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Jungles & Islands – Kampong Style

From tigers to turtles – trek through lush rainforest and snorkel in turquoise seas with this conservation and community combination package.

Malaysia offers so much natural beauty to enjoy, incredible wildlife to discover and no shortage of exciting volunteer opportunities; how do you choose between exploring the world’s oldest rainforest and snorkelling in crystal waters on a paradise island? Now you don’t have to! We have brought together our most popular programmes Sungei Yu / Taman Negare Rainforest Conservation and Perhentian Islands Community volunteer projects to offer you the best of Malaysia in an unforgettable 2 week package.

If you’re planning to visit Malaysia, chances are that Taman Negara (the largest national park) and the Perhentian Islands (boasting Malaysia’s most beautiful beaches according to CNN) are high up on your must-do list – and rightly so! With this programme you can go beyond the tourist experience in these two popular destinations, working with the local communities to preserve their stunning landscape and protect the incredible wildlife it harbours.

Week 1: Rainforest Conservation – Sungei Yu / Taman Negara
The project is focused on poacher surveillance patrols where you will help our team to decipher clues of human encroachments in the forest reserves to deter/reduce poaching. You won’t only analyze human movements but also elephants, tigers, sun bears, tapir, gibbons and more. You will help to collect pug marks, scratch marks and other signs of our fury friends in the forest.

You will discover the region’s limestone caves with a very humble and passionate group – SGI Outdoor Adventures and often the most favourite part, visiting and joining the Batek villagers. You will join the Batek women on a foraging trip to where?, we often don’t know, we let the ladies lead and go where they want.  We have gone fishing, collected leaves and even once smoked out a rat that they cook.  You will also camp overnight with the Batek in the rainforest – living in the forest with people so connected to their home is a once in a life time experience. The Batek are the eyes and ears of the forest and their participation is vital in protecting the wildlife corridor.

Week 2: Ecoteer House Teaching and Community Project – Perhentian Islands
After the thrill and exertion of your jungle trek, you can relax on Malaysia’s most beautiful beaches (also ranked 13th in the entire world). Through community tourism, environmental awareness and conservation activities, the Ecoteer House aims to inspire and support the Perhentian Islanders in caring for their splendid habitat whilst offering volunteers first-hand experience of community life in a traditional Malaysian village surrounded by turquoise seas, white sands and vibrant marine life.

Your typical day at Ecoteer House might start with house or mural painting, snorkeling, planning lessons for the School Clubs for village children or conducting a beach clean. You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and then spend the afternoon doing various DIY jobs, gardening, composting, running the School Clubs or managing the Recycling Competition. You will also get the chance to support the Perhentian Islands Ladies Association or PILA (an Ecoteer initiative providing employment and spreading environmental awareness amongst local women) by encouraging tourists to attend their weekly “kuih” making session (a traditional Malaysian cake). There are plenty of rewarding ways to contribute your skills and enthusiasm as well as ample time to soak up your surroundings and a free day to set aside for sight-seeing, snorkeling, diving or simply relaxing in paradise.

From delectable traditional food to breathtaking natural wonders, from conservation to cultural exchange, this package offers an authentic and comprehensive Malaysian experience that you’d have to be crazy to miss!

If you don’t have the opportunity to volunteer but had always wanted to do something for a good cause, why not fundraise for these projects! Visit our Fundraising page for more info or write to us here

What Daniel Says


“This is one of our combo programmes which is run entirely by the Fuze Ecoteer Team. I personally love both parts to this project and actually started both. The first week we support the collective work of protecting the SUngei Yu Wildlife Corridor. The second week is at our flagship project base – Ecoteer House. Another true Responsible Tourism programme at its best!”

