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Wildlife & Monkey Sanctuary, Lilongwe, Malawi

Wildlife & Monkey Sanctuary, Lilongwe, Malawi how would you like us to contact you?
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£ 1132 | | $
quick facts

minimum stay2 Weeks



Wildlife Research & Conservation



Animal Sanctuary

Live in the middle of the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre and experience Africa’s amazing wildlife first hand as you rescue, care for and rehabilitate wild animals, contributing to the vital conservation of Malawi’s natural habitat.

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Malawi is home to some of Africa’s most diverse and stunning wildlife including elephants, rhino, leopard, wild dog, wild pigs and rare species of otter. Sadly Malawi’s wildlife is in massive decline.  Habitat destruction, human-wildlife conflict, poaching, the pet trade and the international wildlife trade are all contributing to the decrease in wild animal populations. 

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre was set up in 2007 as a People and Wildlife Centre, the first of its kind in the world. It is situated in the heart of Lilongwe, Malawi’s Capital city and spans over 120 hectare wilderness area. This volunteer organization in Africa aims to provide wild animal rescue, a sanctuary for orphaned animals, rehabilitation and act as an education facility with far-reaching community outreach.

The Wilderness Reserve has a unique biodiversity with animals such as hyena, crocodiles and numerous insect species as well as a diverse plant life of hardwood trees and orchids. Maintaining and improving the environment is vital in the ongoing success of the reserve and community education projects are crucial for long term sustainable conservation efforts.

This project provides you with the perfect opportunity to volunteer with animals abroad. You will have the opportunity to shadow the wildlife veterinarian with health checks, operations, darting animals and treating injuries as well as caring for over 250 rescued animals, including carnivores, primates, mammals, reptiles, birds and antelopes.

Rescued baby animal orphans are rehabilitated and released back into the wild once they have reached a satisfactory level of health and independence. In addition to the general animal care duties there are some seasonal projects you may find yourself involved in such as lion and primate integration.  

With the release program, the centre successfully released a troop of yellow baboons and is continuing with the release of a troop of Vervet Monkeys.

project pricing
2 Weeks: USD  GBP 1132 EUR 
3 Weeks: USD  GBP 1464 EUR 
4 Weeks: USD  GBP 1844 EUR 
5 Weeks: USD  GBP 2124 EUR 
6 Weeks: USD  GBP 2376 EUR 
7 Weeks: USD  GBP 2622 EUR 
8 Weeks: USD  GBP 2842 EUR 
9 Weeks: USD  GBP 3055 EUR 
10 Weeks: USD  GBP 3242 EUR 
11 Weeks: USD  GBP 3422 EUR 
12 Weeks: USD  GBP 3588 EUR 

Please note a longer placement may be possible - kindly send through an enquiry for more information.

project start date

Rescue  veterinary services pin it!

Rescue & Veterinary Services

As a wildlife volunteer you will assist in the vet clinic as new animals come in, from serval kittens and monkeys confiscated from wildlife smugglers and roadside sellers to injured porcupines, owls and monitor lizards. Working along the full-time vet will give you great insight as to why volunteering is important as you assist with health checks, operations, darting animals and treating injuries

Rehabilitation  orphan care pin it!

Rehabilitation & Orphan Care

Residents can reach over 200 animals at time, which all need care and attention. You will be kept very busy taking care of the rescued baby orphans, providing surrogacy work, bottle feeding, playing and providing all aspects of care until they enter the next phase of rehabilitation and can be released back into the wild.

Release program pin it!

Release program

Once animals are rehabilitated every effort is made to release them back into the wild. Your volunteer work with animals will include evaluating each case carefully to decide if, when, where and how they should be released and monitoring the animals pre and post release to ensure their best chance of survival.

Habitat protection pin it!

Physical activities you will participate in as part of this conservation project may include picking up litter, removing alien plants, doing patrols and making sure unnatural objects and structures pose no threat of injury to animals [such as wires, broken fences etc.]

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Environmental Education

Thousand of school children visit Lilongwe Wildlife Centre yearly, learning about wildlife and why conservation is important. Your voluntary teaching skills may be needed in presenting the standard environmental program as well as assisting in a number of educational events such as the Wildlife Quiz Championships and the World Environment Week celebrations.

