Wildlife Vet Externship

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


Gain real-world experience of sanctuary-based vet work that can count towards your qualification.
Support a high-impact organisation working hard to protect Malawi's wildlife and combat wildlife crime.
In addition to clinical and lab work learn about wildlife rehabilitation and conservation and take part in rescues and releases when they occur.
Work alongside some of the best names in their field, including primate experts and Malawi's top wildlife vet.
Explore the 'Warm Heart of Africa' with game drives in Liwonde National Park, snorkelling or diving in Lake Malawi, horseback riding at Kande Beach, and cycling in Kuti Wildlife Reserve.
Gain valuable experince in wildlife veterinary medicine at Malawi's only sanctuary. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Join us at Malawi's only wildlife sanctuary to gain valuable work experience to support your studies. As a vet or veterinary nurse student you can get a real insight into sanctuary-based vet work in Africa's 'warm heart'. We are the only organisation sanctioned by the Government of Malawi to conduct wildlife rescues nationwide and Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is the only sanctuary in the world to hold accreditations from the Pan African

Sanctuary Alliance, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Born Free Foundation PAW scheme. Working with us will give you the
chance to learn from a team of local and international experts dedicated to the very best of practice.

The specific tasks will vary according to the types of animals we are caring for at any particular time, but you can expect to get involved in a mix of clinical work and wider welfare activities. Clinical work can include diagnostics, lab work and procedures. Externs will also be expected to get stuck into the day-to-day care of our animal residents including enrichment, integrations, observations and animal husbandry. Our aim is always to rehabilitate animals and return them to the wild.

Typical day

The working day starts at 8am when you will head to our state-of-the-art clinic to support our Head Vet with any clinical or lab tasks. This will depend on what animals are at the sanctuary and in need of medical care. After a lunch break the afternoon will involve a mixture of animal welfare duties for the residents - of which there can be 200 at any given time - and supporting the vet team with any administration work. Students finish at 5pm when it's time for dinner and relaxing at our Volunteer Centre and sharing stories with fellow students and volunteers.

Free-time activities

Malawi is known as the 'Warm Heart of Africa' for its friendly people, warm climate and stunning landscapes. Lilongwe is a safe, clean city and you are welcome to try the local restaurants, local markets and sample the nightlife.
On your days off you could go diving or snorkelling at Lake Malawi, go on safari at Liwonde National Park or go hiking in the mountains of Mulanje.
We can even arrange a safari trip to South Luangwa in Zambia which is renowned for its top game viewing.


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 (intermediate level)
Education Requirements
Veterinary medicine at Bachelors/masters student or equivalent level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
For vet students only. Qualified vets and vet nurses are also welcome. For vet students needing to conduct any clinical research please submit your project requirements for review with your application.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 17:00

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

It’s best to fly into Lilongwe (Kamuzu International Airport) and we will pick you up from there. Someone will be waiting fo you so look out for a sign with your name on it! The Wildlife Centre is about a 30 minute drive from the airport. If you are travelling overland get in touch and we can let you know the best way to get here. Arrivals and departures are on Tuesdays. 


Our accommodation building can host up to 18 people at a time across six bedrooms. It also includes a lounge, kitchen, inside and outside dining spaces, two bathrooms, laundry space, an outdoor deck and garden. The building is located in the middle of our wildlife sanctuary, which means that you’ll experience the magic of bush life after a hard day or work – spending evenings by the fire listening to the sounds of the forest. 

Bedroom (Single) Dorm Room
Food & Beverages

Meals are cooked by our local chef every day except on Sunday. The menu is vegetarian with a mix of international and local dishes. Let us know if you have other special dietary requirements, and students are welcome to buy in other luxuries or meat if they wish. 

Internet Access
Good 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.
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


Details on arrival

Placements start and finish on Tuesdays. We will pick you up from Lilongwe airport. If you are unable to arrive on a Tuesday let us know and we can make alternative arrangements for your transfer to the sanctuary. 

We accept students throughout the year, but we only take four students at the same time to ensure you all have the best experience. 

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

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$665 /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 Vet Externship

Gain valuable experince in wildlife veterinary medicine at Malawi's only sanctuary.


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