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  • Costs
    MYR 3,680 per person 2 weeks (MYR – Malaysian Ringgit)

     

    Includes:
    Throughout Programme

    Dormitory accommodation
    All transportation between and within projects including return Ferry to Perhentian Islands from KualaBesut

    Week 1
    Tribal guide and English-speaking guide
    Tribal village visit and camping and Foraging trips
    Half day limestone caving

    Week 2
    1 snorkel tour
    1 traditional Malay dinner
    1 ‘Kuih Making’ session with PILA

    Excludes:
    Transportation to Merapoh and departure from Kuala Besut
    Travel Insurance
    Spending money for personal purchases (toiletries, laundry, snacks, socializing etc)

    Bookings

    5 Easy Steps to Book Your Jungles and Islands Adventure:
    1) Contact us here with your initial inquiry – tell us about yourself and the project you would like to join.
    2) You will receive an e-mail with more information and the application form to complete.
    3) On receipt of your application we will confirm your reservation and inform you how to make your deposit payment. Your reservation will be held for 2 weeks, after which it will be cancelled automatically if no deposit is received.
    4) Please allow a minimum of 3 weeks for us to process your application and payment.
    5) Full payment is required no later than 1 month before departure. You may pay online by credit card or a direct transfer to our account.

    It’s that Simple!! Once your deposit has been paid you will receive our Know Before You Go guide, which is packed full of useful information about your project and general tips to prepare you for volunteering.

    Cancellation Policy

    a. Cancellation of reservation must be made in writing to avoid any misunderstanding. If the company receives notice to cancel 30 days or more before the date of departure, a minimum administrative fee of RM100.00 or 10% of the tour deposit (whichever is lower) per person will be levied.
    b. If notice of the cancellation is received 29 days or less before the date of departure the following charges will apply:
    c. 15 – 29 working days before the date of departure = 50% of deposit
    8 – 14 working days before the date of departure = 20% of FULL COST
    3 – 7 working days before the date of departure = 40% of FULL COST
    2 working days or less before the date of departure = 100% of FULL COST

  • Week 1 – Taman Negara
    Sunday: Arrival day, briefing and introduction to animal tracks
    Monday: ECO Walk – 4-6 hours
    Tuesday: ECO Walk – 4-6 hours
    Wednesday : AM Caving
    PM Bathing in the river at Taman Negara.
    Thursday: Foraging with the Batek ladies and delivering a Conservation English session
    Friday: Jungle Walk  with overnight Camping with the Batek– 6 hours
    Saturday: Jungle Walk
    Sunday: free day, BBQ at night then night bus to Kuala Besut (Perhentian Islands)

    Week 2 – Perhentian Islands
    Monday: 10am departure from Kuala Besut for the Perhentian Islands,30 minute speed boat to the Perhentian Islands. Briefing and meet other volunteers.

    Daily activities at Ecoteer House will vary according to the weather and progress of the project, but typical days may include:
    Lesson planning, snorkeling, conducting school clubs, beach cleans, house painting, mural painting, collecting organic waste around the village for composting.

  • ECO Walk: Medium standard – a decent level of fitness is required. The walks are supposed to be slow to enable the guides to search for tracks and animal signs HOWEVER this is a tropical rainforest where humidity can reach 90-100%. It may not be hot but between the humidity and the inevitable encounters with leeches, this is not a trip for the faint-hearted!

    Deterring Poachers: You will be setting and collecting camera traps, which not helps to monitor wildlife populations but also acts as a deterrent to poachers. You will be searching for poachers’ snares which will be recorded and destroyed.

    Cultural Exchange: Experience life with the Batek, learning about jungle survival and teaching them the importance of animal conservation. Engage with the Perhentian Islanders, discover their culture and visit their homes where you will be treated to a wonderful, traditional home-cooked meal.
    PILA: In 2012 Ecoteer initiated the Perhentian Islands Ladies Association (PILA) to engage local women in environmental issues whilst offering them a chance to increase their income. You can support these ladies by giving talks around the resorts and encouraging more tourists to attend the weekly ‘kuih’ making sessions to sample their delicious home-made snacks and cakes.

    Snorkelling: Each week you will go on a snorkel tour where you will see turtles, sharks numerous fish and beautiful coral reef. What better way to end a satisfyingly hard working than by snorkeling in turquoise waters searching for Nemo and his friends?

    Composting & Recycling: Ecoteer have introduced composting in the Perhentian village and a recycling competition at the local primary school. Join in these sessions daily to help reduce the litter problem on the island.

  • Any Sunday from

    2017
    19th February til 29th October

    2018

    18th February til 28th October

    If you would like to extend your stay on the Perhentian Islands you can either

    1) Continue with the Ecoteer House, or
    2) Visit the Turtle conservation project based on Pulau Perhentian Besar

  • Week 1
    Dorm room in the Merapoh House
    Communal bathroom with shower and toilet cubicles
    Information centre

    Week 2
    Mixed gender dormitory
    Communal bathroom, washing machine and kitchen
    Communal laptop and internet dongle
    Safety deposit box

  • 1. What are the requirements to join this volunteering project?
    Volunteers will need to speak English or Bahasa Malaysia to communicate with the facilitators. Under 16’s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Volunteers should have at least a medium fitness level, a positive attitude and willingness to participate in all tasks.

