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“Exceeded my expectations...”

The Great Orangutan Project
Ranked #17 of 88 things to do in Kuching
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This 2 or 4 week multi award-winning orang-utan volunteer project, based in the Matang Wildlife Centre, focusses on the conservation and protection of Borneo's most fascinating and enchanting species - the orang-utan. Please Note: This page is solely in reference to the 2 or 4 week orang-utan volunteer project offered by The Great Projects
Philadelphia
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Exceeded my expectations...”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

During Dec 2011 I spent 2 weeks as a volunteer... A great camaraderie developed between my housemate and myself, and all the volunteers... The experts at the centre provided us with fantastic support and became friends. Let's face it, we were all there for the same reason - to help the centre in rehabilitating orangutan and other species. Basic stuff needed to be done on a daily basis, but fun was had in spite of the hardwork. It's somewhere that will always have a place in my heart, and where I hope to return to. The whole experience certainly exceeded my expectations, why not see if it exceeds yours?

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank Jollyver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adsjs, Director of Sales at The Great Orangutan Project, responded to this review, February 7, 2013
Thank you for the review, with more volunteers like you we can save the orangutan!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 reviews from our community

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Melbourne
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“A rewarding experience”
Reviewed December 4, 2012

November 2012

My group of 4 are 50+ year old travellers and I felt it was time to try to give something back to someone or something. I chose orangutans. I chose the sanctuary because it provided the short stay that I was after, plus allowed up close access (not hands on) to the orangutan.

My group came grudgingly and we didn't know what to expect.

We found a small, dedicated team of people who are working tirelessly, under difficult conditions, and on a shoestring, to save the animals. Animals included sun bears, monkeys, birds, deer and orangutan.

We worked very hard in the very hot and humid climate, cleaning cages, preparing food, working on enrichment for the animals, collecting greenery etc. Individual skills were put to use repairing refrigeration and concreting.

We stayed at the accommodation at the sanctuary and found it comfortable enough.

My short stay has given me something to think about. I have been left with a sense of helplessness that these beautiful creatures are not long for this earth without help. Certainly, without the team at the sanctuary, and without donations and manpower, they will be just a memory in the near future.

If you are looking for a cute and cuddly photo opportunity, this is not the place. If, however, you are looking to spend some time up close to the orangutans and provide hands on, day to day, cleaning and food, this is the volunteering trip for you.

Visited November 2012
Helpful?
9 Thank Bronatla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reigate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“A fantastic, life changing experience”
Reviewed December 2, 2012

I volunteered for two weeks back in 2009 and instantly knew this was how I wanted to spend my holidays! I'm just about to sign up for my fourth visit next April. The work done by the project to rescue and rehabilitate orangutans who have been victims of the pet or bushmeat trade is amazing. The team are hardworking and totally dedicated to giving each animal the best quality of life possible, whilst prepaing them for a more natural life in Kubah National Park. Life as a volunteer is so rewarding. Every activity from cleaning out enclosures, to preparing enrichment, painting or building climbing platforms goes towards making a better life for the orangutans and other wonderful species housed at Matang. I can't wait to go back again.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
8 Thank ElaineFoster1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adsjs, Director of Sales at The Great Orangutan Project, responded to this review, December 10, 2012
Thank you Elaine, come back soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wauchula, Florida
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Seeing another world”
Reviewed November 28, 2012

NOTE: You will not be able to have hands-on contact with cute baby orangutans, nor should you look for a trip which allows this. It is dangerously unhealthy for both orangutans and people!! The staff and volunteers at the Matang Wildlife Center are working hard to provide quality care and housing for animals that have been confiscated or surrendered to them. Orangutans and sun bears are the largest, and best known of the species housed there, but they also have sambar deer, and primates like Mueller's gibbon, crab-eating (long-tailed) macaques, two species of hornbills, clouded leopard, binturong, pythons and two species of crocodiles (estuarine and false gharial). Operating on an tight budget, they still manage to do an admirable job! If you would like a working vacation to help animals, this is the place for you, but you'd better be tough. Hot and humid, with basic accommodations - this is a real life experience! Highly recommended!

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
6 Thank Melanie B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adsjs, Director of Sales at The Great Orangutan Project, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you for the review and photos, Melanie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“A life changing experience”
Reviewed November 28, 2012

I visited Matang a while ago on a volunteering holiday through 'The Great Projects' and had a fabulous experience which I can only describe as a life changing. The work done at Matang to rehabiliate orangutans and indeed many other endangered animals is amazing. The team at Matang are so warm and friendly. The volunteering was really hand-on (although no contact with the orangutans) - yes physical at times, but very close of the animals and so rewarding. Matang does not have the same sort of profile as orangutan projects at Seiplok/Earthwatch but at Matang you really get a chance to make a difference and feel part of the team. Like I said, it changed my view on so many things. There is no question that I will return in the near future.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
6 Thank Annie20120000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adsjs, Director of Sales at The Great Orangutan Project, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thanks Annie. Great photos, especially of the gibbon!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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