Volunteer at a Wildlife Rescue Centre in Malawi

Company : Lilongwe Wildlife Trust
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1000 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Join placements from 2 to 12 weeks with the opportunity to get involved in a whole range of projects from wildlife rehabilitation through to habitat conservation and environmental education.

You can choose to spend all your time at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, or add on a week or two at Kuti Wildlife Reserve, offering the opportunity to get involved in park management and biodiversity conservation.  Next year there will also be the option to spend time volunteering with our primate release team in Kasungu National Park.  Whilst we do work hard here, we can also help you make the most of your down time by booking safaris or trips to the famous lake of stars.

This is a project where you not only make a real difference, but also have the chance to learn new skills, enhance your CV (if that’s what you want) and have a great experience at the same time. 

By volunteering your time, we hope that you will be happy to muck in with all sorts of projects. This is certainly a place where acting on your own initiative is really valued, so let us know if you see something whilst you are here where you think you could have an impact and best use your experience. Work will be very much dependent on what projects are going on at the time and we tend to mix up the programme for you so you get variation in your work. Here’s a flavour of some of the roles you could take on:



Assistant Animal Care
Work alongside our local animal carers to offer our animals the best possible care that they deserve…cleaning, feeding, hand rearing baby orphans and providing enrichment to those that need it. Please note that we take animal welfare very seriously as therefore we have a strict no-contact policy with the animals and the only exception to this is if you are hand rearing an orphan.

Vet Assistance
Help conduct full health checks on new arrivals, perform regular vaccinations and check-ups on all the animals at the Centre and help with emergency operations.  We are a sanctuary and not a vet clinic so the amount of veterinary work varies over time but we have enough work for a full time vet.

Rehabilitation and Release
Our welfare releases are highly acclaimed and we can boast  some of the world’s best success rates. This is because of the expertise and effort that goes into them, and volunteers are crucial to the process, helping with rehabilitation, observations, integrations and the final release and subsequent monitoring.  An excellent chance to learn from the best on animal behaviour.

Conservation, Habitat & Park Management
If you’re interested in conservation management or ecological research, we have several ecological surveys, mammal censuses and habitat management work to implement. Spending time at Kuti Wildlife Reserve is also an excellent opportunity to get involved with park management.

Project Support
If you’re itching to get those muscles aching, you’re welcome to help out with construction and maintenance around the reserve.

Inspiring the future generations of Malawi to care about wildlife and environment is central to our mission.  Over 20,000 school children have visited LWC in the last year and we have long term relationships with over 300 schools whom we regularly visit. Perhaps you could help us develop modules or conservation based activities for school groups or even assist as a tour guide. In addition to this we have our Wild Kidz holiday camps, which are run by volunteers and always a lot of fun.

Community Outreach
Spend time in the community helping to monitor our sustainable livelihoods  projects, including adult literacy and our UNDP funded ’green and clean’ programme which involves afforestation, making eco-briquettes and introducing permaculture gardens.  This also provides a fascinating insight into daily life in the communities and will also help you to see the benefits of conservation and sustainable livelihoods have for both people and wildlife in Malawi.   We also have active education and outreach programmes at Kuti Wildlife Reserve.

Marketing & Events
Anyone with experience in website design, pr, events, photography or documentary making would be very welcome. With the build of our amphitheatre there have been school plays, film nights, cultural dance performances and we hosted the opening ceremony of World Tourism Week, attended by the Minister of Tourism along with national press.



All of the money raised through our volunteering programme goes directly into the wildlife centre and is not tied up in administrative costs.

With this we are able to provide food and essential medical care for the animals, as well as improving and implementing our rescue and rehabilitation projects to ensure their survival not only within the centre but also when they are released back into the wild.

It also supports our education and community projects which are essential for the future of conservation in Malawi and allows us to provide employment for over 40 members of local staff.


What's Included:

  • Accommodation
  • All meals and unlimited tea, coffee and drinking water
  • Your initial 30 day Visa is free on arrival
  • Transfers to and from the airport and all work related transport
  • Free wireless internet
  • Free t-shirt and local phone sim-card
  • Orientation and training in all relevant departments and full support and assistance from the Volunteer Manager throughout your stay


What's Not Included:

  • Flights
  • Vaccinations, travel and medical insurance
  • Visas for placements longer than 30 days (roughly £20 for each additional 30 day period)
  • Additional excursions, nights out, souvenirs and personal expenses such as soft drinks, beers and snacks

Start Dates

All year round.

Costs / Benefits

2 Weeks - £1,370
4 Weeks - £2,235
6 Weeks - £2,885
8 Weeks - £3,450
10 Weeks - £3,930
12 Weeks - £4,350


We welcome volunteers of all walks of life and whilst relevant skills and past experience are very helpful, it is those with enthusiasm, a positive attitude, flexibility and a good work ethic that leave the biggest mark and who get to go home with the greatest sense of achievement. Volunteers are of mixed nationalities and ages, the minimum age to join us is 18 but there is no maximum age limit, the oldest volunteer was 72! 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.

Booking / Enquiry

Lilongwe Wildlife Trust Volunteer at a Wildlife Rescue Centre in Malawi Reviews

LWC veterinary medicine course

I took part in the Lilongwe wildlife trust’s veterinary medicine course in june 2017. It was an amazing experience and I would do it again. The people I met on the course were all extremely knowledgeable, helpful, passionate about wildlife and a pleasure to be around! The course included both theory and practical classes and we spent the last two days on safari between Kuti wildlife reserve and Liwonde NP.
I would highly recommend this course, especially if you are thinking of going into veterinary medicine. Malawi is a beautiful country and the LWC was the cherry on top :)

By: Astrid Dedieu
Nationality: France
Age: 21

Fantastic Experience

I had an amazing experience volunteering here, I met like-minded staff members and volunteers, and you can really make a positive impact on the animals.

The sanctuary takes in mainly orphaned primates, but also any other animals that need care-taking. For every animal taken in, the goal is to release it into the wild again, and handling animals always follow strict protocols, where interaction is only allowed where absolutely necessary. Animals receive all the necessary care to ensure adequate nutrition and a social setting as close as they would experience it in the wild as possible. Enclosures are large and allow animals to avoid proximity to tourists during guided tours. The staff are very friendly and professional, including qualified veterinarians that monitor the animals' health.

Daily tasks can depend on when you participate season and the centers current need, but include a balance between feeding the animals, physical work (center maintenance), enrichment, and community outreach.

By: Benni
Nationality: German
Age: 24

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