Harry (10) and Tom (8) travelled to Malawi with their father and grandmother in half term this October 2017.  The purpose of the trip was to understand the Malawi way of life and to put solar power and mosquito nets into a local school.

Day to Day Itinerary: Family Trip to Malawi

  • Day 1: Arrive in Malawi
  • Day 2: Fair Trade Tea Estate
  • Day 3: Village Community Project & Thyolo Mountain
  • Day 4: Lake Malawi
  • Day 5: Village Activities
  • Day 6: Village Activities
  • Day 7: Travel home


This is the diary that the boys wrote while they were on their trip.

It will be very hot and Malawi is one of the poorest countries on earth. We are going to spend time with the children and learn about their lives. We are scared but excited and will make sure we wear lots of sunscreen as it will be 36c and mosquito repellent against malaria.

Day 1.

We landed in Blantyre (via Johannesburg) and we drove through town. All the houses are small, in poor condition, have tin roofs and many are unfinished.  There are boreholes along the roads for people to collect their water daily.

We are staying on a tea estate and have learnt how to make ice tea.  We saw the ladies carrying heavy piles of firewood on their heads and men with machetes trying to catch mice to eat.

Day 2.

Last night we slept under mosquito nets!

This morning we made recycled paper by hand.  Lots of children gathered to watch – they had not seen many tourists. Then we hiked to the top of Thyolo Mountain.  It was stunning and we were so proud to reach the top. 

Day 3.

We drove to Liwonde National Park.  We are staying in a safari lodge with solar power!  We saw animals including elephants, baboons, buffalo, impala, antelope, mongoose, jackals, hippos, warthogs, porcupines, and an owl.

Day 4.

We got up at 5am for a morning safari. We saw a dazzle of zebra, 200 buffalo and some beautiful elephants. We then went on the River Shire and saw hippos and crocodiles.

After a two hour drive we arrived at our thatched lodge on the side of Lake Malawi which is powered by generators.

Day 5.

We went to the Rainbow Hope School. It was so different to Cheam with just two buildings and four tiny classrooms.

We saw the solar equipment we had arranged for them.  This will let the children use computers and stay and do their homework after dark.  We joined a lesson on agriculture and how to grow better crops.

We showed the students how to use a mosquito net. They had a debate on the advantages of sleeping under a net (no malaria) against using them to fish, protect crops or build fences. Afterwards we gave every student and teacher a net, and they were so happy!

Then we joined The Book Bus to give English lessons. We went to a primary school with 1,876 pupils and only 28 teachers!  We taught English outside in the shade, reading books with the students.

As the sun went down we played football with the local children and visited their house which had no electricity and all five children slept in one bed.   We saw the mummy cook dinner on an open fire for her children.  It is called nsima which is water and maize flour.  We didn’t much like the look of it!

Day 6.

We went to another school and took part in two English lessons.  There were 50 children sitting on the floor, most with dirty clothes and no shoes.

When we left we gave the children exercise books, pencils, pens and sweets.   

Back at Rainbow Hope we gave footballs, netballs, rugby balls and a talk about how to play rugby.

The Headmaster thanked us for the solar power and a girl read a poem about how her sister and brother had died from malaria, but now the net protects her.

We ended the day playing a great game of tag rugby!

Coming Home

Malawi is the “warm heart of Africa” and everyone was very friendly.  If we gave a bottle of water they drank the water and will re-use the bottle for months.  Even though they are poor they are educated, happy and work so hard for a better life. The children wore old clothes and no shoes but they spoke English.  Our visit to Malawi made us realise how lucky we are to have the simple things in life like food, water and electricity. This experience has been life changing and we hope to return in the future!

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