Volunteers will stay in a comfortable, shared house in a rural village in the Mangochi District. The volunteer house is located on the shores of the stunning Lake Malawi. The area in which volunteers are based (and Malawi in general) is very safe. However, the house is fenced and gated for additional security and privacy.
The bedrooms in the volunteer house are large shared rooms (2-4 volunteers per room), generally with single or bunk beds. Mosquito nets are provided and the rooms either have en-suite facilities, or an adjacent bathroom. The bathrooms all consist of western style flush toilets and showers. Electricity is provided but expect power cuts, there is internet but is costs around USD 3 per hour, so take cards, books and games with you for evenings/free time.
On arrival** at Lilongwe International Airport you will be met by a project representative and transferred by road to the volunteer cottage, which is about 3 ½ - 4 hours drive from the airport. The project staff may need to pick up supplies and complete errands in the city en route, as we only travel to Lilongwe once every 2 weeks, so please be patient and understanding.
Please note that if you arrive on a different day to that specified in your confirmation letter or after 14:15, you will have to pay an additional private transfer fee of $200 in cash to the project co-ordinator on arrival.
If you cannot find our representative, please wait for the arrivals area to clear. If there is a delay of more than 15 minutes, please call the project co-ordinator. If for some reason you miss the flight, or are delayed, you should contact the project co-ordinator:
Augustine Kambalikena: +265 (0)99 191 4633, Sam Galanje: +265 (0)99 382 5560
** Arrival day Monday before 14:15 for airport transfer
** Departure day Monday morning for return airport transfer, departing flights should not be booked before 11:00
Getting to the Project
How you get to your project each day will depend on your activity and which village you are placed at. Sometimes you will travel in the project minibus, but you will be expected to walk or cycle to many programme activities. This is a nice way to see life in the community (the minibus is a bubble) and is how the locals travel. Any transport required during free time must be arranged and paid for by you. Weekend excursions, including the cost of transport, are available and can be arranged with your project co-ordinators.
Three meals a day are provided.
Breakfast usually consists of french toast, eggs, porridge or pancakes, and tea and coffee.
Lunch usually consists of sandwiches, pasta, soups, wraps, or similar; or a packed lunch can be provided if you are not returning to the house in the middle of the day.
Dinner will be a hot meal prepared for you by our cook.
Participants must advise us of their dietary needs (e.g. if they are vegetarian or have any allergies) prior to their departure. Participants with very specific dietary needs may be required to supplement their meals at their own expense.
Planning to travel to Malawi to volunteer? Here’s some important information for you:
Visas can be applied for in advance, but despite information on some embassy sites, most visitors to Malawi are obtaining visas on arrival still. They are being issued 30 day tourist/visitor visas on arrival for US$ 75. Please ensure that you have US$ 75 cash with you to pay for this on arrival.
The below items may help to ensure that this process is as quick as possible upon your arrival:
- Completed application form. Please enter holiday under reason for travel, as a volunteer visa does not exist currently and a visitor/tourist visa is the appropriate visa for your stay, as a paying tourist to the country, staying less than 90 days.
- Two passport photos
- Air ticket/Itinerary
- Three months latest bank statements
Those staying longer than 30 days are still being issued 30 day visa renewals locally at MWK 5000 each time up to 90 days, as they were previously.
Please note that when filling out the visa form on arrival in Malawi, you should state your address, which is:
Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Malawi and have two clear facing pages for the Malawian authorities to issue your visa - please check the expiry date of your passport very carefully. Make sure you write on the form the exact number of days that you require in Malawi and check that you have been granted the correct number of days in your passport.
It is important to ensure that you have the necessary Visas for your travel; this is your responsibility. The information provided below is to serve as a guideline only. We advise that you confirm this information with the embassy / consulate of the country that you will be visiting in your home country before departure.
What do I need when arriving in Malawi?
- A copy of your passport and your visa
- Your passport
- Yellow Fever certificate
- Copy of travel insurance
- Immigration details for Arrival Form (This form needs to be filled out on the airplane)
You should visit your doctor once your volunteer placement has been confirmed by us and ideally at least 6 weeks prior to travel, regarding the vaccinations and malarial prophylaxis required for your destination. The project is located in a malarial area. Below are some of the common recommendations for travel to Malawi:
- Tetanus: A recent Tetanus injection is highly recommended
- Typhoid, Hepatitis A and B: Usually recommended
- Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Polio, Rabies: Sometimes recommended
- Yellow Fever: Vaccination certificate required if arriving from risk areas.
Bilharzia can be contracted in many lake shore areas and rivers. We recommend that you are tested on return to your home country and take the Biltricide medication if necessary. This can be cheaply and easily purchased from a pharmacy in Malawi prior to departure or obtained on your return to your home country.