Dubbed 'The Warm Heart of Africa' due to the legendary welcome extended to all who visit, Malawi is a small country with a big heart and an even bigger range of incredible tourist activities! Lake Malawi’s vast size, its warm freshwater and its gorgeous surrounding beaches make it a mecca for those seeking a year-round location to swim, scuba dive, snorkel, water ski, sail, kayak, parasail or simply potter about in boats. Malawi also boasts plenty of national parks providing a haven for a wide variety of wildlife including crocodiles, lions, elephants, hippos and even leopard. Culture vultures are also well served by numerous fascinating historical and cultural sites as well as visits to traditional Malawian villages to meet some ever-smiling Malawians going about their daily lives. With all of this exceptional culture, natural scenery and friendliness on offer, this unique African country is enchanting enough to captivate even the most jaded traveller.
Days 1 - 2
Resting on the banks of the Lilongwe River, the sprawling, bustling city of Lilongwe serves as the capital of Malawi. It is the largest city in Malawi and is the economic and transport hub of the country. It features thriving markets, lush green spaces, and a rich cultural heritage. While the city has all of the twentieth-century urban developments, it retains the appearance of a traditional African settlement. The Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, in the heart of Lilongwe, provides a sanctuary for local wildlife seeking refuge. Other sights worth seeing include the Kumbali Cultural Centre, offering the opportunity to view traditional Malawian dancing and drumming; as well as the nearby Chongoni Rock Art Area featuring over 127 sites displaying ancient rock art.
Nyika National Park
Days 3 - 6
Located along the Zambian border in northern Malawi, the Nyika National Park features forested valleys, lush woodlands, and vast grasslands. It is Malawi’s largest park extending across the great plateau which rises up to 1800 metres. Aside from conventional safaris, Nyika is wonderful for walking, mountain biking and horse riding safaris, and 4x4 excursions. It is not just the game that attracts visitors, the rolling scenery is often covered in wildflowers and in the rainy season, there are over 200 types of orchid in flower. Commonly spotted wildlife include duiker, eland, roan, leopard, zebra, lion, elephant, buffalo as well as over 400 bird species.
Days 6 - 8
Located in the Nkhata Bay District of the Northern Region of Malawi, Chintheche is set on the western shore of the magnificent Lake Malawi. This charming resort town is surrounded by tropical rainforest and indigenous vegetation and offers a wide sandy beach and sparkling crescent bays. The shoreline is fringed with numerous hotels and campsites overlooking the white sands lapped by warm clear waters. Visitors can look forward to a range of wonderful activities including: visiting the Old Bandawe Mission houses, exploring the lakeside fishing villages, enjoying spectacular stargazing opportunities and soaking up spectacular views of the Viphya Mountains in the distance. Spend leisurely days strolling along or relaxing on beautiful beaches, and enjoy an array of water sports such as windsurfing, diving, snorkelling, and sailing. Other popular activities include: fishing trips with the locals, mountain biking, and birding walks.
Days 8 - 10
Nkhotakota is a tranquil town on the shores of Lake Malawi in central Malawi. It is surrounded by the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, which is home to mammals such as lion and elephant, as well as an amazing array of birdlife. The village is most famous for the Livingstone Tree, where it is said that the famous explorer Dr David Livingstone met a notorious slave trader to implore him to stop the heinous trade. Guided walking tours in the reserve are an exciting way to get up close and personal with some of its animals. There are also hot springs, rivers and waterfalls within easy reach of Nkhotakota.
Ntchisi Forest Reserve
Days 10 - 11
About 80 km from Lilongwe, Ntchisi Forest Reserve lies on the escarpment of the East African Rift Valley, on Ntchisi Mountain, in some of Malawi's last remaining indigenous rainforest. This vast reserve provides a haven for an impressive variety of flora and fauna including, among others: several species of monkey, hyena, small antelope, bush pig and civet. The main attraction is undoubtedly the bird life which is extensive but visitors can also expect to see large numbers of butterflies and orchids, as well as a magnificent display of wildflowers just after the rainy season. The reserve offers a range of exhilarating activities including mountain biking, bird watching, visits to a local traditional village, and hiking up Ntchisi mountain to marvel at the spectacular view of Lake Malawi and the lush green valley below.
This unique, peanut-shaped country, once known as Northern Rhodesia, offers visitors an authentic African experience complete with adrenalin pumping adventure sports, a variety of fascinating cultural activities, and an abundance of indigenous wildlife, which finds refuge in Zambia’s vast national parks. Spend your evenings enjoying the spectacular site of the world’s largest waterfall, the Victoria Falls, while sipping on sundowners after an exhilarating day of whitewater rafting down the rapids of the mighty Zambezi River. If that sounds a little too adventurous for your taste, take a houseboat cruise along the exquisite Lake Kariba while watching wild elephants drink at the riverbank as you try your hand at catching the elusive tiger fish. However you choose to spend your time in this unique country, you are bound to leave with a heavy heart and a desire to return again soon to this exceptionally beautiful Southern African country.
South Luangwa National Park
Days 11 - 15
Bordering the Luangwa River, the northern and southern Luangwa National Parks contain some of the most breathtaking and untouched wilderness in Africa. As a result of this and the parks’ successful anti-poaching campaigns, the area has developed into a world-renowned wildlife haven. The South Luangwa National Park is renowned for its walking safari, which allows visitors to view elephant, hippo and even lion close-up under the supervision of professional and knowledgeable armed guides.