Voluntourism – experience in Malawi
WHAT WE WILL DO

Voluntourism – experience in Malawi. This program was created following both requests and our desire to contribute to the development of the country through volunteering or as it is called, voluntourism. Starting from our base in Mulanje, where we will learn the basics of Malawi’s culture through a short course of  Chichewa organized by AROUND AWT, we will match the discovery of the culture of the country, to a volunteer experience in the heart of Africa. We will be guests, for about one week, at one of the associations that we have supported regularly for years.  Welcomed by young people of all ages from FOMO (Friends of Mulanje Orphans), who attend primary and secondary schools  through 14 distribution centers in the area. They are protected and assisted with basic needs. The help that a volunteer can give is to contribute positively to the creation of a solid foundation for a primary education, so that children should welcome the idea of overcoming the challenges for  secondary education, constantly motivate them to continue their studies and to commit to their education. On this volunteer trip you have the opportunity to share knowledge and experiences with the children with whom we are in close contact, acquiring new skills through the exchange. Volunteers can contribute in different subject areas, English, mathematics, the arts, sport, food education, ecology, to raise awareness of issues of common interest. End the experience with a few days of safari in Liwonde National Park, admiring the beauty of the river Shire and its elephants, crocodiles, hippos and then the Mua mission with its museum to know more about the country and contribute to the tourism industry. We then proceed to Lake Malawi to be in close touch with the simplicity of Malawian life of the fishing villages, fishermen and farmers.

 

DURATION 18 days.

THE TRAVEL

Voluntourism program is a powerful experience of giving and receiving.The days at our base in Mulanje, will be used to start learning the fundamentals of the Chewa language (Chi-Chewa) and some characteristic traits of Malawian culture, organized in collaboration with AROUND AWT. The walks around the crop area of Mulanje tea will accompany these days of study and deeper understanding of the traditions. There will be the opportunity to spend time with some of our staff and teach some subject that can be useful and fun. This project can be achieved through sport and / or the construction of objects with the use of recycled materials such as plastic or even mini-cooking courses, to learn some recipes, motivating individuals to a positive professional growth, collaborating to develop AROUND AWT.

Later we will move at the facilities of the association Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO), their significant presence has an aid for about 5,000 children in the area with 14 centers, where we will have the opportunity to teach one or more subjects and interact with teachers present, strengthening their capacities education and communication through the sharing of ideas. Drawing, painting, dance, sports, are some of the possibilities that we will have to motivate young people to participate, creating an even more positive and friendly environment.

Finally, get to know other realities and issues of the country and to contribute through economic growth in the tourism industry, we grant you a few days of relaxation and safari.

We visit the Liwonde National Park, the most famous park of Malawi. Along the Shire River, inhabiting many elephants and antelopes such as Lichtenstein’s hartebeest (Alcelaphus lichtensteini) and sable antelope (Hippotragus niger), buffalo, zebras, hyenas, warthogs, baboons, hippos and crocodiles; hundreds of species of birds inhabit the park which is a real ornithological paradise. The vegetation is very diverse, ranging from forests of mopane, the palm trees, the grassland, the acacias, while the hills dominate the forests of miombo. For this reason Liwonde is the only place in Malawi, where the inseparable Lilian Lovebird (Agapornis lilianae) nests. The park is also an IBA (Important Bird Area) recognized internationally with significant populations of rare or endangered species.

Legends and tales inhabit the imagination that describes the magic of Mount Mulanje Forest Reserve.

Then visit Mua Mission active since 1902. Since then, the White Fathers opened a cultural center dedicated to the art and the important KuNgoni Chamare ethnographic museum that preserves the rich heritage of Malawi; Here we can admire the collection of masks of Gule Wamkulu, secret ceremony of the ethnic Chewa, largest collection of masks in the world! We will move on the banks of the third largest lake in Africa, to the Lake Malawi National Park. This is a World Heritage Site and one of the world’s largest water reserves. By the clear waters and golden beaches that cannot be compared  to our Italian coast; it is estimated that the endemic fish that inhabit the waters, cichlids, are around 1000 species. The fishing villages add to the simplicity of Malawian life, with its rhythms from the lake. Here we will surely meet the fishermen of the lake with their fishing canoes who are dedicated to following old traditions. The drying of fish is a ritual and a procedure in which they are involved together with the old women of the village, while the children and the boys help the fishermen repairing nets. Malawi is a warm and welcoming country: its people have a warm and hospitable heart that in no other country in Africa we have ever heard.

