Health Protocols, Guidelines & Safety Procedures

These guidelines have been prepared using the ICUN guidlelines along with the very valuable expert advice of Leif Cocks, from The Orangutan Project (TOP), for issue to all our Visitors to the all Bornean and Sumatran Eco-tourism Sites, to help inform them about their most important responsibilities during their expeditions. We request that you read these carefully and understand the appropriate behaviour that is needed during your time in Indonesia and Malaysia. Your cooperation in adhering to these guidelines will ensure the well-being of the animals, their environment and for yourselves, and so help to maintain a stable and long term viable tourism facility for all.

As you trek through the forests or visit the care centres it is important to remember that you are entering the habitat of one of the rarest great ape species on earth. The population of Sumatran & Bornean orangutans can generate from two different origins

Inappropriate behaviour by visitors may affect the behaviour and health of orangutans from both populations negatively, which places them at increased risk of becoming stressed, or the transfer of diseases. By following these simple guidelines, visitors are able to see the orangutans at all locations in a way which is both safe for themselves and safe for the orangutans, whilst at the same time, experiencing a more natural, unique experience in the forest.

A maximum group size of visitors (varies depending on the location) is to be adhered to whilst in the forest. Research from other eco-tourist sites that allow great ape trekking has shown that visitor group size can affect the behaviour of the great apes encountered and (as a result), the visitor's experience. Where groups of visitors are too high in number, the animals become stressed and nervous and move away from visitor groups.

Orangutans share over 97% of its genetic DNA with humans and as a result they are like us in many ways. It is important to remember that orangutans are highly intelligent, thinking, feeling beings and should be treated with due care and respect. Visitors are to observe the following orangutan etiquette guidelines -  

Visitors must not enter the forest if they are feeling unwell or recently had an illness and/or diarrhoea. It is each visitor's moral responsibility to report any sign of disease to their guide before entering the forest. Spending time around the orangutans whilst unwell can seriously risk infecting them, which could easily result in their death and has, in the past. Any orangutan infected by humans could potentially infect other orangutans as well. If the guide feels that a visitor is not well enough to enter the forest, it is within his/her authority to refuse entry to the visitor.

Like any tropical forest, and its surrounding areas represent a complicated and diverse (but above all, fragile) habitat. The whole forest system is a delicately balanced network of animal and plant species and many species are heavily dependent upon one-another. We therefore ask visitors to follow these simple guidelines

"With your help and cooperation, the orangutan can continue to flourish in their rainforests, and visitors for years to come will also be able to enjoy and appreciate them in their natural forest home. Thanks and please enjoy your amazing opportunity seeing one the world's greatest animals." Garry from Orangutan Odysseys

Orangutan Odysseys

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