Malawi

“The warm heart of Africa” boasts countless lakes, gorgeous, varied scenery and friendly, smiling locals. Malawi is a long, thin, landlocked country with numerous national parks and game reserves all home to an impressive variety of wildlife and birds. Though not a Big Five destination, the 11 national parks and game reserves throughout Malawi still offer a uniquely African experience.

Renowned for the friendliness of its people, Malawi enjoys a relaxed pace of life that is almost impossible not to get caught up in. The easygoing nature of Malawi means that it’s an incredibly safe place to visit and one can happily roam the streets, exploring the markets and alleyways for hidden gems. Be sure to sample the local fish dishes – they are a national specialty and are delicious!

With a geographic diversity that belies its size, Malawi has several spectacular mountain ranges that offer superb hiking and trekking, such as Mount Mulanje – central Africa’s highest peak. The birdlife in Malawi is renowned, particularly in Liwonde National Park where hundreds of species sing the sun up and down. The Malawian crown jewel though is of course the breathtaking Lake Malawi – one of the great lakes of Africa.

Teeming with more fish species than any other lake on Earth, Lake Malawi supports many local livelihoods and is a major tourist attraction. With its crystal clear waters and massive coastline, Lake Malawi provides a full array of beach activities such as sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking. The quaint fishing villages surrounding the lake are well worth a visit too, where local fishermen carry on the techniques handed down to them from generations before. Against a magnificent mountain backdrop, Lake Malawi is the center of all activities in Malawi and has a variety of accommodation options to choose from.

 

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Mvuu Lodge  WildernessSafaris01

Mvuu Lodge

From the banks of the undulating Shire River, Mvuu Lodge beckons and enjoys pride of place along this largest river in Malawi. Stretching from the western boundary of Liwonde National Park, the Shire is a vast body of water that’s accompanied by some spectacular wildlife, and combined with Mvuu (which means hippo) Lodge’s sublime location, it’s the perfect backdrop for an unparalleled African odyssey. In fact, the birding here is regarded as some of the best in Africa with a dazzling amount of species and rare finds.

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Chelinda Lodge

Chelinda Lodge

High up on the Nyika alpine plains of Malawi, amid sweeping green grasslands, lies Chelinda Lodge. The road to get there is long. Bumpy for the most part, it’s best to go with a 4X4 vehicle, but it’s oh-so worth it. Nyika National Park is one of the oldest national parks in Malawi, and it’s not for nothing that the park boasts diverse landscapes – from green rolling hills, rocky outcrops, patches of woodlands and an abundance of wildflowers.

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mumbo lodge

Mumbo Island Camp

Adventure encapsulated: this is the clarion call of Mumbo Island Camp on the shores of Lake Malawi. Set just off the Cape Maclear Peninsula, the unspoilt island is home to six ultra-private chalets amid a rocky outcrop – a slice of paradise in one of Africa’s most prized beauty spots. The best part? Utter exclusivity. With no more than 14 guests being allowed on the island at any given time, this is as private as it gets.

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Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa

The impossibly crystal clear waters of Lake Malawi surround Kaya Mawa at the head of a crescent-shaped bay on Likoma Island, and surrounded by mango trees and ancient baobabs, the lodge offers sandy beaches and gently lapping warm water on tap. It’s so idyllic that it’s almost too much to absorb at once, which is why this remote island hideaway offers exactly what intrepid travellers require by the bucket load: relaxation, peace and quiet and restoration.

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Pumulani on Lake Malawi

Pumulani on Lake Malawi

Once you set foot in this magical place and start to experience the beauty that is Pumulani, you won’t be surprised to learn that the name in fact means “place of rest”. A place of rest it is indeed, and with its prime setting – nestled in the luscious hills that surround the southern end of Lake Malawi – there not much more anyone could ask for when embarking on an invigorating yet soothing African adventure.

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makokola restreat

Makokola Retreat

Tranquil, unique, idyllic … these are just some of the many adjectives that are used by patrons of this unforgettable retreat, which is set right on the edge of the shores of southern Lake Malawi. In a nutshell: this is authentic Africa – with a lavish side order of luxury of course. Nestled among picturesque palm fringes, just north of Mangochi, Makokola Retreat features lush, green gardens and inviting pathways that lead onto white beaches – and one would be forgiven for thinking you’re on some remote ocean island and not in the heart of this continent.

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