Follow in the footsteps of Stephen Fry and help to conserve the stunning rainforests and endangered species of Borneo with Real Gap’s worthwhile gap year volunteer projects…



[ClickPress, Tue Sep 29 2009] Wildlife enthusiasts and eco-warriors alike have been glued to their screens with the recent launch of nature program ‘Last chance to see’. Featuring the dulcet tones of Stephen Fry, the series has presented many rare and wonderful species that are rapidly declining as a result of man’s more destructive habits.

The most recent airing focused on the beautiful and depleting rainforests of Borneo. This natural paradise is at risk from palm oil farmers who are conducting mass deforestation to meet the demands of western consumers. As highlighted by the program, the vanishing forests have had a further knock on effect for their inhabitants. Numbers of rare and indigenous wildlife are diminishing; among them are the Proboscis monkey, the flying frog and the Orang-utan.

For avid conservationists, this revelation is old news. Logging has been steadily destroying Borneo’s natural equilibrium for years and the Island is now the third highest contributor of greenhouse gases in the world. The WWF has teamed up with the three countries that share the island to conserve the 'Heart of Borneo' a total of 137,000 square miles of equatorial rain forest, while volunteer travel companies such as Real Gap have joined the fight with a bevy of nature and wildlife conservation projects.*

Real Gap are known for providing their travellers with worthwhile and enriching experiences around the world and their programmes in Malaysia are certainly no exception. Offering explorers the opportunity to take part in vital wildlife preservation and see some of the rainforests most amazing sights, the trips are a unique and life-changing experience.

Monkey lovers can devote their time to either the Malaysia Orang-utan and Wildlife Experience or solely the Malaysia Orang-utan Experience. Volunteers can visit Orang-utan sanctuaries, trek through the rainforest, assist with the restoration of the Orang-utan’s habitat through replanting and maintenance of rainforest areas, and promote awareness of environmental issues through visits to local schools.

There will also be the opportunity to work with animals such as Orang-utans, reptiles, Apes and Cats in a zoo to improve their living conditions and help to stimulate their natural behaviour. Volunteers who choose the Orang-utan experience will be able to see these majestic creatures in the jungles of Borneo, and help local Ibans make Orang-utans an integral part of the local economy through ecotourism projects.

Conservationists who want to spend even more time in the jungle can opt for Real Gap’s Borneo Experience. Travellers can participate in environmental project work in the stunning lower Kinabatangan region of Sabah, helping to conserve the environment, plant trees and observe animals in their natural habitat. A trip to the Sepilok Orang-utan Sanctuary provides volunteers with the opportunity to see animals in rehabilitation and learn about their habits.

Travellers who are hoping to feed their need for adventure too can take part in additional excursions such as mountain climbing, jungle trekking and white water rafting. Longer trips include the chance to spend some time diving and gain a PADI Open Water certification.

The trips are the ideal combination for eco conscious travellers who want their adventures to contribute to the environment. More information about the programmes can be found on the Real Gap website at http://www.realgap.co.uk/Malaysia or by calling a travel adviser on 01892 516164.

* Figures and facts sourced from

www.bt.com.bn/en/environment/2009/02/13/preserving_the_rainforests_of_borneo
news.mongabay.com/2005/0426-rhett_butler.html
www.bbc.co.uk/lastchancetosee/

Company: Real Gap
Contact Name: Catherine Luff
Contact Email: travel@realgap.co.uk
Contact Phone: 01892 516164

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