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Cycle Malawi 2019

Challenge type: Bike in support of Open Arms Malawi

Destination: Malawi

Runs from : 27th September 2019 to 6th October 2019

An African adventure awaits...

Malawi is one of the most beautiful countries in Africa with its great lake, vast game reserves and exotic flora and fauna. Saddle up to discover why this country is known as the 'Warm Heart of Africa'. Large areas of Malawi exist as they have done for centuries, untouched by the western world. This bike ride takes us through spectacular Southern Malawi via Liwonde National Park, the country's prime spot for wildlife viewing.  One of the highlights will surely be a full day visit to the Open Arms Malawi project in Mangochi. 

How To Take Part

To sign up for this challenge you will need to pay a Registration Fee and pick from one of the following three payment options:

  1. Payment Option 1 : Pay £300 Registration Fee and pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship of £3,500
  2. Payment Option 2: Pay £300 Registration Fee, Self-Fund £3,040 (tour cost) and pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship of £460
  3. Payment Option 3: Pay £300 Registration Fee, Self-Fund £3,500 (tour cost)

* For more information on these options take a look at our booking conditions. 

What's Included

Flights to / from Malawi, airport tax - £452 approx. (current in feb 2019), accommodation (hotels & lodges), transfers, bicycles, a group doctor travels with you from the UK, experienced guides, support staff, water & all meals except lunch on departure day from Malawi.

What's Not Included

Travel insurance, lunch on day 9, safari fee, gratuities & spending money.

All costs correct at the time of writing, subject to change



  • Be inspired by a full day visit to the Open Arms' Infant Home in Mangochi
  • Discover the real Malawi off the tourist trail
  • Witness local life in rural Africa
  • Journey into Liwonde National Park, the premier game viewing park in Malawi
  • Relax on the shores of Lake Malawi
  • Explore the old colonial capital of Zomba

Take the challenge…

To sign up for this challenge, you have 3 payment options:

1) Fundraising option 1: Pay a £300 registration fee and pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship of £3,500

2) Fundraising option 2: Pay a £300 registration fee, self-fund £3,040 (tour cost) and pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship of £460

3) Fundraising option 3: Pay a £300 registration fee and self fund £3,500 (tour cost). 

Accepted payment methods:



Day 1:  London - Lilongwe

Overnight flight from London. 

Day 2: Arrive Malawi 

Arrive at lunchtime and transfer to Mua (3-hour bus transfer). The rest of the afternoon is spent acclimatising and bike fitting. This evening after dinner we meet the local staff and hear more about the challenge ahead.

Day 3: Cycle Mua to Cape McLear                                                             Approx.81 km

Today we start from the hotel and head south along Lake Malawi, following the shore eastwards to Cape McLear.  We cycle through baobab forest.

Day 4: Cycle Cape McLear to Mangochi                                                   Approx.55 km

We head south east, following the southern shores of Lake Malawi on minor roads, our destination is the town of Mangochi. This old colonial town is situated on the Shire River, on the southern tip of Lake Malawi.

Overnight in Mangochi for the next 2 nights.

Day 5: Spend the day at the Open Arms Mangochi Infant Home

This morning we will saddle up for a very short ride to the Mangochi Infant Home (4km).  On arrival we will be greeted with a warm and rousing welcome from the Infant home mothers and support staff with traditional song, dance and drummers.  Today you will be able to spend some time in the infant home feeding and playing with the babies and toddlers as well as visiting one of our feeding stations. You will experience at first hand where your money is going and get a taste of true Malawian life.

Day 6: Cycle Mangochi to Liwonde National Park                                 Approx. 89km

Get set for a long day's ride as we head south along the river and then the edge of Lake Malombe. As the day progresses we approach the Liwonde National Park, on the banks of the Shire River. This evening we hear more about the Liwonde National Park, Malawi’s premier game park, and its prolific wildlife ahead of tomorrow's safari.  

Day 7: Safari and Cycle Liwonde National Park to Zomba                    Approx. 55 km

Today we venture into Liwonde National Park for an optional two hour sunrise safari (additional cost).  Game viewing is enhanced because the River Shire flows along its western border, allowing boat safaris as well as game drives. Wildlife in the national park includes elephants, hippo, crocodiles, zebra, buffalo, monkeys and many species of antelope including waterbuck and sable. Enjoy some of the best bird watching opportunities in southern Africa as more than 400 species have been recorded here.  The variety of habitat is immense, ranging from open savannah, hills and woodland to richly vegetated marshes and lush lagoons.  After an early lunch we get back on the saddle for another scenic day of cycling through rural Malawi. Leaving the park behind us we cycle out of the Shire River Valley on hilly terrain and continue to the old colonial capital of Zomba. Our exertions are rewarded with spectacular views throughout the day. This afternoon there is then the option of a bonus ride on the region’s other massif, Zomba Plateau. This table-like mountain soars to over 2080 metres and presides over the surrounding area.   The whole group then finish in Zomba, nestled in the foothills of the Shire Highlands. The capital of Malawi from 1891 until the mid-1970s, it boasts wide, tree-lined streets and old colonial buildings. A fabulous setting for our overnight stay.

Day 8:  Cycle Zomba to Blantyre                                                              Approx.80km

We head away from the plateau this morning as our route today takes us to Blantyre, Malawi’s biggest & most lively city. Today’s route will be undulating as we cross the Southern Region. Overnight in Blantyre. Tonight we all come together for a celebratory meal on our last night in Malawi.

Day 9: Fly Blantyre to London

Late morning transfer to Blantyre airport for the early afternoon return flight to London.

Day 10: Arrive home

Arrive in London.

Please Note: Malawi is a country which is not fully geared up to tourism. You should therefore be prepared for changes to the route and accommodation right up to the last minute.  This is a complex itinerary which is subject to change.

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