Malaysia – Jungle Trekking and Sea Turtle Conservation

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Join this uniquely diverse volunteer experience! Assist in hands-on conservation of sea turtles and engage with an indigenous tribe in the forest.

Program Highlights:


Your Schedule at a Glance (Minimum three-week commitment):

Arrival Day, Sunday: Arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in time to make the 10:00 AM bus towards Kota Bharu. The local team will be waiting to pick you up and transfer you to the accommodations. Settle in and get to know your fellow volunteers.

Week 1:
During your first week you will be based on the border of Taman Negara, working to reduce human impact on the wildlife corridor between the Taman Negara National Park and the primary mountain range in West Malaysia – where poaching is most common. During this week you will also visit the renowned limestone caves and an indigenous tribal village, the Batek, where you will learn about their lifestyle and lead English classes for their children.

Weeks 2 and 3:
Your adventure now slows down a pace and as you head to the Perhentian Islands, where you will be involved in essential photo identification research, as well as guarding turtle nesting beaches at night. You will join volunteer efforts to develop a population consensus of sea turtles on the islands – males, females and juveniles. You will also help to educate local snorkel guides and tourists about conservation. At night, you will visit turtle nesting beaches and help inform the fisheries staff when a turtle is nesting on the beach, preventing poachers from stealing the eggs.

Check out what our past volunteers had to say!


Location icon Location of the Project: Malaysia (Merapoh and the Perhentian Islands)

Project length Project length: 3 weeks with option to extend the time on the Perhentian Islands

Arrival Airport Arrival Airport: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL)

Volunteer Work Volunteer Work:  Animal conservation, jungle trekking, teaching English, turtle patrol, research and data collection

Age Age:  17- 60

Number of Volunteers Number of Volunteers: Up to 8 International volunteers

Important Note Important Note: All volunteers must apply at least 5 weeks in advance due to requirements for a Forestry Department Permit.


What’s Included

Accommodations Accommodations: Dormitory style accommodation

Food Food: Three meals per day

Airport Transfers Airport Transfers:  Not included. Volunteers will make their own way from TSB Bus station in Kuala Lumpur to Merapoh Village (approx. 4 hours). You will be collected at the station in Merapoh. Transfers to and from Merapoh to the Perhentian Islands will be provided.

Support Support: Comprehensive and professional pre-departure travel guidance, 24/7 GoEco emergency hotline, experienced local field team.


What’s not Included

Flights, visas (if required), travel health insurance, transfers from Kuala Lumpur to Merapoh and from Kuala Beset back to Kuala Lumpur (The bus will cost approximately $15 one way), personal expenses

Malaysia is home to an array of sights and sounds. Made up of buzzing cities, idyllic islands and exotic, lush forests – it truly is a magical place. You can spend your days admiring mosques and temples, visiting remote villages or cosmopolitan skyscrapers.

Volunteers on this project will get to spend one week exploring Merapoh, the gateway to Taman Negara National Park, home to the oldest rainforest and limestone caves on earth. The second week will see a complete change in scenery with a move from lush greenery to idyllic white sands and crystal clear water on the Perhentian Islands, two little gems with a typical island vibe.


Malaysia is home to an array of different animals, including the elusive tiger on land and the striking sea turtle beneath the water. With approximately only 340 Malayan Tigers left in the wild and two out of four local sea turtle species virtually extinct, in Malaysia conservation efforts are in huge demand.

As a volunteer on this dynamic project you will help with conservation efforts of these two endangered animals. You will be involved in exciting conservation and research activities, including trekking through the lush forests of Merapoh and snorkeling in the waters of the Perehentian Islands. You will also be engaging with and providing aid to the indigenous Batek tribe through community projects and guarding turtle nesting beaches at night.

Volunteer tasks may include:


Volunteers may extend their stay on the Perhentian Islands in order to continue the turtle conservation and research tasks. They can do this for up to 8 weeks.

Sea Turtle Seasons: Sea turtles often nest May – August and hatch June – September.

Internet icon Internet: There is no Internet access but good telephone reception in Merapoh village. There is limited Internet access and good telephone reception on the Perhentian Islands.

Laundry icon Laundry: Laundry service is available at an additional fee at both locations.

Accommodations icon Accommodations: Week 1: During the first week you will be staying at the volunteer house, in mixed gender dormitories with up to 5 other volunteers. Pillows and linen are provided. The accommodation has air-conditioning and a shared bathroom that has cold water showers and squat toilets. Weeks 2 and 3: During the second week you will be staying in mixed gender, dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms.

Food icon Food: Three meals a day are provided during the course of the project. Meals can include a collection of Western and Malaysian fare. You will also have the opportunity to try some local cuisine at nearby food stalls and/or night markets. The project can cater to vegetarians and vegans. *Please note that pork and alcohol are not permitted in the local villages.


Please take note of this project’s minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age of 16
  • Good level of English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Enthusiasm and to be open-minded
  • Forestry Department Permit

Volunteer Experiences

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