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zomba plateau, malawi

Malawi Holidays

Take the time to lap up everything Malawi offers and you’re certain to leave enlightened. The rejuvenated Majete Wildlife Reserve and the hippo-filled Shire River in Liwonde National Park are both simply idyllic.

Colourful cichlids dance between rocks off Likoma Island, rhinos roam Majete’s wooded thickets and a Highland beauty shrouds Nyika’s plateau. Malawi is a country of contrasts.

Despite being small, it contains remarkable variety, thanks mainly to the Great Rift sculpting its landscape. And although the country is amongst the continent’s poorest, Malawians are friendly and welcoming, earning their home the nickname “The Warm Heart of Africa”.

Bua River from above, Tongole Wilderness Lodge, Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Elephant, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Sunset boat cruise on Shire River, Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi, Malawi
Lake Malawi, Malawi

Discover extraordinary in Malawi

  • Visit African Parks’ headquarters in Nkhotakota, Liwonde or Majete and learn about the work they are doing to ensure a future for wildlife in Malawi.
  • Explore Malawi’s three main national parks, seeing how they have recovered under the management of African Parks
  • Spend time on the shores of Lake Malawi and try swimming, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and even diving
  • Combine with neighbouring Zambia, thanks to direct flights between Lilongwe and South Luangwa National Park
  • Stay at tea estates in the south of the country and go hiking across the ruggedly beautiful Zomba Plateau
  • Visit the beautiful Nyika Plateau – reminiscent of the Scottish Highlands and perfect for hiking and mountain biking
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi
Star deck, Mkulumadzi, Majete, Malawi
Majete, Malawi

Highlights of a safari in Malawi

  • Spot big game in the rejuvenated Majete Wildlife Reserve
  • Cruise the beautiful, hippo-filled Shire River in Liwonde National Park
  • Explore the unspoilt miombo woodlands of Nkhotakota
Kayaking, Lake Malawi, Malawi
Lake Malawi, Malawi
View from wooden boat, Lake Malawi, Malawi
Lake Malawi, Malawi
Swimming, Lake Malawi, Malawi
Lake Malawi, Malawi

Highlights of Lake Malawi

  • Discover sleepy Likoma Island, clear waters and perfect for snorkelling
  • Leave Wi-Fi and electricity behind for the idyllic simplicity of Mumbo Island
  • Explore forest trails and try paddleboarding from Pumulani

Explore Malawi

  • Liwonde National Park
  • Lake Malawi
  • Majete
  • Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Experiences

Spot Elephants

Spot huge herds of elephants as they graze the floodplains beside the river.

Island Camps

Stay at isolated island camps on Lake Malawi, only accessible by plane or boat.

Boat Cruise on the Shire River

Cruise the Shire River, which is packed with hippos and alive with birdlife.

Lake Malawi Watersports

Spend time on the shores of Lake Malawi and try swimming, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and even diving.

Sunset Dhow Cruise

Take a sunset cruise on Lake Malawi aboard an old fishing dhow. Sip sundowner drinks and nibble on snacks as the sun sinks below the horizon.

Cichlids

Snorkel and swim amongst the rocks that dot the lake’s shores, looking out for the colourful cichlids (fish) for which Lake Malawi is famed. Hundreds of different species are said to exist here.

Sample local cuisine

Try traditional Malawian cuisine, supposedly the best in Southern Africa.

Discover Zambia

Fly on to Zambia, with direct flights to South Luangwa National Park.

Latitude 13

Begin or end your trip with some time in quirky Latitude 13, filled with contemporary artwork.

Handicrafts and Markets

Explore Lilongwe’s market, filled with local goods, or spend time at the craft market, where woodcarvings, baskets and jewellery are all sold.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Jackie Devereux

I was born in Zimbabwe. With a dad who was in the police force, we moved from place to place. I have always been passionate about travel. My grandparents mentioned that our ancestors set off from the Horn of Africa – Ethiopia – looking for better cattle pastures. They ended up settling in the south-eastern hills of Zimbabwe, in the Great Zimbabwe area.
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Bridget Cohen

Aged five and with my Curious George toy safely tucked under my arm, I set off with my family to travel around Europe in an orange VW minibus. Looking back on the adventures we had along the way, I now know that this was where my love for travel and exploring began.
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Frequently asked questions about Malawi

What is the accommodation like?

The accommodation on offer ranges from basic to luxury, so there is something to suit every budget and need. As Malawi is still developing as a destination, more and more high-end lodges are emerging throughout the country. All of the main national parks now have at least one well-regarded safari lodge – and without the crowds that you may find elsewhere.

Is Lake Malawi safe to swim and snorkel in?

The pristine waters of Lake Malawi are widely regarded as having great diving, both in terms of the diversity of fish species and their sheer abundance. Many of the lodges on the lake have diving and water sports facilities and equipment available. We would suggest you only swim in the lake at designated areas where it is deemed to be safe by the local operators, as Bilharzia can be a risk outside of these zones – which are regularly tested.

What should I see during my trip?

A trip to Malawi is not complete without a visit to Lake Malawi, the lifeblood of the country which takes up a fifth of the land. Here boat trips, snorkelling and diving can all be enjoyed and for those who want to relax, you can do so on the plentiful white sand beaches.

However, Malawi is now garnering a growing reputation as a safari destination, with parks like Liwonde and Majete having benefited from extensive translocation and rehabilitation schemes. Whilst wildlife sightings are not as prolific as in other countries, the parks are far less visited and benefit from some of the most beautiful landscapes in Southern Africa.

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