Where we work

Note: Due to safety considerations, we do not currently accept volunteers, researchers or interns to join our Wildlife Emergency Response Unit or our law enforcement projects, and therefore these sites are not listed here.

Lilongwe Wildlife Reserve, Central Region

The Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary is set in a stunning 180 hectare reserve.  The sanctuary is currently home to close to 200 rescued animals, and the reserve itself is teaming with wildlife, including over 200 species of bird, and large animals such as crocodile, bushpigs, antelopes and hyenas. It is Lilongwe’s only protected wilderness and is cited as a critical area of biodiversity.  Day visitors can take guided tours around the sanctuary, walk the wilderness trails or use the playground, cafe and bar.

Accommodation: The Volunteer House is right in the heart of the sanctuary and so you are surrounded by our animals. This allows you to experience the wild side of Africa and yet you are still close enough to the city to enjoy some of the benefits of civilisation. The house has basic mixed co-ed ten bed dorm-style accommodation with electricity, kitchen, lounge area, garden, bathroom and hot showers. There is a cleaner and a cook, and you can also upgrade to one of our two chalets which can sleep up to two or four people and has an en-suite bathroom and a small balcony. It is next to the volunteer house so you will still have the chance to eat and socialise with the other volunteers.

Projects: Wildlife rescue & rehabilitation, conservation education, community outreach, primate research, conservation medicine research.

Kuti Wildlife Reserve, Central Region

Kuti is a 2000 hectare wildlife reserve 1.5 hours away from Lilongwe and 30 minutes from the lake, making it the perfect getaway after a hard week’s work at the Wildlife Centre.  Depending on the time of year and the active projects, Wildlife Trust volunteers can spend a week or two supporting Kuti.

Accommodation: Basic shared accommodation, with solar power and hot water available in the mornings and evenings.  You can also upgrade to private accommodation.

Projects: Wildlife rehabilitation & release, conservation education, community outreach, One Health research project (all dependent on time of year).

Kasungu National Park, Central Region

KNP is the second largest national park in Malawi, around 3 hours drive from Lilongwe with an area of 2,100km2, bordering Zambia to the west. The habitat is dominated by miombo woodland with stretches of open grassland along the rivers and riverbeds (“dambos”). The other main water supply is the Lifupa Dam in the southern region of the park. Wildlife here includes ungulates, carnivores, primates, hippos, elephants, and birds, although nearly all species have been heavily poached or dwindled due to poaching pressures.

Accommodation: Volunteers and students stay in the research camp next to the Lifupa Lodge on the edge of the Lifupa Dam in the southern region of the park. The volunteers live in shared tents and have access to a kitchen, lounge, office and ablutions facilities.  There is solar power for charging equipment and electronics, but this is limited during the rainy season.

Projects: Wildlife rehabilitation & release, primate research.

Nyika National Park, Northern Region

Nyika, Malawi’s first established national park and its largest, covers 3,000km2 in the Northern Region, bordering Zambia. Nyika NP is made up of six vegetation habitats, Brachystegia woodland, pine plantation, montane grassland, dambo, and evergreen forest, which provide rich habitats for a variety of wildlife, including 100 mammal species and 430 species of bird. There are a number of flora and fauna species endemic to Nyika.  Nyika NP also includes an extensive high altitude plateau which is over 2100 m high.

Accommodation: A log cabin on the Nyika Plateau. It is self-sufficient with its own kitchen, shared bedrooms and one bathroom. There is electricity.

Projects: Wildlife rehabilitation & release, primate research, biodiversity research.

Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Northern Region

VMWR is a national game reserve located in the Northern District of Malawi, covering an area of 1,000km2 dominated by miombo woodland, mopane woodland and wetland marshes. It is home to many species of ungulates, carnivores, primates, reptiles (including crocodiles), hippos, elephants and birds. VMWR also shares its western border with Zambia.

Accommodation: A long-term research camp is located on the edge of Lake Kazuni, close to the main gate of the park. Volunteers and students will stay in large shared tents in the research camp. There is an ablutions block, kitchen and dining area (both permanent structures) in the camp. There is also storage space, lab, office, and teaching space. Solar power is available.

Projects: Wildlife rehabilitation & release, primate research, biodiversity research.