Liwonde National Park
Liwonde is stretched along the Shire River, south of Lake Malawi. The riverine landscape of the Shire dominates the western side of…
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”.
This 14 day itinerary showcases the wildlife and conservation success stories of the country, as well as time to relax on the shores of Lake Malawi.
What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.
Explore by 4×4, looking out for recently reintroduced cheetahs, lions and rhinos.
Spot huge herds of elephants as they graze the floodplains beside the river.
Stay at isolated island camps on Lake Malawi, only accessible by plane or boat.
Cruise the Shire River, which is packed with hippos and alive with birdlife.
Spend time on the shores of Lake Malawi and try swimming, snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and even diving.
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.
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.
Try traditional Malawian cuisine, supposedly the best in Southern Africa.
Fly on to Zambia, with direct flights to South Luangwa National Park.
Begin or end your trip with some time in quirky Latitude 13, filled with contemporary artwork.
Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.
Stretched along a shallow lagoon that lies off the Shire River, Mvuu Lodge is positioned in the north of Liwonde National Park. This comfortable, rustic-themed lodge is shaded by trees and wildlife often wanders through.
Pumulani is a beach lodge on the protected shores of Lake Malawi within Lake Malawi National Park. There are 10 villas spread out along a lush hillside overlooking the lake. Each villa boasts a large bedroom, spacious living area and a private deck with lake view. There is also a pool and private beach access. Activities include waterskiing, sailing, diving, wakeboarding, kayaking, snorkelling, fishing, and bird watching. Sunset cruises on a traditional wooden 40ft sailing boat are also available. Lake Malawi National Park is a World Heritage Site worth exploring, especially for its rare species of fish such as colourful cichlids.
Mumbo Island is an exclusive camp situated on a pristine and otherwise-deserted tropical island floating on the clear waters of Lake Malawi. The camp comprises five large safari tents, each fully furnished with its own shaded view-deck and hammock, and blending seamlessly into the lush foliage. There is a dining area, bar and water sport gazebo. With waters that are so crystal clear, the diving and snorkelling are among the best in Lake Malawi. This is the perfect place to relax in tranquil surroundings and eat delicious cuisine and for the more energetic there is a variety of activities. Sea kayaking, snorkelling and scuba facilities are on offer. Birders will enjoy the abundant Fish Eagles and snorkellers can view enormous numbers of the Cichlid fish species.
Facing the Shire River and looking out over a fertile flood plain, Kuthengo Camp sits beneath gnarled baobabs and fever trees. In front of the camp, the sun sets over the Shire’s hippo-rich waters, whilst African fish eagles roost in the surrounding trees.
Overlooking the Bua River in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, Tongole Wilderness Lodge is true to its name. With just five river-facing suites and surrounded by 180,000 hectares of rugged hills and miombo woodland, the lodge offers complete seclusion in one of Malawi’s least visited parks.
Kaya Mawa is a beach safari lodge on Likoma, an isolated island covered with mango trees and ancient baobabs and surrounded by sandy beaches and rocky coves. With breathtaking views of the mountains and wilderness of Mozambique, Likoma remains almost untouched since its discovery by Scottish missionaries at the end of the 19th century.
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.
Chris is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Africa.
25 years ago, my first trip to Africa took on a life of its own. I planned for three months, I stayed for two years. Whilst there, I was mistaken for a priest, attacked by sharks and arrested. Yet the countless, clattering journeys opened my eyes to the beauty of the landscapes and the grace of the people. My recent trips are undoubtedly more comfortable, but the welcome is as warm as ever and the best experiences are still those I never see coming.
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