    2. How many hours do volunteer work per day?
    During the first week there are 4 days which include jungle walks, a half day caving, half a day preparing the Conservation English session and a day visiting the Batek Tribe. Participants will start their day around 7am and end their day by 9pm with breakfast, lunch and dinner breaks in between. During the second half of the programme you will generally have breakfast at 8am and start volunteer activities at 9am through to 6pm. The evenings are free.

    3. Do I need to apply for visa to join?
    On arrival you will be given a 90 day visa for free. If you intend to stay for longer than 90 days you can apply for an extension in Kuala Lumpur. Extensions normally take 1 day to complete.

    4. Is this program suitable for families with children?
    This programme is suitable for children who are outgoing and enjoy walking. Don’t forget, this is a tropical rainforest and will be hot and humid with chances of rain, leeches and other beasties. Only you know your children well enough to say if they are suitable for the programme!

  • To make an enquiry or to book, kindly email us using our Contact Us form.

Testimonials

Tiger Trail

“I started the programme at the Yellow house in KL.This is a quaint volunteer hub with a rustic charm,it provides with the basic creature comfort with a token cost.I was greeted by Daniel,who will be leading the programme.I get to meet fellow volunteers from Europe,Australia and US,off to another volunteer programme in Ipoh.Glad were we to be hosted by the hospitable neighbour who hosted an authentic Indian dinner,wonderful curry,thosai,rice etc. Next day we took a bus and public transport to meet our guide Mr. Ashleigh,and he brought along his daughter Eleanor.Together we head off to Merapoh for the programme proper. The guest house in Merapoh have nice comfy bed,kitchen and outdoor shower rooms.Next two days we went for a recce at the fringe of Taman Negara National Park,charting new future CAT Walk route. We have many interesting sighting along the way : animal tracks,droppings ,creepy crawlies etc.We also done some camera trapping work,and I was elated to see the pictures of the many megafauna denizens in the park:tigers,sun bears,panthers,elephants,tapirs,dholes,wild boars,porcupines etc.Seeing them on picture is all that worth my while,as it is extremely difficult to see the animals in the park due to their shy and elusive nature.But we do see red Muntjac on the trail,albeit only a fleeting second. Daniel and I spent one night in one observation hide,staking out a salt lick.No animals were spotted,but the experience was wonderful.There are fireflies in the forest,and the cacophonies of the night illustrates the vibrancy and diversity of life in the rain forest.

Another day was spent camping in the elephant cave.Evidence of elephant presence was everywhere.It is truly a unique first time experience for me,camping out in a limestone cave.It was breezy and cooling,we set up a bonfire,and were quickly lulled to sleep in the unique ambiance. I have a half day adventure in one of the limestone cave,gua Hari Malaysia.The guides from SGI outdoor are experience and helpful people,and we had a good time exploring up to 400 m into the cave.At certain stretch,we have to swim across pools with the ceiling a few centimeter from our head,while we have to rappel up mini falls twice during the exploration.Bats were abound in the cave,and I saw whip scorpion and some spiders in the cave too! I have spent day with the indigenous people of Malaysia,the orang asli.They are the original denizens in the Taman Negara forest,and have learned all the necessary survival skills to live in the rain forest.I was amazed at the speed they travel through the forest at ease,traversing the water-logged and muddy ground.The ladies are good fishers too,being capable of reeling in good catches in no time,using nothing more than a bamboo rod and earthworm bait. This is definitely a lifetime experience for me.Trekking in Malaysian forest may not be new to me,but to experience the life in the forest doing my part in forest conservation is something I have always wanted to do. Never mind about the rain,who put off some of the planned activities,and leeches,boggy ground,bugs and creepy crawlies,they are an essential component of nature ,like you and I.Go with an open mind,and you will reap in an experience of a lifetime.Thanks to Ecoteer for the great experience.”
Kwa Kee Lang, August 2013

