We offer the opportunity for people with a passion for wildlife and wildlife research to volunteer their time to assist us in achieving our aims. We need as much help as we can get to make a difference for carnivores and their habitats in Africa, we are a small team with a big task ahead. In return it is our hope that volunteers will enjoy volunteering with us, meet like-minded people and develop some new skills.



experience remote VWAZA MARSH WILDLIFE RESERVE and the hub of african city life

Dr StoneVolunteering with us gives you the chance to experince th evariety that MAlawi has to offer. Out field camp is located in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve in the remote unspoilt African wilderness with very few visitors, untouched by mass tourism like Kenya and Tanzania. Also from our flagship Conservation Research Centre (CRC) you get a chance to experience the hub of African city life. Our centre is located just outside Lilongwe city in beautiful native woodland setting of Kumbali Country Lodge, giving you the bush experience just a stones through from the city centre.


Project Location

Volunteers will be based at one of our two CRM field research camps. One is located on the shores of the lake Kazuni in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve and the other at our Conservation Research Centre in the capital city of Lilongwe.









Camp in Vwaza is rustic but very comfortable with canvas safari tents on platforms, equipped with beds, mattresses, linen a dining area, kitchen, solar power, compost toilets and bucket showers.

Camp consists of a number of staff safari tents, along with a range of volunteer tents. The Nyika Research Camp is used for satellite camps and based in the heart of the plateau at 1800m at Chelinda. We have a beautifulll log cabin, with two volunteer rooms (each housing 2 bunk beds), a bathroom with hot shower and flusing toilet, a big log fire and a lovely kitchen with gas hob.Nyika

Every two weeks we head into the local town Mzuzu from the Vwaza camp) to get our groceries, giving volunteers the opportunity to experience local life and engage with local communities.

Vwaza harbours abundant wildlife including elephant, leopard, hyaena, jackal, serval, impala and hippo, buffalo. 




CRCOur Conservation Research Centre in Lilongwe is located just outside the city set in beautiful native woodland of Kumbali Country Lodge, giving you the bush experience just a stones through from the city centre. Spotted hyaena and jackal roam freely around the woodlands, with hyaena regularly heard calling at night. Here you experience urban carnivore research and the conflicts and challenges experienced by communities living alongside free roaming large carnivores.


What you will be doing

We conduct a variety of research projects giving you the opportunity to gain a diverse range of skills. We conduct research on all carnivores and their prey and have ongoing projects including: a spotted hyaena behavioural ecology project and the urban hyaena research project. Volunteers are an important part of CRM and we hope to give everyone a fun and rewarding experience. Whatever your background, there is plenty you can contribute with a range of activities to match your interests and abilities. Our volunteers undertake a range of carnivore surveying and monitoring activities, as well as community education and awareness activities.

There are 9 key areas of work volunteers undertake:

1. Camera trapping for carnivores (setting and checking traps, processing pictures and identifying animals) 2. Acoustic call in surveys to census carnivores (only once per year) 3. Spoor tracking surveys (for carnivores) 4. Large mammal transect surveys (to assess prey abundance and distribution) 5. Spotlighting surveys (for carnivores) 6. Otter surveys (Nyika NP Only) 7. Vegetation surveys and habitat mapping 8. Community questionnaire surveys (seasonal) 9. Various lab based activities including: GIS mapping, data entry and diet and parasite analysis.


Key facts

  • Duration: 2 to 10 weeks (longer stays may be possible)
  • Requirements: age 18+, and in good health
  • Location: Kasungu National Park or Nyika National Park, Malawi or, if specially requested, Lilongwe City, Malawi.
  • Activities: Field Research on spotted hyaena, leopard and large mammals, education, community engagement: including camera trapping, spotlighting, large mammal foot transects, diet and parasite analysis, vegetation surveys, habitat assessments, data collation; community surveys and questionnaires (at certain times of year)
  • Student project opportunities? Yes, especially MSc
  • Discounted rates for students? Yes
  • Arrival airport: Lilongwe International
  • Dates: We take volunteers at any time of year but we discourage start dates in the week of Christmas/New Year. Interested applicants should be aware that the rainy season (December - March) does affect the activities due to road access.


Interested? Heres how to apply

Find out what life is like as a CRM volunteer by reading our volunteer blog

If you are interested download the information pack and the application form and send your application to volunteer@carnivoreresearchmalawi.org

Contact us at volunteer@carnivoreresearchmalawi.org if you have any questions.


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Volunteer blog

Click here for current stories from project volunteers.

How you can help

Find out how you can help by volunteering, making a donation, or sponsoring here.