Malawi is one of Africa’s smallest countries and Lake Malawi, accounting for much of its area, is Africa’s third largest and arguably most beautiful lake.
The diverse landscapes of this small nation have been shaped by the Great Rift Valley, with high mountains and lush fertile plains providing a habitat for Malawi’s wide range of flora and fauna. Nowhere else in Africa can you enjoy a safari, walk in the mountains, explore a tea estate and relax on a beach, all within such a short distance.
That said, Malawi tends to be visited by those who have travelled to Africa before and are less focused on seeing the Big Five. For wildlife such as buffaloes, lions and leopards, we recommend combining holidays in Malawi with the South Luangwa National Park for a classic wildlife and beach experience.
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Currency: Kwacha (MWK)
Flying time from London: 14 hours
Official language(s): Chichewa and English
Time difference: +1 GMT
Visa requirements: Visa required for UK passport holders.
The Malawi Experts
Our experts will be delighted to tailor a completely personalised itinerary to suit your interests, dates and budget.
Stay at the only lodge on Likoma island, Kaya Mawa, with its Robinson Crusoe-esque thatched chalets and pristine beach. Walk unguided into the local fishing villages and meet the locals, who will gladly show you the market, the textile workshop or one of the many community projects.
Go hiking in the Zomba Plateau
The Zomba Plateau, Malawi's oldest forest reserve rising high above Liwondwe and the Shire River Valley, is famous for its picturesque hiking trails. Stroll through pine and indigenous montane forests, pass waterfalls and trout dams, to enjoy spectacular views across the Phalombe Plains.
Birdwatch in Liwonde National Park
First-class birdwatching (over 400 species are present) is on offer in this lush, tropical park. Cruise along the palm-fringed Shire River admiring fish eagles, cormorants, heron and hamerkops before venturing into the grass and woodlands to see the many kinds of bee-eater and sunbird that inhabit the area.
Stay on a Tea Estate on the slopes of Thyolo Mountain
Step back in time to the lifestyle of the early twentieth century tea planters. Taste some freshly cropped tea at a working tea factory, stroll or cycle through the estate amidst beautiful mountain scenery.
Visit Mua Mission
Established more than 100 years ago, Mua Mission is home to a thriving community, including an arts and crafts centre. The centre’s students create Malawi’s finest wood carvings and go on to make a living from their own handiwork throughout Malawi. Mua also has the country’s best cultural museum. We recommend dropping in for a few hours when travelling between Lilongwe and Lake Malawi.
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