Bornean Sunbear Conservation 6 Week

The Sun Bear, native to South East Asia, is struggling to survive. Their homelands are being lost rapidly to deforestation and poachers hunt them mercilessly for body parts and fur.

This placement allows you to contribute to vital sun bear conservation, whilst learning more about these incredible mammals.

You will spend two weeks working alongside the team at The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC).

Based approximately 19km from Sandakan, the BSBCC is the only sun bear conservation centre in the world. The key aims of the centre are to provide care and rehabilitation to rescued sun bears and to increase awareness of sun bears internationally.

Your role as a sun bear assistant will include:


The idea of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible to mimic their natural habitat, such as:

  • Providing leaves in cages for bedding and nesting purposes
  • Buying special fruit to ensure a varied diet
  • Putting branches from fig or fruit trees in their homes to observe behaviour
  • Rope work – the more varied and fun for the animal the better
  • Hiding food around cages to encourage foraging behavior
  • Trekking into the jungle in search of termite nests



During your placement, you may be asked to talk to local school children and design an education session for them. You may also be asked to speak to visitors at the centre about sun bears.

In addition, interns are in charge of updating the blog and data entry of the bear behaviour record and the weekly record.

Animal Husbandry

Cleaning is vital as good hygiene helps to prevent disease. This includes the glamourous task of clearing animal faeces, a job which comes with the territory!


Low level maintenance tasks may also be involved, such as daily checks on the facilities, electric fence voltage, weeding to avoid short circuit, painting etc.

No qualifications are required to participate in this programme, but it is a perfect opportunity for anyone who has an interest in or is studying Wildlife Conservation or Zoology.

At the end of your intern placement, you will join our other volunteers and stay in two Camps International locations; Camp Tinangol and Camp Mantanani. You will gain a deeper understanding of Borneo and make a personal contribution to some of our vital project initiatives.


Bornean Sunbear Conservation 6 Week

$6,420 per traveller

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Want more information?

Give our team a call on 01425 485390

Camp Mantanani

For those who love white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and their own remote tropical island (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), Mantanani might just be the perfect location.

The island lies about 80km north of Kota Kinabalu and is home to around 800 permanent residents. The surrounding coral reef and lagoon are home to juvenile turtles, rays, a variety of tropical fish and even the occasional dolphin passes by.

The camp itself is set right on the beach a little way from the main village where many of our community projects are based, allowing you to feel part of this amazing community for the time that you’re here.

Location: 80 km north of Kota Kinabalu. (around 1.5 hrs drive from KK to Kuala Abai Jetty, then 1 hr boat ride to Mantanani Island)

Accommodation: Beautiful open sided driftwood bunk houses with comfy mattresses & bedding including mosquito net. Asian style toilets, cold water showers & sinks

Power: Generator (between 18:00 – 06:00). British 3 pin power sockets

Phone Signal: Intermittent

Meals: Three healthy, well balanced and tasty meals a day e.g. bread, pancakes, oats for breakfast; rice, beef stew/fish with veg for lunch/dinner & fruit

Signature dish: Stewed beef in soy sauce & pumpkin in coconut milk

If you’re feeling brave: Try Sambal Bellman (shrimp paste) or Kuih Tahai

Social: Beach, campfire, snorkelling, kayak, volleyball


camp mantanani

Example itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Borneo

Arrive in Kota Kinabalu, where you will be met at the airport by a member of our Camp Borneo team and transferred to your accommodation in the city.


Day 2

Transfer to APE Malaysia

Today we will transfer you overland to Sandakan to meet the APE Malaysia team who are partnered with the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. Here you will meet the other interns in your group and you will enjoy a welcome dinner and a briefing from a member of the APE team.


Day 3


Today you will head to The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre. You will meet the team and be taken on a tour of the centre before your placement starts tomorrow.


Day 3-28

Project Days

Your working hours at BSBCC are 8am-5pm Monday to Friday.


Weekends are usually free time (this can be subject to change according to programme requirements).

Day 29

BSBCC Departure

A member of the Camp Borneo team will pick you up from BSBCC around midday and you will be transferred to one of our camps to join other Camps volunteers and work on our projects.


Day 31-44

Camps International Programme

You will spend the next two weeks working on projects at Camp Tinangol and Camp Mantanai. Please speak to a member of our UK team for a detailed itinerary.


Day 45

Departure Day

Say your goodbyes and we will take you to the airport for your flight.

Please note:

This itinerary is for example purposes only and is subject to change.


Top up your trip

Add some extra adventure to your time in South East Asia. All top ups bookable through our friendly travel advisors.

Jungle Trek Borneo

Experience a true jungle adventure and get back to nature by spending a few days trekking in the beautiful and ancient rainforests of Borneo, away from civilization. Spend your days trekking through dense forests and...

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PADI Scuba Borneo

Borneo is surrounded by beautiful beaches, blue tropical ocean and abundant coral reefs, so why not take the opportunity to explore this underwater paradise! Whether you are a complete novice or an experienced diver, there...

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Mount Kinabalu Trek

Mount Kinabalu (or Mt K as the locals call it) stands at an impressive 4096 metres above sea level and is the highest point in South East Asia. The views from the summit are utterly...

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What's included

Drinking water
Pre-travel support from dedicated UK team
In-country support from dedicated local team
In-country airport & activity transfers
Intern placement & project costs
Orientation & language lessons
24-hour emergency support
Camps t-shirt


Don’t forget… flights, travel insurance, visas and vaccinations. Please note, you must be over 18 years old at time of departure.

Book now