Malawi is a landlocked country in south-east Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 with an estimated population of 16,7 million (July 2013 est.). Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi’s largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed “The Warm Heart of Africa”. Malawi is among the smallest countries in Africa. Lake Malawi takes about a third of Malawi’s area.
Malawi is among the world’s least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based on agriculture, with a largely rural population. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. Furthermore, Malawi has a low life expectancy and high infant mortality. There is a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, which is a drain on the labour force and government expenditures. There is a diverse population of native peoples, Asians and Europeans, with several languages spoken and an array of religious beliefs. Although there was periodic regional conflict fuelled in part by ethnic divisions in the past, by 2008 it had diminished considerably and the concept of a Malawian nationality had re-emerged.
Project opening dates
Project dates 2015:
August 3rd, 17th & 31st
September 14th & 28th
October 12th & 26th
November 9th & 23rd
Project dates 2016:
January 4th and thereafter every second Monday
The volunteer house is right on the edge of Lake Malawi in the Mangochi District. It’s approximately a 40 minute drive from Mangochi Town, which is a large village where 6.500 people live.
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, 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.
Three meals a day are provided.
Breakfast usually consists of toast, or pancakes, and tea and coffee.
Lunch usually consists of sandwiches, pasta, soups, salads, 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.
Applying for a visa prior to travelling
For entry into Malawi, you will require a tourist visa. UK passport holders will receive a free 30-day tourist visa stamp on entry into Malawi. For those staying longer, you will be required to pay approximately 28 Euros extra per 30 days for staying in the country for up to 90 days. All other nationalities should consult the relevant embassy.
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.
Applying for a visa on arrival
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. We are not aware of anyone being turned away on arrival for not having obtained a visa in advance and we have been informed that this is also clear on all airline systems.
Please ensure that you have US$ 75 cash with you to pay for this on arrival.
Although most of the below is not generally being requested or checked, it may also help to ensure that this process is as quick as possible if you can have any or all of the following with you:
- 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.