STAFF

The staff is composed by local guides.  WHO WE ARE

MEANS OF TRANSPORT

The distances will be covered with a half Land Cruiser off-road 4 × 4 from 9 comfortable seats or other means that we deem suitable.

ACCOMMODATION

At Mulanje accommodation at the base of Africa Wild Truck, in old colonial house, within a historic garden in the tea plantations. Subsequently, accommodation at one of the centers run by the Friends of Mulanje Orphans; a spirit of adaptation to lodging, in this case, considering the particularity of the situation, must be a little higher. Subsequent nights are in a nice and simple lodge on Lake Malawi near the Lake Malawi National Park. In Liwonde national park overnight at amazing camp, equipped for camping and overlooking the river where the elephants come to drink. At Mua, spend the night in well-equipped bungalows, property, belonging to the Fathers  or Missionaries. The rooms in the lodge / chalet / hotel, is intended, unless otherwise requested, in double or, in rare cases, triple; They could be replaced for technical-organizational problems without distorting the original plan. The facilities have been carefully chosen following an idea of land conservation and sustainability of travel, preferring  positions in close contact with nature. If you want to know the list of lodges, please write us for more details!

PERIOD/SEASON

Temperatures depend largely on the season, from the latitudes and altitudes. On the right is a table indicative of average temperatures in the different seasons. The hottest month is November, the coolest month is June / July. The dry season is from April / May to November. The wet season runs from December to March / April, during this time you can see the parks in their green splendor; some babies of mammals are born in this period as well as many birds cross for the mating season, changing plumage and  courting females. We recommend both seasons, both in fact have a special charm. Contact us for more information on the current season, they are not all the same each year!

ROADS

We will travel about 1,000 km of paved trails

 

WHAT IS VOLUNTOURISM FOR US

Volunteering or Voluntourism. We feel the desire to contribute to Malawi’s development through volunteering or as it is called, Voluntourism.

A Voluntourism program is a strong and intense experience of giving and receiving.

Through volunteering you can try to make a difference, even just for one person, for:

  • give confidence and gain confidence in any project
  • motivate the individual growth and, why not, find motivation yourself
  • teaching and learning
  • listen and share moments of dialogue
  • deal with different cultures and learn about different lifestyles
  • travel and discover the culture of the country

The volunteer’s attitude is of respect for local customs and humility towards the work of people active and in the area, towards nature and aware that an experience of this kind does not make us heroes and masters, but rather teaches us.

The possibilities are endless.

If you have knowledge you want to share, then stepped forward and write us! If you have patience, flexibility, overall vision, adaptability, initiative, optimism, willingness to listen and a positive attitude then your experience will be unforgettable.

Our principles are inspired by respect, equality and equal dignity of every individual, the motivation that drives us to organize is the commitment to help a territory, children, teens and people in need in the broadest possible sense. Voluntourism, in our opinion, should not miss the discovery of the environment and the country, to complete the experience and interpret reality in a comprehensive way through a few days of travel.

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DAY 1 CHILEKA AIRPORT -  MULANJE FOREST RESERVE, BASE AFRICAWILDTRUCK - 90 km. Arrival in Blantyre, Malawi's second city. Do customs formalities. Meeting with the Africa Wild Truck staff. We will reach the massive Mulanje, the spectacle of the tea plantations and the base of Africa Wild Truck. The hills are like endless expanses and bright green leaves with only the red space of the labyrinthine routes through the plantation. Overnight in old colonial house, set in the plantations. Full board.

