The Chamare Museum, at the Mua Mission describes the culture of the three main ethnic groups of Central Malawi - the Chewa, Yao and Ngoni and their interaction with Islam and Christianity and each other. The outside of the museum is decorated with an interesting set of frescos depicting the history of Malawi.
The first display in the entrance area depicts the history of Mua - a Catholic Mission founded by the White Fathers in 1902. Two further rooms have a wealth of photos, displays and artefacts illustrating traditional beliefs, rituals and rites of passage. There is a fabulous collection of over 400 Gule Wamkulu masks. Entrance to the museum is by guided tour, which costs MK1250. The short version takes about an hour and a longer one with more explanation is available.
The museum is open from 7.30am to 4.00pm (last tour starts no later than 3.00pm) Monday to Saturday. It is closed for lunch between 12.00 and 1.00 on these days and all day on Sunday. Bookings for the tour are made at the office to the right of the art shop.
Cold drinks are sold at the office next to museum and lunch can be obtained at the dining room of the Pantondo Chalets for MK2500 if ordered beforehand. Fruit, bread and other items can also be bought at the Mua village, a short walk further along the road and over the bridge.
The Mua Mission is 64km (40 miles) south of Salima on the M5. A lakeside stop can be made at Chipoka for a drink or meal. An alternative approach is via the S127 Masasa-Golomoti road from the M1 and travelling 15km north from the junction with the M5. The Mission is clearly signposted from the road at a dirt road turning to the west. The museum is 1km along this road, past the hospital and church.
Telephone: +265 999 511 844, +265 999 294 320