This is a rainforest conservation experience to remember!
Go Jungle Trekking for Conservation in one of the Oldest Rainforest Ecosystems, next to Taman Negara. Poaching plays a large part in the demise of Malaysian wildlife. So you will help reduce this by taking part in anti-poaching patrols in the Sungai Yu wildlife corridor. It connects the national park Taman Negara and the Titiwangsa range. The regular jungle patrols track clues of human activities in the forest. You will also look for animal tracks, such as pugmarks or scratch marks from elephants, tigers, sun bears, tapir, gibbons and more. The conservation team record this data using GPS. Thus giving an insight into how successful the wildlife corridor is.
Learn jungle skills with an aboriginal tribe
During your rainforest conservation experience, you will also have the incredible opportunity to learn bushcraft. Uniquely, you will go foraging and camping with the Bateq tribe. This aborinal forest tribe have called the rainforest their home for centuries. Sadly, their forests are being cleared for plantations. So this project helps them gain an income using their traditional forest skills.
Finally, you will explore the Limestone Caves, which still have species yet to be documented. The caves are under constant threat of by human activity. So showcasing their value in tourism prevents this crucial habitat from being destroyed.
Experience trekking through the Malaysian rainforest filled with spectacular and unique sight, smell and sounds. Assist the project staff with spotting any signs of animals or poaching activities. Here, you will also learn how to log the GPS coordinates of any pug marks, snares, land clearings or roadkill found.
Treks are usually 4-5 hours long depending on the group’s fitness and the route chosen. While the humidity and inevitable encounters with leeches are not for the faint-hearted, this is an unforgettable adventure!
The area is surrounded by a myriad of uniquely formed limestone caves with large internal structures and carvings, and some even have waterfalls and rivers inside. Volunteers will explore these caves and also get an opportunity to meet its inhabitants such as bats, swiftlets, etc.
There are plenty of other project activities to keep you busy during the week! You will conduct nocturnal surveys, help with English classes in the local village, play football with the Bateq children and explore the night market to try delicious local Malay food.
A full itinerary will be given to you upon arrival. Further details about getting to the project base will be given during booking.
Meet the Orang Asli
You will get the opportunity to meet the Local ‘Orang Asli’ (Malay for ‘original people’) who are from the Bateq tribe. The Bateq people are an indigenous ethnic group found in Peninsular Malaysia who have long lived within its rainforests for generations. Volunteers will learn bushcraft skills from the Bateq and will also get the opportunity to camp with the Bateq elders in the rainforest, a truly unique experience!
If you volunteer for 2 weeks or more, you will assist the project staff with teaching the Bateq kids basic Maths, English and Science. As well as being great fun, these learning sessions serve an important function since the Bateq kids do not attend the local school.
In 2018, the project achieved the following:
What are the requirements to join this programme?
Volunteers will need to be able to speak English or Malay to be able to communicate with the project staff. Volunteers must be over 18 or 16/17 with a parental consent form. Volunteers should have a positive attitude and participate in all project activities. Whilst a good fitness is advised, it is not a requirement whatsoever. Our team will cater the treks to individual fitness so you have a great time whatever your level!
Do I need any previous jungle experience/hiking skills?
No prior experience is necessary. The project staff will lead and teach you everything you need to know.
Who can join? Can families/children join?
Volunteers must be 18 years old and above to join the project. However, volunteer of 16 and 17 years old will be considered with a Parental Consent Form. Families with children aged 15 and above are welcomed to join.
Note: Our jungle walks may prove challenging for families with children. However, the project staff will do their best to cater to everyone’s need during your stay.
What is the mission and vision of the project?
The project aims to reduce poaching of wildlife and protect the rainforest and local limestone caves in Merapoh. The project also aims to educate and empower local communities be it formal education, capacity building or even our agroforestry efforts in finding alternative income for the rural villagers.
What is a typical day at the project like?
Volunteers would follow the team on anti-poaching patrols or animal surveys on most days. The anti-poaching patrol normally takes 3-5 hours depending on the group’s fitness level and the route chosen. At night, volunteers would spend the night having Malay dinner or visiting night markets where they will get to experience an array of local delicacies.
Is there a sample itinerary?
Briefing and welcome presentation, Football with Batek, Welcome Dinner
Introduction to Diversity, Pugmarks, Birdcalls and GPS Making, Bushcraft, Merapoh Night Market
Anti-poaching trek/Camera Trap (installation or retrieving)
Nocturnal Survey in Sungai Yu road
Caving, Gua Musang Night Market, Camping Preparations
Out of camping, Nocturnal Survey in Taman Negara road
Insurance, Visa and Vaccinations
Do I need insurance?
We highly recommend travel insurance to safeguard against sickness, loss of money, flight delay/cancellation or lost baggage. Feel free to message us for further advice.
Do I need visa?
Visitors from the following countries will receive a 90-day free tourist visa upon arrival in Malaysia:
Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherland, Norway, Oman, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Romania, St Marino, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Yemen.
Do I need vaccinations?
You may need some vaccinations depending on your previous vaccination history. Please refer to your GP or a travel clinic for further vaccination advice.
Is there internet access?
There is no internet access on-site, however, there is a local internet centre that may be used when required.
Are there ATMs nearby?
There are ATMs available in Gua Musang which is a 30-minutes drive from the project house.
Will I get support and guidance during my stay?
Of course! We are very proud of our friendly and talented team, who are happy to help throughout your stay. All of the project staff have amazing local knowledge and skill-sets, making them the perfect leaders and teachers.
Any further queries you have before booking can be resolved by contacting us directly.
What should volunteers bring?
Volunteers can refer to the project’s volunteer guide which includes a list of inventory that they should bring. This will be given upon booking with us.
How do I get to Merapoh from Kuala Lumpur?
Volunteers will need to get the 10 am Transnational bus from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS), Kuala Lumpur going to Kota Bharu, Kelantan. You can prebook the ticket from easybook.com. Please arrive at the Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) at least an hour before your departure time. The journey takes around 4-5 hours from Kuala Lumpur. You will be greeted by the project staff at the restaurant in Merapoh where the bus stops for lunch. This rest location in Merapoh is specific only for Transnasional buses. Other bus operators might use different routes, hence it is advisable to book Transnasional for your journey.
I have some specific question about the project.
We are always happy to help you with any enquiries. Feel free to contact us.