Even if you don’t include Indonesian Borneo (which we haven’t, because we covered that here), Indonesia is still home to some of the world’s most spectacular jungles. In fact, it has the second largest biodiversity in the world – making it the place to go if you want to play at being David Attenborough.
Unfortunately, it will soon be the place to go if you want a tour of palm oil plantations. Every year, during dry season, private companies set fire to the forest to make room for (often illegal) palm oil and eucalyptus plantations. Endangered animals such as orangutans, pygmy elephants and tigers are losing their habitats and even their lives.
Although “burning season” has been practiced for many years, it finally got some publicity in 2015 after effectively gassing half of South East Asia. The air pollution crisis was so bad that schools were closed, international event were cancelled and a state of emergency was declared in parts of Indonesia. With the practice finally making headlines, now is the perfect time for volunteers to join the cause and help raise local and international awareness.
With more than 17,000 islands covered in everything from volcanoes to tropical rainforests, the diversity of Indonesia’s wildlife is enough to tempt any explorer. In fact, with famously-beautiful islands like Bali and Lombok, cultural cities like Yogyakarta, and some of the world’s best diving, it’s enough to tempt any kind of traveller.