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Oceans 2 Earth

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Sanctuary

Lilongwe, Malawi

Help to promote and support wildlife conservation internationally as well as educate the local communities about it.

The sanctuary

The centre is the only wildlife rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary in Malawi, promoting wildlife conservation both internationally and within the local communities. They have an extensive community outreach and education program and the centre is open to the public 365 days a year, welcoming hundreds of families and school children every week.

The project is still in the development stages which means volunteers can have a very real influence on the direction they take and there is a great team currently in place. Volunteers often extend their stay because they enjoy it so much and can see the value of their contribution. The centre couldn’t do their work without the support of enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers who really want to make a difference. It is a ground breaking project and the first People and Wildlife Centre in the world, a pilot project supported by a well-known international wildlife charity which is already being used as a model for other centres in Africa.

The centre operates on a strict hands off policy as most of the animals are expected to be released or to live as naturally as possible without human contact. It can be difficult but you should refrain from touching or engaging the animals in human-like communications or interactions unless you are given instructions to do so (such as for orphan surrogacy). 

Longer placements are available upon request.

The location

Lilongwe, named after the Lilongwe River is the capital and largest city of Malawi. The city is located in the central region of Malawi, near the borders of Mozambique and Zambia. Lilongwe has existed for centuries as a small fishing village on the banks of the Lilongwe River. It has seen rapid population growth and has become the most populous city since 2008. While Blantyre remains the commercial capital of Malawi, Lilongwe is gradually replacing it as the economic capital of Malawi. 

Lilongwe is divided into a New and Old City. The former has hotels, embassies and offices while the latter has markets, bus stations, cafes and restaurants. The modern shops of the City are contrasted by the street and walled markets of Old Town. The Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary is between the Old and New towns which is where the Wildlife Rescue Centre is located. 

Lilongwe features a humid subtropical climate that borders on a subtropical highland climate, with pleasantly warm summers and mild winters. Due to the altitude, temperatures are lower than would be expected for a city located in the tropics. Due in part to the growth of the expatriate community and the increasing importance of tourism, the number of international restaurants has risen very rapidly over recent years. The city now offers a rich and internationalised diversity of cuisine. There is a diverse population of native peoples, Asians and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs.

Our volunteers

There are various projects volunteers can contribute to and make a real difference to the wildlife at the centre and the local communities. You will be responsible for feeding and watering the animals, cleaning enclosures, providing enrichments and assisting with tours for visitors and activities school groups. You will make a positive difference to the lives of the animals at the centre by caring for and enriching the lives of a variety of wildlife.

You will receive a tour upon arrival and will get to know many of the animals and their stories of how they came to be at the Centre. A volunteer co-ordinator is on site to assist with any support or direction you may need during your placement and there is excellent onsite support at all times. O2E support staff are only a phone call or email away for any query you might have.

Conditions on site

You will spend your days in hot conditions. The work caring for the animals can be physically challenging but extremely rewarding. 

Black mambas are an extremely dangerous African snake and may be seen around the centre. Instructions are given to volunteers about all the wonderful but potentially treacherous wildlife in the area.

Please note

The first installment of your project fees is due within 1 week after you paid the deposit on Volunteer World. This is a total of $495 AUD and comes off your balance. The balance is due 90 days prior to travel. For all further information about the fees, please scroll down to the section „Program Fees“.

