Join a wildlife review and rehabilitation center
If you’re looking for a hands-on veterinary internship abroad, this wildlife veterinary internship in Malawi could be a great opportunity for you. You’ll join a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center and, alongside an experienced veterinarian team, you’ll assist with a variety of treatments.
You’ll be part of a wildlife conservation organization based in Lilongwe. This well-established nonprofit is on a mission to protect local wildlife by rescuing injured animals, protecting habitat, running conservation education programs, and providing a sanctuary for a range of wildlife.
As part of this initiative, you’ll focus on veterinary treatments of animals such as baboons, small antelope, wild cats such as serval, porcupines, and anything else that might get brought into the center. You’ll assist with health checks, diagnostics, care plans, and emergency operations. When there is time, you’ll also assist in the overall management of the wildlife sanctuary, which will offer you an all-round experience in wildlife care and conservation.
You can apply for this wildlife veterinary internship if you’re a veterinary student or a veterinary nursing student. Your work will be adapted according to your level and experience.
Learning outcomes of this wildlife veterinary internship in Africa;
- Practical experience as a wildlife veterinarian
- Insights into conservation issues facing wildlife in Malawi
- An understanding of the day to day running of a wildlife conservation nonprofit
- Experience in wildlife care and management
You’ll join a wildlife conservation organization in Lilongwe, Malawi. This nonprofit is dedicated to protecting local wildlife, and they do this through a number of programs, including;
- The rescuing of injured wildlife and rehabilitation. Where possible, the wildlife is released back into the wild – otherwise they are looked after in the organization’s wildlife sanctuary.
- Campaigning against illegal wildlife trade, poaching, and other issues that are threatening wildlife.
- Educating local communities about the importance of their habitat and its many wildlife species.
- Lobbying with policy makers for wildlife protection.
TASKS & REQUIreMENTS
As a veterinary intern on this program, your tasks will include;
- Doing exams and health checks, running routine diagnostics, doing rounds, and drawing up care plans.
- Assisting with emergency surgeries when they happen. (Note that this isn’t a daily occurrence.)
- Assisting with animal care and enrichment activities in the wildlife sanctuary
- Potentially doing field work with the local veterinarian team (depending on your level and the programs running at the time you’ll join)
- You need to be a veterinary student or a veterinary nursing student. (You can be in any year of your study program; the level of your work will be adapted to the level of your knowledge and experience.)
- A flexible approach to work
- A willingness to adapt to a foreign work environment
- A passion for wildlife conservation
WHERE YOU’LL STAY
You’ll stay at a comfortable shared house with other interns and volunteers, right in the 180-acre the sanctuary is based in. The reserve is home to a range of wildlife, including antelopes, small carnivores, hyenas, and crocodiles, so you’ll find yourself staying in a wonderful natural environment. The house has shared bedrooms, several communal spaces, and an outdoor deck and garden. Meals are cooked by our local chef every day except on Sunday, when you can sample some local restaurants in nearby urban areas, or get takeaway meals. The menu is vegetarian with a mix of international and local dishes.
Safety & Support
Make sure to visit your doctor and dentist for a check-up before yor internship and to get all the recommended vaccines and/or medications necessary to stay healthy. Rabies is strongly recommended and we do not advise you to come for a placement without it; animal care tasks will be limited and you will be required to sign a waiver if you choose not to have the vaccination. Additionally, the organization requires you to take a TB test (and receive a negative test result) as even if you have been vaccinated against TB you may still be a carrier of the disease and pass it onto the animals.
Wifi access is limited in Malawi, so interns are recommended to purchase a local SIM card to stay connected to loved ones. Your host organization will assist you with a local SIM card, so make sure your phone is unlocked before travelling.
Meals are cooked by the local chef every day except on Sunday, when you can sample some local restaurants in the nearby urban areas, or order takeaway meals. The menu is vegetarian with a mix of international and local dishes. It’s recommended to only drink water from bottles.
You’ll be based in the capital, Lilongwe, which is a bustling and vast city. Although you’ll spend most of your time on the project, you’ll have the weekends to explore the area and get a glimpse into Malawian city life. There are plenty of markets to visit, hikes to climb, and people to meet in this energetic location. You’ll also be less than 2 hours away from Lake Malawi, the third-largest lake in Africa.
DATES & RATES
The start/arrival date is every week on a Tuesday. Start and end dates will be discussed with you during the selection process.
What you’ll pay (2023 rates)
2 weeks GBP 1,370
4 weeks GBP 2,235
6 weeks GBP 2,885
8 weeks GBP 3,450
10 weeks GBP 3,930
12 weeks GBP 4,350
- Careful matchmaking. It takes time to find the right internship for each person, and we take this process very seriously.
- Initial interview with one of our team to gauge your skills, interests, and desired learning outcomes.
- An academic internship eligible for university credit. Check with your university to confirm if this internship qualifies for credit or alternatively we can assist you with purchasing transfer credits.
- Accommodation in a shared room (2 pax). If you prefer a single room, please contact us for availability and prices.
- Airport transfers from Lilongwe upon arrival (Tuesdays) and departure
- All placement related transport
- Vegan/Vegetarian meals from Monday to Saturday and unlimited tea, coffee and filtered water
- Wifi access
- Local SIM card
- Housekeeping service
- Assistance with your visa arrangement and other preparations
- An orientation program with your host organization
- Tour of Lilongwe city
- Supervision and support during your stay
- Regular check-ins during your internship with your supervisor
- Troubleshooting if needed
- A reference letter at the end of your internship
- Visa, vaccinations, TB scan, medical and travel insurance costs for the duration of your placement – must include cover for repatriation
- Transfers for lost luggage to field sites
- Drinks, snacks, and items of personal nature (f.e. curios, gifts, clothing)
- Costs for additional excursions or activities
Some of our most commonly asked questions for programs in Malawi.
You can expect to foster a unique connection with the local community, as well as having many opportunities to explore various projects during your internship. If you wish to know more about what to expect, make sure to read our blog from a previous intern who traveled to Malawi!
The minimum length of our internships in Malawi is two months, but the ideal length is closer to four months, if possible. This ensures you have an adequate amount of time to make a tangible impact. Luckily, the length of our programs is customizable so you can apply for a summer, remote, hybrid, or gap-year internship!
Personally, you can prepare by learning about the history and culture of Malawi and reflecting on your internship goals, and we’ll be here to help you with the rest! Ask us any questions you may have about placement logistics, matchmaking, check-ins, advice on visa/insurance, or anything else you may think of. If you wish to know more about preparing for your internship, you can check out our ultimate guide to NGO internships in Africa!
Unfortunately, it is not possible to receive any kind of stipend while interning for a nonprofit organization. Your internship will be unpaid so we’ve put together a few tips on how to fund your internship. There will be opportunities for professional and personal growth and you’ll leave with a wealth of knowledge that is invaluable!
- Gain a wealth of hands-on wildlife veterinary experience
- Get involved in the management of a wildlife sanctuary
- Contribute to important wildlife conservation work in Malawi
- Learn from experts in your field
- Stay in a small game reserve, surrounded by wildlife
- Boost your resume with international work experience
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