I am very interested in volunteering in Malawi for a month or so, I will probably use real gap (suggestions more than welcome).
However as silly as it may sound, I really am terrified by spiders and don't want this to put a damper on things. Are things in this part of the world that bad, will I be able to sleep or will I be surrounded by them?!
I would very much appreciate people's experiences and so on - perhaps I should not have looked on Google images!
If you truly have arachnophobia then yes, Malawi could be hell for you - same as countless locations all over the world. When I was there our old house with ill fitting windows/doors was always being visited by various spiders and all manner of insects, centipedes, etc. Some of the spiders were so big you could hear then running across the floor, so at least you had some warning they were coming in...
We had two huge tarantulas living under the porch. The prior tenants had tamed/trained them so when you tapped the floor gently they'd come out to be fed. Interesting way to deal with scrap food...
Oh Jesus. Ye, i'm a bit pathetic when it comes to spiders, but didn't think it would be enough to stop me going. But it sounds like my nightmare, thanks for the heads up. Do you know if it's similar in Asia - Thailand, Vietnam way?
There's spiders everywhere in the world where it's semi-warm. In tropical/sub-tropical areas especially they're everywhere, but depending on where you are staying you may never see one - where there's lots of people big spiders are (almost) always killed/eradicated by idiots so they're not an issue.
Get slightly off the beaten path where the ecosystem isn't destroyed and spiders/insects/lizards/etc. are everywhere, as they should be.
If this is something that is going to control you then simply stick to the Gringo Trail, you'll be fine. No big deal.
Tranquilo, have fun.
Thanks for your help. Hopefully i'll man up by the summer.