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”.

HIppo spraying water, Liwonde National Park, Malawi
Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Highlights of Malawi

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.

14 days

from $12,894 pp

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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

What do you really love doing? We curate your itinerary especially for you.

South Luangwa National Park, Zambia

Discover Zambia

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

Suggested Holiday Idea

Latitude 13, Lilongwe, Malawi

Latitude 13

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

Toy 4x4 souvenir, Malawi

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.

Sunset boat cruise on Shire River, Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Sunset over Liwonde

Watch the sunset over the distant Rift Escarpment, with giant termite mounds dotting the foreground.

Suggested Lodge

Game vehicle on a drive, Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Game Drives in Liwonde

Explore by 4×4, looking out for recently reintroduced cheetahs, lions and rhinos.

Liwonde blog

Herd of elephant drinking, Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

Spot Elephants

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

Suggested camp

Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi, Malawi

Island Camps

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

Suggested camp

Elephants on the banks of Shire River, Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Boat Cruise on the Shire River

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

Suggested lodge

Kayaking, Lake Malawi, Malawi

Lake Malawi Watersports

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

Suggested property

View from wooden boat, Lake Malawi, Malawi

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.

Suggested Lodge

Where to stay

Some of the wonderful places to stay that we frequently recommended.

Mvuu Lodge £££££

  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

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.

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Pumulani Lodge £££££

  • Malawi
  • Beach and Island Escapes

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.

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Mumbo Island £££££

  • Lake Malawi
  • Beach and Island Escapes

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.

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Kuthengo Camp £££££

  • Malawi
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

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.

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Tongole Wilderness Lodge £££££

  • Malawi
  • Safari and Wildlife Lodge

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.

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Kaya Mawa £££££

  • Malawi
  • Beach and Island Escapes

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.

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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.

Chris Johnston

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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  • 1 800 571 2985

Frequently asked questions about Malawi

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