Nadia Steenhouwer, 28, Netherlands – March-April 2016

My first time in Africa, and what a wonderful experience this was! There are a lot of projects in Africa, but you must do your research to find a good one. And trust me this one is!
When I landed on the airport a taxi driver was waiting for me, it was a 30 minute drive to the wildlife centre, there I was welcomed with open arms. From the first moment I felt like home. What a nice place and lovely people! My first week started with the Wildlife Rehabilitation Course, this was their first rehab course and I am happy that I joined it! If you want to know and learn more about wildlife and rehabilitation, this course is a great opportunity. I really learned a lot in this week. A few things we did: food preparation and feeding techniques, animal behavioural observation, making enrichment for the monkeys, orphan handling and feeding, assisting with health checks (with vervet monkeys and a python), darting (with a blowpipe and dart pistol), travelling to Kasungu National Park (to see the group of released vervet monkeys) and a lot more!
After the course I had another 2 weeks left (which was too short!). But I think it doesn’t matter for how long you’ll go, you never want to leave! Haha! This place and the people really touches you. In my last 2 weeks I helped in the orphan care (preparing food, feeding monkeys and duikers, browsing, cleaning etc.) and I did lion observations on Bella and Simba. They also did a health check on Simba and as a volunteer you were allowed to have a look as well, which was another amazing experience. There were not a lot of volunteers in this period so I also had the great opportunity to hands-on fed orphaned monkey Fraggle who needed 7 feeds a day, from 7:00 till 19:00. The day after I left the centre they started to feed him through the fence, which he did great! After a few days they got him a new foster mom (another vervet monkey). Which was amazing news for me to hear! The people that work here have a passion for wildlife and they really do everything they can to help every animal. It was hard to leave this place after these 3 beautiful weeks. I met great people from around the world and I took back beautiful memories.
For me it was a rewarding life experience. Oh and let me not forget to mention that the (vegetarian) food at the centre is great! They have an amazing cook. Malawi, I’ll definitely be back! You have a place in my heart. So if you are considering to volunteer at a wildlife centre, this is the right place! Before I booked, I doubted, because I was going to travel alone (for the first time). But trust me, if you’re doubting too, just do it! You will not regret it! Thanks! 🙂