Wildlife Research Support

Non-profit
·
founded in 2007
Lilongwe Wildlife Trust
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Coordinator | Jessica
Coordinator | Jessica
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.

High­lights

Be immersed in one of Malawi's top national parks and get up close with the Big 5
Experience life in the African bush and live alongside Malawi's top rangers, vets and conservationists
Contribute to wildlife research that makes a real difference to conservation in Malawi
Support a high-impact and award-winning organisation leading on wildlife conservation in Malawi
Explore the 'Warm Heart of Africa' with snorkelling or diving in Lake Malawi, horseback riding at Kande Beach, and cycling in Kuti Wildlife Reserve.
Track and monitor wildlife in one of Malawi's top national parks and contribute to vital research that is supporting the country's conservation efforts. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Singles
Couples
50+

Malawi’s incredible wildlife is facing a number of threats, from deforestation and biodiversity loss to human-wildlife conflict and the illegal trade in products such as ivory and bushmeat. 

Our research projects are designed to improve conservation knowledge and practice and include issues such as biodiversity monitoring and wildlife management. This means that as a volunteer you not only have the opportunity to spend time out in the field learning new skills, but also contribute to research that makes a real difference as our work helps guide and evaluate ongoing conservation actions in Malawi. 

The research projects cover a range of issues and vary based on location and time of year. Whether it be radio tracking large carnivores, assisting on camera trap surveys or creating identification kits for elephants, your work will be vital to inform on best practices to protect Malawi's wildlife and their habitats. 
Some example projects include: 
  • Biodiversity monitoring in Liwonde National Park: you’ll collect data that will enable park management to take informed conservation action for predators such as lions, cheetahs and wild dogs
  • Elephant Research: this work focuses on identifying the movement corridors of Malawi’s largest transboundary elephant population, located in the north of the country, with findings helping to inform cross-border cooperation, law enforcement and mitigation of human-elephant conflict
  • Conserving Malawi’s Vultures: this initiative pairs research with on-the-ground conservation action to help fill knowledge gaps on the role Malawi plays in supporting regional vulture movements in Southern and East Africa. 

Typical day

When you're in the field, the days start early to avoid the midday heat. After breakfast at dawn, you'll head out into the bush in a safari vehicle to track wildlife and conduct surveys. There will be a break in the middle of the day when you'll return to the Research Station for lunch. You'll head out again in the afternoon once it's cooler and be back for dinner at dusk.

You'll get get one day off a week and a long weekend off every month, which is perfect for a trip to Lake Malawi or hiking on the Zomba Plateau.

Free-time activities

Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa for its friendly people and stunning landscapes, and it’s generally viewed as the ‘safest’ country to travel in Africa. Volunteers take one day off a week and a long weekend off every month. Here are a few ideas:

  • Senga Bay: Boat trip, snorkelling, swimming.
  • Cape Maclear: Boat trips, paddle-boarding, canoes, booze cruise, hiking
  • Kande: Horse riding 
  • Dezda: Pottery, hiking, cave paintings 
  • Kuti Wildlife Reserve: Wildlife viewing, cycling
  • Zambia: Safari to South Luangwa valley
Diving/
Snorkling
Shopping/
Souvenirs
Safari/
Zoo
Hiking
Riding
Yoga/
Meditation

Require­ments

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We only ask for enthusiasm, flexibility and willingness for a good day's work!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 06:00 - 18:00

What's Included

Services by Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Prices include:

  • Accommodation 
  • All meals, unlimited tea and coffee 
  • Airport transfers (on a Tuesday) and all work-related transport 
  • Orientation and full support during your stay 
  • Local SIM card and t-shirt 

Prices exclude 
  • Flights 
  • Visas 
  • Vaccinations 
  • Excursions, souvenirs, nights out, personal expenses, snacks, etc. 

Airport Pickup at Lilongwe International Airport

A driver will be waiting at Lilongwe airport to collect you - look out for a sign with your name on it! We'll drive you into Lilongwe to stay at our sanctuary overnight which is about 30 minutes from the airport.

Accommodation

Our research camp is located on the edge of the Likwenu River, close to the main gate of Liwonde National Park. Volunteers stay in shared rooms. There is a large kitchen and outdoor fire area. Ablutions include flush toilets and hot showers. Power at the research camp is intermittent and often powered by a backup power source, therefore we recommend limiting the number of devices that require charging. Whilst there is no WiFi available, there is network coverage at camp, and our staff will help you to get data for your cellular device so you can contact home.

Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Three vegetarian meals a day are provided. Cooking and cleaning duties are shared communally. We can cater for any dietary requirement that is mentioned prior to arrival. 

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Lilongwe International Airport (LLW) in Lilongwe. We assist you to find cheap flights to Malawi.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Malawi provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccines
If you are intending to volunteer in Malawi you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malawi.

Dates & Fees

NO CREDIT CARD FEES

Details on arrival

Our projects start and finish on a Tuesday. It's best to fly into Lilongwe (Kamuzu International Airport) and we'll pick you up from there. You'll have one night at our sanctuary in Lilongwe to rest and get supplies, then head down to Liwonde National Park the following morning.

Availability
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Duration
2 - 12 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,630
3 weeks
$1,985
4 weeks
$2,340
5 weeks
$2,694
6 weeks
$3,049
7 weeks
$3,403
12 weeks (max. stay)
$5,177
Average fees
$623 /week

The organization charges its fees in GBP. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. Lilongwe Wildlife Trust will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with Lilongwe Wildlife Trust during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if Lilongwe Wildlife Trust cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Lilongwe Wildlife Trust.

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Wildlife Research Support

Track and monitor wildlife in one of Malawi's top national parks and contribute to vital research that is supporting the country's conservation efforts.

$524/week

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