Bornean Sunbear Conservation 6 Week

This placement is perfect for anyone who has a degree or is studying Wildlife Conservation or Zoology. It will provide you with a fantastic opportunity to roll up your sleeves and gain practical experience within a hugely rewarding environment.

The Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) is the only sun bear conservation centre in the world. It was founded in Sabah, Borneo in 2008 with two aims; to provide care and rehabilitation to rescued sun bears and to increase awareness of sun bears internationally.

Borneo is famous for its wildlife diversity and celebrates many endemic species. Sun bears, the smallest species of bear, are only found in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and the BSBCC rescue sun bears and work to rehabilitate them back into the wild.

You will spend four weeks shadowing the team at BSBCC, working with different sun bears depending on their needs and the priorities at the centre. You will also spend two weeks staying in our camp on the breathtaking Mantanani Island. Here you will immerse yourself within island life, working closely with the community and getting involved in a number of projects from improving school infrastructure to marine conservation and environmental awareness. Keep your eyes peeled for turtles here too!

To ensure the experience you gain is varied, you will get involved a number of tasks, including:

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!


The idea of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible to mimic their natural habitat. You will design and track enrichment activities for the sun bears which include:

  • 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

You will observe and report on the effectiveness of enrichment items on the sun bear behavior.


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.


There is an education centre and library at BSBCC. You will have access to all of the resources needed to learn as much as possible about sun bears. 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 visitor centre and outdoor education gallery 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.

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Bornean Sunbear Conservation 6 Week

$5,050 per traveller

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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

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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