Join the world renowned Lilongwe Wildlife Centre as an animal care volunteer or as a member of the veterinary team if you are a veterinary student.
The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is an award-winning wildlife sanctuary located in the heart of Malawi. It is currently the country's only wildlife sanctuary for orphaned and injured wild animals. The centre has around 200 wild animals, including monkeys, lions and antelope - all of whom have been rescued with the aim of releasing as many of these as possible back into the wild when they have been successfully rehabilitated.
This project offers two types of volunteering. The first is for wildlife conservation enthusiasts and offers the opportunity to assist the experienced animal care team in a number of different activities at the centre. These include caring for orphaned animals, assisting with integration observation, contributing to the local community initiatives and even some veterinary assistance.
The second is specifically for veterinary students whom have completed at least 1 year of veterinary school. If you are volunteering as a veterinary student, you will work alongside the on-site vet in all aspects of veterinarian care including incoming exams, minor trauma, health checks and routine diagnostics. As well as learning from experts in wildlife veterinary science you will also take part in other aspects of the centre including orphan care and rehabilitation.
This project really offers incredible opportunities for both those with a big passion for wildlife and those looking to increase and expand their veterinary knowledge.
What's more, the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre has won a number of awards for its work and achieved PAW accreditation from the Born Free Foundation in 2012. The support from volunteers is crucial to the work that this project carries out.
Prior To Arrival
You will need to arrive into Lilongwe International Airport on the start date of your project where you will be met by a representative who will transfer you to the wildlife centre (a 25 minute drive). Kenya Airways, Ethiopia Airways and South African Airways all serve routes to Lilongwe with flights normally landing around 12am.
If you arrive early and the dates of your trip exceed the project length then we recommend you stay at Mubuya or Madidi Lodge.
Visas are not required by citizens of most Commonwealth countries, the USA, Japan, most European Union countries and certain other countries. If unsure, refer to your nearest Malawian Embassy, from which visas for any nationality can be obtained. For those nationalities that do require visas, these cannot be obtained on arrival but must be obtained in advance from any Malawi diplomatic mission around the world.
You will arrive into Africa's 'friendliest nation' via the Lilongwe International Airport, where you will then be met by a project representative. You will then transfer to the project site, which is a 25 minute drive away. Once you have settled in, you will be taken into town where you can buy anything you may need before enjoying a tour of the centre and meeting your fellow volunteers and some of the sanctuary's residents!
This project is extremely flexible so you will mostly be able to spend time on the activities of your choice, although we ask that all volunteers are flexible and able to step in if urgent tasks arise.
Working hours are 8 am to 5 pm, 6 days a week with a long weekend off every 4 weeks.
On your final day you will return to Lilongwe airport for your return flight or continue with any independent travel plans.
You will normally be able to take part in whichever activity you choose to here, but please be aware that volunteers are expected to all jump in when they are needed should an urgent task arise. Activities that you will be taking part in on a day to day basis include orphan animal caring, rehabilitation and release projects, maintenance and construction, education and community outreach, and environmental management. There is a lot for you to choose from already, but if you are a veterinary student you will also have the chance to work alongside the on-site veterinarian, assisting with all aspects of veterinary care at the project.
You get one day off each week. These can be spent relaxing at the Centre, exploring the city or visiting one of the city hotels to chill by the pool.
Those staying 4 weeks or more have a 3 day long weekend off which are perfect for a safari to the beautiful South Luangwa National Park in Zambia or a trip to Lake Malawi.
You will be collected from the airport upon your arrival in Malawi and you will be taken back on the last day of your project. The drive is about 25 minutes long.