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Protection of Wildlife in Malawi: Sanctuary, internships, and field research


This project is dedicated to the wildlife of Malawi. In this southern African country, the disappearance of wild habitats and human / animal conflicts are the major threats to wildlife. This project works in several ways: a wildlife sanctuary, which houses injured or traumatized animals, a veterinary intervention program for animals requiring appropriate care, and an elephant or primate research program to better understand and protect these endangered species.

Ecovolunteers can intervene in the sanctuary, to help the project to provide daily care to the animals housed, and also participate in the research program or help the project to carry out its communication campaigns. This mission is also open to veterinary students for trainees in the field of conservation biology or justice.

DUREE : 2 minimum weeks

DATES : all year

ACTIVITY : Sanctuary and Full Nature

SPECIES : all wild species

WORK LANGUAGE : English (minimum level B1)


INVOLVEMENT : 6 days a week, 8 to 10 hours per day

PUBLIC : Any public over 18 years, individuals, eco-solidarity holidays, students



Malawi is a country particularly rich in plant and animal biodiversity, home to 9 national parks or reserves, and home to many iconic and highly endangered species. The main threats to wildlife today are commercial poaching and deforestation.
The mission of this project is to protect the wildlife of Malawi, it acts concretely in many ways by offering:
- Temporary or permanent shelter for animals in distress, thanks to wildlife sanctuary. 200 animals are housed in the best possible conditions (largest and "natural" enclosures possible ...). Particular attention is given to rehabilitation in the natural environment, where feasible. Ecovolunteers are fully involved and remain the key to the success of this program.
- Des adapted veterinary care, in the veterinary clinic located in the heart of the sanctuary. The latter is held mainly by the veterinary ecovolunteers and veterinarians of the project.
- A veterinary emergency field service for emergencies that can not be treated in the clinic.
- Concrete support for the establishment of regulations and legislation for endangered species and wildlife in general in Malawi
- A comprehensive environmental education program to the community (schools), led by project members and ecovolunteers.
- A permanent research program on elephants, primates, epidemiology, illegal trafficking ... to intensify its conservation of Malawi's wildlife. The project welcomes trainee students as well as ecovolunteers.

To help it carry out these actions, the project welcomes ecovolunteers all year round, as well as veterinary students or students / trainees in conservation biology. Each will be able to take part concretely in the actions carried out, in an exceptional framework and within a team of experienced professionals.

Ecovolunteers may, after spending two weeks at the sanctuary, participate in research conducted in conservation biology (optional). They can also, if they wish, benefit from courses on the rehabilitation of wildlife, participate in the organization of environmental education activities in schools, or help to set up communication campaigns.

Location / Habitat

Volunteers intervene in different places, depending on whether they are ecovolunteers, veterinarians or trainees ...

The wildlife sanctuary is located in a reserve of 180 hectares, close to the city. The monitoring carried out within the reserve revealed a great animal biodiversity: birds, crocodiles, bush pigs, antelopes, hyenas .... For ecovolunteers, veterinary students, and trainees in conservation biology.

The Kuti Reserve, in the center of Malawi, is a space of 2000 hectares of breathtaking fauna and flora richness: forests and meadows shelter 200 species of birds, giraffes, wildebeests, zebras, primates .... For students Veterinarians or volunteers participating in the Large Mammal Research Program.

Vwasa Marsh Wildlife ReserveNorthern Malawi is a national 1000 km² reserve bordering Zambia. Forests and meadows are home to an exceptional bird fauna (almost 300 species of birds have been recorded there), but also large mammals such as elephants, hippos, buffalo .... For trainees in biology of conservation and ecovolunteers working on elephants.


At the Sanctuary, the wet season runs from November to March, with rather moderate rains; and the dry season is between April and October. October and November are the hottest months (average 32 ° C) and July the warmest (average 25 ° C).
The Vwasa Marsh Reserve is a little warmer than the Sanctuary.

To learn more about local weather conditions.


The Wildlife Sanctuary is located in a reserve of 200 hectares, close to the city. The monitoring carried out within the reserve revealed a great richness in biodiversity: birds, crocodiles, bush pigs, antelopes, hyenas ....
On average, more than 200 animals are housed in the sanctuary: crocodiles, antelopes, hyenas, baboons, owls, vervet monkeys, pythons, servals ...

The Vwasa Marsh Reserve is home to many species such as buffalo, elephant, many species of antelope, hippopotamus and more than 300 bird species.

Involvement ecovolunteer

The project welcomes ecovolunteers, but also veterinary trainees or in conservation biology. The sanctuary houses the veterinary clinic.


