Hypertension is the leading risk factor for global disease burden. Self-management of high blood pressure (BP) through self-monitoring and self-titration of medications, has proved to be one successful and cost-effective tool to achieve better BP control in many high-income countries but not much is known about its potential in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We used semi-structured questionnaires and focus groups in three LMICs; Peru, Cameroon and Malawi to examine perceptions and attitudes of patients diagnosed with essential hypertension towards living with hypertension, BP measurement and treatment, patient–physician relationship and opinions about self-management of high blood pressure. Results in all three countries were comparable. Patients showed varied levels of health literacy related to hypertension. BP measurement habits were mostly affected by resources available and caregiver support. Treatment and adherence to it were primarily affected by cost. Most patients were welcoming of the idea of self-management but skeptical about the ability to do self-monitoring accurately and the safety involving self-titration of medications.