Malawi is for truly intrepid travelers; those who seek something just a little different. If stunning diverse landscapes, shimmering clear lakes, genuine interactions with locals, and uncrowded wildlife viewing are on your radar, then look no further than Malawi! The jewel in Malawi’s crown is certainly the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lake Malawi. This immense fresh-water lake is full of golden sandy beaches, wonderful options to explore above and below the surface, and abundant bird and wildlife sightings.
Widely known for exceptional hospitality, this stable and peaceful nation exudes a positive energy that envelops locals and visitors alike. ‘You are welcome here’ will be a constant refrain on your journey through Malawi. In the lively markets, there is virtually no hawking or pressure to buy from the vendors. Move safely and easily to browse the fish, nuts, fruit, woven baskets, textiles, and pottery.
Discerning travelers to Liwonde National Park or Majete Wildlife Reserve will discover unspoiled wilderness areas where conservation efforts have created perfect conditions for safari experiences like game drives, bush walks, or boat trips. Regular spotting of Big 5 game plus hippos and crocodiles is complemented by sensational birding. Rich verdant tea plantations offer a respite from the rigors of a safari. Unwind, rejuvenate, and absorb the languid pace of life on a tea plantation. Perhaps, stride across the gorgeous highlands of the Nyika Plateau, with its varied activities, wildlife and bird watching. While Malawi might not be the most obvious choice for a safari, a trip here might just delightfully surprise you!
What We Love About Malawi
Lake time — Life on Lake Malawi slows down, and time takes on a dreamy slow rhythm. The fishermen, the villagers on the shore, the captain of your boat–none of them are in a rush and they linger amid the beauty of this place. This exquisitely clear lake has minted the nickname ‘The Lake of Stars’ because it reflects the night sky on calm nights. It is home to flamboyantly colored fish of every shape and size, including over 700 species of cichlids. Swim, snorkel, dive, kayak, cruise, or simply swing in a hammock along the shore. No matter how you choose to experience the lake, you will adjust to lake time and revel in it. Charming island hideaways and idyllic retreats dot the shore of this magnificent destination.
Abundant Wildlife, sparse crowds — Wildlife enthusiasts will find plenty to gaze upon in Malawi. Between Liwonde National Park, Nyika National Park, and Majete Wildlife Reserve, conservationists have been making strides to boost healthy populations of big game. Combining community-led anti-poaching with successful re-locations of lion, rhino, and cheetah, there is plenty of drama to be observed in these wilderness areas. The best part of wildlife viewing in Malawi is the notable absence of other tourists. Most viewing is exclusive by default–you will often have sightings to yourself because only the adventurous include Malawi on their itineraries. So get out there and enjoy the Big 5 plus waterbuck, sable, impala, roan, eland, jackal, zebra, hyena and so much more in these magnificently beautiful and remote locales.
Tea estates – Deep in the velvety green hills of the Thyolo region, Mount Mulanje sits sentry over the prolific tea plantations. An agrarian nation, Malawi has a long history with tea estates and cultivating crops. Stay at historic plantations to learn about the colonial past which has morphed into a thriving fair-trade industry essential to the economy of Malawi. Participate in scenic walks, cycling, ‘crop to cup’ tours and meet organic farmers who infinitely improve the mornings of millions around the world with a delicious cup of tea
Like much of Southern Africa, Malawi experiences two seasons, dry and wet. The peak dry season is from May to October where travelers can expect cool mornings and evenings interspersed with bright clear sunny days. Wildlife viewing is best due to short grass and high concentrations around water sources. From November through April, the rainy season causes things in Malawi to get warm, humid, and green. Rainfall is almost daily, wildlife dispersed and challenging to locate, and travel conditions may be muddy.
Variations in weather are significant based on altitude (expect cooler temperatures in the highlands) and proximity to the lake (expect warmer temperatures on the shore).
Big journeys start with small steps...
~ African Proverb