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  • Overview
  • Objectives
  • Skills you gain
  • Costs to Consider
  • Site Conditions

Indonesia is still closed to overseas visitors and vaccination rates are still very low leaving much of the population susceptible to Covid infections. At this stage we are not planning to run expeditions to Indonesia in 2022. However, travel advisories and conditions on the ground change rapidly, and if by early 2022 it is looking as though Indonesia is possible, we will be bringing forward the 2023 options and run them in 2022. Our partners and the local communities with which we work are desperate for the Opwall teams to return so we would like to run in 2022 if at all possible. However, if you want to be sure of joining an expedition in 2022 then it would be best to look at one of the other countries.

  • 2023 dates available:
    2 weeks – 18 June – 1 July 2023
    2 weeks – 25 June – 8 July 2023
    2 weeks – 2 July – 15 July 2023
    4 weeks – 18 June – 15 July 2023
    4 weeks – 25 June – 22 July 2023

Langkube Valley Forest biodiversity experience

The Langkube Valley lies within the North Buton Nature Reserve (82,000 ha) and represents a vast area of unexplored, primary rainforest. The region supports an array of different habitats that remain largely unknown to science. Importantly, it is also a stronghold for the endangered Anoa, a CITES listed dwarf buffalo. After completing training in jungle survival skills (which can include a canopy access course for an additional cost) and learning about Wallacean wildlife and conservation, volunteers will assist a team of biologists documenting the valley’s rich biodiversity. Biologists will focus on mammalian, avian and herpetological assemblages together with forest structure and carbon surveys. Particular attention will be given to records of endangered Sulawesi endemics, such as the Anoa and the Maleo, both rarely sighted but critically important species for local conservation efforts. There exists a high likelihood that new species records for Buton Island will be made given that this expedition will be working in remote and previously unsurveyed forests. Survey techniques include the use of camera traps, distance and patch occupancy estimates for large mammal species, mist netting for bats, Pollard counts for butterflies, standard search transects for reptiles, spotlight surveys for amphibians, and point counts for birds. There is also the opportunity to complete a half day course which will train you into how access the tree canopy using ropes and ascenders (this is an optional course costing £190).

Indonesia - Wallacea Terrestrial Research Objectives

The Wallacea region comprises islands of the central part of the Indonesian archipelago that are separated by deep ocean trenches which prevented them from being joined to the main continental land masses during the lowered sea levels of the Ice Ages. As a result of subsequently long periods of isolation, a large number of unique species evolved. The forests of the Wallacea region are one of the least biologically studied areas in the world and one of the most likely places to discover vertebrate species new to science. Since 1995, the Opwall teams have been surveying the biodiversity of Buton Island in SE Sulawesi, so that more information is now available on the wildlife of this well studied area than anywhere else in the Wallacea region. The Opwall gathered data are being used to assess the impacts of potential carbon offset funding schemes in protecting the carbon and biodiversity of the forests and ensure that local communities have a financial benefit from this conservation programme.

  • Attend lectures/workshops about the Wallacea region and its ecology from published research
  • Learn survey methods to sample birds, butterflies, large mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and bats
  • Learn how to conduct habitat surveys and calculate the carbon biomass of an area of forest
  • Learn skills to work and live safely in a remote rainforest research site
  • Live and work with local people and learn about Indonesian culture, customs and language
  • Work with a team of Indonesian and international scientists from around the world
  • Opwall fee
  • Cost of international flights into and out of Makassar
  • Cost of internal travel to and from the start and end point of the expedition, plus any hotels you might require. This costs around £270 or $340 on average. Extra nights’ accommodation can be quoted
  • Visa costs of $35 for a VOA (31-60 days, with extension), £50 for a social visa (60+ days, with extension) plus £45(VOA) or £60 (Social Visa) for the extension. Please get in touch with someone from Opwall for more detailed advice.
  • Park entrance fees – £20 or $29
  • Vaccinations and prophylactic medicines – cost can vary depending on your healthcare provider.
  • Spending money for snacks/drinks/laundry – Indonesian rupiah only
  • All prices in GBP or USD unless specified

Most of our volunteers fundraise for their expedition costs. Find out more.


In the tropical rainforests of Indonesia is is generally warm during the day (around 25 degrees Celsius), and humid, with up to 80% humidity. At night the temperatures drop lower, but not usually lower than around 15 degrees Celsius. It rains very frequently, and very heavily at times, but for short periods.

Creature Comforts
The Langkumbe Valley Forest Camp is a basic field camp that enables access to primary rainforest habitats found in a remote corner of the North Buton Nature Reserve. A camp kitchen, communal eating area and change-rooms are set alongside a river where washing is done after a long day of forest surveys. All guests sleep in high-quality Hennessy hammocks that are set in the forest immediately surrounding the camp. The camp has no reliable phone signal.

Fitness level required

High for the forest sites. You will need to hike for long periods, over steep and muddy terrain, at times with your large rucksack.


  • Indonesia
  • Langkumbe Valley

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Want to get involved with this project?

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