Volunteer with Orangutans



Adventure from £0.00 (Excluding flights)

Join the Wildlife Rescue Centre in Java, Indonesia, providing care for orangutans and other orphaned and injured wild animals who are preparing for rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild.

Due to the rapid destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests, hundreds of orangutans and other critically endangered species are dying or losing their homes. The orphaned young are frequently sold into the illegal exotic pet trade, condemned to spend their lives in cramped cages, eating unsuitable diets and performing dangerous and demeaning tricks for human entertainment.

The rescue facility receives animals confiscated from illegal ownership under the Protected Wildlife Law and wherever possible, preparing them for rehabilitation. Those who cannot be returned to the wild due to health or behavioural conditions may make the Centre their permanent home.

The Centre is NOT a zoo and does not exhibit the animals to the public except under controlled conditions for educational programmes. As a volunteer you will have a unique opportunity to get close to all of the animals, to observe and interact* with them and contribute to their welfare. You will become personally acquainted with the 7 orangutans currently living at the Centre, including an adorable, inquisitive young orang-utan born in May 2013. You will also regurlarly work up close with other primates such as gibbons and macaques, as well as the variety of birds, reptiles and small mammals that make up the Centre’s population of around 200 magnificent creatures. In a rural area close to a traditional village, you can also marvel at the sights and sounds of the Centre’s many unofficial residents as you enjoy Indonesia’s rich biodiversity.

The Centre enjoys a close relationship with the local villages, which is home to majority of the centre’s staff. Not only does this provide employment opportunities for the villagers, it also helps to spread awareness of environmental protection and animal welfare at this critical local level. To further this educational role and provide a valuable cultural exchange for both locals and volunteers, the Centre offers a “Community English” class for all locals and a club for local children. As a volunteer you will have the opportunity to take part in these fun and informal sessions. You will also have the opportunity to join a range of traditional and local cultural experiences including gamelan lessons and batik lessons as well as visiting a local family for a traditional Javan dinner – a delicious way to truly experience life in the village. If the orangutans haven’t melted your heart completely then the warmth and hospitality of the local people surely will.

Yogyakarta is the cultural capital of Java and there are plenty of things to see and do on your days off: Visit the Sultan’s Palace, Prambanan temple or Borobudur (the world’s largest Buddhist temple), explore Mount Merapi (an active volcano), cycle through local markets and lush rice paddies or take in some traditional gamelan music and shadow puppetry – the choice is yours.

If you love animals, don’t mind getting your hands dirty cleaning cages and are happy to share your enthusiasm and knowledge with local villagers, this is the volunteer programme for you.

Please Note that cages for many of the animals are small and not intended as permanent homes –the centre receives no external funding and must do what they can with limited resources. Every effort is made to continually improve the facilities and the living arrangements for all wildlife. Your presence at the Centre not only enriches the animals’ lives, but your financial support helps to improve the future for these wonderful animals.

*Interacting with wildlife – as the centre is a rehabiliation centre there is a strict no touching policy. Physical interaction with humans can hinder their ability to be released into the wild again. Furthmore, as the animals are wild, they can act very unpredictably. A no touching policy assists to avoid injury.


Shadow an Animal Keeper
Working with a different keeper and group of animals each day, you will experience the full spectrum of wildlife at WRC Jogja. You will participate in cage cleaning, feeding, food preparation, maintenance and cage enrichment and spend a morning with WRC’s vet – the perfect opportunity to observe and learn about the animals and lots of questions!

Building cages for our wildlife friends – Building a good, sturdy and spacious cages are essential for the animals well being. Thus whenever needed, volunteers will be assisting the animal keepers to build cages for the animals. Read more about building cages for our wildlife friends on our blog here

Kids Club English (for kids)
Every Wednesday there is a kids club English class for all children in nearby villages. The class has a local teacher who organises games and learning activites for the children to encourage them to learn English as their third language. This is a fun interactive session where volunteers will help to organise games with the teacher to play with the children.

Don’t worry if you’ve never taught before – you won’t have to teach alone and your on-site facilitator will support you through every step.

Community English
One of the centre’s newest programs has taken the previous staff English to the community. The class is run by a local teacher who helps many youth (normally aged 15 – 30) to learn conversational English through fun interactive games. Volunteers will help as a “native speaker” to encourage the students to learn their third language.

Release Site
In the last 5 years the centre has released 4 eagles back into the wild in Java, many close to the centre. Other animals have been translocated to release programs on their native islands. One afternoon after work volunteers will have the opportunity to visit a previous animal release site and learn about the release program from the centre.

Cultural Engagement
The centre is focused on building a strong positive lasting relationship with the local villagers. They do this by engaging in a number of cultural activities including a traditional gamelan (music) class and batik (wax art) class in a nearby local village. They also join traditional dances and performances near the village when they are performed. The centre also holds informal sports sessions in the village to encourage locals to interact with people from different cultures and practice their language skills. This is also a fantastic opportunity for volunteers to learn some simple Indonesian and make some new friends.

Javan Dinner
Friday evenings you will be welcomed into the home of a staff member from the local village where you will enjoy traditional, home-cooked Javan cuisine and maybe even try your hand at preparing some. The smiles are infectious and the delicious food just keeps on coming, so be sure to work up an appetite during the day!

Adventure includes:

  • Return airport pickup from Yogyakarta International Airport (JOG)
  • Three meals per day plus snacks, tea and coffee and free drinking water
  • Shared accommodation in twin room
  • All activities as per itinerary
  • Accident Insurance
  • English-speaking programme facilitator
  • Donation to the project (your fee supports the Centre’s operational costs such as animal food, equipment, staff salaries etc).

Doesn't include

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal expenses


Following your arrival, airport transfer, orientation and safety briefing, a typical day will look like this:

6:30 Breakfast & Brief 7:00 Meet Your Keeper – Prepare for work 7:30 Cage Cleaning 9:30 Coffee Break and Snacks 10:00 Feeding Time 11:00 Enrichment or Maintenance 12:00 Lunch 13:00 Working with your keeper or Enrichment 14:30 Feeding Time 15:00 – 17:30 Kids Club English/Community English/Cultural Engagement/Release site 18:00 Dinner An individual daily schedule, including free days for sightseeing, will be created based on your length of stay and the animals’ needs at the time.


Making a booking

If you want to reserve your place on a trip we ask you to place a deposit of £0 to secure your place. Should you wish to discuss your trip with us, please either email info@inspiredescapes.com or call 0203 394 0050.



Monday 7th Aug 2017 - Monday 14th Aug 2017 £899.00
Travellers: Book/Reserve
Monday 11th Sep 2017 - Monday 18th Sep 2017 £899.00
Travellers: Book/Reserve
Monday 8th Oct 2018 - Sunday 14th Oct 2018 £833.00
Travellers: Book/Reserve

Or contact us to tailor make this trip