Urban nature: Exploring Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

Location: Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Lilongwe, Malawi.

a trail in the lilongwe wildlife centre

Nestled amidst the bustling heart of Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city lies the 70-hectare Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. The sanctuary offers an escape from the urban environment, transporting you into an Acacia/Combretum forest forest, home to a variety of wild animals.

The centre features a boardwalk that takes one through the forest and along the Lingadzi River. The elevated path winds through the forest canopy, offering unique perspectives of the forest and along the Lingadzi River below. The boardwalk is made from recycled plastic.

There is also a network of ground trails suitable for a leisurely walk and or jog.

[You can also read Tracking Lilongwe’s urban carnivores]

views of lingadzi river from the boardwalk

Views of Lingadzi River from the boardwalk

An inquisitive monkey walks down the boardwalk to inquire about what we are up to

Wildlife in the centre

The centre is a lush haven that provides a habitat for a diverse range of wildlife. There is a large population of freely roaming vervet monkeys, duikers, bushpigs, jackals and over 200 bird species.

The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre also runs a rescue and rehabilitation programme. Vervet monkeys and pangolins are among the animals rescued from illegal animal trafficking. Rehabilitated animals are released back into local national parks.

Lilongwe Wildlife Turst flyer

The centre has a variety of activities to suit your different desires.

The trails

The trails at the centre take you through the forest and along the Lingadzi River. Billboards placed along the trails and boardwalk provide information to the centre’s visitors. These are useful in providing environmental education.

bird hide sign along the trails
a bird hide at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

Birdwatchers, rejoice! The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre has a bird hide overlooking the Lingadzi River, which is the ideal spot to watch as birds come in for a drink. With a little patience, you can spot a vast array of feathered friends.

GIZ Art Malawi rhino

Along the trails are scrap metal sculptures made by Samuel Ndalema. The sculptures are part of an Art Malawi project funded by GIZ. There are sculptures of a rhino, buffalo, crocodiles and baboon among others.

Meetings, munchies, and shopping

If you need to fuel up before or after your trail walk, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre has a cafe just for that. There is also a gift shop selling locally made arts and crafts.

The centre also has an open-air conference room with green spaces suitable for break-out sessions.

Volunteering at Lilongwe Wildlife Trust
Lilongwe Wildlife trust trail directions

Next time you are seeking a respite from the urban hustle and bustle, head to this unique wildlife haven and discover the wonder that lies within Lilongwe City.

The trails are open from 8 am to 5 pm every day.

The entrance to the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre is along Kenyatta Drive in City Centre. Go to their website to learn more.

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