Indonesia Wildlife Sanctuary Fact File
General facts about IndonesiaPopulation: 221,932,000
Capital: Jakarta; 13,194,000
Area: 1,922,570 square kilometers (742,308 square miles)
Languages: Bahasa Indonesia, English, Dutch, Javanese, and other local dialects
Religion: Muslim, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist
Currency: Indonesian rupiah
Life Expectancy: 68
GDP per Capita: U.S. $3,100
Literacy Percent: 89
(National Geographic 2008)
Total number of species: 436
Number of endemic species: 201
Number of threatened species: 1996: 128 (25 % of total species) 2000: 140 (32 % of total species)
(Groombridge & Jenkins 1994)
The Location of the Rescue CentreSulawesi is the third largest island in Indonesia located between Borneo and the Banda Islands, a four hour flight from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The sanctuary is located in the north of the island, a one and a half hour drive from the regional capital of Manado.
Your collection from Manado or the airport will be arranged in advance of your arrival. Two-week volunteers are asked to arrive on a Monday although flexibility is possible if no suitable flights are available. Volunteers on placements of longer than two weeks can arrive any day. Collection from Manado Airport is included in your placement fee. If you require a pick up from any other location in Manado city there is a locally payable charge of $10.
Manado is a thriving city of over half a million people and contains many of the facilities common to any urban location such as restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas.
The sanctuary itself is set in an idyllic coastal headland where forest and mangrove flourish. Volcanoes dominate the surrounding terrain while the many small fishing communities in the area allow volunteers to get a taste of traditional rural life. The sanctuary also has a long and expansive volcanic black sand beach giving opportunities for swimming, snorkelling or quiet evening walks. It is not an exaggeration to claim that the Indonesian Wildlife Rescue centre is located in an oasis of tranquillity with opportunities for lovers of nature and tropical environments.
AccommodationVolunteers will stay in dormitory style accommodation divided into male and female. Shared bathrooms have western style flush toilets and cold showers. There is a communal area where you can relax and watch TV and DVDs.
Indonesian meals are cooked daily by a local Chef and offer vegetarian and vegan options.
Climate on Sulawesi Island
Like other regions in Indonesia, North Sulawesi has a typical equatorial climate with two seasons: rainy and dry.
Starting in September, cool north westerly winds pick up moisture while crossing the South China Sea and arrive in the Sulawesi Sea about November. The wet season lasts from about November to March, but it is usually less pronounced than in many other parts of Southeast Asia and thus not really a serious concern in North Sulawesi.
With the effects of global warming already changing the climate in tropical areas, it is hard to predict what the next season will bring in rain and temperature, however, the following is a rough guideline for this part of Indonesia:
Dry Season: May to October (23-31°C, rare occurrence of rain).
Wet Season: November to April (23-30°C, brief heavy rain showers, few times per week).
Daily schedule at the Wildlife SanctuaryVolunteers currently work a six day week. Daily working hours vary depending on the weather and the needs at the wildlife sanctuary however they are generally 8 hour working days. Volunteers are expected to make an early start along with the animals and will work independently or with local staff in a variety of different tasks.
An example of typical working day:
06:00 to 08:00 - Harvesting, cleaning and morning feed for the animals
08:00 to 09:00 - Breakfast
09:00 to 11:30 - Preparation and provision of enrichments, additional assignments
11:30 to 13:00 - Lunch
13:00 to 16:00 - Afternoon feed, harvesting, providing enrichments to the animals
16.00 – Finish work, time for a well earned shower and time on the beach!
18.00 – 19:00 - Dinner.
Please be aware that this is a dynamic project and this is just an example of a typical day, volunteer duties may change during their placement. Due to the tropical climate the work can be tough however most afternoons a nice coastal breeze keeps the temperature down.
Direct contact with the animals is discouraged for your safety and the safety of the animals, however, volunteers will see their hard work rewarded as animals delight in being transferred to larger enclosures or simply in passing the orangutans out on their daily walks!
Getting to the projectThe nearest airport to this project is Manado, Indonesia (Airport code MDC).
To help you find the best air fares Globalteer has formed a partnership with a division of The Flight Centre Group who will tailor make your travel arrangements for you at a competitive price.
You can contact them for a free, no obligation travel quote by calling 0844 560 9944 from within the UK, or if you are outside the UK you can call +44(0)203 056 1146. Make sure you mention Globalteer when you call and if you do purchase your travel through them, Globalteer will receive a small donation. However, don’t forget that it’s up to you to make sure your travel arrangements are right for you and your project.
Extra ActivitiesThe evenings at the rescue centre are generally quiet as most volunteers relax after a long days work. Games, movies and socializing often set the tone for the night.
The local village, which sees few tourists, is well worth a visit and curious locals will seize the opportunity to practice their English and find out more about you. Volunteers sometimes take a taxi to Manado which has many restaurants, bars and shopping malls.
A weekly shopping trip gives volunteers the chance to stock up on snacks and supplies and check their email. On Sundays, volunteers are free to explore the nearby city of Bitung, surrounding national parks, trek volcanoes or take advantage of ample snorkelling and dive sites.
Volunteers can take advantage of the many tourism opportunities that Sulawesi has to offer before or after their placement. Islands, waterfalls, treks, diving, snorkelling, national parks and festivals abound.
Bunaken, an island 30km off the coast of Manado offers some of South-East Asia’s best dive sites containing steep drop-offs, caves and tunnels with a magnificent abundance of coral and fish.
Furthermore, the exotic and isolated Togean Islands are a lost tropical paradise comparable to Thailand but without the crowds. Indonesia offers a wealth of opportunities to the adventurous tourist and those wanting to stray from the beaten track.
The Globalteer Difference
These days there are a great many opportunities to volunteer overseas, but not all organisations are the same.
Watch our short video presentation to see what makes Globalteer different from your average volunteering organisation!
Find out what previous volunteers
have to say about volunteering with the Indonesia Wildlife Sanctuary.
Local Expenses in Indonesia
The official currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Volunteers will find little opportunity to spend money on site however below are examples of items volunteers may wish to purchase.
As of writing the exchange rate is US$1 = 10,000 IDR
Can of a soft drink - 5,000IDR
Meal at a good restaurant - 50,000 IDR
Meal from a street vendor - 15,000 IDR
One Hour internet access - 10,000 IDR
Taxi ride one hour - 250,000 IDR
Can of beer - 7,000 IDR
There are no banks or ATMs in the vicinity of the project. Please ensure that you bring sufficient funds with you for the duration of your stay. On your arrival, there are ATMs and exchange offices in the arrivals hall of the airport. Traveller’s cheques may be exchanged in Manado during banking hours. You may have an opportunity to change money during the weekly shopping trip however keep in mind that this maybe outside of banking hours.
Why not read about previous volunteer stories
Visas for IndonesiaVisas - Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months after you enter Indonesia, please check and make sure your passport will not expire soon, or otherwise organise a new one plenty of time in advance of your departure date.
If your stay in Indonesia is no longer than 30 days, then the VOA (visa on arrival) should cover you, no problem. If you are staying longer, then a 60-day tourist visa is sufficient.
Tourist visas must be obtained before arrival in Indonesia at an Indonesian Consulate in your country (or the country you are residing in during the 3 months before travelling to Indonesia). You will need to complete an application form and submit your passport, some photos and a fee (check your consulate for the current rates). You will also require some form of proof that you will be leaving Indonesia after the specified date, e.g. flight itinerary or letter from employer or student body stating you are expected to return.
Please note that these rules can change at any time so please check with the relevant embassy for current information.