“I spent a week in July 2013 on the tiger trail volunteer experience, and let’s just say it wasn’t one to forget. To start off with, I’d never done anything like this before and didn’t really know what I’d got myself in to. I’m 19 so was one of the youngest in the group. My friend and I spent our first few nights in KL, and then met the rest of the group at a bus station to head off on our journey to Merapoh. This took about 5/6 hours, the busses were comfy so it wasn’t so bad. We arrived in Merapoh with all our bags and got picked up by the owners of the chalet. They took us back and we were given a quick tour. It was extremely basic, which at first I thought I was going to absolutely hate. As soon as I got over this, it turned out to be absolutely fine and just what we needed. I was made to feel at home, everyone was so nice and the accommodation did exactly what it needed too.
The rooms were single sex, we had 2 girls rooms and one for boys. There were 2 bunk beds in each, again very basic. This is all that was needed, we were living out our backpacks and by the end of all that trekking it was like heaven getting in to bed! There was a lounge and kitchen area as well where we all could sit in after the treks and chill out for a few hours. We all felt very safe staying there and by the end of the week we didn’t want to leave! We had some lunch and a run through of the week, it was all quite overwhelming at the start because it sounded like a lot to cram in. We had about 7 volunteers altogether, at the start it was a bit awkward and everyone was quiet but by the end of the week we were such good friends and we were all just having a laugh together. Helping each other out and working together on the treks created a bond almost straight away and I met some of the most amazing people.

Let’s move on to the actual trekking itself.
We started in the mornings at about 8, and drove to different trails of Sungai Yu Wildlife Corridor. The treks would include going down poacher trails and looking for any animal evidence (prints etc.). This lasted about 7 hours for 4 of the days of the week, and is definitely not for anyone with a poor fitness level. We had regular breaks and stopped off for lunch. If anyone was finding it difficult the team were there to support them and the guides were excellent in making sure everyone was alright. I didn’t know what to expect and the first trek really brought home to me what the week was going to be like. The terrain was tough and it included things such as walking over logs that had fallen between two banks over a river. Just a word of warning: Proper walking shoes and at least 2 pairs of trousers are required! I only bought one pair of trousers which were wrecked in the first day, I then had to go out and buy another pair! Another member of the group also bought trainers to wear, and after a few hours the soles had completely fallen off. A good backpack would also be handy. Be prepared for clothes to be ruined! Also, getting leeched is inevitable. It doesn’t hurt, and although pretty gross you have to just flick them off or leave them. Don’t let the long days or tough terrain put you off though, the experience wasn’t one to be missed and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was completely different to anything I’d done before and didn’t really know what to expect, but it was so much fun. We spent one night sleeping in the jungle, which was an experience I will never forget. Some of the members of the Batek tribe came and cooked us chicken and rice in bamboo, which was absolutely incredible. We arrived at camp and they had already made themselves a shelter out of leaves and sticks. I felt like I was cheating putting up our tents and hammocks! The nights sleep wasn’t one of the best but staying right near a river surrounded by wildlife was an incredible experience and will never be forgotten.

Another day was spent caving. This really helped to break up the week of trekking as it wasn’t so physically demanding. It was run by the owners of the chalet. We arrived at the site of the cave and were immediately thrown in to the deep end as we had to rock climb up a verge with only a rope behind us. This was completely safe and the leaders of the caving helped us to get up. We then started walking through the cave, which was amazing. We saw all sorts of wildlife, including snakes and scorpions. The caving included crossing through a river, about waist height. If you weren’t confident in water the guides were happy to put a rope through to help. We were in the caves for about an hour and a half, until we got to the end. It soon dawned on us we were going to have to abseil down a 30m cliff if we wanted to get back. This was scary, however we all managed to do it and all felt as though we’d accomplished something after (if not a little shaky…)!

We spent another day going to visit the local Batek tribe. This included another trek, where we went with the women to collect leaves in order to weave baskets. It was amazing watching them work, they were about 70+ and much fitter than us! We then went back to their village and taught them an English lesson in their school. They knew very basic English, but responded to the lesson very well and it was such a rewarding experience. The food throughout the week could not be faulted. It was mainly Malay style curries. We were given a packed lunch every day, which was rice with a sauce and meat/fish. It was quite mild but so tasty. In the evenings we would go to a local restaurant and eat something of our choice off the menu. Every night I ate well and their portions were definitely generous! Couldn’t say a bad word about it.

