Volunteer Programme

We’re looking for enthusiastic individuals to join our Volunteer Programme to support orangutan conservation in Borneo. We need people who will thrive in a tropical jungle and love to be surrounded by nature.

Volunteers do not need to have any prior experience, just a willingness to help and an interest in wildlife and forest conservation. In return, we will share our passion, offering a unique and rewarding experience, which will help secure a safer future for the last remaining wild orangutans and forests in Borneo.

Where are volunteers based?
Volunteers will be based in the Sabangau Forest (580,000 hectares of peat-swamp), the largest area of lowland rainforest remaining in Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

Peat-swamp forests are remarkably diverse and home to over 30% of the remaining population of wild orangutans in Borneo. Other animal life, includes gibbon, sun bear, clouded leopard, sambar deer, civets, tree shrews, water monitors, pythons, over 200 species of bird, including the rhinoceros hornbill and Wallace’s hawk eagle, and a large and diverse invertebrate community.

Peat-swamp forms under waterlogged conditions through the incomplete breakdown of organic matter – dead leaves, branches, trees – which has built up over many thousands of years to create a thick peat layer up to 18m deep. Standing atop the peat is a rich tropical rainforest, with a huge diversity of plant life, including large timber trees, such as ramin and swamp meranti, a wide variety of pitcher plants and sustainable commercial species, such as rattan and rubber trees.

Base camp is just inside the forest for approximately one hour, by car, boat and, uniquely, small train, from the provincial capital of Palangka Raya. Facilities in the camp are basic, but comfortable, including accommodation in purpose-built dormitory huts, washing and toilet facilities, office, kitchen and cooks.


What do volunteers do?
We need fit, enthusiastic individuals to join our Volunteer Programme, who will thrive in a jungle setting with basic camp facilities. In return, we offer a challenging, yet rewarding experience, which will help to ensure conservation work is carried out to secure a future for the last remaining forests in Borneo. As a volunteer, you will have the opportunity to develop new skills as you learn about field research techniques and contribute to BNF’s conservation and educational activities.



“I have loved my time here. The programme itself was well planned and well-executed. It’s been a privilege to be shown Sebangau by a team of such energetic, dedicated and knowledgeable people. Thank you so much!” – Jocelyn Paulley, a volunteer from 2017

Sebangau Volunteer Programme:

  • Group 1: 23th March- 12th April 2020 (Application deadline 16th February)
  • Group 2: 22nd June-12th July (Application deadline 15th May)
  • Group 3: 1st-21st September 2020 (Application deadline 25th July)
  • Group 4: 5th -25th October 2020 (Application deadline 19th August)

Rungan Volunteer Programme: 1st – 22nd August 2020 (Application deadline 24th June)

If you think you would be interested in joining BNF’s Volunteer Programme, please email join@borneonature.org to request a Volunteer Brochure and Application Form. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to email for further information.


Join us in the jungle!