Join an official BOS Orangutan Volunteer Program

Spend two weeks in beautiful Borneo at Samboja Lestari, a sanctuary that cares for approx 125 orangutans and 72 sun bears. If you are passionate about protecting orangutans and want to make a practical difference, this program is for you.

Situated within the Bornean tropical rainforest, Samboja Lestari remains one of the best and most accessible places in the world to see orangutans, whilst respecting the fact they are wild animals. Apart from orangutans, our centre is home to an array of other enchanting species like sun bears, binturongs and macaques.

What to know:

  • Available in English
  • In Samboja Lestari, Borneo
  • Availability: various dates whole year round 
  • 13 nights / 14 days
  • All organic meals included
  • Up to 10 people

Take this opportunity to leave a long-lasting impact on Indonesia’s wildlife, working hard to provide a meaningful future not only for animals at the centre, but also for the region’s wildlife for many years to come.

Volunteering

As an Orangutan Program Volunteer, you will be a key part of our enrichment and welfare program. Enrichment programs are vital for captive orangutans, teaching them how to forage for food, build, modify and use tools, increase agility and develop skills to survive in the wild. Take this opportunity to leave a long-lasting impact on Indonesia’s wildlife, working hard to provide a meaningful future not only for animals at the centre but also for the region’s wildlife for many years to come.

While in Borneo, you will help to make enrichment items for the orangutans that are being cared for at Samboja Lestari. These items really make a difference to the everyday lives of the orangutans, helping them to learn valuable skills that they will need when released into the wild. For those orangutans that unfortunately cannot be released, enrichment items help bring variety, diversion and enjoyment to their days.

Your activities in a nutshell

Orangutan Sanctuary

A highlight and extreme privilege of our program is touring Samboja Lestari Orangutan Sanctuary. Samboja Lestari (translated as " Samboja Forever") is currently a home to 127  orangutans that have been released into 6 islands around the lodge. Our detailed tour, will get you one-of-a-lifetime opportunity to deepen your orangutan knowledge but also observe the behaviour of rehabilitated individuals living within the complex.

Visiting Sun Bears

The BOS Foundation also looks after 69 sun bears, the smallest and definitely cutest bears in the world. You will get to see staff feeding the bears and learn more about our efforts to build large forested outdoor enclosures for them. At its core, we care for them in a similar way to how we care for orangutans, because for both it is not only about tending to their physical needs, but their social and psychological ones as well!

Canopy Bridge

See the rainforest from a different perspective by walking along the Canopy Bridge, 30 meters above the forest floor. A must-do activity!

Sungai Hitam Boat Cruise

Following a 30 minute drive from Samboja Lestari, you will take a leisurely boat ride along the Sungai Hitam river to see highly endangered proboscis monkeys and a river side village of houses built on stilts.

Sanctuary Islands River Cruise

Embark on a river cruise around the spectacular Sanctuary Islands! Orangutans spend time on these islands prior to their release and are given the space to put their forest skills (acquired through the rehabilitation programme) to the test. This will be a great opportunity for you to learn a little more about the project and the many successful releases BOSF have undertaken, as well as learning about some of the characters on the islands.

 

Tour of NM Rehabilitation Centre

See what your support has enabled us to achieve over the years by taking a guided tour of our Nyaru Menteng rehabilitation centre. Meet some of our local staff - the heroes who keep these centres running every day and who look after hundreds of orangutans in our care.

 

Accommodation

Lodge

Samboja Lestari is an oasis just outside of the hustle and bustle of busy Balikpapan, set the heart of 1,800ha of secondary rainforest. It remains one of the best and most accessible places in the world to see orangutans whilst respecting the fact that they are wild animals.

Rooms

Estimated travel cost is based on the twin-share standard first floor rooms, with cold water and a lovely garden view. In the warm climate, the cold water is refreshing and cleansing to shower in after a hot, sweaty day. Single rooms and rooms with hot showers are available at an extra cost.

Wildlife that you may see

Orangutan

Pig-tailed macaque

Sun bear

Probiscis monkey

Asian otter

Water monitor

Hornbill

I loved walking through the forest, thevariety of plants, flowers, trees and animals. There was so much to discover. It was so peaceful and quiet – and still you could always hear different animal noises.

Petra Stuber

Thanks to the organizers of the program! What you and BOS achieve in general is unimaginable and to see it upclose is wonderful. I would also like to commend the staff at Samboja Lodge. Everyone is very friendly, motivated and seems very happy.

Nico Bärtsch

Book now

Only £1279

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Further info

Covid-19 & health requirements
If the BOS program falls at a time when Indonesia has decided to close its borders and/or has isolation measures in place, then the program will not go ahead.

Visitors need to test negative for TB, HIV and Hepatitis B and C before arrival. More information on the required health tests (usually simple blood tests) are provided after registration. In addition, information on quarantine needs to be read, understood and signed (e.g. BOS Foundation’s Visitor Compliance Statement, an Orangutan Proximity Agreement, the Ethical Guidelines and Code of Conduct, Samboja Lodge Visitor Guidelines etc.). These documents are available online and can be found on BOS Foundation’s Website.

Allergies & dietary requirements
The price for your accommodations also includes all 3 meals per day (not including alcohol). Please note that while we can cater for different diets, we would like to be informed about your dietary requirements/allergies in advance.
Weather

Considering that the program takes place within a rainforest, the weather can naturally be unpredictable. Please note that we may be prevented from doing some of the activities if this is the case. Replacement activities will be offered during these times.

What's included

Full board accommodation, breakfast lunch and dinner, transportation from/to the airport.

What’s excluded

Costs of the obligatory health tests, other travel costs (especially flights), activities & tours, insurances, vaccination, and alcoholic beverages.

Recommended flights

Any flights arriving in Borneo on the first day of the program and departing after program finishes. Let us know if you are planning to arrive/depart on different days.

Please remember that airfare is not included. The airport shuttle is only included on the day the program begins and ends. An extra fee will be added if you arrive or depart on alternative days.

Cancellation policy

Please note that unless the program is cancelled, your deposit is non-refundable as costs need to be paid for in advance.

Contact us

If you have any queries or like to chat about the best options for you, please contact us through enrichment@orangutans.com.au