Sumatra Orangutan Protection

This 4 week program in the jungles of Sumatra combines volunteering on our unique Orangutan protection project with an amazing South East Asia Island adventure!

Contribute to protecting the endangered Orangutan in one of the oldest and most beautiful rainforests in the world - Sumatra


  • Contribute to a real, frontline (and much needed) Orangutan conservation project.
  • Experience the Gunung Leuser national park - with one of the most concentrated populations of Orangutan in the Southern hemisphere.
  • Learn about the famous Leuser ecosystem and experience the ecology of the Sumatran Jungle first hand!
  • Learn essential skills needed to operate in the Sumatra jungle.
  • Challenge yourself whilst trekking through an entirely unique environment.
  • Hit back and relax on some of the most stunning beaches you’ll ever see.
  • Share it all with a group of like-minded people!

First and foremost, if you’re hoping to get up close and hands on with Orangutans, this is not the program for you. There are hundreds of injured Orangutans we are hoping to re-release into the wild, and their survival depends on staying away from humans. Therefore whilst you will see Orangutans during the program, you shouldn’t expect a photo holding one. 

Bushcraft, Jungle Training and Rafting — You will be met when you land in Indonesian Sumatra by one of our UK trained Gapforce Leaders who will lead the team as you undertake basic safety and jungle survival training. You will learn the essentials needed to operate in the jungle - including jungle observation and lighting fires in wet jungle conditions - before setting off on a 5 day trek into the Gunung Leuser National Park.

Human Orang-Utan Response Unit - As part of the program, you will directly tackle human-orangutan conflict directly in the field in Sumatra. Your work will include monitoring isolated Orang-Utan population located near a palm oil plantation, in addition to supporting rescues procedures of Orangutans from illegal pet trade or trapped on palm oil farms.

Camera Trap & Data Collection - As a volunteer abroad you will have the opportunity to help set camera traps to record and track movements of some of the forest’s most elusive wildlife!

Community Agroforestry, Reforestation & Education (CARE) - The primary driver of deforestation in the Gunung Leuser National Park forests is subsistence agriculture by local farmers. You will participate on the The CARE programme, including helping local farmer to produce organic compost and fertiliser and teaching English to local students.

What's Included

  • Pre-departure briefing & Support
  • Airport transfers
  • Local Guides & Support Staff
  • Accommodation
  • 3 meals a day
  • Project donation & training
  • 24/7 UK emergency backup
  • In-country transfers
  • Social Activities 

Wonderful Experience

I felt it was a life-changing experience. I had a great 6 weeks living in the jungle, learning many useful skills. I met some great people and made life-long friends. The local people were also amazing as they were so hospitable and friendly.



The Indonesia/Sumatra trip was a life-changing one. The experience not only opened my eyes and mind to many new experiences, but also made me feel at home to a culture that is thousands of miles away from my own. The trip started off with a brief stop in the city of Medan, which gave everyone an opportunity to adjust and comedown from the extensive travelling that had undergone. There was also a brief opportunity to explore the hectic but exciting city, with street food, gift shops and markets. After, we lived in the Sumatran jungle home to orangutans, rhinos, elephants, tigers and so much more amazing animals. We were able to help in the reforestation process, by farming and maintaining different areas of the jungle. Making it suitable for the orangutans and other animals to live in. We trekked and camped in the rural jungle for several days. We had the opportunity to see various animals/insects and swim at the most gorgeous waterfall. We partook in observing and monitoring orangutans, which was such an intimate experience to be so close to such a powerful human-like animal. We moved to various locations including local villages, Aceh where we went to the Gunung Leuser National Park. Here were had the ability to see even more orangutans, trek throughout the park, go water rafting and have karaoke parties at the cabin! My personal favourite part of the trip was our stay at the Permaculture Centre in Aceh. We were able to design and build our own garden, plant various vegetation and flowers including: tomatoes, red lettuce, lemongrass, chile and sunflowers. The view was breath taking and it was so peaceful. Overall, the experience as a whole was wonderful. Indonesians are some of the most gentle and welcoming individuals. The Gap force team and leader were tremendously helpful and supportive throughout the excursion. This trip allowed me to make some life-long friends and connections and if you have the opportunity to experience something as life altering as this take it!


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View dates
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Departures: April, July, September

Real Reviews

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