Some evenings we spent down at a lake, which was really refreshing and fun. (Note: don’t bomb off the log, it hurts.) We also went out for a Chinese and some beers one night to celebrate, which was amazing. Dan, the owner of Ecoteer and a leader on the treks was so kind and helped us through the whole week. We wouldn’t have done it without him. The trek guides were also brilliant and we had good fun with them. Everyone looked out for each other and we formed a sort of family. Overall, although daunting at the start the whole experience was incredible. I overcame things I didn’t think I would be able to do and a massive thank you to everyone that made it happen. I never expected to meet such great people, we got on so well and by the end of the week we all clicked. It was almost a shame it was over in such a short space of time!”
Harriet, August 2013

“I participated in the Tiger Trail volunteer placement programme in July 2013. Here are some quick thoughts on the experience. First off, it’s important to set expectations right in case you miss the fine print. The bulk of the programme doesn’t actually take place within the Taman Negara National Park, which is a protected area, but within an ecologically similar corridor of rainforest bordering the park that is critical as an animal migration corridor, and hence suffers from significant poaching activity. (That said, there are opportunities to walk in and visit the park e.g. when inspecting camera traps.) Does this matter? It didn’t for me, because the terrain was identical, and ultimately, we do the most good if we are where the poachers are.

This brings me to the fundamental basis of the programme – the hypothesis that many poachers (especially marginal or part-time ones) avoid areas of jungle frequented by other people. Hence, encouraging low impact adventure travel and trekking in these jungle corridors serves to deter poachers, while giving locals an alternative source of livelihood. Is this hypothesis warranted? MYCAT expert Ash cites academic research in support, but the programme is still young and hence its impact has not been tested in a quantitative, rigorous way. More systematic empirical analysis (e.g. randomised controlled trials) could be done in Merapoh, so there is enough data to test alternative hypotheses and improve the impact of these anti-poacher treks. The MIT-JPAL methodology may be useful for this purpose.

On to the programme itself: participants take a 4-hour bus ride from KL to Merapoh, a sleepy kampong village where accommodation was provided at a basic but clean and very adequate dorm (two double decker bunk beds per room). The local chaps running the dorm are helpful, warm and friendly, and some speak fluent English. Once we were settled in, most days took the following form: breakfast, then transport to the route we would be walking that day for a 5 to 7 hour jungle walk (with short breaks and a lunch stop to consume our packed meals) looking for tell-tale signs of poachers (snares, traps, trails, camps) or animals of interest. We saw various skeletons of large animals such as a sun bear caught and killed by poacher snares. These sites are then recorded on GPS and reported to the Wildlife Crime Hotline, managed by MYCAT, who then channels the report to the Malaysian authorities to facilitate future enforcement action. All snares and traps are disarmed or taken away. Daily routes are designed by MYCAT experts based on their operational needs and the fitness level of participants. Upon reaching the end of the route, we were taken back to the dorm to wash our gear and take a nice cool shower, then for dinner at a local kopitiam (cafe) or restaurant. Food is traditional Malaysian — rice and noodles-based, and can be spicy or not. We had some great meals and for those in the know, the sambal belachan chilli is excellent.

Some days were different — we visited a local limestone cave (Merapoh is apparently full of them, but only some are open to the public) for a good 4 hours of caving and spotting the interesting cave fauna. This ended with an abseil down a rock face to the exit (two safety lines and a soldier’s belay are used so it is very safe). On the final full day, we were taught how to set up, take down, and check the camera traps that MYCAT installs to record both animal and poacher activities. We saw photos of elephants, a porcupine, some deer, wild boar and lots of falling leaves, but no tigers (a worrying trend and one that calls for more urgent action).

The highlight of the programme for me was visiting the Batek community in Merapoh. Members of the Orang Asli indigenous people of Malaysia, these Batek were recently resettled into villages by the government and still retain their jungle skills (many were born in the jungle). This was a unique and rare chance to meet, get to know, and go foraging with the Batek villagers, who hunt using blowpipes and poisoned darts, and harvest bamboo, edible plants, flowers and fibrous leaves for weaving mats from the jungle. The Bateks’ legendary skill at flitting through the jungle silently and effectively was evident as we tried to keep up, and we were all pretty tired by the end of it. We then conducted short English lessons for the youths and adults (most know a few words already). They are friendly and mostly keen to learn. On another occasion, we sat on piles of leaves in the jungle in the dead of night, lit with headlamps, learning Batek words and teaching them the English equivalents. It was a surreal yet amazing experience.

