From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday in Indonesia (

Expedition participant Anh missed nothing more than her luggage when she arrived at Pekanbaru. And still, with the great help of the WWF office, we were able to start the 3rd slot almost on time and arrived safely, with all our luggage, at Subayang Field Station.

This was not the only reason to celebrate as Peter, a veteran of more than a dozen Biosphere expeditions, conveniently arranged to have his birthday on our arrival day. His birthday cake was “inhaled” within seconds.

Expect the unexpected. This was the motto of the first few days of this slot. Already in the evening after our training session, all team members were ready to leave for their next day’s surveys with all equipment packed, destinations checked and GPSs prepared. Very ambitious!

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On our way back from the very first short stay in the field, we were able to watch a small group of siamang monkeys for quite a while. We then found in the middle of the forest in a hilly area something that we were not able to identify from a distance: Unfortunately it was not an unknown species. No, it was a balloon with a funny grin that had probably had been blown there by the wind. Later, we have had a really good interview with a plantation owner that gave us a better understanding of their view. And finally the generator at base camp gave up. So we enjoyed our ‘romantic dinner’ with candles and in unusual quietness.

The generator has been fixed in the meantime and this morning we plan to go down the southern Subayang river, deep into the reserve. Let’s see if the unexpected will continue to appear.

From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday with tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia

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