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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 2 out of 4 sea turtle species virtually locally 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 aquamarine 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.

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Location of the Project:  Malaysia (Merapoh and the Perhentian Islands)
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Project length:  3 weeks
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Arrival Airport:  Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)
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Volunteer Work:  Animal conservation, Jungle trekking, Teaching English, Turtle Patrol, Research and data collection
Age:  16 - 60
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Number of Volunteers:  Up to 8 International volunteers

What's Included

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Accommodations:  Dormitory style accommodation
Food:  Three meals a day
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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.
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Insurance:  Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage
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Support:  Local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support

What's not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa, and transfers from Kuala Lumpur to Merapoh and from Kuala Beset back to Kuala Lumpur (The bus will cost approximately $15 one way.)

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.

Week 1:
During your first week you will be based on the border of Taman Negara working to reduce human impact in the wildlife corridor between the Taman Negara National Park and the primary mountain range in West Malaysia – where poaching is most common. The passage is the last connection between Taman Negara and the mountain range and is currently used by a large collection of wildlife to move between the two. Without the corridor, populations of tigers, elephants, sun bear’s, tapir and leopards would be doomed. By trekking in this area of lush tropical rainforest, as well as collecting vital data on animal tracks and signs, you will be acting as a deterrent to poachers.
 
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 host  English classes for their children. The inclusion of the local people is vital to the conservation of the wildlife corridors as essentially, the local people are the eyes and ears of the forest. You will join the Batek on foraging walks as well as camp overnight in the rainforest.
 
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 developing a population consensus of sea turtles on the islands – males, females and juveniles. You will also help to train local snorkel guides and tourists on tourist 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.
 
Volunteer work could include:

Week 1: 

  • Jungle walks and how to spot wildlife track and animal snares 
  • Learn about Tigers and other local wildlife and the importance of preserving the wildlife corridor
  • Visit the Batek tribe and learn about their lifestyle living harmoniously in the jungle
  • Host a “Conservation English” session for children of the Batek tribe
Weeks 2 and 3:
  • Turtle night beach patrol
  • Turtle Photo ID Research
  • Snorkeling
  • Educate tourists and village boatmen on turtle conservation
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.

Internet
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
Laundry:  Laundry service is available at an additional fee at both locations.
Accommodations
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 sex, dormitory style rooms with shared bathrooms.
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 the project's minimum requirements:

  • Minimum age is 16 years old
  • Good level of English
  • Good physical fitness
  • Enthusiasm and to be open-minded

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