So in summary: were we hot, tired and bitten by bugs and leeches? Yes. Were there moments where things didn’t go so well? A few. But organiser and volunteer leader Dan Quilter is an amazing person — full of knowledge, warmth and sincerity, and eager to learn and do more for conservation in Malaysia. He was always cheerful and motivating, funny and in high spirits, and was completely at home with everybody from foreign volunteers to Batek tribespeople. He has several more volunteer programmes including one with sea turtles and I recommend you check those out on his Ecoteer website. All in all, it was well worth it and I would recommend this programme to those seeking an entry-level introduction to tiger conservation activities in Asia.”
Wai Neng, August 2013

“I spent a week on this programme in July of 2013 and thoroughly enjoyed it. My group was made up of 7 volunteers aged 19-40 something i believe and we were a mix of english, chinese and Singaporean. Accommodation – we spent 5 nights in single sex dorm rooms in a small, basic chalet. Had access to everything you needed like a a shower, Malay + western style toilets, wifi and a little kitchen and lounge area. The place was clean and I felt really safe. The owners and their friends were always popping in and out and they’re all really friendly and welcoming. One night was spent camping in the rainforest, tents/hammocks are provided. Great little spot, right by a lovely part of the river, great for stargazing. Food – we went to the local store at the start of the week and Dan, the group leader, bought supplies for breakfast every morning (cereal, bread, spreads) and we had access to drinking and boiling water, tea, coffee etc. lunch was delivered every morning for us to take with us on the treks. It was always rice and chicken or fish with a sauce and it was delicious! Dinner we ate at a local restaurant every evening which served Malay food. No complaints, I liked it all!

Daily Activities – we spent 4 days walking through the rainforest, following poacher trails and looking for animal prints and general signs of animal presence. The treks were long, up to 7 hours, and some of them were quite physically demanding so I’d say you need a relatively good level of fitness to be able to enjoy it. The trip leaders were really helpful, patient and knowledgable throughout all of the walks. Ash and Harrison filled us with information about the tigers, poachers and the rainforest itself. One day was spent caving which was a great experience. We spent a couple of hours walking through the cave then abseiled down it at the end.

One day was spent in a local village where the batek tribe live. We spent a few hours walking to collect leaves for baskets and other crafts they make then we delivered an English lesson to some of the teenagers. One day we went into the national park to check the camera traps then went for a nice swim in the river.

Highlights – the highlight for me was the English lesson. The teenagers/ young adults that came to our lesson were really keen to learn from us so it was really fulfilling. The week was really social, there’s time at the chalet in the evenings to all sit as a group and chat or watch tv and the guides and they are all really sociable and up for a laugh. We even went out one night for a Chinese and some beers as a celebration for one of our volunteers. I’d never done anything like this before, i didn’t really realise what i was going to be putting myself through (long, tiring walks) but i ended up having an unforgettable week. I feel like the work we did was beneficial and i’ve come away from it with a bunch of new friends and knowledge so I’d definitely recommend it, just be prepared for your clothes to get destroyed and your body to be dinner to leeches!”
Alice, August 2013

“In September 2012 I was given the opportunity to assist with the work preserving wildlife, and in particular Malaysian tigers in Taman Negara, Malaysia. From the moment we were first picked up from the train station, until we left we were looked after by the wonderful staff. Upon arrival at the accommodation centre, we were greeted with a nice comfy bed in a large gender split dorm room. The next day our group were led into the jungle to look for signs of animals and animal poaching, in particular traps which we took the pleasure of destroying. Many interesting footprints, critters and stunning scenery along the way. Just be sure to watch for the leeches! A wonderful swim in the local fresh water pool was the perfect cure after a sweaty days’ trekking. At night we were able to enjoy a meal and a few cold beverages talking about all the action of the day. Next morning up bright and early to find some more traps and reset the camera traps used to capture images of animals in their major animal “highways”, seeing pictures of tigers that have been walking on the same path as you only a few days before was pretty special. We were taken to a viewpoint overlooking the whole area. Very cool. Finally the day was finished cooling off in another fresh water stream. Perfect ending. It was a great weekend, and I definitely learnt a lot. It is great to see that there is people out there that care about our world and the dwindling numbers of important animals to the ecosystem. Keep up the good work!”
Cameron Kennedy, Australia