DAY 2,3,4 MULANJE FOREST RESERVE, BASE AFRICAWILDTRUCK. We will dedicate three days to the deeper understanding of Malawi's culture through a short course organized by Chichewa AROUND AWT. Chichewa is the local language spoken throughout Malawi and beyond the borders. There will be the opportunity to spend time with some staff member AfricaWildtruck and teach some subject that can be useful and fun. This project can be achieved through sport and / or the construction of objects with the use of recycled materials such as plastic or even mini-cooking courses, to learn some recipes more, motivating individuals to a positive professional growth, collaborating to develop AROUND AWT. Overnight in old colonial house, set in the plantations. Full board.

DAY 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12 BASE AFRICAWILDTRUCK  - MuLANJE 30 km. We will move at one of the centers where we will be guests, for about ten days, at FOMO  (Friends of Mulanje Orphans) association. The help that an international volunteer can give is to contribute positively to the creation of a solid foundation for primary education, so that children should welcome the idea of overcoming the challenges for secondary education, constantly motivating them to continue their studies and to commit themselves to their education. Volunteers can contribute in different subject areas, English, mathematics, the arts, sport, food education, ecology, to raise awareness of issues of common interest. The structure is simple, but complete and has a kitchen where chefs can help you cook the daily meals that are brought by the volunteers.

DAY 13 MULANJE - MONKEY BAY - 300 km. Traveling to Monkey Bay from Mulanje, to Mangochi and Lake Malawi, heading to a bay where we will find a relaxing afternoon of fishing eagles and fishing villagers with their canoes plying on the waters of the third largest lake in Africa, one of the largest water reserves in the world. It is estimated that the endemic fish that inhabit the waters, cichlids, are around 1000 species. Overnight at the lodge on the lake. Dinner included.

DAY 14, 15 GIORNO LAKE MALAWI, MONKEY BAY AREA. The fishing villagers are many, and in the morning it is easy to meet them in their canoes while returning from a night of fishing. Lake Malawi in this area is close to the Lake Malawi National Park: a real sea and provides livelihood to all villages settled on the banks of the lake. From here we can organize a boat trip to the island of Boadzulu, the lake Malawi National Park where we will be able to fully enjoy the wonder and the transparency of the lake. Women dry out the fish and preparing the stalls for sale. We will spend the day on Lake Malawi, in the villages and to devote to the knowledge of the business of the people. Overnight at the lodge at the lake. Full board

DAY 16 LAKE MALAWI - LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK 150 km. In the morning wake up at sunrise and after breakfast we will reach the banks of the Shire River, where we will enter the Liwonde National Park and we will organize the famous boat safari to better spot and photograph the wildlife of the park: many elephants and crocodiles! The boats are motorized and will come accompanied by a guide who will maneuver the boat and, in addition to our presence, we will be adding a nature guide. The chances of sighting elephants are unique and often swim in front of us, across the river in search of food. In the afternoon, the second boat safari to increase the chances of more sightings. Accommodation in the middle of the park, in one of the most beautiful lodges / Malawi camps, overlooking the Shire River. Full board camping.

DAY 17 LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK- MUA 250 km. A few kilometers separate us from Mua, the oldest and original operational mission in Malawi.The centre was born with the support of the Ngoni tribe in 1903, at the request of two French White Fathers, an order which was born in Algeria. Father Boucher, anthropologist and missionary, started a center of culture and art called Kungoni ( "meaning, Waterfall, because it sits near a waterfall”) and the Museum of Chamare, named after Chapmartin, French father who founded the school of carpentry, still appreciated around the area. At Mua they preserve the rich cultural heritage of Malawi and have collected about 400 of the 10,000 (yes, we wrote well, ten thousand!) Masks of the Gule Wamkulu, secret ceremony of the majority ethnic  Malawian group: the Chewa. Since a few years the Gule Wamkulu became a World Heritage Site, protected by UNESCO. Overnight in bungalows equipped at the mission. Full board.

DAY 18 MUA - CHILEKA AIRPORT, BLANTYRE 300 km. Return to Blantyre through the fertile highlands of the Rift Valley; Transfer to airport for international departure flight.

The current times are estimates calculated on flight plans provided by the airlines by the year 2016. If the route changes then these could be varied.

