By Duncan Mlanjira
A team of 10 are set to walk from Blantyre to Lilongwe — a distance of over 360kms from November 21-30 to raise funds that will be invested in the training and eventual certification of 100 tour guides across the country.
The event has been organised by Paulendo Adventures, a Malawian tour company that aims at promoting tourism both local and international through travel, hiking and sustainability of the environment.
Paulendo Adventures owner, Yangairo Yangairo said so far eight walkers have already registered and include Holmes Banda (a lecturer at the Polytechnic); Kay Da Silva (a tour operator); Innocent Kaliati (a tourism consultant at Eagles Eye Malawi and Yangairo himself.
“Those interested in being one of the 10 inter-city walkers are required to either get sponsored or make a contribution of K150,000 towards the cause,” Yangairo said.
“This contribution will cover logistics for the walkers and any excess will be added to the donations pot.”
Considering that some might not be able to walk all the way from Blantyre to Lilongwe, Yangairo says interested volunteers can join the by doing a portion of the distance such as from Blantyre to Lunzu (18kms) or Zalewa (55km).
Those to walk from Blantyre to Lunzu will be expected to contribute or find sponsorship of at least K10,000 to cover for bottles of water, first aid, a branded T-shirt and transportation back to Blantyre CBD.
“For those who would like to support the cause in Lilongwe, they can welcome the team of 10 at Bunda roundabout and they will also be required to make a contribution or find sponsorship of at least K10,000.
“All those who would like to support the initiative both in cash and kind, feel free to do so, every little amount counts,” Yangairo said, adding that contributions can be channeled through National Bank, Paulendo Adventures, account number 1006755417.
Or through Mpamba on 0881 034 149 and Airtel Money on 0999 650 826 and once the contributions are made to send proof of payment to Innocent Kaliati on 0996 567 388.
He assured participants that they have made elaborate plans on how to carry this out such as meals, tents for sleepovers as well as medical rescue team to be organised by owner of Banja Care Clinic, Sam Matandala through out the 10 days.
Yangairo said this adventure was mooted together with Kaliati as a social responsibility of giving back to the tourism industry and taking cognizance of the role tour guides play.
“There are many tour guide around but they don’t have the right etiquette to handle tourists professionally,” Yangairo said.
“They earn their bread and butter from this occupation and by training them we are also contributing towards job creation.
“Through our operations, we need to interact with them and we do see some signs that we realize can disappoint tourists thus the need to properly train them,” he said.