Malawi Teaching Volunteers

2-12 weeks from £589

£49 Deposit
Fun lessons in the classroom in Malawi

A rewarding teaching programme in Africa

A rewarding teaching programme in Africa

Beautiful sunset over Lake Malawi
Outdoor school games in Malawi
Pristine beaches in Malawi

Trip Highlights

  • Spend time with enthusiastic children and dedicated staff and make a difference to the community
  • Gain confidence handling large classes and watching as your pupils' confidence grows
  • Identify and providing additional tuition sessions to the children who need it the most
  • Get creative and sporty after school, and help out with conservation field trips
  • Stay in volunteer accommodation overlooking the beautiful Lake Malawi
  • Spend your free time exploring Malawi's magnificent landscape and the surrounding areas

Trip Summary

An incredibly rewarding volunteer programme, our Malawi Teaching Volunteers programme will see you teaching alongside a team of dedicated teachers and NGO organisations that focus on the development of primary school aged children, helping to give them a good start in life and prepare them for secondary education and beyond. You'll need to be creative, imaginative and flexible as you work with large groups of eager pupils – sometimes as many as 200 children in one class! Teamwork is imperative, as you’ll work alongside school staff to try and give each student the full attention they need. Help teach English, maths, science, sports, and arts, with extracurricular activities involving conservation, HIV/AIDS awareness, and health and nutrition – each subject is as important as the next here, and your presence and participation alone will benefit these amazing children in more ways than you realise.

Please note: To teach at the schools you will need to have experience teaching classes in primary and secondary schools, or be in the process of a teaching degree or diploma.

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip Info

What to expect at the project

As a volunteer on this project, you'll teach core subjects, namely English and maths, but possibly science, creative arts, sports, and health education, to children of all different ages and abilities. You'll always have the support of the staff and the teachers at the school, and will teach alongside them in most cases - offering the children more chance of one-to-one interaction. Class sizes can often consist of almost 200 students, which is sometimes overwhelming and therefore will only be divided between volunteers that are qualified teachers. Depending on how confident you feel about doing so, you'll have the opportunity to plan your own lessons, or incorporate any games or lessons you think might be particularly useful.

In the afternoons, you'll be involved in extra-curricular activities with the children, such as teaching additional lessons or sports. Ideally, you'll dedicate three afternoons each week to teaching additional lessons, which are incredibly beneficial to the children, particularly those that have fallen behind with their studies, or were latecomers to the education system. You'll be encouraged to identify children that could really do with the extra support.  For sports classes, you'll find Malawian children will usually want to play football, although it would be nice for them to learn other sports, too. Typically, girls will play netball, but team sports like volleyball and rounders are also a great way of getting the children to work together. There will be the opportunity to teach the children other sports as well, but do bear in mind that equipment is limited, so if you can bring any sports gear along with you, it would be really appreciated – and put to good use.

Local schools in Malawi run wildlife and conservation clubs, too – and occasionally take the children on educational field trips to national parks and game reserves to teach them about conservation and how to protect their indigenous wildlife. It gives the children a great insight into the hard work that's carried out in their local areas, and gives them pride and respect for the animals and landscapes in their community.  

As a volunteer you'll need to be creative and proactive, and be happy to throw yourself in at the deep end. The children are all enthusiastic and willing to learn, but there are a lot of them, so be prepared to be surrounded by chatty children who will want to know all about you.

Day in the life

Your teaching day will typically begin at around 7.30am, with classes 1 and 2 finishing at about 10.40am, classes 3 and 4 at about 12pm and classes 5 to 8 at about 13.15pm. You'll then break for a well-deserved lunch before getting involved in extracurricular activities.

From around 2pm you'll help coach team sports like football and netball, encourage the children to express their own views and opinions at debating sessions, help develop their creativity with art and music classes, improve their awareness of HIV/AIDS, teach the children basic aspects of first aid and nutrition, and help with workshops and wildlife and conservation clubs.

