Do you want to work with wildlife, learn something new and make a difference?
Duration: 2-12 weeks
Requirements: 18 yrs+
Location: Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve
Activities: Animal husbandry, orphan care, vet procedures and health checks, integrations and re-introductions. Education, community outreach, campaigns, research.
Dates: All year, arriving and departing on a Tuesday.
Project sites/ accommodation
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, 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 four people, with 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.
Food: Vegetarian meals and drinking water are included and are served from Monday to Saturday by our local cook Joseph, who provides international meals along with some Malawian dishes (that he is more than happy to show you how to make). Joseph takes a day off on Sundays so you can alternate with the other volunteers to cook up a feast, or you can check out what the local restaurants have to offer. Food in Malawi is basic and we have to work with the seasons and availability, but Joseph does a great job and we can still cater for any specific dietary requirements.
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.
Travel and free time
Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Central Region:
Malawi is known as the Warm Heart of Africa for its friendly people and lush landscapes, and it’s generally viewed as the ‘safest’ country to travel in Africa. Volunteers are able to take one day off a week, but, at the discretion of the management, it is possible to take off more or less time, dependent on emergencies and what projects you have going on. Volunteers who work longer than a month will also be given a long weekend off every 4 weeks. We highly recommend that you spend weekends off at the ‘lake of stars’, or perhaps a safari in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. We can help you with your booking and show you the best deals. Other options include:
- Senga Bay: Boat trip, snorkelling, swimming.
- Liwonde National park: Game drives and boat trips
- Cape Maclear: Boat trips, paddle-boarding, canoes, booze cruise, hiking.
- Blantyre: City trip
- Kande: Horse Stables
- Dezda: Pottery, paper workshop, hiking, cave paintings
- Kuti Wildlife Reserve: Wildlife viewing
By African standards, Lilongwe is a safe, clean and relatively quiet city with just the right amount of nightlife, which we will be more than happy to introduce you to! There are craft and food markets within walking distance, where you can browse the stalls for curios, pick up some local veg and practice your haggling. Many lodges and hotels also have pools and spa facilities which are also worth taking advantage of!
Any bookings made before the end of 2017 will be booked at 2017 prices:
- 2 or 4 Bed Private Chalet – £20/$26 per night for up to 2 people plus £12/$15 per additional person
- Shared Chalet – £12/$15 per night
- Airport transfers not scheduled for a Tuesday cost £30/$39 one way
Where does the money go?
All of the money raised through our volunteer programme, after costs, goes directly into the Wildlife Centre and its associated projects – without you the Wildlife Centre would not be able to continue to operate! Your donation means that we can continue to take in animals, feed and provide the essential medical care that they need, and pay local wages.
- All meals and unlimited tea, coffee and drinking water
- Transfers to and from the airport and all work related transport
- Wifi, t shirt and local SIM card
- Orientation and training in all relevant departments, plus full support from the Volunteer Coordinator during your stay.
Price doesn’t include:
- Vaccinations, travel and medical insurance
- Visa ($75 single entry 30 day visa, plus extensions every 30 days = $10)
- Additional excursions, nights out, souvenirs and personal expenses such as soft drinks, beers, snacks.
We recommend bringing out a little extra to spend on drinks, meals out and souvenirs. £30 a week should more than cover these, depending on your lifestyle. As an idea of costs for extra trips, you will need about £65-£125 if you want to take a trip to Lake Malawi, dependent on accommodation and activities. A 3 day safari to Zambia would be around £350.
We get fully booked very quickly especially in peak periods and to avoid disappointment we can only guarantee your place when a £200 holding deposit is paid. A final deposit is due 2 months prior to arrival and then the rest needs to be paid in cash when you arrive.
8am-11am: Orphan Care
11am -12pm: Enrichment activities
2pm – 5pm: Community Outreach
Simply email email@example.com or fill in this form and we’ll send you an enquiry pack and application form. Questions are also more than welcome. We look forward to hearing from you!
Please be as honest as possible on your application form about any concerns about the type of work you can or can’t do and if you have any medical conditions. This will be treated with the utmost confidence and we will let you know if there is something you declare that would compromise your experience with us and what the options are.