From our Sumatran tiger conservation volunteering holiday in Indonesia (

Those of us who have been around for a few weeks realised recently that something was missing. It took us a while, but finally it was more than obvious: the sound of the jungle has changed compared to the previous weeks. There were no chainsaw noises any longer. The explanation is that the river levels are now too low for being used for transportation of logs. And for us the “true” jungle noises have come to the fore.

On Sunday, our day-off, almost everyone was out on a long boat ride down the southern Subayang. The weather was great and with fantastic manoeuvring in shallow water, Sapri, one of our boat drivers, made it deep into the reserve. It took us 2.5 hours to arrive at the small village of Pangkalan Serai. It is the last village down this river and is almost in the centre of the reserve. Far away from civilisation about 100 families live there. Originally they stayed in traditional houses, but most of them were destroyed during a big flood at the end of the 1990s. For electricity they built a generator that is driven by waterpower. Our appearance was the first time that foreigners like us have been to this village. On the way back we also stopped at a village that is known for its boat makers. It was interesting to see the different steps of the “production” of these longboats.

Jatt had a football match in Tanjung Belit. In the afternoon over 20 players showed up and proved their technical abilities. Although quite a lot of spectators were around, the game takes place in harmony and silence. Even after a goal the excitement is at a minimal level. An interesting experience for us all!

On the work front, we retrieved camera traps installed in previous slots. With great expectations we stared at the computer screen. The result: porcupine, mouse deer and macaques. But this is a good result as it has been our first camera placement. The tiger still remains elusive.

Tomorrow morning Jatt, Ryan and Anh will leave for an overnighter north of Kota Lama. While I am sending you these lines they, are preparing for their adventure.

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

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