Live at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre in Malawi, rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for wild animals to help conserve Malawi’s ravaged natural habitats. Make an active difference with issues such as habitat destruction, human-wildlife conflict, poaching, the pet trade and international wildlife trade.
AS A VOLUNTEER, YOU'LL GET TO:
- Shadow wildlife veterinarians with health checks, operations, darting animals and treating injuries. You’ll assist in the clinic with animals such as serval kittens, monkeys confiscated from wildlife smugglers and roadside sellers, injured porcupines, owls, monitor lizards and more.
- Assist with environmental education & awareness.
- Enjoy helping with orphan rehabilitation where baby animal orphans are nurtured then released back into the wild.
- Be involved at ground roots level 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 and broken fences.
- 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.
- New for 2018, volunteers can now join the elephant and primate research teams in the beautiful Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, home to the Malawi Wildlife Research Institute. Activities will include behavioral observations, habitat assessment, populations censuses and telemetry and GPS work.
About the Destination
During your volunteer placement you will be staying on-site at the Wildlife Centre surrounded by animals, but you’ll also be conveniently close to the capital city. The volunteer program is limited to a maximum of 12 people at any one time and the house offers mixed dormitory type accommodation with electricity, a kitchen, lounge area, bathroom and hot showers. Three meals are provided daily, but you are welcome to explore a variety of restaurants in the city too.
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 stays fairly dry.
To experience more of the local culture, visit the Kumbali Cultural Village for traditional Malawian dancing and drumming, live acoustic music and a traditional Malawian dinner. Another highly recommended trip is the Lake of Stars, a beautiful spot for horse riding, snorkelling, diving or just a spot of sunbathing.
Whether you want to learn new skills, immerse yourself into a different way of life or simply experience some wildlife, Malawi is a great destination to explore. You will discover that this project not only impacts the lives of individual animals, but also the bigger picture of conservation in Malawi itself.
Fun & Travel
You’ll be conveniently situated on-site at the Wildlife Centre where you can enjoy riverside picnics, bird watching as well as a night safari, to see the nocturnal animals at the centre come to life. Enjoy weekly barbecues with the volunteer team.
Reach Likoma Island by boat or fly from Lilongwe. The island has several lovely beaches and you can take some nice walks inland to visit local villages and markets or kayak around the island. Dance troupes from other islands gather regularly for a “dance-off”, which promises to be entertaining.
Lilongwe food market in the old town is an interesting and lively place where you can shop for all kinds of local, interesting foods and also get a good sense of the culture from the friendly people.
Dates & Rates
- Airport collection and return, including all work-related transport
- All accommodation and food, including 3 meals a day
- 24 hour support from Volunteer Coordinators
- All required training to make an impact
- Local SIM card so you can call home
- Medical and travel insurance
- Flights to your chosen destination
- Visa-related fees
- Weekend trips and other non-project activities
- Items of a personal nature, including gifts, curios, snacks and alcohol
How your volunteer fee is used:
Volunteer tourism, or ‘voluntourism’ as it is popularly known, is loosely defined as a holiday in which you give back to the land you are visiting; contributing to either community development or conservation. But it’s so much more than that. Voluntourism encompasses a new trend of responsible tourism, where travelers are making informed and responsible choices and planning trips which don’t negatively affect the country or communities they are visiting. When volunteering, it is critical that travelers choose a volunteer organisation or charity with a proven ethos and philosophy around sustainable and responsible tourism practices. This applies both to their work with local communities, wildlife and our volunteers themselves.
African Impact is proud to have a 10 year track record of facilitating responsible volunteer programs in Africa, providing 24 hour support and guidance for volunteers and offering on-going support to communities in need. Understandably, these operations cost money to run and this is where the volunteer fee comes in.
“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.”
Sarah Johnston, 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 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.”
Frances Jones, UK