Evenings and weekends are yours to spend as you like. You'll be situated right on the sandy bay of Lake Malawi (about 7km south of Monkey Bay Town), so you might want to spend your downtime simply chilling out next to the lake and admiring the view. You'll be a short trip from the centre of town, so spend a bit of time getting to know the area, or travel further afield with an excursion to Cape Maclear - for a day of boat rides, snorkelling, and a traditional Malawian barbecue, or a trip to Liwonde National Park - for a weekend getaway where you'll get to go on a game drive, boat safari, and guided bush walk. Excursions and activities you take part in in your free time aren't included in your trip and will be at your own cost.  

In Malawi there are three school terms, the dates of which vary each year and are often not confirmed until the last minute. Typically, term dates are as follows:

 First term:         Mid-January to Mid-April

 Second term:    Early May to the end of July

 Third term:       Late August to Mid-November

Volunteers are still needed during school holidays so don't think there won't be anything to do if your trip falls between terms. You may help out with organised holiday classes and activities for the children, or coach sports to local teams, teach art and music, and generally spend time interacting with the children. There is less structure to these activities and you should expect to be more creative and motivated to ensure the children come back each day to work with you.

Most transport is included to and from the projects or are within walking distance (max 45 minutes) of the volunteer accommodation and you will be expected to walk where possible.   

Purpose and aim of the programme and how do you benefit the programme

This project was set up and is run by native Malawians, who recognised the need to establish a number of community projects to help local families thrive and grow. This particular project focuses on helping primary school aged children develop academic, creative, and sports skills through a number of activities, and classes both in and out of school. A lot of children in Malawi don't start school until they're older, meaning they miss out on key lessons that are integral to their early development. This project aims to encourage children to attend lessons and extracurricular programmes in order to get them up to speed before secondary education and provide them with better future prospects.

As well as basic educational requirements, the children will learn about healthcare and nutrition, gain an awareness of HIV/AIDS, and learn to look after their fantastic surroundings and wildlife species – and you'll be responsible for helping them on their journey.


This is a fantastic programme for anyone interested in the care and wellbeing of children, but is particularly suited to training and qualified teachers, with some real hands-on experience. You'll teach classes of up to 200 children, with the support of your peers and school staff, and will get to test your teaching skills and knowledge, albeit with willing and enthusiastic students.

You're main goal will be to teach children different life skills as well as academic skills to help improve their current and future prospects - from getting into secondary education, and carving a better life for themselves and their families ten or twenty years down the line.

More Trip Info

What's Included

  • Airport transfers on set dates - transfers outside of these times are subject to additional fees
  • Orientation on arrival
  • All accommodation
  • Full support and assistance from your co-ordinator throughout your time in Malawi
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner each day at the volunteer house
  • 24/7 emergency support

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Any transfer fees, if arriving/departing outside of the set dates
  • Optional activities and excursions

More Whats Included


I've done this trip

Write review

Overall Rating 9/10

Lewis Webb

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

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How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

Would you recommend Real Gap Experience?


What were the highlights of your trip?

Meeting the people was the single best thing to happen on this trip. Amazingly selfless and happy despite the extreme poverty.

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have liked to visit some medical projects.

Tips for other travellers?

Notify your bank you're leaving the country incase they block your card! Speak to volunteers on your buddy list and coordinate with them what donations to take. Immerse yourself in all aspects and don't be shy!

ella comrie

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Because I was there for 12 weeks I was really able to become part of the Local community. The children in my school really respected me and the relationship that grew from it was wonderful. the children always put 110% in and they made me very proud I was also able to try the other projects so it was good to be able to try a bit of everything. The trips were incredible especially the wildlife park in Liwonde where we saw elephants and hippos and many species of birds and deer

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have liked to have spent longer at each project site.

Tips for other travellers?

