Wildlife Volunteering in Cikananga

Covid-19 update: Currently, we are pleased to share we can receive new international interns and volunteers, the is program fully open, and receiving new enthusiasts. Please find the guide below on this page. If you want to know more about the latest developments, don’t hesitate and contact us at wanicare.volunteering@gmail.com.

Wildlife Volunteering & Internships in Cikananga
Do you want to make a difference for wildlife in one of the most extensive rescue centers of its kind? Or are you looking for an internship in conservation or animal (medical)-care? We have been welcoming volunteers and students from all around the world for an experience away from the usual travel destinations. We’re located about 180km south of Jakarta and different options to travel to us (private or public) are offered. Please take a look below and if you have any questions: wanicare.volunteering@gmail.com

Volunteers Java vrijwilligerswerk vrijwilligers indonesie wanicare Cikananga rescue center

Wanicare was founded by the Dutch Willemijn Eggen to reorganize and develop Cikananga as she felt there was a need for good rescue centers where animals live in good circumstances. Do you believe that as well? Be a part of our organization and make a difference together with other volunteers and the local staff.

Click for a video about volunteering with us on Youtube:

Video volunteer wildlife intern vet wanicare cikananga

We keep pricing as low as possible to ensure every wildlife enthusiast can enroll. Your contribution ensures we can do the work that is so needed. Cikananga cannot survive without the valuable help of so many volunteers and generous gifts from people from all around the world.

The volunteering program tasks at the center include:
• Food preparation and feeding
• Cage cleaning and maintenance
• Providing and making Enrichment
• Behaviour observations
• Teamwork with keepers and other volunteers

It is also possible to help with:
• Education activities
• Medical work (also for intern assignments)
• If the opportunity presents itself you will help with the confiscation or release of the animals

The accommodation:
• Two wooden dormitories with a private corner for every volunteer or interns
• A large cantina with a spectacular view over the rice fields


Volunteers vrijwilligerswerk vrijwilligers indonesie wanicare java 2.jpg

Note: You are not allowed to handle or touch any of the animals or to enter any of the facilities without the supervision of our staff, as you see in the photos. For the welfare of the animals, we apply a strict no-physical-contact-policy where occasional handling is only permitted when supervised by our staff. 

We firmly believe that an experience with wildlife should be in reach of everyone who wants to learn about wildlife, both international and local. Please find the current pricing in the PDF volunteer guide below. The small profit we make from the program enables us to pay the keepers, maintain the facilities and provide (medical) care.

The volunteer guide
In this guide, we give you some background on Cikananga and the program for volunteers and interns from all over the world. There is information about daily practicalities, facilities, pricing, preparation, your arrival, and contact information.

Click here to download the Cikananga Volunteer Guide 2023 with all information

If you like to apply for the volunteer program please download the Volunteer Application Form Cikananga and e-mail it to wanicare.volunteering@gmail.com

Next to the daily work in the park, we can organize activities around Cikananga: 
• Visit and swim in the large natural Bibiljan waterfalls and spot wildlife in the meantime
• Caving with professional guides in the 1500 meter long cave and vertical caving
• A guided walk in the amazing tea field that are so typical for West-Java
• Or visit the Gunung Gede – Pangrango or Halimun Salak, where Gibbons, Leopards, and many other wild animals still live

Volunteers activities Wanicare Wildife

Interns at the rescue center
If you want to know more about internships, please take a look here. The Wanicare Foundation is approved and recognized by Aequor to offer practical working Place training and has much experience with tutoring students from different levels and different studies.

Experiences from volunteers and interns

Volunteers vrijwilligerswerk vrijwilligers indonesie wanicare java

Volunteers at the Cikananga Wildlife Center

Ben Mcmillan en Robyn Bruce (2019)
I can’t say enough great things about Cikananga and it’s staff! Every day was well structured and organized. There was always something to do, with opportunities to observe veterinary work. The staff really appreciate all the help that the volunteers provide and there is an option for long term volunteers to take on a project of their own if suitable.

The accommodation is the nicest I’ve personally stayed in whilst volunteering with wildlife. Everyone gets plenty of storage space and your clothes are washed for you! Health and safety wise, I couldn’t have asked for better management and the volunteer coordinator (amazing lady) was very attentive to me when I felt unwell briefly.

I loved the food; it was delicious and the system where everyone gets a lunch box portion really works. They can cater to several dietary needs and there’s always some yummy local fruits to have with lunch.The toilets and showers are kept clean by the lovely cleaning staff and should you have any problem during your stay everyone is very friendly and helpful.

Our personal highlights were night monitoring of the slow loris, restructuring enclosures, creating enrichment and a group trip to the nearby waterfall. On your day off you can walk down to the local supermarket to buy supplies or visit the street food stalls opposite to by some some delicious food e.g. martobak! There are lots of games and hammocks to relax in.

We miss being surrounded by such dedicated conservationists and will definitely return in the future.

Stefan Timmerman (2016)
After a month I can say that it was a very meaningful experience for me. Without any experience I started in Cikananga, but by all the enthousiasm of the staff and the other volunteers helped me succeed to master the ins and outs of being a wildlife volunteer. Of course you can’t change the world by one month of volunteering, but it taught me an important lesson about how I perceive nature and it has made me aware that animal abuse is much more common  than ever before had dared to imagine.

I’m glad I started this my trip through South East Asia in Cikananga and I would highly recommend to enroll in the volunteering program and accept this challenge, it’s a great experience!

