"Thanda" Malawi

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30 April 2022

Described as the “warm heart of Africa”, Malawi is considered to be one of the most beautiful countries on the continent with an unrivalled combination of stunning landscapes, lakes, wildlife and culture.

Divided into the three regions (North, Central and South), Malawi is relatively compact compared to its neighbours. The local people are always ready to help and give useful advice which, combined with the decent and safe transport links, means getting around is relatively easy.

November to April is the wet season when temperatures are warm and conditions are humid so the best time to visit is considered to be April to October and October/ November for game viewing.

1. Lake Malawi

Formed by the Great Rift Valley, Lake Malawi is the 3rd largest lake in Africa and spans over half the entire length of the country. With secret coves, crystal waters and pristine beaches, this lake has its all!

Explore lively fishing villages, learn to dive in one of the most in one of the best and cheapest freshwater diving areas in the world, snorkel with a huge variety of fish or fish for lake salmon, perch and catfish. If you prefer to get the heart-rate going, you might prefer water-skiing, windsurfing, snorkeling or kayaking - just some of the many activities on offer!

Cape Maclear in the south is a paradise for water sports, while Malawi’s northern lake is perfect for those who prefer to get off the beaten track – although the water here can be cooler, this area is less developed and perfect during the hot seasons. Encounters with hippo or crocodile can happen so be careful when walking along the lake shores and make sure you seek local advice before diving in.

Flights to Lilongwe from the UK (daily flights via Johannesburg)


2. Liwonde National Park

At the top of the visitor’s list, Liwonde National Park is Malawi’s number one wildlife destination. Surrounded by floodplains, woodlands and the Shire River, Liwonde is a great place to spot pods of hippos and crocodiles in the water from the unique position of a canoe or boat safari.

If you prefer to stay on dry land, why not embark on a 4x4 or walking safari to see Liwonde’s famous large herds of elephants, a night drive which can reveal spotted genets, bushbabies, scrub hares and hyenas, or perhaps one of the many activities on offer such as mountain biking or abseiling! Also not to be missed is also the Liwonde Rhino Sanctuary which works hard to protect black rhino from poaching.

The best time to visit Liwonde is from June to August when the climate is a bit cooler and before the rainy season arrives.

Flights to Blantyre from the UK (daily flights via Johannesburg)


3. Mount Mulanje

With granite peaks over 3000m high, Mount Mulanje offers dense green valleys, dazzling rivers and dramatic waterfalls.

The locals call it “the Island from the Sky” and we understand why! - on misty days the mountain is completely shrouded in a cotton-wool haze leaving only the peak visible from above. It is the highest point in Southern Africa, north of the Drakensberg Mountains, and offers a vast range of hiking routes from gentle walking to serious climbing.

Hiking in the area is carefully controlled and helpful guides and porters can be arranged for you. There are eight forest huts on the mountain all equipped with plenty of wood, with the best time to climb between May and October.

Flights to Blantyre from the UK (daily flights via Johannesburg)


4. Lilongwe

Malawi’s capital is a quiet and enjoyable place to hang out for a day or two. The modern city centre offers a lot of activities and attractions, whereas the Old Town has a friendly vibe with craft stalls, cafes, restaurants and the main market with its frenetic activity and lively streets filled with music.

Also worth a visit is the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, an animal rescue and educational facility for rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals which offers guided wildlife tours and plays a crucial role in the country’s wildlife conservation.

Malawi is the world’s largest tobacco producer so make sure you don’t miss the tobacco auctions held in huge warehouses in the city from May to September.

Flights to Lilongwe from the UK (daily flights via Johannesburg)


5. Nyika National Park

Sloping hills, broad valleys, waterfalls, flower-rich grasslands and even a ‘magic lake’ are just some of the many things that make Nyika Park a must-see destination!

And sitting at 1800m above sea level Nyika Plateau is often considered to be the areas main attraction – a perfect spot for hiking where zebras, bushbucks and roan antelopes will guide you through the quiet trails. It can get cold up there so why not take shelter in one of the chalets where a log fire will always be waiting to warm you up.

As well as its beautiful rolling scenery, Nyika has one of the highest densities of leopard in Central Africa and during the rainy season over 200 types of orchids burst into flower.

Flights to Lilongwe from the UK (daily flights via Johannesburg)

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