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Indonesia Elephant and Community Volunteer Work

Indonesia Elephant and Community Volunteer Work

Experience a holistic 10 day project working in the Sumatran jungle whilst getting involved in helping local communities through tree planting and teaching local school children.

Prices from $1,745

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 for not only its wondrous nature resources - the endemic wildlife and hospitable people make it a top destination for travelers looking for a truly unique experience in an island paradise. The Frontier - Indonesia Elephant and Community Volunteer Work will let you experience a holistic 10 day project, working in the Sumatran nature combined with getting involved in helping local communities. You will be able to help care for the Sumatran elephants under the supervision their knowledgeable mahouts, the elephant handlers; pair this with contributing to the community through tree planting activities to help preserve the Sumatran rainforest and teach, as well as learn from, local school children in the community.


  • Help care for Sumatran elephants
  • Learn animal husbandry skills from local mahouts
  • Teach English to local school children
  • Plant trees in the jungle
  • Experience living amidst the Sumatran jungle
  • View interesting and exotic wildlife


Location Sumatra, Indonesia
Activities Washing elephants
Feeding elephants
Going on jungle patrols
Teaching local school
Tree planting
Transport In-country transfers
Airport pick-up & transfer to project location
Accommodation Shared volunteer house


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 Food
Airport pick-up and drop-off
In-country transfers
Project orientation and training
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.


The Frontier-Indonesia Elephant and Community Volunteer Work is the perfect opportunity for keen individuals to participate in the hands-on care of charismatic Sumatran elephants and giving back to the community through teaching and tree-planting activities amidst the beautiful jungles of Sumatra, Indonesia. This experience promises hard work and will therefore be rewarding, life changing and undeniably worthwhile.


Once you have taken in your new environment and have settled in to your new home you will be given a briefing session about which activities to expect from your project as well as information regarding elephant behaviour and management.

Your duties will be divided between hands-on work with the elephants and community work. Elephant duties will involve helping the in-country staff wash and feed the elephants as well as planting elephant grass for the elephants to eat. You may also have the chance to join the in-country staff on elephant patrols through the Sumatran jungle where you can learn about elephant life and elephant husbandry.

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. 


Upon arrival at Medan, Kuala Namu airport you will be greeted by a friendly representative of Frontier-Indonesia who will transfer you to your project location. You will then be introduced to the in-country staff who will help you quickly get into the swing of things.


You will be staying in a shared volunteer house throughout the duration of your project where the living conditions will be basic but comfortable including shared common areas and a western style toilet.


You will be provided with three 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. Some of the most popular dishes you can expect 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). 

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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.


10 days $1,745





10 days


Before you go

  • Pre-departure support & documentation
  • Travel & medical advice & documentation
  • Advice on visas & equipment
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt


  • Accommodation
  • Food
  • Airport pick-up 
  • In-country transfers
  • 24-hour In-country emergency support
  • Local orientation and training
  • 24-hour international HQ back-up


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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