In 2018, enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in support of local Malawian communities and the AMECA Trust. You’ll climb Mount Mulanje – the highest peak in southern Africa – and will carry out community work and hospital observations. To apply, use the button below.
Your time will be divided between trekking in the famous national park areas of Mulanje and Liwonde, participating in a community build and renovation project, visiting AMECA’s projects and clinics and relaxing at the beautiful Mvuu Camp.
- Experience the stunning scenery of Mount Mulanje.
- Make a really worthwhile contribution to Chilaweni Village project.
- Immerse yourself in Malawian culture.
- See first-hand the important work at the AMECA clinic as well as at CURE and Mwanza Hospitals.
- Watch big game at Mvuu Wildlife camp in the Liwonde National Park.
Malawi is an extremely friendly and very safe African country, unspoilt by mass tourism. It offers stunning mountain treks in the Mount Mulanje region, close up wildlife encounters in Liwonde National park and the opportunity to immerse yourself in village life in rural Malawi. This will be the ideal destination to achieve your three-phase fundraising challenge for the AMECA Trust and we are taking an expedition team there for the fifth time in late summer 2018.
Will you be on it? Watch this Teammate Video to get a feel for the AMECA expedition, fill in an application form to register your interest and direct any questions to the Secret Compass office.
Mount Mulanje trek
Mount Mulanje is the highest peak in Southern Africa, at 3002m. It is a stunning island of rock on a flat savannah and the trekking is some of the best in the world encompassing dense bush and alpine mountain terrain on remote and unspoilt trails.
The group will be split into small teams and work alongside local rural Malawians to assist in the refurbishment of local schools, orphanages or medical centres. If possible, participants will be able to work on AMECA’s own clinic project which opened its doors in 2017. A visit to the AMECA Hospital Wing in Blantyre as well as Mwanza District Hospital offer an insight into medical provision in the country whilst the community project and relaxation phases offer lots of opportunities to be immersed in Malawian culture and village life.
A chance to relax
After your hard-work and physical challenges, the team will spend several days in Liwonde National Park at the incredible Mvuu Camp to relax. Hippo, elephant, crocodile and a variety of birds, antelope and other game can be viewed by boat, jeep and on foot which offers an unforgettable experience to round off your Malawi adventure.
Healthcare in Malawi
Our AMECA expedition has a healthcare focus and so, while being open to anyone, is particularly suited to anyone studying or with an interest in nursing, medicine or allied subjects. Every year the team has a strong contingent of nursing students and medics from Southampton University, an establishment with which AMECA has longstanding links. Two days of the itinerary are scheduled for hospital visits although if you have other interests it may be possible to arrange alternative excursions.
You will have the opportunity to spend two days observing in various hospitals. We stress the word ‘observation’ as you are students (or indeed non-medical teammates) and have no license to practice in Malawi. We plan to enable you to visit a couple of different hospitals over the two days and we hope to give you as full as experience as possible, with time spent in different departments. Subject to all being well at the time of travel, we hope to take you to a district hospital (perhaps Mwanza hospital near the Mozambique border and accessed by a stunning drive from Blantyre); to a large tertiary hospital in Blantyre; and to CURE’s paediatric orthopaedic hospital in Blantyre, as well as AMECA’s own village clinic. As a thank you to the hospitals, we will provide you with a suggested list of a few items to bring along to help, such as surgical gloves, dressings etc.
The Malawi expedition is therefore not like other Secret Compass expeditions as the team make up is younger with our usual lower age limit of 21 waived in order to accommodate students. For more information on this charity fundraising expedition, fill in our Application Form below to request a comprehensive Handbook.
Upon application to join this team, everyone will receive a comprehensive Expedition Handbook. This will outline everything you need to know to help you decide if this is the right expeditionary experience for you in 2018.
The trekking phase
Mount Mulanje is a 3002m peak rising from the plains of Southern Malawi. It will be a challenging multi-day trek but ultimately achievable by anyone with a good level of fitness and the right attitude (a sense of humour also helps). You will be supported by porters, local guides and an experienced Secret Compass expedition leader.
This expedition is open to all active people. If you have any questions please contact the Secret Compass office. We are happy to talk through requirements with you and provide a suggested training programme. On this expedition you’ll need to be prepared for the following.
- Trekking: up to 15 km a day.
- Terrain: undulating and at times very steep involving small sections of scrambling.
- Altitude gain: the maximum altitude gain in one day will be around 800m.
- Maximum altitude: 3002m. Above 2000m you may feel slight effects from altitude but you should not be at risk from altitude sickness.
- Temperature: around 30C at the beginning, cooler at height and at night where it can drop towards freezing. Humidity is low.
- Weight: you’ll carry your own day sack with water, snacks and anything you need in the day. This is likely to weigh 5-10 kg. A porter will carry your main bag.
Flights: Secret Compass will arrange international flights from London (included in the expedition cost) and distribute meeting instructions to the team.
Road travel: the team will use minibuses to travel through Malawi and there will be a vehicle on standby for emergencies throughout the expedition. The majority of major roads in the country are paved but in various states of repair. As with the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, general road conditions, driving standards and vehicle safety is below what you will find in Europe.
On foot: on Mount Mulanje you’ll be trekking using paths developed by local people, primarily for forestry activities on the mountain. These can be heavily eroded, in poor condition and may involve short sections of scrambling over exposed rock – see our Fitness tab for further details and our Expedition Training Guide.
Blantyre: in Blantyre we will be accommodated in a simple but comfortable lodge with dorm rooms.
Mount Mulanje: on the mountain you’ll either be camping or using the basic mountain huts that are available.
For the rest of the expedition you will be camping in tents provided by Secret Compass.
The team will be involved in preparing fresh food throughout the expedition with a combination of western and local dishes. We recommend bringing a few favourite snacks for the trekking period to keep your morale high. Please discuss dietary requirements with Secret Compass before booking.
- International fights from London to Blantyre.
- All transport, accommodation and meals in country.
- Full services of professional Secret Compass expedition leaders.
- Pre-departure UK office support and 24hour Operations Room throughout your trip.
- Local guides and drivers.
- All specialist and safety equipment.
- Materials for community projects.
- Beverages and any costs of a personal nature.
- Personal equipment (a comprehensive kit list is in the Expedition Handbook).
- Obligatory travel insurance.
- Equipment donations to hospitals and community.
If you have any questions regarding the expedition kindly email Secret Compass. For fundraising questions and specifics on the healthcare elements of the trip and of AMECA itself, kindly contact Ruth Marcus at AMECA.
Your expedition place is confirmed with a £250 deposit. The fundraising target set by AMECA is a further £2,650 excluding gift aid. AMECA will provide you with fundraising help, ideas and template letters to help you reach your fundraising target in good time for the 2018 expedition.
Ruth Marcus who runs AMECA will organise various meetings and briefings in advance of departure. Secret Compass will also organise for a member of expedition staff to carry out a kit briefing and to help answer your questions in person. The comprehensive Expedition Handbook will hopefully off enough detail but if not, feel free to contact Secret Compass at any time.