1- Do not take travellers cheques, they are NOT accepted in Malawi 2- get ready to try something new and different 3- Have an amazing time!!

Any other comments?

This is an absolutely incredible experience which is really smoothly run. you feel immediately welcomed and the staff are open and always there to help. Really immerse yourself in the culture and the language of Malawi. The locals that you help greatly appreciate the work that you have done and will not forget you. Because I was there for 12 weeks I saw a lot of people come and go and everyone left their mark in some way or other. each individual will be remembered forever. Get ready for the best experience of your life!

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

The trip was one massive highlight! Meeting some amazing people - both locals and volunteers - has to be top of the list. Teaching was amazing and a real eye-opener. Going to the orphanages was a lot of fun too.

Tips for other travellers?

1. Come to Africa with an open mind and a laid-back, relaxed attitude to match that of the locals. 2. Record your trip in as much detail as possible - a camera is a must and a journal is a great idea. 3. Try to brings some things to donate if you can.

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

I have never had an experience quite like this one. I enjoyed every aspect of the voluntary work so thank you very much! I got a chance to work in orphanages which I absolutely loved. Handing out porrdge and singing witht he children. Meeting the most amazing group of people in the Volunteer house and sharing great memories of weekend excursions to spectacular locations. My favourite location was Cape Maclear in Malawi - We went swimming with beautiful fish and stayed in Fat Monkeys which was fantastic accomodation. Meeting lots of friends from the village and sitting with them by the lake once project was over that day. Teaching to my English class in MTO school and throwing them a Good Bye party. My Art class in Kankanda school was so well - behaved, it was a joy to do creative work with them and see their faces light up. My fondest memory was my last week at this school, with a fellow volunteer - the class chanted and danced and hugged me good bye.

Tips for other travellers?

Give yourself time to adjust when you enter the volunteer house and remember that you are there to be a volunteer and the social aspect is not the most important one. Athough you are going to meet the best of friends. Mine arrived on my 2nd week there. In Malawi most adults want an English Dictionary and I will certainly remember to take a few the next time I go. Work hard in projects and plan your day the night before. It is rewarding to see a person smile at the work you put in and you will leave Malawi knowing that you've made a difference.

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Seeing my class of 90 11-18 year olds carrying out the task I had set was amazing! Malawi is such a beautiful country and the people are the friendliest I've ever met!

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

The entire trip was a highlight! My mornings were spent at Monkey Bay Primary School, where I taught English to two classes in Standard 5, with almost 100 children in each class. The children were so wonderful to teach and I enjoyed every minute I spent with them. The confidence I gained was obviously a highlight too!! Spending Christmas and New Year in Malawi was absolutely brilliant. It was fantastic to get away from all the festive extravagance and get back to the real meaning of Christmas and to spend it with such a fab bunch of people too. I made some fantastic mates. The activities I participated in the afternoon varied, which was great. Once a week I taught English to the orphanage teacher and some of her friends, and did a Computer Club with the staff at both Monkey Bay School and the house where we lived. I also did a Creative Arts Club twice a week. This was originally an Environment Club, but I didn

Tips for other travellers?

Go with an open mind and expect the unexpected Make the most of the opportunity, enjoy every minute and just throw yourself into Malawian life Don't take any white clothing (t shirts in particular) as they will never be white again!!!

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Accommodation & Meals

You will stay in a very comfortable volunteer house (within a 45-minute walk to most projects) that you'll share with volunteers from all sorts of Malawi volunteer projects, which is a great way to find out more about the great work going on in the area. Transport is provided for schools that are further away. Situated on the beach off Lake Malawi, just 11km south of Monkey Bay Town, the house has great views out over the lake. The property is fenced and gated and has a lovely big garden.

You'll stay in a dormitory-style bedroom with other volunteers of the same sex. There is running water, a cold shower and western-style toilets. Whilst both electricity and water are pretty reliable, power cuts are very common, sometimes for extended periods. Staff in the volunteer house will include a cook, a housekeeper (volunteers are expected to do their bit to keep the house clean and tidy) and a night watchman.

