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What is orphan season in Malawi?

As winter departs, our team in Malawi are gearing up for orphan season 2023. Every year with the arrival of the much-needed rains, the Malawi Wildlife Sanctuary sees an influx of small animal orphans. Sanctuary volunteers are desperately needed to support the local staff.

The Malawi Wildlife Sanctuary is Malawi’s top sanctuary, working tirelessly 365 days a year to give rescued wildlife the best chance of survival, rehabilitation and release.  Orphan season in Malawi is one of the busiest times of year for wildlife rescue.

What is orphan season?

With the rains comes new life, as most wild animals tend to give birth during the wet season. Unfortunately, babies and new mothers are the most vulnerable victims of the human-wildlife conflict, illegal pet trade and shrinking habitats. The most common animals affected by ‘orphan season’ are baboons and monkeys, but the sanctuary has also regularly taken in baby duikers (small antelopes), birds, birds of prey and other small wildlife such as hedgehogs.

The sanctuary is in demand from across the whole country. New arrivals and calls for help are always a regular occurrence – but in the orphan season the calls come in daily.

What can volunteers do to help in orphan season?

Volunteers during the orphan season have their work cut out to provide the round-the-clock care to these tiny animals. It is exhausting but very rewarding work for any volunteer passionate about animal care. As soon as possible, orphans are integrated with the sanctuary’s other primates or similar animals to give them the best chance of survival when they are returned to the wild. How long they stay at the sanctuary will depend on how young they, the extent of any injuries and how traumatised they are by their experience. It is a sad but very necessary job.

Here are some pictures of the sanctuary’s recent orphans, some will find foster mothers, and they will all have new brothers and sisters! The video shows orphaned baboon, Polly, being introduced to her new foster family – mum, Ivy and her foster daughter, Rogue.

All volunteers and veterinary interns joining the sanctuary between October 2023 and January 2024 will save 10% on stays of 2 or 3 weeks, and 15% on stays of 4 weeks or longer. 

Pricing for the project is as follows:

2 weeks: £1,370 (October – January projects: £1,233, save £137!)
3 weeks: £1,775 (October – January projects: £1,598, save £177!)
4 weeks: £2,235 (October – January projects: £1,900, save £335!)
5 weeks: £2,575 less 15%
6 weeks: £2,885 less 15%
8 weeks: £3,450 less 15%
10 weeks: £3,930 less 15%
12 weeks: £4,350 less 15%

All prices are in GBP.
Fees exclude admin fee of £40 per booking.

Prices are valid for projects of any duration, starting from 2nd October 2023 – 30th January 2024. For terms and conditions, please see below.

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If you’d like to help in orphan season, join our Malawi wildlife sanctuary programme or Veterinary Internship between October 2023 – January 2024 and you will save up to 15% on bookings! For more details of the project, please click on the link below. If you have any questions or you’d like to book a place, please get in touch!

 Operating on a serval cat

** Special offer terms and conditions:

  • Special offer applies to projects with a start date between Tuesday 2nd October 2023 – Tuesday 30th January 2024.
  • The discount cannot be combined with any other promotional offer or discount.
  • Offer applies to Malawi Wildlife Sanctuary Programme and Veterinary Internship bookings only.

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