Why did you apply to join LWT? After over 10 years working in full-time business roles I was ready for a bit of a break and change! Among various other travel and volunteer projects I undertook, LWT really appealed to me as an opportunity to work closely with animals and feel like I was really contributing something worthwhile.
What did you work on? I was lucky enough to have an orphan baby duiker placed in my personal care, which I was responsible for bottle feeding three times a day, which was an amazing experience and one I’ll never forget! I was on food prep and feeding duty for various other animals including baboons, owls, hedgehogs, parrots, and a tortoise. I also spent a good amount of time with the LWT research assistant on pre-release observations, specifically a group of vervet monkeys where I was monitoring their movements, behaviours and interactions. Lots of other things as well, I was definitely never bored!
What were the highlights? Hand-feeding and looking after the baby duiker as mentioned above was definitely the standout! I felt lucky to have a great group of people around me during my stay, which made the experience even more memorable. It’s a real family atmosphere which Sophie the volunteer coordinator does a great job of creating and maintaining. Despite only being there for two weeks I felt like I was saying goodbye to some lifelong friends. Movie nights singing along to Lion King and Grease on the projector will live long in the memory!
What would you say to anyone else who was considering coming out to Malawi? Make the most of your time before and after your stay at LWT. Your time at the centre is very busy (in a good way!) so I’d suggest a few days at least either side to do the personal travel you want to do, particularly safari and Lake Malawi. Apart from that, just do it! You won’t regret it!