8 independent reviews for Malawi wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

Reviews for Malawi wildlife sanctuary volunteering holiday

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review 2 Jul 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Waking up to the monkeys chattering in the morning, hanging out with the animal carers, I went to the lake for a weekend too, which was awesome fun.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just do it, you won't regret it! You're part of a working sanctuary, so be aware that you won't just be cuddling animals all day, but if you love wildlife then you'll want to see all the animals get back into the wild, and being a part of that process is really fulfilling.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. I was only there for a short time and worked only on animal care in the end, by my own choice. But you really feel part of the team and the bigger picture e.g. fighting ivory trafficking which is a big story for Malawi at the moment. It seems that the charity is very well respected and making a big impact overall so I felt honoured to be a part of it.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Definitely a working holiday, but it certainly beats lying on the beach all day and lifelong memories! I shall be back!

review 24 Mar 2016

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Great from start to finish - the staff, the country, the project, the work - I was sad to leave and hope to go back. I went for the animal work which I really enjoyed but an unexpected highlight of the trip was getting out into the community to see one of their fuel briquette projects.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

I still enjoyed my short stay but go for longer if you can. They have rules on working with some of the orphans who are more sensitive and this work is reserved for longer term volunteers. You can also get involved in more of the wider charity work that way.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely. As a volunteer you tend to focus on the rescue and rehabilitation work, but it was great to hear about everything else the charity is doing and feel that you are contributing to the bigger picture.They run the only wildlife sanctuary in the country as well as the government's wildlife emergency response unit so they're doing a lot to help wild animals in need. I also learnt about all their work with the government on things like setting up a new wildlife crime investigations unit and updating the wildlife act. I only saw a bit of the education work but what I did was very encouraging, the kids loved it and the educators were really passionate.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


review 13 Oct 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The first game drive in South Luangwa National Park where we saw so many animals, close up and without lots of other vehicles in pursuit.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The stay at Lilongwe was very much oriented towards animal care. There was some opportunity to go out outreach which for me was brilliant. volunteering at the Kuti reserve seems to offer more opportunities for getting involved in the local community.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes definitely. It offered local employment, gave wild animals a sanctuary and worked to return them to the wild and the Project carried out conservation education and community education projects.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

A great experience. I got to know some local people and volunteers from different countries and I learned about animal conservation and the social/ economic situation in Malawi.

review 2 Sep 2013

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part of the holiday has got to be the people. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly throughout my stay. You were made to feel at home as soon as you arrived which is just what you need after a long flight and arriving in a new country! The most exciting part was riding in the local buses, you get to see the city, meet local people and really immerse yourself in Malawi!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take something warm for the winter months, it does get cold at night and first thing in the morning. A fleece hoodie and a blanket are essential kit.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely, you could really see the results of the work. Animals were being painstakingly prepared for release back into the wild. I also went on Outreach - which should be a must for every volunteer! I went to an adult education class to see first hand how the projects are helping the local community. The students were very keen to learn and were making plans for the future, once they had achieved their exams. The students were really inspiring!

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was such an amazing experience and one I will definitely be repeating in the near future. Itís wonderful volunteering for an organisation that is so focused on helping both animals and the local community. I could clearly see how their hard work is paying off both by the rescue and release stories and the very positive impact they have on the community by really helping those that need to gain an education. This in turn helps to create a much rosier future for both Malawi's wildlife and its people.

review 25 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

It was so good to get the chance to meet so many local people and the most exciting part of the whole thing for me was helping to bring in an orphaned yellow baboon who was being sold on the street, and she was later named after me! It's so good to work closely with the animals, and bottle-feeding is nice too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Take lots of presents for whoever you might meet: stationery and toys are good for children, and lots of sunscreen would really help the albino clinic. It might be an idea to take some earplugs so you don't get woken by the mosque, and also don't take too much white clothing- chopping fruit can get your tops a little messy! One thing I didn't realise before I went is that it's nice to go out some evenings, so might be an idea to have at least one decent outfit to wear. Make sure you take enough memory for your camera because you'll take more pictures than you think, especially if you go on safari or extra trips. Dollars are a really good currency to have while you're in Malawi and much more useful than pounds. Also, take some little things with you like bracelets, silicone bracelets or a bottle of shampoo- some of the salesmen in the craft market in town don't mind trading a bottle of shampoo for a small painting!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The centre does everything it says it does and more- there are some really good income generation/community outreach projects which encourage locals to find alternative ways to make money.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

