Reasons to Visit
The majestic Lake Malawi covers a fifth of the country, its sparkling waters stretching for 500 kilometres. Fringed by idyllic sandy beaches, it is often more reminiscent of the ocean off a tropical island than a rare body of water in a landlocked African country.
With excellent guides and a range of water habitats, Malawi is a great destination for birding enthusiasts. Possibly best of all is the Nyika Plateau, home to a range of species that you will not find in neighbouring countries due to its utterly unique environment.
Always peaceful and welcoming, Malawi boasts a rich cultural and colonial heritage. An integral part of the missionary route trodden by Livingstone and his followers, echoes can be seen in Blantyre and Zomba, but nowhere is it more apparent than at the awesome St Peter’s Cathedral on Likoma Island.
For the freshwater and cychlid enthusiast, Lake Malawi is a spectacular arena for snorkelling and diving. On the lake there are several places that offer top class snorkelling and diving spots, including Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island and Danforth Yachting in the Cape Maclear area.
In the shadow of Mount Mulanje, the tea plantations of Thyolo are a wonderfully relaxed place to visit and enjoy the brilliant green fields, mahogany forests and small water falls. Time can be spent learning about how the tea is made or exploring the lush landscapes under your own steam.
Lake Malawi is a mecca for enthusiasts of smaller aquatic life, with more freshwater fish species than Europe and North America combined. The sparkling tropical waters are filled with over 1,000 different rainbow-coloured cychlid fish, many of which are endemic to the lake.
Malawi isn't a Big 5 Safari destination however Liwonde National Park does offer beautiful riverine scenery, large herds of elephant, big hippo pods, crocs, several different antelope species and a myriad of bird species including the rare Pels Fishing Owl. The boat safaris are a real highlight here. With a couple of new camps opening up Malawi's Majete Reserve is also an intriguing destination for those seeking an off the beaten track wildlife experience with the chance to see black rhino, elephant, buffalo and a variety of plains game.
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Africa and The Indian Ocean
Children on Likoma Island
Lake Malawi, sometimes known as the Lake of Stars, covers roughly one-fifth of Malawi. It's ideal for activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving or kayaking.
Liwonde is Malawi’s premier game-viewing destination. Game includes elephant, sable antelope, waterbuck, impala, and bushbuck, and the birding is excellent.
Enjoy the drive to the huge granite outcrop where you will pass trout farms, dams and clear running streams passing through waterfalls on their way to the lowlands.
This sleepy island is steeped in colonial history: its cathedral which was built by missionaries inspired by David Livingstone. The Mozambique shores can be reached by a boat trip from Likoma Island.
The Thyolo Region in southern Malawi is an area of fertile land where much of the country’s produce is grown. The region has Malawi’s highest peak, Mount Mulanje, which rises to over 3,000 metres.
Malawi is a vibrant, welcoming little country nestling on its namesake lake between Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. With a relaxed pace of life, friendly locals, idyllic landscapes and exquisite lakeshore beaches it is a great place to relax at the start or end of your safari, or to explore as a destination in its own right.
12 Days from £2,860pp
A nine night comprehensive tour of Southern Malawi encompassing tea estates, Zomba Plateau, and Lake Malawi, an active break in a beautiful country.
11 Days from £3,280pp
A nine night explorer of northern Malawi concentrating on regions of exceptional natural beauty. Includes overnight stays at the Nyika Plateau and Lake Malawi.
13 Days from £3,460pp
Explore the diverse regions of Malawi enjoying the wildlife in Liwonde National Park and the peaceful atmosphere, before relaxation on the stunning lake shores.
Air France, British Airways, Emirates, KLM, South African Airways & Virgin Atlantic
The best time to travel.
A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of.
Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year.
Travel is not recommended.
Snow or ski season.
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Further reading:When to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAccommodationAbout MalawiCountry Guides
Other countries in Africa:BotswanaKenyaMadagascarMauritiusMozambiqueNamibiaRwandaSouth AfricaTanzaniaThe SeychellesUgandaZambiaZanzibar ArchipelagoZimbabwe
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