7 Things I Learned Volunteering in Malawi
In March 2017, Nadia from the Netherlands travelled solo and joined a volunteering trip to Malawi where she got to help exotic and endangered wildlife. She arranged her program through Conservation Travel Africa and had the most incredible time of her life.
Here she shares her experience and advice if you are keen for a similar experience.
1. Don't Worry if You Are Travelling Solo
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!
2. Make Sure You Choose a Good Organisation
It was my first time volunteering in Africa, and what a wonderful experience this was! There are a lot of volunteer programs in Malawi and Africa, but you must do your research to find a good one. And trust me Conservation Travel Africa is one!
3. You Pick Up So Many New Skills & Knowledge
In my first week I really learned a lot. 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).
4. Seeing Wildlife Released into the Wild is Incredible
I got to travel to the Kasungu National Park to see the group of vervet monkeys released! It was such a special moment and unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.
5. Volunteering Isn't a Holiday
I went to volunteer for 3 weeks (which was too short!). In my last 2 weeks I helped in the orphan care (preparing food, feeding monkeys and duikers, browsing, cleaning etc). 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. Sometimes you need to get your hands dirty and be prepared to work hard, if you want a relaxing holiday sightseeing this type of experience isn't for you.
6. Staff Are Passionate About Wildlife Conservation
You will meet some really incredible people that have a passion for wildlife. They really do everything they can to help every animal inspite of so many challenging issues like poaching.
7. Leaving is So Hard
It was hard to leave Malawi after spending three beautiful weeks there. I met great people from around the world and I took back beautiful memories.
If you are considering going to volunteer abroad, I highly recommend at a wildlife centre, this is the right place!
By Nadia S
Nadia participated on an animal rescue project in Malawi with Conservation Travel Africa - contact them today to arrange a similar experience.