Sweden, April 2015


  • I have learnt much more than I ever would have expected. I have learnt about animal behaviour, welfare and rehabilitation. I have learnt about the challenges of conservation, and most of all I have learnt about the commitment of the people who have dedicated their lives to facing these challenges. It is the passion of the people I have worked with that has made the deepest impression on me. I will never forget my time spent working alongside you all. - Read the full story here ‘The road to BSBCC’ or ‘trip of a lifetime’ - 

    Rica Marcus, UK
    Sun Bear Asisstant, March 2015


  • My favourite moment... can I say everything? I have learnt so much and have been able to experience something not everyone else can!

    Aleasha Amato, Australia
    Orangutan Encounters, September 2014


  • Absolutely loved the experience and felt good to do my little bit for the environment. Seeing animals, especially orangutans in their natural habitat was absolutely and a dream come true.

    Leigh Stuart, UK
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, August 2014


  • Thank you for the best week ever!

    Asa Elfstrom, Sweden
    Voluntering Family Adventure, April 2014



  • I have loved every minute - thank you so much. I will miss the routines of life on the project and the friendly faces in Sukau. There is a great beauty in Borneo - it’s clear there are people who care passionately about it too.

    Rachael Nowak, UK
    Orangutan Encounters, September 2013


  • One  word - Awesome!

    Michelle Clay, Australia
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, August 2013


  • Every part was enjoyable. Not many people can say they have done what I have back home.

    Kimberly Charley, Australia 
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, August 2013


  • Great experience you will get nowhere else

    Xavier Robertson, Australia 
    Zoo Assistant, August 2013


  • I definitely enjoyed every day of being here. My favourite would be waking up to sights of hornbills and the foggy Kinabatangan river.

    Saktiyashinee Thanenthiran, Malaysia
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, July 2013


  • This was the most amazing experience and wish I had done it earlier in my life. I have learnt so much about animal care, myself and my journey, interaction with others and have been very humbled by the work everyone is doing at APE.

    Catherine Leney, UK
    Orangutan Encounters, June 2013


  • A briliant experience that's worth doing again.

    Katie Balmer, UK
    Orangutan Encounters, March 2013


  • I have had a really fantastic time here. Learned a lot and tried new things. Was lucky to share this experience with a great group that really got along :) I will never forget these 12 days!

    Anna Liesen, Sweden
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, February 2013


  • BEST CHOICE I’VE EVER MADE! I’ve really been living my dreams.

    Isabelle Erkenborn, Sweden
    Zoo Assistant + Orangutan Encounters, January + February 2013


  • My favourite moment will have to be the moment i had with Joe (a chimpanzee). Being so close to such a powerful animal and to look him straight in the eyes was amazing.... This project has been worth every penny!

    Rebecka Andersson, Sweden
    Orangutan Encounters, January 201


  • I really enjoyed it and my eternal gratitude goes to the staff of APE and Zoo Negara for making this experience possible.

    Ben Smith, UK
    Orangutan Encounters, January 2013


  • Thank you for a wonderful, amazing and glad time in Zoo Negara! That was an unforgettable time and I will take so much things and experience with me to home!

    Kerstin Breitkopf, Germany
    Orangutan Encounters, January 2013


  • I enjoyed everything. Thank you for this amazing experience!!

    William Smith, Canada
    Zoo Assistant, December 2012


  • My favourite programme activity was washing and scrubbing the elephants because we are able to get so close to them. I am going to remember how friendly Ella the lioness is, how beautiful the tiger cubs and sunshine the squirrel monkey is.

    Georgia Laycock, UK
    Zoo Assistant, December 2012


  • This last 6 weeks have been amazing. Thank you. Its been the best program I’ve been on so far.

    Louisa Roome, UK
    Orangutan Encounters + Zoo Assistant, October + November 2012


  • It exceeded my expectation!

    Madeline West, Australia
    Zoo Assistant, October 2012


  • Everything has been perfect, planned excellently and the facilitators are the best!!!

    Sara Sundstrom, Sweden
    Orangutan Encounters, October 2012


  • I love it, I love it, I love it... !! There is nothing else to say!!

