Indonesia Wildlife Sanctuary FAQs
North Sulawesi has a equatorial climate with a dry and rainy season. The wet season lasts from around November to March but is not as pronounced as many other areas in South East Asia. Northern Sulawesi is therefore a year round destination.
The rescue centre is situated on a volcanic beach next to a coral reef so many volunteers choose to spend their day relaxing and snorkelling. Diving equipment is available for volunteers to use as long as they have their PADI certificate or equivalent. Sulawesi is a beautiful island that volunteers may wish to explore and they have the ability to hire a car if they wish to do so. The centre is situated next to a natural lagoon and boat trips can be organised. Tankoko National Park is 60-80 minutes from the centre and trips can be arranged with a local guide at a discounted price for all volunteers. Many volunteers choose to spend a night at one of the many hotels in the local city of Manado. Alternately, you can spend the day there shopping, sight-seeing or getting a well-earned massage. There are many western style facilities, shopping malls, restaurants etc.
Working hours are between 6am and 4 pm with 2.5 hours off during the day for meals. Volunteers work 5 1/2 days per week.
You need to be able to speak English as this will be the common language at the project. English does not need to be your first language but you will need to be proficient in English to be able to understand instructions on how to care for the animals.
The Wildlife Rescue Centre will typically have between 6-10 volunteers. We have volunteers from various countries and various backgrounds. Typically Anglophones (Brits, Irish, Americans, Canadians, Kiwis and Aussies), Dutch speakers (Belgians and Dutch), Francophones (French, Swiss, Belgian, Quebecois), German speakers (Germans, Austrians, Swiss), Scandinavians and a few others. Ages range from 18-70+, with the majority split between 18-30 year olds and 30-50 year olds. Many gap-year students, some animal/conservation related science students, many careerbreakers and some retirees.
Yes of course, here is a sample of stories from our volunteer blogs.
There is internet access locally but use is infrequent so volunteers are advised to use one of several internet cafes in Manado city. In the nearby city of Bitung (30-40 minutes drive) there is infrequent internet access via internet café but this is still more reliable in Manado. The fee is approximately 10,000 ($1 USD), IDR per hour. Even if you are only staying a few weeks, the best option is to bring your own mobile phone and buy a cheap Indonesian SIM-card here (e.g. SIM-Pati), so you can receive calls/sms for free and make calls at a reasonable cost. The mobile wavebands in Indonesia are the same as Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc. so a mobile phone from these regions will work fine here. Cellphones from North America will need to be multi-band to be able to work here, however it is also possible to buy new phones here for less than 300,000 IDR (30 USD). If you do not have your own phone with you, it is not possible to make international calls from the rescue centre. If you need to make an overseas call you can do so at one of the nearby towns such as Bitung. In case of an emergency, you can receive incoming calls at the rescue centre.
Yes of course, in fact we have a page all about how you can fund raise for your trip here.
Volunteers stay in male and female dorms with up to 12 beds per dorm. Rooms are well ventilated and have fans and bed linen and mosqiuto nets are provided. Bathrooms are shared and western style toilets and cold (ish) water showers! There is a large shared terrace where volunteers can relax. There is also a communal living area with TV and DVD player, kitchen, self-service laundry, a games room with pool and table tennis and an observation tower with spectacular views of the coast and Sulawesi's highest volcano. Indonesian vegetarian and vegan meals are cooked daily by a local Chef. Local sustainably sourced fish is also occasionally available.
All basic food & drink supplies are provided for by the project, bought on a weekly shopping trip to Manado with a strict budget. There is a cook on site who prepares mainly vegetarian and vegan (with occasioanl fish) Indonesian-style meals for breakfast lunch and dinner but volunteers can also prepare their own meals and snacks if you wish to buy in extra provisions. Fresh fruit, bread and condiments are available 24/7 If volunteers would like to buy any extra food for themselves, this can be done on the weekly shopping trip.
Of course, but we request that you use common sense. Please note that alcohol is allowed but restricted to a social drink between the hours of 17.00- 22.00. We ask that volunteers respect the project and do not get drunk, disrupting others and being unable to work the next day. Volunteers can go to the local towns to visit bars during down time.
The currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah. In Sulawesi there are ATMs are available in the major towns for all major credit cards. US dollars and Euros can commonly be exchanged in money changing shops. Credit cards are accepted in higher end businesses.
Northern Sulawesi is safe and friendly, as always when travelling you must take the usual precautions to make sure you stay safe. Common sense and knowledge is the key phrase, and on arrival you will have an orientation meeting to advise you of any precautions you need to take. Most visits to Northern Sulawesi are completely trouble free. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
We recommend that you let your health professional know that you will be volunteering with various animals and discuss the various vaccination options. For more information, visit our International Travel Advice Page
Finding the right insurance to cover your travels can be daunting, confusing and time-consuming, however – travel insurance is a must. You never know what could happen, and if you are unlucky enough to get ill or find yourself in a sticky situation, being uninsured can be really expensive and downright dangerous. This is why we strongly recommend that all our volunteers take out suitable travel insurance. We also recommend that your purchase your insurance and soon as you book your trip to cover you for all up-front costs in the event of cancellation due to any unforeseen circumstances. Globalteer has formed a partnership with a leading travel insurance provider to help you through this process.
In Sulawesi, women are expected to dress modestly, covering their legs and shoulders. Most the local people in Manado may not approve of women wearing shorts and short skirts.
Indonesia is such a friendly place that there are generally no major cultural issues, but to really fit in here are a few pointers: When Indonesians meet, they touch their heart after shaking hands. If meeting a Indonesian, do the same. This will really impress them! Do not point the soles of your feet at anyone, or step over anyone’s head. Remove shoes when entering Indonesian houses. Physical expression of love (eg. hugging, kissing) is not very common among the conservative Indonesians. You are strongly asked to avoid such actions in public. Indonesians are non-confrontational, if they are upset about something you do, they will just walk away. Instead of denying any request with a direct no, they will say “maybe later”. Do not behave in a confrontational manner towards Indonesians, including shouting or making tempered or stern remarks towards them or anyone else. Smile and speak a little Indonesian and you will be loved by the locals. Do not take offence if they call you ‘bule’ – this translates as white person and is just used to describe westerners. Indonesian people are very proud of their country and culture and we would encourage you to read through the culture section of a guidebook (e.g. lonely planet) and make a real effort to understand and respect the Indonesian culture. You will find this really enhances your experience of Indonesia.
No, you will be given guidance and training and will work with experienced staff. A certain amount of independence is required to volunteer.
Yes, on arrival you will receive orientation from the project coordinator, giving local information and advise. Basic training will be given to ensure you achieve the project objectives. You will continually be learning from the professional staff.
If you arrive at Manado international airport then we will meet you there and bring you to the centre.
Globalteer is fully committed to ensuring that your volunteer placement is responsible. More information can be found on our Responsible Volunteering Page.
As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is financially transparent, our accounts are independently audited and posted online. You can read a full report on where your money goes here.
We understand what motivates volunteers and what makes a memorable volunteer experience. We have been placing volunteers at our projects since 2006 and have built up a wealth of knowledge in those years about what makes volunteering rewarding for volunteers as well as impactful for the fantastic projects we work with. You can read here why we think you should choose Globalteer.
You can read more about this project on our blogs page.