Typical day

Dependent on your passions, experience and needs of the centre you could be involved in any of the following: 

  • Assisting the carers: Work alongside the animal carers to offer the orphans the best possible care that they deserve. This includes cleaning, feeding, buying food from the market, hand rearing the baby orphans and providing enrichment to those that need it. 
  • Vet assistance: Depending on your skills, work alongside our full time vet and their team and help conduct full health checks on all new arrivals and regular vaccinations and check-ups on all the animals at the centre. Or work with our sister organisation, helping to deliver care to domestic animals in surrounding communities that need it.
  • General centre support: Helping with construction and maintenance, giving guided tours or getting involved with events at the centre.
  • Education: working on new signage, developing education program or help out at the Wild Kidz Camps. 
  • Community outreach: Work with the Community Outreach Manager as they deliver extensive wildlife conservation education program within the local schools and orphanages. Other outreach work covers reforestation, farming diversification and health education on subjects like HIV/Aids and Malaria and developing markets for their crafts and produce. 
  • Environment: If you are interested in conservation management, we have several projects including ecological surveys, mammal censuses and a forestation project. 
  • Marketing: If you have experience in website design, public relations, events, photography or documentary making, we would be more than interested to hear from you.

If you find you take an interest in a particular area or project at the centre, the project staff are very encouraging and will help you to experience new and interesting jobs if you wish to.

Details on Arrival

You can join our program on every day all through the year.


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. 

If you are keen to travel the centre can help you arrange everything from scuba diving at the lake to safaris in Zambia.

Swimming
Diving/Snorkling
Safari/Zoo
Hiking

Program 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).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Health Declaration
required
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
Volunteers need to be flexible, full of enthusiasm and like a good day's work! It is important that volunteers are adaptable in terms of what work they are involved in and the centre will do their best to ensure you are involved in the projects you are most interested in. No two days could be the same!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 09:00 - 17:00

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Any questions? Just ask. We at Oceans 2 Earth are happy to help you.

Contact Project Coordinator
Contact & Reservation
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Included Services

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We refund your fees if Oceans 2 Earth cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by Oceans 2 Earth.
Services by Oceans 2 Earth
  • Pre-departure support
  • Project Information Pack
  • Malawi airport transfers
  • Arrival orientation
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • All necessary training by staff and/or volunteers
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Certificate of Participation, if requested
Please note that the first installment of your program fees ($495 AUD) is due within one week after having paid the deposit on Volunteer World.
Airport Pickup at Lilongwe International Airport

The wildlife centre is a short 25 minute drive from Lilongwe International Airport. To fly to Lilongwe, check out Kenya Airways, Ethiopia Airways and South African Airways. O2E will arrange for your transfers from the airport to the centre.

Accommodation

Ever fancied waking up to the sound of a lion roaring or monkeys playing out of your bedroom window? In this volunteer accommodation you can! Volunteers stay together at the Volunteer House, which is in the heart of the wildlife centre and surrounded by animals. This allows you to be close to the action and gives you a chance to experience the wild side of Africa. 

The house has mixed dorm-style accommodation with electricity, a kitchen, lounge area, bathroom and hot showers. There is a generous and attractive garden area for relaxing in the evenings and on your day off. All meals are served by the local cook who provides international meals along with some local Malawian dishes that he is more than happy to show you how to make. 

Vegans and people with allergies are catered for and every week on a Saturday night, the centre has a Brai for the weekly Saturday night BBQ. If you prefer to eat out there are many good restaurants just a short drive away and the wildlife centre public restaurant serves fantastic lunches!

Guesthouse
Food & Beverages

Breakfast supplies are available to volunteers and all lunches and dinners with vegetarian and vegan options are prepared by the resident cook. You will experience some yummy African cuisine as well as a very tasty homemade pizza! Fresh, filtered water is provided.

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.
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.
Costs (Prices in USD)
2 weeks (min. stay)
$1,340.00
3 weeks
$1,730.00
4 weeks
$2,180.00
5 weeks
$2,490.00
6 weeks
$2,805.00
7 weeks
$3,095.00
8 weeks
$3,360.00
9 weeks
$3,610.00
10 weeks
$3,830.00
11 weeks
$4,040.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$4,240.00
Average fees
$512.00/week

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. Oceans 2 Earth will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Crowdfunding Service
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Malawi.
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 must be made up to 30 days before to the volunteer program starts. This payment is also securely handled by PayPal or credit card.
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