Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre (LWC), LWT’s first project, opened in 2008. It is renowned as one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in Africa and is home to around 200 rescued animals at any one time. Set in a stunning 180-acre nature reserve, our sanctuary was placed under LWT’s protection by the Government. In addition to protecting important urban woodland, it stands as the country’s leading environmental education facility. Some 25,000 school children are welcomed through our entrance gates annually.

Adult tour group infront of yellow babboon enclosure
Blue monkey enjoying food at LWC
IMG_2682Community engagement briquette making_Lilongwe_March 2020
lilongwe wildlife centre playground

Wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

LWT’s sanctuary methods are so trusted that we are mandated to operate on behalf of the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, and are accredited by the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the PAW scheme under the Born Free Foundation. The Wildlife Centre is the world’s only sanctuary to hold all three accreditations and one of a handful of African sanctuaries deemed by GFAS to have high enough welfare standards for a global award. Over the last decade we have had support from Stichting AAP, the Born Free Foundation and the Olsen Animal Trust, but the centre’s financial stability also depends on the responsible tourism method through our
volunteer placement programme

The majority of our residents have been rescued within Malawi, but we’ve also provided sanctuary to some animals rescued from captivity and abuse in other countries, such as our olive baboons and two lions who used to call LWC home prior to their deaths in 2017.

We have a small vet clinic and orphan-care centre inside the sanctuary. Having a highly experienced animal-care team, the majority of rescue callouts can be managed on site. Every effort is made to return all rescued animals to the wild where they belong.  For those that can’t be released, we offer the best possible quality of life in large, natural enclosures where they can roam freely.

LWT’s Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU) is also on hand for other cases that need treatment in situ, especially for large animals such as elephant and rhino.

Plan your visit


We’re open to all visitors 365 days a year, 8am to 5pm. On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day we open late at 11am.

Please note that we have taken the decision to close our sanctuary tours. You can read our statement here

You can walk the 6km of beautiful wilderness trails along the river and through the forest. There’s also the Maravi Gardens café (open 8am-4pm Monday to Saturday), and a gift shop.

Entry fees: for citizens, K800 per adult and K400 per child; for non-Malawian citizens, entry is K2,000 for adults and K1,000 for children; K100 per child for government schools and orphanages; K150 per child for private schools; and K500 per child for international schools.

Donations are also appreciated and will be used to support our wildlife rescue work, providing a much-needed lifeline for orphaned and injured wild animals. Please leave what you can in the donation box at reception. You can also support the wellbeing of this protected site by picking up any litter you see.

We are currently redeveloping Lilongwe Wildlife Centre for the benefit of people and wildlife, an initiative known as Project GreenHeart – you can learn more here.

As redevelopments are completed, the site will feature a range of new facilities, including an education centre, a playground and an arboretum. There will also be exhibitions, installations and information on a range of environmental issues that will inspire and challenge visitors to take up the mantle of protecting nature!

Click here to download a booklet for a self-guided tour of the northern side of Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

For enquiries please call +265 (0)88 1788 999 or email

The Wildlife Centre is situated in the heart of the capital city. Find us on Kenyatta Drive between Old Town and City Centre, equal distance from the Lingadzi Bridge and Kamuzu Central Hospital roundabout.

Onsite partners

Maravi Café

Maravi is an artisan bakery and café offering artisanal and delicious snacks, meals and fresh breads baked daily.

Visual Arts Association of Malawi

The Visual Arts Association of Malawi coordinates and supports visual artists across Malawi. A wide range of art and traditional crafts from Malawian artists is available to purchase in the reception area.

Kawandama Hills Plantation

This 6,500-hectare plantation in Viphya Forest Reserve produces essential oils, Virisafe hand sanitiser and sustainable charcoal. Lilongwe Wildlife Centre hosts one of their sustainable charcoal outlets.

International Conservation & Clean-up Management

ICCM is a social enterprise dedicated to effective education, practical waste reduction and the ethical recycling or reuse of resources. ICCM operates the recycling station at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. We use some of the raw materials to create eco bricks and briquettes as part of our own education programmes.