EXTENSIONS

  • LAKE MALAWI
  • INDIAN OCEAN
  • NTCHISI FOREST
  • MULANJE, AWT BASE

ATTENDANCE FEE: 1790 USD

inclusive of  VAT 16,5%, Tourism Levy 1%

PARTECIPANTS: MINIMUM 2

DISCOUNTS

THE FEE INCLUDES

  • 18 days with Africa Wild Truck logistic and support
  • English speaking guides authorized by Minister of Tourism
  • Transfer from Chileka to Mulanje AWT base- 90 km
  • 4 nights at Africa Wild Truck base, in Full board
  • Basic Chichewa and local culture course (AROUND AWT)
  • Transfer from Mulanje base to F.O.M.O.- 30 km
  • 8 nights at F.O.M.O.
  • Transfer from Mulanje to Malawi lake, Monkey bay 300 km
  • 3 nights  in lodge on lake Malawi in Full board
  • Transfer from Malawi Lake to Liwonde national park 150 km
  • 1 night at Mvuu camp in camping, in Liwonde national park in full board
  • Transfer from Liwonde national park to Mua mission 250 km
  • 1 night at Mua, Kungoni Hostel in Full board
  • Transfer from Mua to Blantyre airport 300 km
  • taxes and insurances
  • national park entry fees
  • 2 safari into Liwonde national park entry fee at Kungoni Museum
  • all overnights as to program
  • meals where indicated Full board
  • 50 US dollars that AWT entirely donates to AROUND AWT (see page 11)
  • VAT (16,5%),  TOURISM LEVY (1%)

 

THE FEE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • Flights
  • Malawi Visa (75US$);
  • Euroassistance/Globy or similar travel insurance (cancellation, luggage, health insurance highly advisable – it is possible to stipulate it with the above cited agency or online – write to us, we will help you to find the best solution!)
  • optional excursions not mentioned
  • Drinks
  • Meals not included
  • any possible personal expense
  • tips
  • anything not expressely specified under "The fee includes"

BOOK!

Contact info@africawildtruck.com to book or to ask informations.

HEALTH

No obligation to vaccination. Write to us to have more information!

We recommend these vaccines:

  • tetanus
  • typhoid fever
  • hepatitis A and B

Concerning malaria, disease transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, its prevention is accomplished, first of all, with a mechanic prevention i.e. avoiding getting stung, following these rules:

  • sleeping under mosquito tents
  • using insecticide to get rid of possible mosquitos
  • after sunset, when mosquitos are more active, avoiding leaving parts of the body uncovered, wearing light-colored long trousers and long-sleeve shirts, because dark colors attract mosquitos and spraying parts of the body uncovered with Autan Extreme

For the use of any possible antimalarial drugs we suggest that you consult your Public Health Service; health norms change very rapidly.

TRAVEL MEDICAL KIT

We suggest that you take with you a small supply of these medicines:

  • analgesics/fever reducers: acetylsalicylic acid and nimesulide
  • antibiotics like ciproxin or amoxicillin or clavulanic acid
  • antimalarials: anyway carry with you 2 packs of Lariam for emergency cases
  • antidiarrheals: loperamide or kaolin in case of symptoms (to use only if really necessary!)
  • rehydration salts: in case of fluid leaks
  • against car or air sickness: a pack of pills or chewing-gums
  • antihistamines: in case of allergic reactions
  • scissors, tweezers and thermometer
  • suntan cream
  • insecticides (like Autan Extreme)

Required documents and Visa

It is necessary to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after departure date with at least two free pages; for the entry in Malawi the Visa is obtainable under 75 Usd payment. Write us for more informations

CLOTHING

comfortable walking shoes

technical sandals

easy to dry slippers for the shower

windbreaker

k-way

sweatshirt/pile

cotton/linen long trousers

cotton/linen long sleeve shirts

cotton T-shirts

bathing suit

panty

belly pack for passport

sunglasses

cap

OTHER

towel

binoculars

head torch-light

penknife/water bottle

camera/videocamera/spare batteries!!

passport photocopy and 2 passport photos, just in case

 

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