MALAWI - 2016/05/29: A Vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) in a tree in Liwonde National Park, Malawi. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

Top choice in Lilongwe

This 1.1-sq-km wilderness area is Malawi's only sanctuary for orphaned, injured and rescued wild animals, and plays an active role in conservation. Local residents include a one-eyed lion rescued from Romania, a python, two cobras, baboons, duikers, servals, and blue and vervet monkeys. The entry fee includes a one-hour tour of the enclosures.

This isn’t a zoo, so you aren’t guaranteed to see any animals on the tour, but you will get to walk through a lovely wilderness area and learn about the centre’s aims and animal conservation in Malawi. Alternatively, you can wander the woodland trails and use the playground, picnic area and cafe.

The centre is considered by the UK-based Born Free Foundation, among others, to be a safe space for injured animals and those rescued from the bushmeat and wildlife trades, poorly kept zoos, and private collections. Its aim is to rehabilitate the animals for a life back in the wild, and it has a strict no-breeding, no-trade and no-non-essential-contact policy. It also runs an outreach program to schools.

A project of the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, the centre is alongside the Lingadzi River, between City Centre and Old Town.

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