Join a team of 10 women on this skill-sharing expedition. A 7-day adventure to Malawi designed to push your limits both physically and mentally . . . 

My name is Kate Webb, and I own Orbis Expeditions along with my husband Dom. I am a mother to Sam, aged 4, and Emmie, aged 2. I lived in Africa for 10 years, and now help run the company from the UK. Orbis Expeditions aims to offer experiences which inspire and challenge participants and offer direct positive impact to Malawian communities.

I am passionate about giving women in Malawi the chance to connect with ladies from around the world, in order to drive their businesses and organisations forward. I am a firm believer that sustainable development must come from economic empowerment.  

Importantly, this involves a shift away from traditional charitable giving. 

Travel can play a big part in this movement.  Dom and I are committed to creating expeditions which combine adventure with the opportunity to use skills to support local initiatives. Our team members question global view points and their perceptions of sustainable development. They choose to book with us because we challenge the idea of travel, push the boundaries of voluntourism and are committed to ensuring sustainability throughout our work in Malawi. 

 Walk Village 2

I will be the tour leader for this May 2019 Expedition, and can't wait to challenge myself alongside the team!

Dom and I also own The Responsible Safari Company (RSC), a tour operator based in Malawi.

When you land in Malawi, RSC staff will meet us and be our guides for the duration of the expedition.

The RSC Team is a full-time team of ten Malawians who run the operations side of Orbis Expeditions, monitor our project and community links, and are our 24-hour support up whilst in the country.

 

2019 Women’s Challenge Expedition Outline 

Wildlife Safari - Majete Wildlife Reserve

Our road transfer from Chileka Airport to Majete Wildlife Reserve really displays the beautiful diversity of Southern Malawi.

The drive takes us out of the city and down the dramatic escarpment road to the plains of the Lower Shire. We will arrive at Majete Wildlife Reserve in time for a safari drive and our first glimpse of this beautiful Big Five conservation area.

We will stay at Thawale Lodge, a tented camp located around a waterhole - and the ideal base from which to explore the reserve by vehicle and riverboat safari.

During our time at Majete we are likely to see elephants, plains game, hippos, and crocodiles... and maybe lions, leopard and rhino!

 Ellies at river bank

Skill Sharing Forum - Blantyre

When you apply to be on the expedition team, we arrange a call to chat about your experiences, what you are passionate about, and any skills you might want to share during your time in Malawi. 

Previous participants include industry leaders, start-up business owners, marketers, women in finance, coaching and women who are just passionate about supporting women from a different culture to be empowered and enabled to drive their businesses forward. 

Once we have the team in place, I sit down with my Malawi staff to put together the groups of Malawian women and organisations who need your skills the most. This could be anything from a group of 20 individual business owners that want finance and marketing skills, to a number of small organisations that are in need of resources, training and support.

 Womens Ex Katy workshop

Either way, we plan activities to suit a collaborative workshop day where there is space to interact with and learn from one another. This will take place at our barn office in Blantyre and on location in nearby villages/organisations.

Whether you wish to lead a workshop, or just assist, either is fine.  The aim is to create a supportive environment for collaborative work to take place.

 Womens Ex Workshop Business2

Tea Estates - Satemwa 

Satemwa Tea Estate is situated an hour from Blantyre, and is the base for night 2 and 3 of our expedition.

Two colonial style lodges are nestled in between the vast acres of tea fields and provide the perfect place to prepare for your workshops and come together as a team to reflect on our skills sharing day in Blantyre.

We hope there will be time to take a walk in the estate, relax in the grounds of the lodge, visit the tea factory and perhaps do a tasting of the locally picked tea and coffee.

After our workshops in Blantyre we aim to get back in time for sundown and an evening at Huntingdon House Lodge for some delicious food, open fires and a night of post workshop indulgence!

Tea Estate 

Hike Challenge - Mulanje Mountain

It will be an early start from Satemwa Tea Estate and a beautiful 1-2 hour drive to the base camp of Mulanje Mountain, where we will meet our local porters and guides. 

You need to be physically fit and used to walking on uneven ground to partake in the Women’s Expedition Hike. It is designed as a challenge so be prepared with trail shoes or light weight walking boots and try to get out and do some training before hand! 

Day 1's steep climb meanders its way up to the plateau of Mulanje Mountain.  The hike time is between 5 and 7 hours.  Day 2's descent is an easier walk, offering the option to swim in wild pools, or take on one of Mulanje’s peak climbs.

Womens Ex Hiking 6 

Our accommodation is a simple mountain hut with just a bucket shower, long drop loo, and a fire to cook on. The mountain guides and porters are our lifeline – and will quickly become close friends too! 

The Women’s Expedition Hike Challenge offers a chance to really strip it all back, and bond as team!

 Alice look out Mulanje shot2

Secondary School Workshop Days

After our Mulanje descent, we will have a chance to rest, relax and reflect on the achievement during a 3 hour journey to the shores of Lake Malawi.

Here, we will meet the community youth group from Makwawa Village, and Rainbow Hope Secondary School for a briefing and evening village walk. Our accommodation at Lake Malawi is at The Makokola Retreat, within walking distance of Rainbow Hope Secondary School. 


Watch our YouTube video with highlights from the 2018 Women's Challenge


Similar to the workshop day, activities vary depending on your group set up – these may involve team building, gender debates with the final year students, STEM style challenges, teacher workshops or sports.

VN Lady Teaching Image: Venetia Norrington Travel Photography.

Alternatively, you might choose to join the youth group and head into the village to learn more about permaculture, village healthcare or some of the traditional cultures of this fishing community. 

Translators and youth group members accompany and assist where needed, but most students and teachers have a good level of English.

Girls Hands Bex 

Mumbo Island

After the highlight of a day and a half spent in Makwawa Village, it’s time to reflect, unwind and have some time to yourself before heading home. 

Included on this 2019 Women’s Challenge Expedition is a night on the beautiful Mumbo Island – and there is a chance for more if you want (2-night add-on is £515 fully inclusive).  

The island is that perfect mix between eco-luxury and rustic charm, and the pictures say it all...

Lady hammock Mumbo Island 

Further Travel following the 2019 Women’s Challenge Expedition

Orbis Expeditions would be delighted to help you arrange further travel or community work across Malawi and surrounding countries.

2019 Women’s Challenge Expedition Cost

£2,600 pp (including transfers, accommodation, meals and bespoke activities).

I ask for 20% deposit to confirm your space, and the remainder 6 weeks before departure.

Some women have been successful in gaining match funding from their employers.  We can be flexible with payment options and are happy to offer installment plans. 

Flights

Here at Orbis Expeditions, we recommend the route through Joannesburg and up to Blantyre, but there are also routes through Nairobi and Addis Ababa. 

Flights can be confusing for first-time travellers, so do email us if you need some support and we are happy to help (£25 per person flight booking/advice fee).

How many people will be on my team?

There will be 10-12 women, plus your Tour Leader - which is going to be myself, Kate! 

I will be a full member of the team, but will also be responsible for team admin, connecting you all in the run-up and before the expedition, and acting as your point of contact before, during and after the 2019 Women’s Challenge.

How do I sign up?

If you would like to experience the Orbis Expeditions 2019 Women’s Challenge, or have any questions, drop me an email to kate@orbis-expeditions.com and we can set up a time to chat!

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