The Wildlife Sanctuary follows a program of rehabilitation of animals welcomed, which enjoys a worldwide reputation today. Activities there include:

  • The care provided to orphaned babies, following a specific procedure to give them the chance to be released into the wild. It is most often owls, jackals, vervets, baboons, servals and antelopes.
  • Daily care given to animals that live there all year long: cleaning, preparation of food, care .... The main species concerned are vervet monkeys, baboons, and antelopes.
  • Enrichment of enclosures, necessary to prevent animal stress: design and production of objects, behavioral observations ...
  • The rehabilitation of wildlife in its natural environment. The program followed by the project enjoys a worldwide reputation for its high success rate. The animals are released in several natural sites in Malawi, volunteers can occasionally be associated. Most of the released Vervets and Baboons are being monitored and researched over the long term as part of the conservation biology research program.

The working time of the ecovolunteers at the sanctuary depends on the needs of the moment and varies between 8 and 10 h per day. They often have to intervene late or earlier in the day, or during the night (to feed the orphans for example).

Orphans are more numerous at the sanctuary between October and March.

Ecovolunteers have one day of rest a week, and a long weekend a month. The work program is developed weekly, depending on the time and the specific skills of the local ecovolunteers.


Ecovolunteers can help the project in its environmental education actions, in the sanctuary and in schools around. Depending on the specific needs at the time of your participation, you can also be involved in the implementation of educational tools or help at exceptional events.

Other actions are carried out by the project and require all the help and assistance of volunteers: adult literacy, tree planting ....

The project conducts regular awareness campaigns on conservation in Malawi. Volunteers with special communication skills are more than welcome!


Ecovolunteers participating 4 minimum weeks can share their time between the Sanctuary and the research program. The latter takes place in the "bush" in the Vwasa Marsh Reserve, and focuses mainly on elephants or primates. It is also possible to participate in research conducted in the Kuti reserve (subject to availability, to arrange before your departure).

The work is seasonal and therefore variable. No experience or qualification is required. You will learn how to use a GPS, video trackers, collect data in the field ... The current research topics are: the study of large mammals, biodiversity, and the state of population health ...


For those wishing to learn more about wildlife rehabilitation, it is possible to combine your ecovolunteer experience with a comprehensive theoretical and practical course of 7 days. The latter is dispensed on specific dates in the year. Topics covered include:

  • Rescue and hosting of wildlife
  • Screening and disease control
  • The care of orphans,
  • Rehabilitation techniques
  • Catching animals
  • Behavioral observation techniques
  • Release techniques and follow-up ...

The course takes place in the sanctuary and in the reserves of Kuti or Vwasa.


The project accepts trainees in Conservation Biology. Applications must be made at least 6 months in advance and will be accepted on a case-by-case basis, depending on the availability and profile of the candidate.

Internship applications must be made to Cybelle PlanèteWe will help you in your efforts.


This part of the project is reserved for veterinary students, or veterinarians, who wish to take part in wildlife conservation in Malawi. The duration of participation must be between 2 and 12 weeks.

The work takes place in the veterinary clinic, within the Sanctuary, and consists essentially of the program of rehabilitation, assistance to orphans, and daily actions carried out in the clinic (follow-up of regular health and medical emergencies), under the direction of the veterinarians of the project. Veterinary students may also participate in the Kuti Wildlife Health Clinical Research Program and the transmission of diseases.


This course is ideal for students who wish to have both a sanctuary experience and a field experience. The duration of participation must be from 4 to 24 weeks, the course takes place in the sanctuary and in the Vwasa reserve.

Trainees will alternate shrine work and field research, mainly on elephant and primate projects.


This course is especially for students in zoology, animal behavior, and primatology. Its duration must be between 4 and 12 weeks, and it takes place in the sanctuary.


This internship takes place essentially within the sanctuary and has a duration between 1 and 6 months. It is intended for law students who wish to gain experience in the defense of wildlife.


For students of a higher level of education and wishing to carry out their research project for a duration of 1 to 12 months. Several research projects are carried out by the project, students will be able to integrate.

Requirements and constraints

You do not need special qualifications to be ecovoluntary to this mission. Once on site you will receive the necessary support.

  • You must be at least 18 years old,
  • You must have a real interest in conservation biology and environmental issues,
  • You must be able to work in a team,
  • You must be able to walk 5 km per day on average,
  • You must have made all necessary health checks before your arrival,
  • You must have anti-malaria treatment, be up to date with your rabies vaccination, and have proof of a TB negative test.
  • You must know how to speak English,
  • You must have full travel insurance (including emergency medical assistance and repatriation).