Three meals each day are provided for volunteers. Breakfast is usually on a self-service basis, consisting of toast or porridge, although the cook may treat you occasionally! Lunch will either be a packed lunch, or self-service if you plan to return to the house at lunchtime. The cook will prepare evening meals for you – please let them know if you plan to eat out to avoid food waste.

Please Note: The fridge in the house is used to store the food from which your meals are prepared each day as well as additional drinks that you will be able to purchase from the staff. You are welcome to buy your own food/snacks and drinks, but you must be aware that you will not be able to store them in the fridge.

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Malawi flights

Your flight to Malawi should arrive at Lilongwe International Airport (LLW) on your programme start date. Your return flight or onward travel should be arranged on your programme end date.

Please note: Anyone arriving or leaving outside of scheduled itinerary dates will need to pay a private transfer fee of US$175 per person, each way(this will need to be paid in USD cash locally); any additional nights at the volunteer accommodation will cost extra, if you would like to book any extra nights please contact us as these will need to be booked and paid for before you leave.

To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.

It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your online account or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.

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Eligibility & FAQ's

Minimum age 18 years, maximum dependent on health and fitness of participant.

You will need to have experience of teaching both primary and secondary level classes or be in the process of studying for your PGCE, teaching degree, or diploma. 

You will need a visa to enter Malawi, we highly recommend you obtain a visa from the Malawi High Commission before travelling, although UK citizens are able to obtain a visa on arrival. Please ensure you have two completely blank consecutive pages in your passport for immigration stamps and that your passport has at least six months' validity left on it following your planned return date.

Please also be aware that if you have transited or travelled through a yellow fever country then you will need to show your yellow fever certificate on arrival.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service)

On this particular programme, as you’ll be working with children, you’ll need to undergo an enhanced DBS check and will need to have a clean criminal record.

DBS checks may list past convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings, and if applicable will show whether or not you have been barred from working with certain vulnerable groups. Non-conviction information such as fixed penalties may also be included.

There is an additional cost for the DBS check, please speak to your travel advisor at the time of booking. The DBS process is in three stages:

1. Once we receive your booking payment, you will then be sent an online application link for the DBS check, which you will need to complete.

2. Once you have completed the application, the DBS will need verification of your identity – to do this you will need to take three original documents to your nearest crown post office and use their DBS and ID verification service. This costs approximately £5 and is payable directly to the Post Office.

3. It can take up to two weeks for your DBS to be processed, which will be sent to you directly in the post.

What Sort Of Clothing Will I Be Expected To Wear At The Project?

There isn’t a dress code as such, but as a very conservative country volunteers are expected to dress respectfully whilst they’re on project sites. Ladies, that means you’ll need to keep your shoulders and knees covered, so bring t-shirts and lightweight blouses, below-the-knee skirts and trousers/long shorts. You should also try and cover large tattoos and leave lairy clothing with offensive slogans at home – guys that goes for you, too.

I Don't Have A Tefl Can I Still Take Part?

A TEFL programme is always useful, but you can take part in the programme without any set of formal qualifications. However, you will need to have teaching experience, or be in the process of studying for a teaching qualification to be able to go into the schools.

Do I Need Any Vaccinations?

We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what inoculations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different regions. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.

Do I Need To Take A Sleeping Bag With Me?

Yes, we recommend you bring a sleeping bag, especially for weekend excursions , but try and get a lightweight travel sleeping bag to save on luggage space. You should also bring a towel with you, as they won't be provided at your accommodation. Travel towels are great for saving all-important luggage space.

Should I Bring A Mosquito Net With Me?

Yes, you will need to take a net with you as they aren't provided.

Will There Be A Safe Or Safety Deposit Box At The Accommodation?

Yes, there will be a safe place for you to store your valuables.

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Dates & Prices

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