Sun Bear Encounters (Work with Sun Bears and help out with corridor restoration in the Kinabatangan)
- Improve conditions of sun bears in captivity and rehabilitation through creating environmental and food enrichment;
- Work alongside keepers to raise the quality of current enrichment standards in Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre;
- Learn about sun bears in the stage of rehabilitation and process of releasing them back to the wild;
- Understand and compare situation of captive/rehab sun bears and those with threatened habitats;
- Raise awareness on responsible living and travelling among tourists, local community and students. Understand and compare situation of captive animals and those with threatened habitats;
- Plant trees and maintain planting sites important for orang-utans, sun bears and pygmy elephants;
- Understand the threats to habitat and wildlife and make a personal impact in conservation;
- Interact with students of local schools in an education programme focusing on conservation;
- Live in the same village as the Orang Sungai – “People of the River” and collaborate through community projects;
- Trek through and learn about the mysterious rainforest of Sabah, Borneo.
- January – November, starts 5th of each month, ends 28 days later.
This project will begin at the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre, better known as BSBCC, is based approximately 19km from Sandakan town. It is located next to Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre and is also linked to existing forest trails and boardwalks. The centre currently has 2 bear houses that are housing 28 bears as well as 1.14 hectares of natural forest enclosure where the bears can roam free during the day (and night). There is also an observation platform for visitors to spend time learning about the bears through personal observation and sharing of information by the staff of BSBCC.
After your stint at BSBCC, you will then move on to a little village within a beautiful wildlife sanctuary along the Kinabatangan River. You will live within the community of the village, dine with the gentle Orang Sungai or “People of the River” and wake up to the sounds of the rainforest. You will help in the restoration of wildlife habitat and contribute towards the environmental education of the local school children while on this project.
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Arrival & Welcome
- Sandakan Airport (SDK) Please ensure you have provided us with the correct flight details.
- Meet at airport for transfer to twin share accommodation.
- 1800 hours – Welcome dinner and briefing. Please check with receptionist to confirm meeting time.
- In the morning, meet for breakfast and you will go into town for shopping. After lunch, transfer to BSBCC where your project facilitator will take you on a short orientation. You will be given a thorough health and safety talk, a tour of the centre and then will start work.
Day 3 – 16 (Meal Allowance)
- You will work alongside the facilitator and bear keepers to create enrichment and improve vairous aspects of animal welfare. Husbandry will be carried out on a daily basis while mini projects may include construction, design of enclosures, working with children or visitors, research and planting. Working hours at BSBCC: 0800 hours – 1700 hours
- Weekends / Days off: Usually, weekends are given as off days but subject to change according to project requirement. A total of 6 off days will be allocated throughout the project which may be combined subject to discussion with your project facilitator. You may choose to explore other parts of Sandakan at your own expense or stay at the volunteer accommodation
Day 17 (Meal Allowance)
- 1800 hours – Welcome dinner and briefing for the second part of the project day. Please check with receptionist to confirm meeting time.
Day 18 – 26
- After breakfast, transfer to Project Site.
- After showing you to your accommodation, your will be given a thorough Health & Safety briefing as well as an orientation around the village.
- The project involves wildlife observation to collect important wildlife population data. Habitat restoration work involves tree-planting and maintenance activities at high priority areas. These are crucial in connecting fragmented forest in the area to encourage healthy orang-utan and pygmy elephant populations. Community and Education programmes involve interaction with the villagers and the students of the village school.
- Depart for Sepilok.
- Walk through the Rainforest Discovery Centre to reinforce what you have learned about the rainforest the last few days.
- After lunch, visit Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre where you will learn about the challenges of orang-utan rehabilitaion. After this learning session, you will head into Sandakan.
- Check into accommodation. Free at leisure. Try to catch the sunset from the rooftop bar.
- Check out and transfer to Sandakan Airport.
- Optional: independent travel to Kota Kinabalu or Turtle Islands
Note: The itinerary is subject to change depending on community and/or school calendar.