Ecoteer House

“We have just finished our two week voluntourism placement with the guys at the Ecoteer community house. It is our second volunteering placement of our trip (the first one was in Thailand) and has certainly raised the bar. We were greeted at the Jetty promptly by one of the interns, who showed us to our dorm and then took us on an informative village tour. During our two weeks we have been involved with all elements of the project, from prepping and running English and Eco club lessons for the kids to carrying out Coral watch surveys. Whilst there were some areas where better coordination with the school could be improved, the overall organisation of the project has been fantastic. Everyone we have met has been friendly and helpful and the interaction with the village brilliant. Our stay coincided with an annual visit of one of Ecoteer’s sponsors, so we were involved with some pretty fun team building activities, and Ecoteer utilised our experience as scuba dive instructors on the snorkel tour to help guide and look after some of the other guests. Only downside is the accommodation, which has a very peculiarly designed bathroom and very creaky beds. But we have been advised this is something that Dan and Seh Ling are working towards getting improved (we stayed in a guest house in the village).

If you are someone (or some people) who are looking for something that will give you a “real”: experience of a Malaysian island, this is the project for you. You interact heavily with the locals, eat real food and even get to visit and eat with local families. A big thank you to the guys at Ecoteer! Hopeful to work with them again in the future!”
Sabina & Neil, June 2013

“This is the place to go if you want to experience life in a Malay village and volunteer for a good cause. I have to agree that the routine and village work are challenging but with a positive mindset makes all the difference! The facilities are very basic, shared accommodation with bathroom, duties of gardening and composting are shared out by the staff and volunteers through the week and there are lesson plans and presentations to work on. There are rapid changes within the week on what we need to plan or do due to the nature of volunteering work. For example, class for the children can be cancelled due to exams, we could help out to setup a Malay wedding in the village, beach cleaning, running games and skids for visiting groups, fetching water from the well due to a water shortage, just to name a few! It’s hard work but it is also the most fun and fulfilling and enriching experience we had for travels. The villagers are really friendly and the kids love hanging out with the staff and volunteers. We also had a chance to witness a green turtle coming on beach to lay eggs and observing them in their natural habitat.
Seh Ling and staff are very attentive to our needs and i find them very passionate about their work on this island. You could ask them any questions or clarify doubts and they’ll be happy to share their views and even adopt your ideas. It’s hard saying goodbye at the end of my stay with Ecoteer.
A note to new travelers and volunteers, learn to be open and flexible with the itinerary. There are plenty to learn when working as a team, it takes time to adapt and no one is perfect! If you have the skills set, just asked to be the lead and discuss it with the staff.”
Lydia, May 2013

“I stayed with Ecoteer for two weeks in May and had an amazing time. The combination of being somewhere far from home and different with meeting new people and getting the chance to interact with the villagers was awesome.
All of the activities were good fun and I really enjoyed having the opportunity to take part in doing things I’d never have the chance to do so. Ecoteer managed to get the balance between work and fun right, I had a great time while being able to help others. It was by far the best trip I’ve ever been on and I would recommend it to anyone who doesn’t mind having a joke while they work, who can get stuck into any type of activity and is welcome to embrace new ideas and a different culture.”
Sophia, May 2013

“I stayed with Ecoteer for 3 weeks back in April and it was the perfect start to my trip. Upon arriving on the island I was greeted by the very friendly interns who were helping run the project and taken through what I would be participating in over my 3 week stay. All the information was very clear and well presented. Over the 3 weeks I found that preparation for classes and excursions was very specific and easy to understand for all volunteers and never found any problems during these times. All staff were incredibly helpful and constantly making sure there was nothing more that I needed. Though this was a volunteer position, it didn’t feel like work in the slightest – we all had such a great time, were always smiling and laughing and the end result was always extremely satisfying. Thank you Ecoteer so much for the amazing experience, and I will 100% be back again in the future.”
Anita, April 2013

“I hope to come back to see what is accomplish in a year. This is a great project since the effects are tangible and directly help those we live amongst.”
Ian, July 2012

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