Orphaned and Injured Wildlife Conservation

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.

First Day

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!

Regular Days

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.

Final Day

 On your final day you will return to Lilongwe airport for your return flight or continue with any independent travel plans.

Suitable for


Typical day

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. 

Program Requirements

Minimum Age
18 years
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Other Skills
The construction work undertaken on this project requires a moderate level of fitness. The other tasks however, are not particularly, physically strenuous, but a fair level of fitness is advised. No specific skills or experience are required, just a commitment to the project and its aims. However, if you do have specific skills or experience that you feel will greatly benefit one of the project’s programmes, this is always warmly welcomed!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 17:00

Do you have any questions concerning this volunteer opportunity in Malawi? Volunteer World directly connects you with The Great Projects

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Free-time activities

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.



What's included?

  • A monetary contribution to the project itself
  • Transfers to and from the airport
  • Full orientation and support from the project managers
  • Accommodation and meals as indicated
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Airport Pickup

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. 

As a volunteer staying at the project you can look forward to waking up to the sound of a lion roaring and the sight of monkeys playing from the bedroom window. Volunteers stay together at the project’s brand new Volunteer House within the heart of the wildlife centre, surrounded by the centres amazing animals. The House has mixed dorm-style accommodation with electricity, a kitchen, lounge area, bathroom and hot showers. We also have a delightful garden area for relaxing in the evenings and on your day off.
Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
All meals are included and prepared by the project’s local cook, who provides international dishes along with some delicious local Malawian favourites. We can cater for vegetarian or vegan diets but please let us know in advance.

If you prefer to eat out there are many good restaurants just a short drive away and the wildlife centre’s restaurant serves fantastic lunches.
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
2 weeks (min. stay)
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
12 weeks (max. stay)

You can volunteer at the project site in Lilongwe/Malawi between 2 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. The Great Projects will tell you your final price during your application process.
Average Fees
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 The Great Projects during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Malawi

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Malawi. Please check the visa regulations for Malawi.
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Malawi.

What's next?

The nearest airport is Kumuzu 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.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Malawi you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Malawi.
Packing List
Packing our bags is important to prepare your trip, but often turns into a last minute horror. Make sure you don't forget the essentials by creating a personalised packing list for your volunteer program in Malawi upfront.
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre , Kenyatta, Lilongwe, Malawi