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This project takes place in the city of Labuan Bajo, which is a part of the beautiful Flores Island, located in the eastern part of Indonesia. From the stunning sand of Pink Beach to the deep green forest area where giant komodo dragons live, East Indonesia is a destination unlike any other, even in comparison to other Indonesian islands. Labuan Bajo in particular is well-known for its vast variety of marine life.
The Komodo National Park was created with the purpose of conserving indigenous Indonesian wildlife, the komodo dragon in particular. There is also a marine conservation area of the park, where shark, manta ray and turtle populations reside. As a volunteer on this project, you will be working as an assistant to the park rangers. Most days you will be trekking and hiking alongside the rangers, leading tourist groups through the National Park and educating them about conservation and the komodo dragons as you go along. You may also be involved in recording and collecting data for research purposes and even preparing some educational materials for the tour groups. Your volunteer work will allow you to get real hands-on experience working for a UNESCO site and National Park.
Some of your tasks may include:
Typical schedule: Volunteers will work Monday-Friday and have weekends free. Volunteers will take a boat to the park in the morning and work from 10:00 AM-12:00 PM. Lunch will be from 12:00-1:00 PM and be followed from more work from 1:00 – 4:00 PM. At 4:30 PM volunteers will take a boat back to Labuan Bajo.
Please note: All participants are expected to follow instructions and advice given by the coordinators and adhere to the rules,regulations and safety measures established by the park.
Internet: WiFi is available in public areas.
Laundry: There are laundry facilities located around the village that may be available for an additional fee.
Accommodations: Volunteers will stay in shared, single-gender rooms with up to seven other people in a dorm-style center with shared bathrooms. The accommodations are located in the city of Labuan Bajo, and are walking distance from restaurants, grocery stores, ATM’s and laundry facilities. Volunteers take a boat in the morning from the mainland (Labuan Bajo) to the island of the Komodo National Park and return by the boat in the evening.
Food: Three meals per weekday and two meals on weekend days are provided. Typical lunches and dinners include Indonesian dishes such as fried noodles or rice with vegetables and an occasional Western-style dish. Breakfasts vary and may include fruit, toast or pancakes. Vegetarian diets can be easily accommodated.
Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:
Culture Week (Highly Recommended):
This week-long introduction is a perfect opportunity to meet your fellow volunteers and surround yourself with the local Flores community! You will tour the area of Labuan Bajo, visit the famous Mirror Cave, explore a traditional village and participate in a cooking class and Bahasa language and dance classes. The orientation program runs from Monday through Friday, giving you the weekend to relax or explore the area on your own before you start work at your project.
In addition to seeing the unique komodo dragons each day, volunteers may go to the park during their free weekend to dive and/or snorkel in the park’s protected marine areas. For those who want to venture further, a few travel destination suggestions are listed below:
Kelimutu National Park
Also located on Flores Island, Kelimutu National Park, with its volcano and three vibrant crater lakes, is one park that is definitely worth a visit!
Liang Bua Cave
Liang Bua Cave (Hobbit Cave) is a limestone cave that has become a popular tourist destination. Its archeological findings have included ancient human skeletons, and debatably, the skeletal remains of another Homo genus species. There is a small museum just outside the cave.
Love Hill is right outside the city of Labuan Bajo and is the most popular destination for watching the blazing Indonesian sunsets.