Before you register:

  • It is important to read the detailed documentation to download.
  • You will need to return the medical fitness form (attached to the detailed documentation) completed and signed by you and your attending physician.

Language (s) used (s)

English - The minimum English level required is B1: view details you self-assess

Conditions for minors

Minors are not accepted.


Example of a mission of 15 days at the shrine:

  • 1 Day: Meeting at the airport, transfer to the sanctuary. Rest
  • 2 Day: welcome and orientation with the volunteer coordinator, visit and explanations
  • 3 day: explanation and training by the coordinators
  • 4 Days to 13: Shrine Work - A Day of Rest
  • 14 Day: transfer to the airport



You are hosted in the heart of the sanctuary, live well surrounded by wild animals. The house of ecovolunteers is composed of a dormitory that can accommodate up to 10 people. A common area, a kitchen, showers and toilets are also available in the main house, as well as a garden with picnic tables.

A cook is in charge of preparing meals, which are vegetarian. On Sundays, the volunteers take care of the preparation of the meals.

Optional : if you wish to have more "comfort", you can opt for the 4 people chalet or the second 2 people chalet. Each chalet has a bathroom with shower and toilet. The cottages are next to the house of ecovolunteers.


You have a "basic" accommodation. Electricity and hot water are produced by solar energy and are available in the mornings and evenings only. You sleep in a big tent in the research camp. One space is dedicated to the toilet, another for cooking and for meals. meals are prepared by a project member.


The research camp has large tents shared by project members and volunteers. One space is dedicated to the toilet, another for the kitchen, another for the meals, the office, and the courses. Solar electricity is available. Meals are prepared jointly by the entire team.

Whatever your place of participation : All meals are vegetarian. It is possible to accommodate dishes for people with a particular diet: vegans, allergies ....


The project can accommodate up to 12 ecovolunteers at a time.


The project is open all year. The arrival and departure of the ecovolunteers must take place on a Tuesday.

The minimum and maximum participation periods vary depending on the participants:

  • Ecovolunteers, veterinary trainees and conservation: minimum 2 weeks, maximum 12 weeks
  • Legal trainees: minimum 1 months, maximum 12 months.
  • Search: minimum 1 months, maximum 12 months.

Rehabilitation course : The 2019 rehabilitation courses last 7 days and welcome a maximum of 6 participants in each session. The dates are: June 18 to 24, and August 13 to 20, 2019.

Participation of less than two weeks

Cybelle planet pledges to reduceimpact of long-haul flights on the environment. For this, we no longer accept entries of less than two weeks (outside Europe).

We consider that a stay of at least 15 days, during which you have a positive action for local biodiversity (ex: eco-volunteering mission), and where you adopt a responsible mode of travel, partially offsets your emissions at the regional level.

This "acceptable" minimum can be associated with carbon offset of your greenhouse gas emissions.

Travel Information

The Sanctuary is located near the city of Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, at 30 min. by car from the airport.

On the first day a member of the project will pick you up at the airport and accompany you to the shrine. You must arrive on a Tuesday.

Transportation to the Vwasa Marsh Reserve will be organized by the project from the Sanctuary.


For each mission, the amount of the Biodiversity Grant is calculated according to the needs of the project and the time you spend at the mission. Your donation will be used to cover his material, staffing and volunteer needs. learn more about Don Biodiversity

Amount of Don Biodiversity

Individuals and eco-friendly holidays *

  • 2 weeks: 2536 €
  • 3 weeks: 3278 €
  • 4 weeks: 4121 €
  • 5 weeks: 4744 €
  • 6 weeks: 5312 €
  • 7 weeks: 5853 €
  • 8 weeks: 6348 €
  • 9 weeks: 6815 €
  • 10 weeks: 7228 €
  • 11 weeks: 7631 €
  • 12 weeks: 7997 €

* find out more about eco-solidarity leave

Students and job seekers *

(including veterinary and primate courses)

  • 2 weeks: 1998 €
  • 3 weeks: 2581 €
  • 4 weeks: 3243 €
  • 5 weeks: 3733 €
  • 6 weeks: 4179 €
  • 7 weeks: 4604 €
  • 8 weeks: 4993 €
  • 9 weeks: 5360 €
  • 10 weeks: 5684 €
  • 11 weeks: 6001 €
  • 12 weeks: 6289 €

* The reduction of the Biodiversity Donation will be applied only if a receipt is received.