Community outreach programs pin it!

Community outreach programs

You will not only be involved with the animals but will also make a difference through volunteer community projects including planting trees with the Green & Clean Program and teaching adult literacy classes.

Things to do with your spare time
On-site Experiences

As you will be conveniently situated on-site the Wildlife Centre you can enjoy riverside picnics, bird watching as well as a night safari to see the nocturnal animals at the centre come to life. Also enjoy a weekly barbeque with the volunteer team.


Malawi offers some magnificent hiking sites and beautiful scenery. Mulanje Mountain is a huge granite massif in southern Malawi. There are plenty of hiking routes to choose from, where you can stay overnight.

Likoma Island

You can reach Likoma Island by boat or taking a flight from Lilongwe. The island has several lovely beaches and you can take some nice walks inland to visit local villages, markets, or kayak around the island. Dance troupes from other islands gather regularly for a "dance-off", which promises to be entertaining.

African Wildlife

Coming to Africa undoubtedly means going on a Safari. You can visit a number of National Parks where you may see large numbers of elephants, hippos and crocodiles. Antelope include kudu, sable and bushbuck. There are leopards and hyena and the occasional visiting lion.


Lilongwe food market in the old town is an interesting and lively place. You can buy all kinds of local interesting foods here and get a good sense of the culture while interacting with Malawi’s friendly people.

About Lilongwe
About lilongwe pin it!

During your volunteer working holiday you will be staying on-site the Wildlife Centre surrounded by animals and close to all the action. Conveniently you are also close to the capital city and not completely removed from civilization while experiencing Africa’s wildlife. The volunteer program is limited to a maximum of 12 volunteers at any one time and the house has mixed dorm-style accommodation with electricity, a kitchen, lounge area, bathroom and hot showers. Three meals are provided daily, there are however many restaurants you can explore in the city as well. Lilongwe features a humid subtropical climate with warm summers and mild winters. The short wet season runs from December to March and the remainder of the year is generally fairly dry.

To experience more of the local culture you can visit the Kumbali Cultural Village to see traditional Malawian dancing and drumming, live acoustic music and a indulge in a traditional Malawian dinner. Another highly recommended trip to take is to the famous Lake of Stars for horse riding, snorkeling, diving or just a spot of sunbathing.

Whether your aim of volunteering overseas is to learn new skills, immerse yourself into a different way of life or simply because you love wildlife, Malawi is a great destination to explore. You will be able to see for yourself not just the impact the project has on the lives of individual animals but also the bigger picture of conservation in Malawi itself.

Feedback from our volunteers
Frances Jones, UK

My trip had so many memorable moments, too many to write down here. My volunteering at Lilongwe wildlife centre was great, it was all planned well and I met some amazing people and animals of course!! Everyone works very hard for the animals and the community, it was inspiring. The wildlife centre certainly benefits local people especially with its outreach and community programs, like adult literacy classes and helping people set up little businesses, so enriching their lives. They also educate the local community on wildlife and environmental issues, so they can act in responsible ways.

Sarah Johnston, UK

Volunteering at the centre is the best experience I have ever had and I wouldn't hesitate in recommending it to anyone. If you had told me this time last year that 8 months later I would be sitting under the warm African sun, in a beautiful wildlife centre, surrounded by the calls of the wild, writing a newspaper column for a Malawian newspaper with an orphaned baby baboon on my lap (whom, by the way, I would later adopt), I would not have believed you. These are the sorts of things that ‘other’ people get to do, right? You don't have to have an animal-based background to have skills that are of great use to the centre. A passion for wildlife and conservation issues, a good work ethic, and the ability to muck in where needed is the order of the day at the centre. You may have to leave the centre at the end of your stay, but it never leaves you.

Johannes Pfitzer, Germany

The great thing about this program is that you interact with the very friendly, open minded people of Malawi and with other volunteers and travellers from all around the world. I had a really great time at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, with a lot of exciting encounters.

Dawn Clark, Australia

Meeting all the amazing people, working alongside the animals, being involved in community projects and the range of work available will always stay with me. Have in mind what kind of work you would like to do, know your strengths and make the most out of your time there.