Batu Kapal Conservation Sanctuary is located in the heart of the forest on the peaceful Landak River overlooking the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Guning Leuser National Park. The sanctuary is surrounded by nature and geological formations, with frequent visits from orangutans and sometimes from porcupines and civets. Wild populations live around the site, such ad thomas leaf monkeys, silver monkeys, macaques, monitor lizards, geckos, slow loris, and also many birds, butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and insects.

About the project

Working with the Batu Kapal Sanctuary, you will contribute to the protection of the endangered orangutan and the tropical rainforest ecosystem. Sumatra is the last natural habitat for orangutans in Indonesia. Sumatra’s forest cover declined by 61% between 1985 and 1997, due to logging, infrastructure development, internal migration and agriculture (mainly palm oil). The Sumatran orangutan population has decreased by 86% over the past 100 years.  The most recent estimate places the figure around 7,300 left in the wild, with steady losses occurring every year.The Sumatran orangutan is now classified as critically endangered.



Aim of Batu Kapal’s project and conservation program

The aim of the project is to protect and conserve the rare and endangered orangutan and the native fauna and flora that occurs in this wildlife corridor that exists on private landholdings and the public land, ensuring the long term survival of these animals, by protecting the ecosystem needed for their survival. The long-term goal is also to develop and deliver an environmental awareness education program in schools and communities adjacent to corridors.

  • Surveying, mapping and monitoring the area, habitats and animals with GPS.
  • To identify existing private landholdings (primary use of existing land and native plants).
  • To map orangutan habitation, large tree corridors and food forage areas. To map known orangutan and primate movement pathways with GPS.
  • To develop a full species list for fauna and flora. To identify the ecosystem service provided by each subject. With a view to developing a better understanding of what is missing. To establish recovery programmes for threatened and vulnerable species.
  • Create wildlife corridors to reconnect orangutan and animal habitats between the national park and the nature buffer zone on private lands as per the project plan
  • Develop best practice agriculture and ecotourism activities which have minimum impact on the surrounding environment

Your programme

Be aware that the exact nature of the work you are going to do will depend on the needs and priorities requested by the Sanctuary, the school and the communities. As a volunteer, it is important to remain flexible and keep in mind that sometimes priorities and/or emergencies can arise and therefore your duties can change quickly. But for some volunteers and depending on your skills, your tasks will be defined before leaving.

A typical day is flexible and can be built with a combination of environmental and educational activities.

6:30 a.m. – Early morning wildlife observation – GPS, photos and observation notes. This is often the time when animals are most active during the day!

8 a.m. – Help with breakfast preparation.

9 a.m. – Conservation activities (monitoring, investigating and creating wildlife corridors).

12:00 p.m. – Help with lunch preparation.

1 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Depending on the needs of the site, activities will include:

  • Continue with the conservation program – monitoring, investigating and creating wildlife corridors.
  • Entering data from the tracking sheet and profiles of orangutans.
  • Projects with plastic – waste collection, making ‘Eco-Brick’, plastic ecoconstruction.
  • Nurseries – maintenance, seedling collection, reforestation, construction of bamboo protective guards for trees.
  • Maintenance of the vegetable garden.
  • School Project – Support the Selang Pangeran Jungle School – plan English classes (Monday to Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. only).
  • Help in English classes at the Selang Pangeran Jungle School and the Sunchine Class (Monday to Wednesday only from 3 pm to 5 p.m.) and raise environmental awareness and help with the French penpal project.
  • Develop social networks.

5:30 p.m. – Help with dinner preparation.

6:30 p.m. – Dinner.

7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – Optional activities:

  • Once or twice a week – optional night walk to observe slow loris, civets, leopards or porcupines – take photos and observation notes.
  • Relax and play cards/games.
  • Campfire and guitar.
  • Exchange with the Indonesian/English team.

Each evening the volunteers have the opportunity to share their daily experiences and plan the activities of the following days.


Cost of a voluntary mission (excluding airfare):

   1100 EUROS + 25 EUROS OF MEMBERSHIP, THUS 382 EUROS AFTER TAX DEDUCTION (only applies for French tax payers).

Mission fees are tax deductible. Article 200 and 238 bis of the general tax code.

The duration of the mission: 10, 15 days to 1 month maximum.

During your volunteer mission, SAS takes care of the transfer from the airport to the sanctuary, supervision during the mission with the communities, overnight stays, meals morning, noon and evening and local transport.

Online payment by Credit Card

The approximate ancillary costs of the mission: airfare (800 euros), vaccinations and compulsory medicines (100 euros). These fees attached to the mission are tax deductible. SAS organises mandatory pre-departure day training either remotely or in our offices. The training is provided by graduates in international solidarity (Institut humanitaire Bioforce Lyon).
We organize short-term missions to allow effective immersion on the community projects entrusted to you. Then it is up to you to extend your stay to discover the country. You are responsible for the costs of the activities on the day of rest.

Formality: You will need your valid passport (with more than 6 months). Advice for airlines to find the best prices: Silkair, Lufthasa, Emirates Airline, Swiss, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines…

Health: No vaccinations are required but some are recommended: make sure you are up to date with your regular vaccinations. The recommended vaccinations are: anti-TB, typhoid, rabies, Japanese encephalitis and hepatitis A and B. Antimalarial treatment is also recommended. Vaccinations are the responsibility of the volunteer. In addition to vaccinations, mosquito protection measures, sunscreen, sunglasses, local disinfectant, intestinal medication, multi-purpose antibiotic, eye drops, painkillers, bandages, water purification tablets and your usual medications are needed.