The best experience of my life! There's not enough words in the dictionary to explain the trip, it's what you make it, and you have to experience it for yourself to know how incredible it is. I will be returning next year!

review 19 Sep 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

So many things that I can't name just one! So then, to name but a few... hearing Bella the lion's roar all the way from the volunteer house and seeing her purrs and rolls of pleasure when you visit her enclosure. Watching the monkeys playing around right outside the volunteer house door and being able to bottle feed the baby baboons (if you're lucky you may be able to look after an orphaned baby). Getting to meet and work with the animal carers, who are such a good bunch of people; making you feel totally at ease straight away. Cycling around Kuti (a community linked wildlife park where volunteers may opt to visit) with the sun rising, looking for zebra, only to find them in the volunteer house garden upon our return! Laying out on blankets by the campfire (also at Kuti) talking and looking up at the starry African skies feeling that anything is possible! Attending a chief initiation ceremony as guests in one of the surrounding villages and seeing the Gule Wamkulu dancers. The people, the sunsets, the wildlife, the way of life.....everything!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If you're worried whether you will enjoy it or feeling hesitant, I would say just do it! Having not done this kind of holiday before I had a few moments of doubt beforehand but couldn't be more glad that I decided to go. Also, keep an open mind about everything. I ended up doing far more than I expected to be able to do in just two weeks (and by this I mean I saw far more of Malawi than I expected, not that I was worked to death!). The managers there are all friendly and flexible - they want you to enjoy it when all's said and done! Do take a couple of nice things to wear. I just took work clothes but then wished I had something better to put on when we went out. The facebook page is useful for contacting the other volunteers who will be there when you are. And remember that if you love wildlife (which you obviously do to be thinking of going) you already have common ground with everyone else there.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. The centre employs a team of local people and operates many community outreach programmes to interact beneficially with local organisations and communities. Kuti invests profits into many surrounding community projects, including sustainable income generation and education programmes regarding sustainability and responsible use of natural resources. Both places have wildlife conservation at the heart of their projects but also aim to both involve and benefit local communities as much as possible through re-investment and education.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Deciding to do this volunteer holiday has been one of the best decisions I've ever taken. So much so that I plan to return next year but for longer! The overall experience has far surpassed my expectations and I have some memories that will stay with me forever.

review 9 Jul 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The family feeling at the centre, although lots of different ages and backgrounds, it really felt like coming home from short trips away.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be open minded, get stuck in and don't be afraid to make suggestions. It's a lovely place with lovely people and you are doing something very useful.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Very much so, but there is plenty more to do. Some of the things you get to do and see will not show results in the short term, but are a wonderful basis for the future of whole communities .

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

It was very special and I would not hesitate to go back, maybe I will see you there.

review 9 Jun 2012

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The moment when baby vervet monkey Boo was accepted by his new monkey mum i'd had the chance to care for him as surrogate mother and was part of the introductions - amazing! Attending a literacy class and joining local dancing afterwards, malawian clubbing, malawian gin, heading into town on the back of a pick-up truck and all the adventures!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

You'll make the most if it if you go prepared, but with an open mind and relaxed attitude. This is Africa, not Europe... but that's why you go! If you have the chance I would recommend a safari in Zambia and a trip to Lake Malawi, both breathtaking.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, most definitely.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Fab, there is something for everyone here. You can work closely with the animals or do more community based work, or both. Being near the city you can enjoy a bit of malawian 'city life' if you want, or absorb yourself in nature being in the middle of the wildlife and wilderness.

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