Lilongwe Wildlife Sanctuary

Company : The Great Projects
Activities: Activity Holidays / Career Break / Community Volunteer Projects / Animal Volunteer Projects / Expeditions / Conservation Volunteer Projects
Country: Malawi
Location : Malawi
Duration: 2 weeks to 3 months
Approx Costs: 1000 to 3000+ £ Pound (UK)

Join the world renowned Lilongwe Wildlife Centre as an animal care volunteer or as a member of the veterinary team if you are a veterinary student.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is an award-winning wildlife sanctuary located in the heart of Malawi. It is currently the country's only wildlife sanctuary for orphaned and injured wild animals. The centre has around 200 wild animals, including monkeys, lions and antelope - all of whom have been rescued with the aim of releasing as many of these as possible back into the wild when they have been successfully rehabilitated.

This project offers two types of volunteering. The first is for wildlife conservation enthusiasts and offers the opportunity to assist the experienced animal care team in a number of different activities at the centre. These include caring for orphaned animals, assisting with integration observation, contributing to the local community initiatives and even some veterinary assistance.

The second is specifically for veterinary students whom have completed at least 1 year of veterinary school. If you are volunteering as a veterinary student, you will work alongside the on-site vet in all aspects of veterinarian care including incoming exams, minor trauma, health checks and routine diagnostics. As well as learning from experts in wildlife veterinary science you will also take part in other aspects of the centre including orphan care and rehabilitation.

This project really offers incredible opportunities for both those with a big passion for wildlife and those looking to increase and expand their veterinary knowledge.


Day 1

Arrive into Africa's 'friendliest nation' via the Lilongwe International Airport, where you will then be met by a project representative. You will then transfer to the project site - a 25 min drive away. Once you have settled in, you will be able to meet your fellow volunteers and will also be able to see some of the sanctuary's residents!

Day 2-14

Project Days This project is extremely flexible so volunteers will mainly be able to spend time on the duties and activities of their choice. Working hours are 8am to 5pm, 6 days a week with a long weekend off every 4 weeks, although we ask that volunteers are flexible and able to step in if urgent tasks arise.

Day 15

Final day. Return to Lilongwe airport for return flight, continue with independent travel plans or repeat itinerary. Volunteers staying for 1 month or longer also have the chance to spend time at Kuti Wildlife Reserve, one of the project’s release sites.

Project Activities

On this project you will get the chance to take part in a wide variety of exciting activities. Below are examples of some of those included in this project.

Animal care assistant

Work alongside local animal-carers with cleaning, feeding, hand-rearing baby orphans and providing enrichment to those that need it.

Vet assistant

Work alongside our part-time vet and help conduct full health-checks on all new arrivals, regular vaccinations and check-ups on all the animals at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

Rehabilitation and release assistant

Work alongside our dedicated animal care manager to rehabilitate rescued animals and settle them into new groups. Some volunteers at the Lilongwe Wildlife Sanctuary will have the opportunity of helping with performing a release. These animals need to be fed and cared for, as well as monitored to collect data, which is essential to their safe release.

Centre support

Helping with construction and maintenance of the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, physical building work and painting of signposts.


Helping with guided tours with local people, to impart knowledge about the importance of wildlife conservation and helping to run the ‘Wild Kidz’ Holiday Camps.

Community outreach

Working alongside the community outreach manager, visit communities and help with existing outreach projects such as the ‘Learning Through Wildlife’ adult-literacy programme, and Malambe Juice Co-operative, or identify new ones.


For those interested in conservation management, there are several ecological surveys, mammal censuses and an important afforestation project which always require volunteer support for wider wildlife conservation in Malawi.

Start Dates

Every Tuesday.

Costs / Benefits

Prices from £1,244

What's included in the price of the project?
• A monetary contribution to the project itself
• Transfers to and from the airport
• Full orientation and support from the project managers
• Accommodation and meals as indicated

What's not included?
• Any flights
• Travel insurance
• Visas if required
• Wines and spirits
• Trips undertaken other than in the planned itinerary


The construction work undertaken on this project involves long hours of physical labour, often in high temperatures, and so requires a moderate level of fitness. The other tasks however, are not particularly, physically strenuous, but a fair level of fitness is advised. No specific skills or experience are required, just commitment to the project and its aims. However, if you do have specific skills or experience that you feel will greatly benefit one of the project’s programmes, this is always warmly welcomed!

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