Malaria remains one of the main causes of mortality among young children in sub-Saharan Africa. In Nigeria traditional healers play an important role in health care delivery and the majority of the population depend on them for most of their ailments. The aim of this study was to investigate the perceptions of traditional healers regarding causes, symptoms, treatment of uncomplicated malaria and referral practices for severe malaria with a view to developing appropriate intervention strategies aimed at improving referral practices for severe malaria.