MALAWI

 

Aside from its animals, what is immediately capturing about this vivid country is its geographical diversity. Slicing through the landscape in a trough formed by the Great Rift Valley is Africa’s third largest lake – Lake Malawi; a shimmering mass of glittering clear water, its depths swarming with colourful cichlid fish. Whether diving, snorkeling, kayaking or simply chilling out on one of its desert islands, a visit to the lake is a must.

Suspended in the clouds in Malawi’s deep south are the dramatic peaks of Mt Mulanje and the mysterious Zomba Plateau. Both are a trekker’s dream, with mist-cowled forests and exotic wildlife. Heading further north and one can witness the otherworldly beauty of Nyika Plateau, its rolling grasslands resembling the Scottish Highlands.

 

Why Malawi

  • Lake Malawi – Lake Malawi is the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa and is home to more species of fish than any other body of fresh water in the world.
  • The people – The local people of Malawi have a reputation of being some of the friendliest in Africa.
  • Adventure – Malawi is a desperately poor nation still largely untouched by Western development. The unspoiled wilderness gives the chance of an authentic African experience making this little landlocked country a true adventure.
  • Safari – The game reserves and national parks in Malawi offer excellent hiking and trekking. Some are great for horse riding, still others are better explored on boats or on foot, most offer great views and all are known for their unspoiled wilderness and the variety of animal life.

SNEAK PEEK – MALAWI

FACTS


Area :
 Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. The lake’s southern end falls within Lake Malawi National Park – sheltering diverse wildlife from colorful fish to baboons – and its clear waters are popular for diving and boating. Peninsular Cape Maclear is known for its beach resorts.

Population : 16.36 million

Language : English

Capital : Lilongwe

Currency : Malawian kwacha

WEATHER


Climate : 
Varies from cool in the highlands to warm around Lake Malawi. Winter (May to July) is dry and nights can be chilly, particularly in the highlands. The rainy season runs from November to March. Around Lake Malawi, in winter, the climate is particularly dry with pleasant cooling breezes.

When to go : Winter months – early May to late October

HOW TO GET THERE


Malawi’s International Airports :
 Chileka International Airport (BLZ) located in Blantyre and Lilongwe International Airport (LLW) located in Lilongwe, are the main airports in Malawi.

Getting to Malawi : Malawi lies within 2.5 hour flight time from Africa’s two major airport hubs, namely Johannesburg airport in South Africa and Nairobi in Kenya. There are daily flights to and from Malawi from these two hubs.

POINTS OF INTEREST


Lake Malawi (South) :
 A beautiful freshwater lake that takes up a good chunk of landlocked Malawi. It is blessed with golden beaches and an incredible colorful variety of fish, making snorkeling and diving here extremely rewarding.

Lake Malawi (North) : Malawi’s northern lake shore is much less developed than the southern shore. Less populated in general, the North is also chillier during the dry season


Mulanje Mountain :
 A huge granite massif in southern Malawi. Its highest peak Sapitwa reaches just over 3000m. There are plenty of hiking routes to choose from to enjoy this mountain, with simple huts at the end of each one. This is a wonderful hike for families, with lots of streams and peaks to explore.

Likoma Island : An Island which is actually in Mozambique waters, but is still a Malawian territory. It’s home to a huge cathedral built in the early 1900’s.

Liwonde National Park : Liwonde National Park is Malawi’s premier wildlife park. Its setting is lovely along the banks of the Shire river, where you can view pods of hippo in the water and large herds of elephant on the side enjoying a drink and a splash. The bird life is fantastic and you’re very likely to see African fish eagles displaying their skills as well as the rare Pel’s fishing owl. The best time to visit is during the cooler dry season from June – August as Liwonde can get very hot and humid during the rains.

Zomba Plateau : Zomba plateau offers incredible views, waterfalls, dams filled with trout and a lovely respite from the heat. The 900m plateau is located in Zomba, the lively old capital of Malawi.

Nyika Plateau : Just over 50 years ago, the north western part of Malawi, known as the Nyika Plateau area, was so unknown to the British (who were in charge at the time), that they sent explorer Laurens van Der Post to report on it. Laurens turned his mission to this vast escarpment into a best selling book “Venture to the Interior”. He described the beautiful high rolling hills of grasslands dotted with zebra, antelope, orchids and butterflies that make Malawi’s largest national park well worth visiting. Hiking, mountain biking and horse riding are the principal activities here.