Alex Given (2016)
I LOVED my time at Cikananga. In todays world, it is more important than ever to help protect and care for our wildlife and the hardworking people at Wanicare/Cikananga do just that. During my few weeks there, I was able to work with such an extraordinary array of different animals (my favourite being little Captain the leopard). You also get to work closely with the Indonesian keepers, who are all very hardworking with a brilliant sense of humour. While you stay, you get delicious Indonesian food cooked for you daily and access to amazing fresh fruit from local markets. I hope I get to travel back to Cikananga very soon and if you are thinking of making the trip to Indonesia I couldn’t recommend volunteering there highly enough. If you can’t make it there in person, I’d also highly recommend donating so they can continue doing their vital work.

Help the wildlife volunteer cikananga

Ela Huisman (2013)
For three weeks, I have worked at the Cikananga Wildlife Center as a volunteer. Three very nice, instructive and ‘gezellige’ weeks (and yes, I would love to stay longer). As a volunteer you work every day with another animal keeper, so in the end you know next to all the keepers also all the animals. You help the keepers with their daily jobs concerning the animals; you learn a lot about the animals and you also experience how everything goes at a wildlife center. Next to that, there are other jobs to do, like making or finishing animal cages for new inhabitants, doing repair work, making enrichment and observing animals. All and all, you really can make yourself useful! The fact that the business of the volunteers was well organised, made it even better. But above all, you work together with very friendly, enthusiastic and social people.  I have really enjoyed my stay here and I recommend everyone who wants to work (as a volunteer) with wildlife to go to the Cikananga Wildlife Center!

Rosey Gurr (2012):
I did a week as a volunteer at Cikananga Rescue centre. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday with not much to do, this is not for you!  My principle interest was primates, particularly Orangutans. I spent four days with the primate keeper. A working day involved thoroughly cleaning each of the enclosures (8), feeding twice a day and enrichment which is aimed to enhance the animals’ lives. I saw (and cleaned up) an impressive array of monkey pooh, listened to the Siamangs singing their unique and very noisy song, worked with Dodo & Noni the Orangutans, listened to the soulful sound of the gibbons and talked to the very gentle leaf monkeys. My final few days I spent with the Carnivore keeper, I was helping with Sun bears, Binturong , otters (adorable), an albino porcupine and a black leopard. Again focus is on cleanliness and enrichment, it was a joy to hear Huny the Sun Bear’s almost purr when she got her milk and to watch the bears search their enclosures for their food (hidden as part of enrichment). Apart from my everyday chores, there was also team work twice a week, which involved everyone, including security and management to help with an allocated project.

Accommodation was ample, the toilet Indonesian squat style and the shower a bucket and water (it is amazing how quickly you get used to it!). The food was ample and delicious. Some nights I would sit with the other volunteers and Willemijn sharing dinner and chatting, other nights I was so tired by all the physical activity of the day, I would like to thank Willemijn, Cikananga management, the other volunteers and most of all the keepers for welcoming me so warmly and giving me a week that I will never forget. My one regret is that I only stayed for one week. I go away determined to help raise badly needed funds for the centre so that it can continue it essential work.

Elise Brouwer (2011):
Before we came here we did not have any expectations, we only knew that Cikananga is an animal rescue center. I did not have experience with working with wildlife and getting up so early… But after a few days helping the carnivore, reptile and primate keepers I was getting familiar with the animal keepers’ work and the noise of the beeper in the morning. After the first few days working with the animals, like preparing the food, feeding, cleaning the cages and making enrichment, I started to do some other activities as well. Like preparing cages which were not in use at the moment and I was helping Kasper with maintenance and building a sleeping cage for the orangutans and socialization cages for the otters. A very interesting thing was that I witnessed a vasectomy procedure on a macaque (sterilization) and I was helping the vet during the medical examination on a macaque in the quarantine that just arrived in the center.  Willemijn also made me feel very welcome and I enjoyed the relaxing times together, after a satisfying day of hard work. I really admire her passion in the way she is putting all her effort to make Cikananga a beautiful and great running animal rescue center. All animal keepers and managers are locals from the nearby villages and they are very welcoming. Also thanks to them, my time in Cikananga was unforgettable!

Kasper de Weerd (2011):
I first came to Cikananga we really had no idea what to expect. We started off by helping the animal keepers from the primates and carnivores. After that we saw that there still was a lot to do in the park like fixing and preparing cages, environments and enclosures. We started off by preparing the turtle ponds. The turtles first live in smaller enclosures because there was not enough time to fix the bigger ponds. After a few weeks the ponds were ready, it was really nice to put the turtles in their new and much bigger homes. After a few days we were asked to give a helping hand in seducing two macaques who just came in the center and needed to be checked for their health. I never did something like this it was really special. We also witnessed autopsies from animals how past away. Luckily it turned out that they died of natural cause. These are also things you experience in the Wildlife center. One of my main projects was to make THE orangutan box. The orangutan box (sleeping house) was broken a year ago by Dodo the male. If I look back at the last month I can only say that it was GREAT!

Turtle transfer

Inge Tielen (Eagle Release Program) and Peggy Kohler (Former Volunteer Coordinator)

Stefanie Jonker (2011):
I have been studying in Cikananga for internship program for six weeks , but the six weeks in Cikananga were too short. I have learned a lot, not only about the center and animals but also about the culture and people. I have seen allot of the country; were we have been was not touristic and that was the great thing of it. So you can see how the people live and are, they are so friendly. We even did go to two weddings. That was great! It is great to see that Cikananga is making a lot of good progress. And I have the feeling with this internship that what we did was really making a different for the center. I can write a book about the things that we did and experienced. It was truly an honour to be in such a nice country, have been in a nice center and have met so many great people. My colleges are friendly and warm and made me feel at home. I have met a lot of great and wonderful people here. I wish that I can come here soon again.


Volunteering Wanicare Java Wildlife Indonesia

Interested? contact us at wanicare.volunteering@gmail.com

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