Born Free regularly receives requests for information about volunteering opportunities overseas.
Wherever possible, we encourage the employment of people native to the region in which we are working, because we believe conservation stands a far better chance of becoming fully supported by communities if local people are direct stakeholders. However, international volunteers are an invaluable asset to wildlife conservation, and we want to encourage people with the desire and motivation to make a difference.
Before considering volunteering, please read our Volunteering Guidance Notes.
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer overseas volunteer opportunities in either Ethiopia, Kenya or Sri Lanka, but would be more than happy to help review any potential opportunities that you may be interested in.
Should you decide to volunteer, we would urge you to seek professional advice regarding health matters and travel recommendations relating to the country and area concerned well in advance of travelling. You should also make adequate insurance arrangements and take all sufficient precautions regarding your proposed stay.
Disclaimer: All arrangements for volunteers working with these projects will be between the individual volunteer and the project concerned and not with Born Free. For this reason, Born Free accepts no liability for any loss, harm or injury of any sort arising from, or in connection with, participation in the volunteer activity.
LILONGWE WILDLIFE CENTRE – MALAWI
Malawi is a great country for volunteers who are looking to help wildlife. Known as the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ for its friendly people, stunning scenery and safe reputation, the country is also facing a wildlife crisis. Habitats are disappearing, wild animals are losing their homes and human-wildlife conflict is increasing. Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) is Malawi’s leading wildlife welfare and conservation charity and there are volunteer opportunities available on a number of its projects.
Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, has close to 200 residents. Volunteers can contribute a great deal through wildlife care and rehabilitation work, and they can also choose to get involved in advocacy, education and community outreach programmes
Become a research volunteer on Lilongwe Wildlife Trust’s Elephants For Landscapes project, based at the Trust’s beautiful bush camp in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve. Volunteers will take part in elephant IDs, group observations, large mammal transects and dung and seed analysis, contributing to a scientific body of research and gaining valuable experience in the field.
Vet externships are open to vet students and vet nurses working at both Lilongwe Wildlife Centre and, in some cases, as part of the Wildlife Emergency Response Unit in the field.
SHAMWARI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE – SOUTH AFRICA
The Shamwari Conservation Experience offers the unique opportunity to take part in volunteer placements from two weeks to over three months and can include many different activities based on the needs of the reserve at the time. For example, this may include monitoring projects which assist in capturing vital information used in the research and management of all species on the reserve.
Volunteers are also able to visit and get involved in the work of Born Free’s big cat sanctuaries and Shamwari’s animal rehabilitation centre during their time with the team.
Anyone interested in working at Shamwari Private Game Reserve should contact Worldwide Experience (see below), an independent travel operator, for more details. If you quote ‘Born Free’ at all stages of booking, Worldwide Experience will make a donation to Born Free at no extra cost to you.
Worldwide Experience is an independent travel operator offering the unique opportunity to take part in volunteer placements from two weeks to three months. Worldwide Experience offers conservation placements in seven countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Madagascar, Croatia and Sri Lanka.
Anyone interested in working at one of the Worldwide Experience conservation projects should contact Worldwide Experience for more details. If you quote ‘Born Free’ at all stages of booking, Worldwide Experience will make a donation to Born Free at no extra cost to you.