    Johanna Hartmann, Germany
    Orangutan Encounters, October 2012


  • Just the best experience of my life.

    Solene Loiseau, France
    Zoo Assistant, July 2012


  • This programme definitely makes you feel like you are contributing to the well-being of the animals.  You experience amazing things.  I would participate in another APE programme because I think that APE is a very organised and focused organisation that is dedicated to their cause, I felt privileged to be a part of their work. 

    Rikki Johnston, Australia
    Zoo Assistant, June 2012


  • This programme has been life changing for me and i would do it again in a heartbeat. Best thing ever!

    Harriette Trew, UK
    Orangutan Encounters, April 2012


  • This is not a great experience… it is A FANTABULOUSASTIC EXPERIENCE!

    Lise Christie, Scotland
    Orangutan Encounters, January 2012


  • The work done by APE Malaysia is amazing and has achieved so much in a relatively short period of time.  There may still be a long way to go but with the people involved, it will get there in the end.

    Peter Derbyshire, Australia
    Orangutan Encounters, January 2012


  • I learnt a lot about the wildlife and that it’s not about banning palm oil… it’s about farming it in a sustainable way.  I loved seeing the pygmy squirrel, the baby croc and the flying lemur. The food was “SEDAAAAP!” (delicious) and the programme site is beautiful!  I really enjoyed making enrichment as it gave me ideas I can bring back to Auckland Zoo.  I absolutely recommend this programme to others as it is a fantastic way to do good and I’ll definitely participate in another APE programme because it’s not a touristy programme.

    Rukmini Vadke, New Zealand
    Orangutan Encounters, 2011


  • Testimonial in Swedish

    Jenny Winge, Sweden
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, April 2011


  • We were deeply impressed by the passion and extensive knowledge demonstrated by the facilitators. The facilitators were able to establish a strong rapport with the students and in so doing, help them to come to a realisation of the complexity and interconnectedness of several environmental issues.

    Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Singapore
    Wild@Heart education programmes for students, Sabah & Sarawak,
    May & August 2010


  • One of the best things about this programme is that it really benefits the local community. I got immense satisfaction from the knowledge that I had come to Sabah and done a variety of activities that benefitted the local people.

    Farrah Naz, 28, United Kingdom
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, April 2009


  • I believe we observed 60 species, about 2/3 birds. Feel free to envy me (lots!) for seeing all of the following in the wild (ie the rainforest around the river bank):- mother & baby orangutans, dominant orangutan settling into his nest for the night,- five pygmy elephants with a baby feeding on the grass on the river bank...

    What I perhaps enjoyed the most was the class we did at the school. Groups of volunteers teach the children about protecting the environment and our module was on recycling...

    If you ever want to see Borneo, I would definitely recommend combining it with something like my project. You see and experience so much more!

    Monica Filkova
    Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Adventure, June 2009


  • Out of all my experiences last year, when people ask me what I would like to see again... I always say our trees... our little saplings... it's one of those 'before I die' things... I want to see a wild orangutan in our trees!!!!!

    Louise Sullivan, 36, UK
    Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Adventure, September 2008


  • Any environmental project, which involves volunteers who have travelled long distances from foreign lands to take part, needs to meet four main criteria. In brief, a project must:

    1. Take care of its volunteers - who have usually paid a largish sum of money to be part of the project.

    2. Assist its volunteers to meet and work with local people, in the area the project is based.

    3. Give its volunteers a sense of making a contribution (other than a money contribution) to the project.

    4. Send its volunteers away richer for the experience and with positive feelings for the project. There is a fifth criterion, although there is an element of a "wish list" about this one. The project should:

    5. Hope its volunteers will stimulated to engage further with the same, or other, environmental projects as a consequence.

    The Orangutan and Pygmy Elephant (Borneo Wildlife Safari), conducted by APE Malaysia, from August 27 to September 8, 2008, met all these criteria very successfully

    Tony Hepworth, 69, Australia
    Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Adventure, September 2008


  • I have learned a lot of things about all kinds of insects, animals, plants and even dry leaves can give life to the little tree.

