Malawi Exped Detail Hero Mulanje


fundraising expedition for AMECA

DATES: 10 Aug 201931 Aug 2019 COST: £2900 (£250 deposit plus £2650 minimum fundraising target)

Secret Compass supports the AMECA charity’s annual adventurous expedition to Malawi.
If you are keen for your first taste of adventure in Africa, get in touch with Secret Compass and we’ll send you the information for the 2019 expedition. 

Malawi with the AMECA expedition through Secret Compass4
Boys in Malawi with the AMECA expedition through Secret Compass5
Girls in Malawi with the AMECA expedition through Secret Compass
View of Mount Mulanje in Malawi with AMECA expedition through Secret Compass
Girl on mountain top near Mulanje in Malawi with the AMECA expedition through Secret Compass2
Girl in school in Malawi with the AMECA expedition through Secret Compass6
Village children in Malawi with the AMECA expedition through Secret Compass3


In 2019, enjoy the adventure of a lifetime in support of local Malawian communities and the AMECA Trust. You’ll trek through the Mulanji massif, home to southern Africa’s and Malawi’s highest peak, 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 Mulanji, participating in a community build and renovation project, visiting AMECA’s projects and clinics before enjoying some well-deserved R&R.


  • Experience the stunning scenery of Mount Mulanji.
  • Make a really worthwhile contribution to local village projects.
  • Immerse yourself in Malawian culture.
  • See first-hand the important work supported by AMECA at the AMECA clinic and local hospitals.
  • Spot some of Africa’s big game during your R&R.

Malawi is an extremely friendly African country, unspoilt by mass tourism. It offers stunning mountain treks in the Mount Mulanji region, close up wildlife encounters in national parks 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 returning with an expedition team in summer 2019.

Mount Mulanji trek

Mount Mulanji is the highest peak in Southern Africa, at 3002m. It is a stunning island of rock on a flat savannah and the trekking around the summit is some of the best in the world. The expedition will pass through dense bush and alpine mountain terrain on remote and unspoilt trails to reach a mountain hut each night as you trek through the massif with views of Mount Mulanji.

Community development

The group will be split into small teams and work alongside local rural Malawians to assist with much-needed community projects ranging from the refurbishment of local schools, orphanages or medical centres to environmental initiatives in the local area. Whilst in the village, the participants will be able to visit AMECA’s own developing clinic project and see the impact this vital resource has on the local communities. A visit to the AMECA Wing in Blantyre and lots of opportunities to be immersed in Malawian culture and village life is included.

A chance to relax

After your challenging trek and immersion into village life, there will be the chance to relax in one of Malawi’s stunning national parks.

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.

Hospital visits

You will have the opportunity to spend several 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 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; to a large tertiary hospital in Blantyre; and to CURE’s paediatric orthopaedic hospital in Blantyre. 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.

Expeditionary experience

The Malawi expedition is therefore not like other Secret Compass expeditions as the team make up is younger (we waive our usual lower age limit of 21 in order to accommodate students). This should be kept in mind if applying and Secret Compass are happy to talk through the detail of this unique trip by phone or email.

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 2019.

The trekking phase

The Mulanje Massif rises from the plains of Southern Malawi. Although the team are not aiming to summit this peak, instead focusing on completed a traverse of the massif, this 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.

Required fitness

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: up to 2800m. 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. 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.


The Application Process

To join this expedition team, please complete an Application Form – this must be completed fully and honestly. Secret Compass will then review your application and be in touch with any questions as well as the comprehensive Expedition Handbook. Once you are approved, you will be directed to the Booking Form – your space is confirmed once the Booking Form and your £250 deposit is received, with the minimum fundraising amount of £2650 due to AMECA 90 days before departure. If you have any questions about the application and booking process, please contact Secret Compass, for fundraising information and information on AMECA, please contact Ruthie Markus.


Flights: Secret Compass will arrange international flights and distribute meeting instructions.

Road travel: you’ll travel through Malawi in minibuses. The majority of major roads in the country are paved, 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.


In Blantyre we will be accommodated in a basic lodge. It is simple but comfortable with rooms on a shared or dorm basis. On the mountain you’ll either be camping or using the mountain huts that are available depending on the night whilst you will camp throughout the village project and R&R phase.


You’ll eat variety of food during our stay. In Blantyre, you’ll dine on more familiar western food or a mix of western and local food. On the mountain you’ll enjoy basic but good food to supplement your activities. On the project we will be eating more local food with the communities. If you have any favourite snacks for the trekking period, please bring a few with you to keep your morale high.



  • International fights from London to Blantyre.
  • All transport and accommodation in country.
  • Full services of professional Secret Compass expedition leaders.
  • Local guides and drivers.
  • All meals (excluding alcoholic beverages).
  • All specialist and safety equipment.
  • Materials for community projects.
  • 24 hour UK-based Operations Room

Not included

  • Beverages and any costs of a personal nature.
  • Personal equipment (upon booking you will receive a comprehensive kit list).
  • Tips (thoroughly appreciated, further guidance will be in your Expedition Handbook).
  • Obligatory travel insurance.
  • Visas.

If you have any questions about anything at all, kindly email Secret Compass today for expedition-related questions and things around kit, logisitics, flights etc. For fundraising questions and things concerning the healthcare elements of the trip and of AMECA itself, kindly contact Ruth Markus at AMECA.


Ruth Markus 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. Feel free to contact Secret Compass at any time with your expedition-related questions. For fundraising questions and matters concerning the healthcare observations element of this experience or for questions concerning AMECA itself, kindly email Ruth at AMECA directly.

Fundraising assistance

AMECA will provide you with fundraising help, ideas and template letters to help you reach your fundraising target of £2,650 (plus your £250, non-refundable expedition deposit) in good time for the 2019 expedition.

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