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Indonesia Experience

Indonesia Experience

Combine elephant husbandry, community work and an exciting jungle trek as you explore the Sumatran rain forest, work with exotic animals and contribute to help families in need.

Prices from $2,595

Sumatra is a fascinating destination renowned for its unique and rugged beauty. Offering countless sights from impressive volcanoes to tropical jungles and beaches, this Indonesian island is rightly famous not only for its wondrous nature but also for its endemic wildlife and hospitable people.  This makes Sumatra a top destination for travellers looking for a truly unique experience in an island paradise!

The Frontier Indonesia Experience will combine elephant husbandry, community work and teaching as well as an exciting jungle trek. You will help care for the incredible Sumatran elephants under the supervision of kind and knowledgeable mahouts, the elephant handlers.  You will also contribute to the community through tree planting activities to help preserve the Sumatran rainforests and let yourself be embraced by the lovely local school children who will both encourage and challenge you in your teaching endeavours!

Project Highlights

  • Help care for Sumatran elephants
  • Learn animal husbandry skills from local mahouts
  • Teach English to local school children
  • Plant trees in cleared forest areas
  • Explore Sumatra’s jungles
  • See interesting and exotic wildlife

Project Requirements

  • Early booking recommended
  • Minimum age of 18


Location Sumatra, Indonesia
Activities Washing elephants
Feeding elephants
Going on jungle patrols
Teaching English to local school children
Planting trees in cleared forest areas
Learning about eco-tourism and sustainable practices
Learning expedition skills
Transport Airport pick-up & transfer to project location
In-country tranfers
Accommodation Homestay, shared dormitory style accommodation, some camping


Before you go Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas and equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
In-country Local orientation and training
Airport pick-up and drop-off
In-country transfers
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup


A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.


Help care for and learn about Sumatra’s charming elephants, volunteer within the community teaching English to young children, help restore the local rainforests and finish off your trip by appreciating the country’s stunning environment by participating in a 9 day guided trek into the tropical Sumatran wilderness. The Frontier- Indonesia Experience is an incredible chance to enjoy a life changing endeavour in a stunning environment where you will learn valuable skills whilst supporting responsible and ethical tourism and playing a vital role in protecting this invaluable natural resource.   


Elephant Husbandry and Community Volunteering

Once you have settled in to your new home you will be given a briefing session about the activities to expect from your project as well as information regarding elephant behaviour and management. You can also take this time to relax or take a stroll around the premises to get to know your new surroundings.

Your duties throughout the duration of your project will be divided between working with the elephants and community work. Elephant duties will involve helping the in-country staff with the washing and feeding of the elephants as well as planting elephant grass for the elephants to eat. You may also have the chance to join in on elephant patrols in the Sumatran jungle with the local mahouts!

During your community work, you will be teaching English to local school children between the ages of 7 to 15. As a teacher, you will create your own teaching materials in-country, so be prepared to get creative! You will also be expected to participate in tree planting activities within the surrounding cleared forest areas.  

9 Day Jungle Trek

Finish off your incredible experience with a 9-day trek through the jungle where you will benefit from the expert knowledge of your local guides, perfecting jungle survival skills such as fishing, preparing jungle medicine, camping out in the wild and spotting a wealth of enigmatic wildlife including orangutans.


Upon arrival at Medan, Kuala Namu Airport you will be greeted by a friendly representative of Frontier-Indonesia who will transfer you to your home-stay where to will be introduced to your host family.  You will have the night to rest before visiting the project site and having an orientation the following day. 


Whilst in the village helping with community development work and teaching English at the local school you will be staying in a home stay accommodation with a friendly local family.  After you’ve finished your placement here you will be moving to the elephant sanctuary where you will be staying in a volunteer hostel where the living conditions will be basic but comfortable including a shared accommodation with a western style toilet.

Accommodations will be a bit more adventurous and exciting during the trek as you will be sleeping under tarpaulins in your sleeping bag, drifting off to the sounds of the jungle and waking up to a symphony of exotic birds.


You will be provided with three home cooked meals a day on the project site. Food will be your typical Indonesian fare, its trademark being a lovely fusion of Indonesian and Chinese style dishes. Some of the most popular dishes you will explore are Nasi Goreng (Indonesian fried rice with a fried egg on top) and Mi Goreng (fried noodles with egg). Another Indonesian favourite is Satay (spicy marinated thin slices of meat, threaded onto a skewer, barbecued, and served with a spicy peanut sauce). 

During the jungle trek, you will be provided with filling meals of rice and vegetables and you will have a great opportunity to learn how to cook your own meals in the jungle over a roaring fire with the help of experienced local guides. 


Sumatra has a huge range of additional adventure and cultural activities to offer outside of your project time. Why not take a visit to some remote villages and mingle with the locals, take a rainforest canopy tour, and if you’re feeling more adventurous there could even be the opportunity to go white water rafting! Alternatively you could use your time off to go island hopping, scuba diving, volcano trekking, or take wildlife safaris in the National Parks.


3 weeks $2,595


Start Dates  2018

20th Jan to 28th Jan 2018
17th Feb to 25th Feb 2018
25th Mar to 2nd Apr 2018
6th Apr to 14th Apr 2018
26th May to 3rd Jun 2018
17th Jun to 25th June 2018
21st Jul to 29th Jul 2018
18th Aug to 26th Aug 2018
15th Sep to 23rd Sep 2018
5th Oct to 13th Oct 2018
17th Nov to 25th Nov 2018
15th Dec to 23rd Dec 201


21 days


Before you go

  • Comprehensive pre-departure support
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Equipment advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Local orientation & project training
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24 hour international HQ backup


Nearest airport(s): Kuala Namu (KNO)



Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.

We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email frontier@flightcentre.co.uk .


For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:

Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.


You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project. Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.

Your insurance should include the following:

  • Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
  • Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
  • Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).

If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain cover for your baggage and personal effects.

Frontier Partner Projects and Frontier group projects are run in partnership with in-country NGOs, small community based organisations, local research institutes, academic organisations and conservation agencies. Project descriptions and information are supplied directly by our partners or field staff and are accurate at time of publishing.

We aim to keep information up to date and accurate, however, the nature of our projects and in particular the fact that they are constantly evolving and developing in response to changing needs means that project activities, travel schedules, tour itineraries and daily timetables can change overnight and without notice.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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