- Friends of the old zoo at Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary come up with an idea of setting up a new facility offering a better standard of living for the animals. The founding Trustees start discussions with Dep’t of Parks and the Born Free Foundation step forward with the idea of a ‘People & Wildlife’ project and pledge generous seed funding. Lee Stewart arrives as the first general manager and Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is born.
- The hard work begins to build the first enclosures in the thick bush. The old sanctuary is closed down and the animals are brought to LWC along with other orphans.
- The first PAW meetings are held with communities to discuss ways of working together.
- LWC opens its gates to visitors. The playground and bar are built.
- The fundraising committee finally winds down after raising $48,000 over 3 years through events like Run for Wildlife and Wild Night Out and generous donations from the local community.
- The first international rescues of blue monkeys, vervet monkeys and olive baboons arrive from Stichting AAP and the Israeli Primate Society.
- The first troop of rescued vervet monkeys are released in Kasungu National Park.
- The office and education centre is completed.
- Bella the Lion is rescued from Romania by the Born Free Foundation and to LWC. The event receives international TV coverage.
- More olive baboons arrive from Stichting AAP.
- The vet clinic is completed thanks to funding from the Body Shop Foundation.
- Jonathan Vaughan takes over from Lee Stewart as General Manager.
- “Green & Clean” pilot project commences – funded by ITF
- Wildlife in numbers*
Residents (start of year) 151 Rescues 56 Births 16 Deaths 20 Releases 17 Residents (year end) 186
(*All previous records were lost in a robbery)
- Win Responsible Tourism Award “Best for Conservation of Wildlife & Habitats” – the first RT Award to be won by a Malawian organisation. The Department of Tourism choose LWC to launch Tourism Week.
- The amphitheatre and new reception area completed.
- ‘Malambe Juice’ and ‘Learning through Wildlife’ adult literacy community outreach projects begin thanks to funding from the Global Friends Fund.
- First major education grant won from the Tusk Trust.
- Education in numbers:
2011/12 Total no. visitors to LWC 20,540 No. visiting schoolchildren 12,152 No. schools actively engaged with LWC 155
- “Green & Clean” programme is rolled out with funding from UNDP (GEF)
- LWC achieves financial sustainability for its core operations primarily through the responsible tourism model and becomes the first organisation to receive PAW accreditation from the Born Free Foundation.
- The new gatehouse is built, lost in a fire, but is re-built bigger and better.
- World Environment Week is officially launched at LWC with over 1000 learners taking part.
- The Wildlife Quiz Championships are recorded for TV and radio and broadcast nationwide.
- Wildlife in numbers
Residents (start of year) 186 Rescues 43 Births 13 Deaths 14 Releases 39 Residents (year end) 186
- Education in numbers
2012/13 Total no. visitors to LWC 29,213 No. visiting schoolchildren 17,111 No. schools actively engaged with LWC 219
2013 so far…
- After two years of preparation 30 yellow baboons are successfully released in Kasungu National Park with critical acclaim from the scientific community. The release is funded by Stichting AAP, the Born Free Foundation and the Skydive for Wildlife campaign.
- Education and community outreach projects are expanded to the Salima district through a partnership with Kuti Wildlife Reserve, also the preferred site for all non primate releases.
- LWC becomes an official ‘Eco Schools’ partner, starting 450 schools in Lilongwe and with a view to rolling the programme out nationally in 2014.
- LWC leads the national Elephant March campaigning against the ivory trade and receives a government pledge for future support.
- The Tusk Trust increase their funding for the education programme for the 3rd year running.
- The new cafe is completed but lost in a fire…onwards and upwards!
- Funding for the nationwide anti-wildlife trade campaign is provided by Born Free.
- LWC is approved as a member of the Species Survival Network.