Cycle Malawi

Unfortunately, due to the escalating COVID-19 situation, we have had to postpone Cycle Malawi 2020. We are working with our partners to reschedule the event for 2021. Please get in touch if you have any questions or would like to register your interest. 

Pass through rural villages and small towns to experience village life off the beaten track. Experience the magnitude of Lake Malawi. Spend a day visiting our Infant Home in Mangochi and a local community to see first-hand how the money you raise will make a difference. Experience the true wilderness of Malawi with a sunrise boat safari before setting off for the old colonial city of Zomba.

You’ll end the trip at our infant home in Blantyre, where you will celebrate your achievement, singing and dancing with the Open Arms ‘mothers’ and children. We promise that you will be captivated by the magic of Malawi – it really is the chance of a lifetime!

The trip will be a challenge, but an achievable one, even if you are new to cycling with the right training, anyone can take part. 

Watch the Highlights of the Cycle Malawi 2017 Trip

Cycle Malawi 2017

Don't just take our word for it!

“It was a wonderful trip... The challenge was appropriate and the link with Open Arms and those involved was very special. I can't say enough positive things about it!”

I cannot say a lot else other than excellent all round! If I could go again tomorrow I would!
Visiting the home in Mangochi was a highlight of the trip. Really enjoyed seeing the work undertaken by the charity, and to hear from the staff and children.
Excellent support could not have been better!
It was a really wonderful experience. I was so pleased to have completed the challenge, and learnt something about myself - don't say 'can't do it'! It was great to meet all the people in our group who were very supportive of each other.
It was the most humbling and inspiring trip I had. The friendly and helpful staff, good company of fellow riders, the natural scenery, the warmth of local people and the visits to infant homes made the whole trip very enjoyable and memorable. Felt well looked after and relaxed throughout.

To read more about last year's event click here

Download detailed PDF of Itinerary

Cost Breakdown & What's included

Registration Fee: non-refundable£300
Tour costs: for what’s included see the table below£3,100
Minimum Fundraising£500
Cycle Malawi cost breakdown

Come and join us to do something amazing!

If this has whetted your appetite, and you’d like a personal challenge and want to do something to really make a difference, then what are you waiting for, sign up here today!

If you’re not quite sure but would like some more information you can email us and we'll give you a call, we’d love to hear from you.

Map 1 212X300

Your adventure will begin as soon as you sign up 

We will support you from the word go. You will get our challenge pack with training details, fundraising ideas, travel information and much more.  Whether this is your first challenge or you’re a regular fundraiser, you can be sure of a warm welcome into a team of fantastic people. 


We would like to thank Ben Walls for the use of his images that he took on the Cycle Malawi 2017 Challenge.

The Route

Day One

Where from: Fly from London to Lilongwe

Overnight flight from London via Addis Ababa

Day Two

Arrive in 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.

Day2 Bike Setup

Day Three

Where from: Mua Mission, Dedza to Cape McLear
Distance: 100km

Starting from the Mission and as you hit the sandy cycle tracks it will dawn on you what you have actually signed up for. Children will run from the villages and wave and shout you on.

The day ends with a spectacular cycle into the sunset on the aptly named Road to Monkey Bay and arrival on the shores of Lake Malawi.

Highlights: children waving, sunset

Cycle Malawi Challenge Day 3A

Day Four

Where from: Cape McLear to Mangochi

Distance: 55km

A relaxed day.  You will head off to Mangochi, firstly on sandy tracks up to the main road then on tarmac, cycling through villages and local markets, finishing by the lake.

This evening following another spectacular sunset, a barbeque on the beach and local band will entertain you on the shores of lake Malawi.

Highlights: contrasts, bustling markets, long quiet stretches, colours

Cycle Malawi Challenge Day 2

Day Five

Activity: Spend the day at the the Open Arms Mangochi Infant Home.

Distance: 15Km local cycling

Cycle to the home this morning to an amazing welcome of singing and dancing.  Today you will be able to spend some time in the infant home and visiting one of our nursery schools cycling off the beaten track to a remote village. 

Highlights: Seeing how your money helps, experiencing why Open Arms is so special.

Cycle Malawi Challenge Day 4

Day Six

Where from: Mangochi to Liwonde

Distance: 95km

Today is an early start and a long day on mostly tarmac roads, cycling through market towns with children waving and cheering you on.  Arriving at Hippo View Lodge on the River Shire, you will never be so pleased to see a hippo!

Highlights: Sense of achievement at the end of a long day, hearing and seeing hippos

Cycle Malawi Challenge Day 6

Day Seven

Where from: Liwonde to Zomba

Distance: 55km

A great start to the day with a 2 hour river safari at sunrise. After a quick breakfast, off to Zomba with a hill climb out of Liwonde. You will finish the day with a cool drink at the top of the Zomba plateau with stunning views over the Shire Highlands.

Highlight: Sunrise safari, the realisation that you can actually do this! 

Cycle Malawi Challenge Day 5

Day Eight

Where from: Zomba to Blantyre

Distance: 57km

Your last day cycling, and surprisingly, you will feel a mixture of sadness and elation.  Following the official group photo you will set off for an undulating route to Blantyre.  Your adventure ends at our home in Blantyre with an enthusiastic welcome from Open Arms staff and children – never to be forgotten. 

Tonight there is a dinner to celebrate your amazing achievements.

Highlights: Cycling into the home to an amazing welcome, celebration of what you’ve done and the people you’ve met.

Cycle Malawi Challenge Day 8

Day Nine

Fly Blantyre to London

This morning you will have time to explore Blantyre and buy some souvenirs.  A late morning transfer for the early afternoon flight to London via Addis Ababa.

Day Ten

Arrive in London

Ready for the experience of a lifetime?

Sign up here

Download our frequently asked questions

Download our fundraising hints and tips

Your donation will help children in Malawi grow up healthy with the love of a family


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