1 week – GBP 745 / USD 922
* GBP 250 / USD 309 for every week thereafter
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
English-speaking programme facilitator
Donation to the project (your fee supports the Centre’s operational costs such as animal food, equipment, staff salaries etc).
International and internal airfare, visa application/fees, private transfers, meals and accommodation when travelling independently, insurance and luxuries.
You can book your trip via the orange ‘check availability’ button above.
Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for us to process your application and payment. On receipt of your application we will confirm your reservation and inform you how to make your deposit payment. Your reservation will be held for 2 weeks, after which it will be cancelled automatically if no deposit is received. Full payment is required no later than 1 month before departure. You may pay online by credit card or a direct transfer to our account.
It’s that simple! Once your deposit has been paid you will receive our ‘Know Before You Go’ guide, which is packed full of useful information about your project and general tips to prepare you for volunteering.
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.
Kids Club English
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Shared (single sex) twin rooms with en suite (cold) shower and Western style toilet. Rooms come with air-con, drinking water dispenser and tea / coffee facilities.
There is a communal lobby area with a television, where volunteers can socialize and also enjoy meals together. All meals are included but you will have access to the stove and refrigerator in the kitchen should you require them, as well as a washing machine.
All rooms have private balconies where you can dry laundry or simply relax overlooking the forest.
Internet access is available at the volunteer accommodation. 3G internet is available and also a very slow wifi connection.
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
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
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.
What are the requirements to join this volunteering project?
Volunteers will need to be able to speak English or Bahasato be able to communicate with the staff / facilitator.
Minimum age requirement is 18 years old.
Volunteers will need to provide evidence of the relevant vaccinations and medical tests including Hepatitis A, B and C and TB.
Do I need to apply for visa to join?
Depending on the country of your passport and entry port into Indonesian depends whether you will need a visa. The centre recommends you speak to an Indonesian consulate in your home country for more details.
How many hours per day do volunteers work?
Activities with the animals normally run from 7am – 3pm and after work (optional) activities are normally between 3.30/4pm – 5.30/6pm. There will be snack breaks and one hour for lunch.
Beni & Boni are both adult male orangutans, rescued from private owners. They have learnt unnatural behaviours from their former captors. Boni sweeps and cleans the floor of his cage, as he was taught to clean his owner’s house and wash his car. Beni was kept in illegal mini zoo in a cage so small that he couldn’t stand up and has developed a hunch. For these reasons, they will remain at the centre as they can not return to the wild.
With his fine, thick coat and gentle eyes, Boni is the resident charmer at WRC Jogja, but he knows how to throw a tantrum when he doesn’t get your attention! Beni is the shy orangutan, generally placid but with hidden depths – nobody really knows what he is thinking.
Gogon & Dedek were kept by a police officer in Semarang, Central Java. He used to take them around on his motorcycle and feed them candies. Together since a young age, Gogon and Dedek are like brothers and can therefore share a cage, although like brothers their play fights can often seem pretty rough. When they came to the centre in 2006, Dedek was diagnosed with an infection which stunted his growth. Nursed back to health by WRC’s vet, he doesn’t let his size stop him making mischief. Gogon is the smartest orangutan and the most stubborn – he keeps his keepers on their toes trying to clean his cage!
Ucokwati, Joko & Mungil are the Centre’s resident orangutan family. Ucokwati and Joko were kept at a restaurant in Solo, Central Java where they lived in a narrow cage, ate an unhealthy diet of rice and cooked foods and smoked cigarettes to amuse customers. Brought to the Centre in 2011 they had to adapt to an orangutan’s diet of fruit and vegetables to prepare for rehabilitation. But as the time to return to their homeland of Borneo approached, it turned out Ucokwati was pregnant and in May 2013, Mungil (“the tiny one” in Bahasa Indonesia) was born. With support from the vet and animal keepers, Ucokwati is raising her own baby which is very rare for orangutans born in captivity. Mungil is a healthy baby girl with her mother’s beautiful eyes, who grows more inquisitive day by day. Meanwhile, poor Joko has had to move out to give mum and baby their space and he misses playing with his former mate. A very friendly orangutan, Joko loves to interact with others and enjoys playing catch and tricking the volunteers. Don’t stand too close though – he is extremely quick and strong and always looking for new toys to steal!