    Ludovic Gomez, 38, France
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, September 2008


  • Loved the work, cleaning, food preparation, enrichment was obviously a real high point throughout and I loved trying to create new enrichment activities.

    Leigh Bates, 26, United Kingdom
    Orangutan Experiences, December 2008


  • I absolutely loved the experience, one word to describe the time I had is “AMAZING”. I feel so lucky to of had the opportunity to spend so much time with the animals and learn so much about them.

    Georgina Proberk, 18, United Kingdom
    Orangutan Experiences, November 2008


  • My favourite programme activities were the boat trips and observing wild animals.

    Mr and Mrs Phillips, 54 and 53, United Kingdom
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, June 2008


  • It was fun making all the foods and toys for the animals. It was also very rewarding to see them so happy and to watch them play around and my favourite moment would be getting up close to all the animals...which was just amazing. It made my life now so determined with working with animals and helping them.

    TERIMA KASIH APE for such an amazing and wonderful project. Four weeks have just flew in and away again.

    Emma Steele, 29, Scotland
    Zoo Assistant, November 2008


  • Sense of satisfaction... Having the privilege of working with the 5 year old orang-utan. Excellent time had by both of us and excellent location. Excellent coordinator.

    Mr and Mrs Pinkney, 46 and 45, Scotland
    Zoo Assistant, December 2008


  • I love the elephants. They are my favourite and will always be. We cleaned and fed them plus cleaned out their pool... working with the elephants was Amazing. I enjoyed all of it and will take my experience and memories away with me, especially elephants.

    Kirsty Jones, 21, United Kingdom
    Zoo Assistant, May 2008


  • Get involved! You’ll love it!

    Doug Kington, 26, United Kingdom
    Borneo Wildlife Safari, September 2008


  • Watching on TV is very different to seeing it in reality. This programme has opened my eyes to what I want to do in the future.

    Sunil Talati, 40, The Netherlands
    Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Adventure, September 2008


  • The only negative comment I have … is, one month was not long enough.

    Elaine Purvis, Scotland
    Sarawak Orangutan Volunteer Programme, April 2008


  • You will fall in love with the amazing creatures that you are given the rare and precious chance to work with.

    Amity Menard, USA
    Sarawak Orangutan Volunteer Programme, June 2008


  • While I fell in love with the orang-utans and was constantly amazed at how clever they were, I really enjoyed working with the sun bears and feeding the gibbon and the monkeys… We all learnt some clever ways to make the animals work harder for their food.

    Stuart Judd, UK
    Sarawak Orangutan Volunteer Programme, June 2008.


  • The most beautiful thing was to live in nature, spending so much time outside in the jungle, getting more in touch with yourself…

    Alice Maccarrio, Austria
    Sarawak Orangutan Volunteer Programme, May 2008


  • My favourite programme activities were all of the enrichment activities that we carried out with the apes, because it really made a difference.

    The best moment was watching all of the apes open their X’mas presents, being groomed by the chimps, being passed presents through the cage from Punky, plaiting chokey’s hair, being spat on by Sulong…..The list goes on.

    Keely Adams, 23, United Kingdom
    Orang utan Experiences, December


  • It was especially rewarding to be able to see that the money I spent to join the project was clearly vital to maintaining the progress being made… a real investment in frontline conservation… You’ll sweat, bleed, laugh and cry, and you’re going to love every minute of it!

Steve Jackson, UK


  • My favourite moment was when I was at the end of the trail to the rangers station - and not only cause I could put the ridiculously heavy wood down but cause I could see the keepers building the station and knowing that in the not too distant future 3 of the orangs would be going into the wild and that is what it is all for. It was a reason for all the hard work! great feeling.

    Laura Silcock, UK
    Sarawak Orangutan Volunteer Programme, August 2008


  • Zoo Negara is working towards becoming a world class zoo by 2015. To achieve this, we have begun working in innnovative ways and this included a smart partnership with APE Malaysia through their volunteering programmes.

    Dr. Mohamad Ngah
    Director, Zoo Negara