Backpacker Experience Including Cultural Homestay – Group Trip




12 days

Tour Type

Price Category


This backpacker package was put together specifically for groups looking to mix a multitude of experiences into one trip - originally designed for students/volunteers visiting Malawi but now with options to upgrade to more comfort and privacy along the way!

Delve into Malawian culture with a homestay visit where you can see a community's day to day life, enjoy the bustling beachside community of Cape Maclear, a visit to Malawi’s number one safari destination Liwonde National Park is not to be missed and a few days to explore Zomba and its plateau make this itinerary the ultimate group backpacker trip.

With live music, language classes, snorkelling, hiking, safari game drives to name but a few activities for this trip, you’ll never be short of fun!


  • 5 nights Full Board
  • 4 nights Bed and Breakfast
  • 2 nights accommodation only
  • Private road transfers
  • Drinks (unless stated), Tips & Items of a personal nature
  • National Park Fees for Liwonde

Tour Plan

Day One to Three - Chingalire Rural Homestay

Your group's minibus will collect you from Lilongwe city for the hour's journey to the rural village of Chingalire for a cultural homestay. The final part of the journey may well be on bumpy unpaved roads or crossing small streams on foot in the rainy season - all adding to the adventure!

You’ll spend two nights at Chingalire Rural Homestay immersing yourself in Malawian culture and life - and especially in music. All your meals and activities will be included during your stay. Handy tip - taking some crayons, paper and sweets for the small village kids is always received exceptionally well!

Chingalire Homestay gives a real experience of life in Malawi, concentrating on community and music. With very basic private rooms, dormitories and shared ablution facilities (no running water), this homestay will give you a beautiful insight into Malawi living with lessons on cooking, language and culture. Ideal for school/college groups and those arriving to do volunteering/NGO work out in the communities.

Day Three to Seven - Cape Maclear

Today we’ll leave after breakfast for the 4.5 hour journey to Cape Maclear, arriving in time for a late lunch.

Your group will be staying at Thumbi View Lodge - a sociable backpackers situated on the shores of Lake Malawi with a swimming pool, bar and restaurant - for the next four nights. You’ll be staying in shared dorm rooms (upgrades to private ensuites available on request) on a bed and breakfast basis.

Included in your stay is a group catamaran trip around Thumbi Island and to watch the sunset over Lake Malawi.

This is a bustling lakeshore community with souvenir street stalls and a beachfront full of activities. Whether it’s relaxing by the poolside with a drink in hand and a good book or, for those feeling more active, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, local boat trips with snorkelling and fish eagle feeding trips, Cape Maclear has something for everyone.

Day Seven to Ten - Liwonde National Park

After breakfast we leave Cape Maclear at 9am to head to Liwonde National Park. It’s a 3 hour drive and we’ll arrive in time for lunch before your first game activity.

Your accommodation for the next three nights will be at Kutchire Lodge, a locally run safari camp on the very edge of Liwonde National Park with a selection of accommodation options and a really nice swimming pool area. You’ll be staying in shared dormitories (upgrades to private rooms and treehouses available on request) on a full board basis with all your meals and two game activities per day included - six activities in total.

Arguably the best national park in Malawi, Liwonde has a high concentration of elephants, hippos, crocodiles, antelope plus a rapidly growing population of cheetah, lion & other mammals. The most recently introduced black rhino and wild dogs make this park Malawi’s star attraction with its ‘Big 5’ status

Kutchire Lodge

Day Ten to Twelve - Zomba

After your final morning game activity and breakfast, you’ll head off to Zomba - less than 90 minutes away. You’ll be staying for your last two nights at Pakachere Backpackers in central Zomba. Accommodation is on a room-only basis where you’ll be staying in shared dormitories (upgrades to safari tents with beds or private rooms available on request)

Zomba city has beautiful colonial architecture and a good selection of cafes and restaurants. The new Kefi Hotel Cafe is a favourite with local residents for lunch on the terrace and we’d also highly recommend a delicious Italian dinner at restaurant Casa Rossa. At the top of the plateau is Ku Chawe Inn for lunch or drinks where the views are magnificent. The plateau offers plenty of scenic hiking trails or for those wanting a more relaxed time perhaps a visit to the Botanical Gardens.

Day Twelve - Zomba to Blantyre (Lilongwe optional)

After breakfast your driver will take you for the 90 minute journey to Blantyre city or airport ready for your departing flight. An option for a return to Lilongwe is available on request.

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