“I had the absolute best two weeks of my life volunteering at the centre. All the staff were lovely, the area is so beautiful, the accommodation was an excellent standard and working so closely with the animals was a dream come true. It was such a different way of life from the UK but it’s beautiful. This experience has encouraged me to start studying a TEFL course in order I may be able to travel more whilst working and teaching English. Living out there is truly an eye-opener.”
Sian Cowan, July 2013
“This was the first time I had done a volunteering program and I was really surprised by how much i got out of the 7 days. The organizers and fellow workers at the conservation are just fantastic and extremely helpful to ensure that you get the most out of your experience. I went with a friend and she had done a lot of volunteering in the past and classed the accommodation as the “hilton” of volunteering programs – so in short excellent accommodation and facilities. Each day consists of something different and essentially involves you in the husbandry of the various animals. The week before we arrived, a baby sun bear “Badue” was bought to the center and its hard not to fall in love with an animal like that. So if you are animal lover, this is for you. You also get to do some manual labor, which for me was the most enjoyable, being stuck behind a computer for 15 hours a day at work means not a lot of time to get my hands dirty and the cage enrichment/building was really enjoyable – i.e. start something from the beginning and watch something get built from the ground up.. if i went back i would probably take a power saw though! A lot of wood to cut!! I would highly recommend this to someone who enjoys animals and wants to give a little something back to well deserved cause.”
Lauchlan Leishman, Jan 2013
“I just got back from a Wildlife Rescue Center near Jogjakarta (Java, Indonesia) and had a FABULOUS time! Most of the animals living there come from either the illegal poaching trade or have been injured in some way. Although the goal is to release them back to the wild if possible, they still need to be looked after, which is where YOU come in! They have over 100 animals on-site including gibbon monkeys, birds (fruit eating and predatory), turtles, crocodiles, a baby sun bear from Sumatra, and of course the orangutans. On top of that, you help teach the local school children English as well as the animal keeper staff. The people at the Center are so kind and take wonderful care of you (plenty of food to eat) and you get to experience a traditional Javanese meal at the end of the week. The big bonus is that all of the money goes towards running the Center so it truly is an eco friendly tour. Of course some of it is hard work, like cleaning cages, but you also go on vet rounds to learn about the different species, cut up fruits and veggies for feeding time, as well as build cage and food enrichment projects, and of course feeding the animals is THE BEST, especially the orangutans. So if anyone is interested in the program, or knows someone else that is an animal lover (college age or older), please pass on this information. You will never get to experience these animals so close in the US (even if you volunteer at a zoo). I learned so much and truly loved the animal interaction.”
Ronna Brody, April 2013
“My experience at the Jogja Wildlife Rescue Centre was life changing. I found myself completing tasks and experiencing things I never imagined that I would. And I absolutely loved it! The staff, the locals and other volunteers made me feel so welcome, that after a while it felt like home. I learnt so much working with the animals and even saw some that I didn’t know existed. Spending time with the orangutans was unquestionably the highlight of the trip. They are the most incredible animals and I did have a little cry when I had to say goodbye. My only regret is that I didn’t stay longer.”
Sam Hunt, January 2013
“I visited the centre for 5 days in September 2012. The centre is small but doing fantastic things, the team keepers led by the infectiously happy Dian, the resident vet, are all dedicated to their animals. The keepers English is low but communication is 75% through your body not your mouth so we all got along like a house on fire. Kun and Johno are both fun loving characters and who always made me feel at home. Joko was always fun and Johno and I had to think of new ways to trick him to leave his main cage so we could clean it. In the end, the lure of sweet fresh honey was too much for him! What I really liked about the place was being able to get to know all the staff. The teaching sessions are fun, we taught English comprehension using Orangutans as the subject. We also played adaptations to the games “who am I” using animals. Everyone seemed to enjoy it even though it was hard at times I was also able to play football with Rendy and a few of his friends from the village and we shared dinner with his family in their home, a perfect way to finish my stay.”
Daniel, November 2012