Malawi is a beautiful and diverse country, located in South-eastern Africa, landlocked between Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. It is nicknamed the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ due to its (deserved) reputation as one of the friendliest countries on the continent. The Malawian people are exceptionally welcoming, their hospitable nature will be with you as soon as you land and follow you throughout your entire trip.
Malawi is an unfamiliar country to some, one which doesn’t top the classic ‘must visit list’. It certainly isn’t the first-choice African country for most people, usually coming 3rd, 4th or 5th after the likes of South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Tanzania. Anyone who has visited Malawi will tell you it’s an incredible country to explore for first-timers and Africa veterans alike, largely due to its safety and abundance of things to see and do!
Here are three things that attract many people to Malawi:
Although Malawi is landlocked, its giant, freshwater lake is its lifeblood. The sunny beaches of Lake Malawi are golden, and the waters are nearly empty except for a few boats. Lake Malawi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s home to the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world, thought to be between 500 and 1,000, according to UNESCO.
Cape Maclear is the most popular beach resort amongst tourists and locals. Visitors spend the day taking in the sun or enjoying the water. The crystal-clear waters allow for excellent snorkelling and diving. Cape Maclear is one of the best spots to enjoy a sunset, it is truly outstanding and will leave you speechless.
Other favoured spots along the lake include Chintheche, Salima, Likoma (Island) and Nkhata Bay. Each providing something different and memorable.
Mulanje Massif or as it is more commonly known Mount Mulanje is a large monadnock in southern Malawi. Rising sharply from the surrounding plains of Chiradzulu, and the tea-growing Mulanje district. It measures approximately 13×16 miles and has a maximum elevation of 3,002 m at its highest point, Sapitwa Peak. In the local language – Chichewa – Sapitwa translates to ‘unreachable’. Other sources state the translation to be ‘don’t go there’…
Local translation/warning aside, many people do go there and reach the unreachable – the mountain is well set up for trekking with a network of trails and comfortable mountain huts maintained and managed by the Mountain Club of Malawi. Many of its peaks are split by a series of steep, forested river valleys, and its lush landscape contains plant life not found anywhere else. The most famous of these is the Mulanje cedar, an endemic evergreen tree.
To reach Sapitwa requires some unusual scrambling and a fair bit of determination. But you don’t have to aspire for the highest peak to enjoy the mountain. There are rock pools and waterfalls to relish on many of the routes and the most picturesque scenery throughout.
Malawi is often overlooked as a safari destination, instead, people opt for Tanzania, Kenya or Zambia. But, did you know; you can see the big 5 in Malawi? That’s right, Majete National Park is home to Lion, Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Leopard and Rhino as well as many other mammals and birds.
Majete isn’t the only place to see wildlife. Liwonde National Park, situated in Southern Malawi is well known for boat safaris along the Shire River. This provides a unique opportunity to get closer to hippo and crocodile (don’t worry it’s perfectly safe) as well as grazing elephant and buffalo along the river bank. Cheetah were recently reintroduced to the park, cementing Liwonde’s position as a must-see safari destination.
2016 & 2017 saw the relocation of 500 Elephants to Nkhotakota wildlife reserve. The elephants were moved from Liwonde and Majete in what was the largest elephant translocation in human history. The elephants were moved to Nkhotakota as Liwonde and Majete were close to capacity. “The “500 Elephants” translocation is an example of human-assisted migration, and is these elephants’ best hope for a sustainable future”. The ongoing conservation at Nkhotakota is shaping it to be one of the most important wildlife sanctuaries on the planet. Here you can embark on canoe safaris and just embrace the sheer beauty of nature.
In total, there are 5 national parks in Malawi, each offering a different landscape and variety of wildlife.
There is much more to Malawi than the three experiences listed here. However, this should provide a good introduction to the country and put it on your radar!
Would you like to know more? Contact us or call our dedicated Malawi number: 502-871-5031