Conservation Internship

  • 4 weeks: 3387 €
  • 5 weeks: 3877 €
  • 6 weeks: 4323 €
  • 7 weeks: 4748 €
  • 8 weeks: 5137 €
  • 9 weeks: 5504 €
  • 10 weeks: 5828 €
  • 11 weeks: 6145 €
  • 12 weeks: 6433 €

Research internships

  • 1 months: 1983 €
  • 2 months: 2718 €
  • 3 months: 3452 €
  • 4 months: 4187 €
  • 5 months: 4921 €
  • 6 months: 5655 €
  • 7 months: 6390 €
  • 8 months: 7153 €
  • 9 months: 7859 €

Legal internships

  • 1 months: 1983 €
  • 2 months: 3495 €
  • 3 months: 4935 €
  • 4 months: 6519 €
  • 5 months: 8031 €
  • 6 months: 9543 €

Course "rehabilitation" wildlife

856 €

tax deduction : For individuals, participation entitles you to a tax deduction of 66%. So a donation of 2290 € will only cost you 779 €.

For companies, the participation of your employees entitles you to a tax deduction of 60%. So a donation of 2290 € will only cost you 916 €.

Annual fee

Cybelle Planète is a French law association 1901, ecovolunteer stays are reserved for members who are members of their annual subscription of 50 €. This membership automatically gives you access to insurance (including liability, repatriation, medical expenses). Membership in Cybelle Planète is subject to a tax receipt. Learn more about memberships

Your budget

The hosting project supports:

  • accommodation and food,
  • supervision by members of the project,
  • your transfer to and from the airport to the project,
  • WIFI access, 1 T-shirt, SIM card

You remain at your expense:

  • your trip to Lilongwe,
  • expenses incurred (drinks, restaurant, ....) that remain at your expense,
  • your complementary travel insurance (mandatory), including a Cancellation, Air / Train Delay, Baggage, Interruption of Stay.
  • your VISA

"Private" accommodation

Volunteers have the opportunity to "upgrade" their accommodation at their expense, in 2 or 4 places.

  • 1 place in a double cabin: 22 € per night
  • 2 sleeps in double cabin: 37 € per night
  • 1 place in a 4 chalet: 27 € per night
  • 2 places in a cottage of 4: 48 € per night

This accommodation is not subject to a tax deduction.

Travel arrangements

You must organize your own trip to the project: transport, visa, vaccinations if necessary, ....

You will find on our website information concerning visas.

Cybelle Planet can arrange for you to book your airline ticketsThis service is optional.

Conditions of participation

The general conditions of participation in eco-volunteering mission from Cybelle Planet are available online.

Commitment ecovolunteer

Before committing yourself as a Volunteer, you must have read and accepted the charter of ecovolunteers.


In addition to the insurance included in your membership, you must take out cancellation insurance, loss or damage to luggage, and flight delay. Cybelle Planète will offer you insurance during your pre-registration or you can subscribe one by yourself. A certificate of insurance will be required before departure. To learn more about insurance

ethical commitments Cybelle Planète

The Cybelle Planet associationcommitted to the ecovolunteering charter. We have always chosen sharing, equity and solidarity for all our actions.

Tax deduction

Participation in our eco-volunteering mission is reserved for our "support" members.

Ecovolunteers pay Cybelle Planète a Biodiversity Donation in addition to their commitment in the field.

Only the Biodiversity Gift and membership entitles you to a tax deduction (For companies or persons subject to corporation tax or income tax in France).

Medical fitness form

Your registration can not be validated unless we have received your medical fitness form completed and signed by you and your attending physician.

In order to avoid possible difficulties, we ask you to describe to us, as honestly as possible, your physical and emotional state.
Regardless of the medical situation, all projects are designed to accept as many participants as possible. For this reason, they remain attentive and are very understanding of the various health problems a candidate may have. All solutions are considered to enable the candidate to participate in the project, regardless of his or her state of health, and to the extent possible.
The consequences of misleading and / or omitted medical declarations can be very restrictive for the entire team involved in the mission, and in some cases dangerous (missions on the high seas, in very isolated sites, etc.). So, Any false declaration, omission or false information may be sanctioned by the immediate and definitive exclusion of the participant At its own expense and upon the exclusive and unilateral decision of the project.

Download the form for a francophone mission

Download the form for an English speaking mission


An ECOVOLONTAIRE T-shirt is offered for any registration to an ecovolunteer mission.

Note that no resumption or exchange is possible, we invite you to consult the description and the size guide .

Testimonials for this mission ecovolunteers