As 2016 draws to a close and you reflect on how the year has treated you so far, a great holiday with your family is surely the best way to end the year with fond memories to look back on. If you still haven’t finalized your holiday plans and are looking for a destination which will provide your entire family with the perfect mix of adventure and relaxation, then do consider visiting one of our CAWS camps in Malawi. We’re gearing up for the festive season at our camps and will be running a special Christmas and New Year programme, however below are some of the everyday activities that families can enjoy on their travels with us.
Malawi is a fun and refreshing destination for families to visit and there are a variety of activities and excursions available across the country that will interest children of all age groups. Most of our CAWS camps are well geared for families. Mvuu Camp in Liwonde National Park, Chelinda Camp in Nyika National Park and Chintheche Inn all have dedicated playgrounds, as well as babysitting facilities and special dining options for kids. Additionally, families travelling with children are welcome to advise our guides on their particular interests and our team will do their best to engage the children and motivate them to question and learn more about their surroundings as well as the wildlife, communities and cultural highlights that they encounter. Here are five things that families are encouraged to do at our camps to make their visits more memorable:
1)Embark on an interactive game drive in Liwonde or Nyika:
Our guides are well experienced at gauging and addressing the interests of young guests. They will make your game drives as interactive as possible, by including an array of interesting facts, questions and insights. To keep children engaged during the activity, our team might encourage them to get involved with trying to spot and track different species. To make game drives even more interesting for your kids, make sure to pack a few interesting guide books, binoculars or a child-friendly camera, so they can enjoy a more interactive game viewing experience.
2)Visit Chelinda Primary School or Nanthomba School:
A trip to Liwonde or Nyika would not be complete without visiting the local schools that are located in close proximity to the camps. Chelinda Primary School which is located in Nyika is funded entirely by guest contributions and supports a total of 120 students who live on the plateau. Nanthomba School which is situated in Liwonde is the brainchild of three Mvuu Camp and Lodge employees; Matthews, Dinara and Mike who were inspired by the Children in the Wilderness programme and set up a small school. In 2006, the school was expanded after it received a generous donation from the Wolstein family and it is now funded by the H.E.L.P Malawi project, supported by CAWS and managed by a Board of Trustees. Both schools welcome visitors, offer tours and welcome donations of any kind. Visiting the schools and meeting with the students can be a very warm and inspiring experience, simply advise the front office team at our camps that you are interested in touring the nearby local school and they will make the necessary arrangements.
3) Plant a tree and make a pledge in Chintheche:
A tour of the Root to Fruit tree nursery which is located at Chintheche Inn, is a great way to teach young travellers about the importance of planting trees and conserving the planet. On their tour, children can learn about the different tree species that are endemic to Malawi, they can find out more about how planting trees helps to aid reforestation and deter soil erosion and they can learn how planting trees helps to fight climate change. To add to the overall experience, young travellers are welcome to plant their own tree in the nursery and make a pledge to do their part to protect the planet.
4) Enjoy dinner in the boma under the stars in Liwonde:
When Mvuu Camp is full, our team often hosts dinner in the boma and the entire team comes together to serve a scrumptious meal, dance and entertain guests with local tales and folklore. This is a great way for young children to learn more about local traditions in a relaxed environment. Additionally, children and adults alike are welcome to join in the dances, learn different dance techniques and participate in the storytelling that takes place.
5) Learn about local arts, crafts and traditions:
Many local artisans and craftspeople sell their products near our camps. These often include creative pieces made from recycled materials and make for great souvenirs. Often visiting these small pop-up-shops and meeting with the craftspeople, is a great way to broaden your kids’ horizons and give them the opportunity to learn more about handicrafts from Malawi. Another great thing to do is visit Njobvu Cultural Village in Liwonde, which is run by the community itself. You can enjoy a delicious meal on nsima and relish and learn how to dance and play traditional drums and other instruments. The community is very welcoming and hospitable and takes visitors on tours of real homes to give them a glimpse of life in rural Malawi.
If you’d like to find out more about family activities and travel options in Malawi, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.