Fisherman's Rest, Blantyre, Southern Malawi:

Fisherman's Rest is a social enterprise located within a serene 50 acre forest reserve, a twenty minute drive from the colonial city of Blantyre and looking out over the southern stretch of the Great Rift Valley. The lodge itself offers a range of accommodation from camping and shared room facilities (most common volunteer accommodation) to private chalets and lodges. It is run by Wictor and his wife Sue, their Daughter Beth and her husband Joe. The family are former missionaries who established Fisherman's Rest over twenty years ago as a base for the work they carry out alongside the local community. The work varies with the season, the need, the resources and the man power but Fisherman's Rest is very much a part of the community and all decisions are made in agreement with local facilitators, community leaders and community members.

Contact: enquiries@fishermansrest.net

Website: www.fishermansrest.net

Projects: Fisherman's Rest has a varied range of opportunities available and volunteers can get involved with the daily activities of projects or the administrative/logistical side. Ongoing projects include:

  • Tree planting and conservation education
  • Construction of kitchens at schools and the implementation of feeding programs
  • Teaching and activities at the local community centre, Tilitonse, including sports, computers, reading, writing and games
  • Teacher training at one of 22 local schools
  • Book and school supplies distribution
  • Microfinance and small business start-up

Minimum Time Commitment: 1 month

Facilities available:

  • Restaurant and group meals for volunteers
  • Wifi
  • Laundry
  • Local transport to Blantyre < 1hr for atms/clinics/shopping centres
  • Airport Pickup available from Blantyre

Getting There:

From overseas, the best way to reach Blantyre is to fly direct with Ethiopian Airlines and a driver from Fisherman's Rest will meet you at the airport. If coming from Lilongwe by bus we recommend Axa bus (buy your ticket the day before!!!) and allow 5 hours. If using another bus company from Lilongwe, allow 8/9 hours. Rest assured these are 9 long hours on the bus, but at least you get to sample local chips made from "Irish potatoes" that you can buy through the window at bus stops.

Weekend Getaways:

  • Pop into Blantyre to check out the old colonial administration buildings or visit the only cinema in Malawi (<1hr)
  • Take a weekend trip to Majete National Park. Use local transport and camp to keep it cheap (<3hrs).
  • Stay at Bushman's Baobab just outside Liwonde National Park and go on a walking safari, canoe safari and experience hippos grazing outside your chalet. For those of you with a little more money or visiting parents or honeymooning friends', splash out and treat yourself at the luxurious Mvuu Camp located within Liwonde National Park and accessible only by boat (3 hrs from Blantyre).
  • Avail of some hiking among the lofty peaks and granite mounds of Mulanje National Park (2 hrs from Blantyre).
  • Rise early and take a bus from Blantyre to Cape Maclear and chill out in the azure waters of Lake Malawi. And then take bilharzia medication eight weeks later to avoid getting ill…Trust me, it's definitely worth it!! (4 hrs from Blantyre)

Travel Tip:

Blantyre is at a high altitude (Fisherman's Rest is at about 1800m) and so in the cold season (May to August) you will need long trousers and sweaters. Also, if you like running or cycling, the roads around the lodge are nicely steep and provide a good workout!

Fisherman’s Rest: An introduction to the lodge and the projects


Fisherman's Rest: The Projects Part 1


Fisherman's Rest: The Projects Part 2