Explore the highlights of Malawi

Liwonde, Nyika & Lake Malawi

At a Glance

  • Visit a range of highly diverse and equally amazing places in Malawi

  • Enjoy scenery of towering mountains, expansive high altitude plateaus, rolling hills and farmland, and the white sand beaches of Lake Malawi

  • An itinerary including stays in beautiful alpine-like log cabins, unique beach stone cottages, and authentic safari tents

  • Variety of activities from boat safaris and game drives from Mvuu to walking safaris on the Nyika and snorkeling in Lake Malawi

  • Unusual wildlife species from the Crawshay's zebra and roan antelope on the Nyika Plateau to fabulous birding in the Liwonde National Park

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Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Malawi has a moderate to sub-tropical climate with three distinct seasons: from November to March is the rainy season, April to July is Malawi's winter, when the weather is cool and dry, and August to October is summer, when the weather is hot and dry. In terms of game-viewing, the dryer months, meaning a higher concentration of game at the permanent water sources, are a superb time to visit. Alternatively come for some superb bird-watching at the end of the rains.

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Insider's View

Walk through the rolling hills of the Nyika Plateau and spot the various resident antelope species.

Explore the Lilondwe National Park by boat and watch huge herds of elephant coming down to drink as well as hippos wallowing in the Shire River.

Snorkel in the clear waters of Lake Malawi from Kaya Mawa and marvel at the array of fresh water fish.

We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation.

Itinerary

Stray off the usual tourist tracks and head to Malawi for a relaxed adventure in this green and productive land with towering highlands, rolling farmlands, and the vast Lake Malawi with its clear, rich waters, teeming with fish, stretching over 300 miles.

For such a small country Malawi has a huge amount to offer, and for a peaceful and romantic adventure you couldn't find a better destination.

Your first stop will be Mvuu Lodge in the Liwonde National Park. The lodge sits on the banks of the lagoon just off the Shire River, with eight decked tents which overlook a small backwater that is regularly frequented by bushbuck and hippos coming to feed. Elephants are also frequent visitors to the camp and it is great fun to sit around the bar which is made from an old mokoro and watch as massive pods of hippos wallow in front of you and crocs slither into the water. Morning and evening game drives are a regular part of life here as well as peaceful boating trips on the Shire River, where you can drift up and down watching all the wildlife in and around the water as well as the locals out fishing in wooden dug out canoes. Game walks, night drives, and bike rides are also on offer here and keen birders will be blown away by the prolific bird life in the area. About 380 species have been spotted including brown-breasted barbet, Böhm's bee-eater, African skimmer and Livingstone's flycatcher to mention just a few. Malawi also has a fascinating culture and wonderful people so no visit would be complete without a trip to one of the local villages.

Then it's onwards and upwards to the Nyika Plateau which is in the far north of the country, at an altitude of around 2,500m, a rolling plateau dotted with beautiful mountain outcrops that has a real feeling of wilderness, with plenty of endemic plants and animals to fascinate all. Chelinda Lodge is situated in the lee of a large pine forest with sweeping views across the plateau and Nyika National Park which is home to important populations of roan, eland, Crawshay's zebra, southern reedbuck, bushbuck, warthog, spotted hyaena and side-striped jackal. There are also around 400 bird species in Nyika. Some specials include augur buzzard, blue swallow (seasonal) and Denham's bustard. Nyika is also a botanists' delight with masses of wild alpine flowers including 11 localised orchid species, exquisite dieramas, gladioli, protea and kniphofia. Walks and game drives in this area are a delight and evenings can be spent around the fire at the lodge gazing at the star strewn sky above you whilst soaking in the smell of the pine surrounding you.

Then if you aren't already feeling completely relaxed and at peace it will be time to head to the beach of Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi. Enjoy a very relaxed beach chic feel here surrounded by beautiful scenery in a completely unique hotel with its individual stone cottages dotted around the bay. If you'd prefer to be more active rather than relaxing on the beach or paddling in the warm water then there is plenty to do, from visits to the vast Likoma cathedral, said to be the same size as Westminster Cathedral, or visits to the local school and village. You are given a true impression of Africa here in this amazing part of the world and the island can be explored by bike or quad bike as well. Watersports here include kayaking, kite surfing, sailing and waterskiing, not to mention the fabulous fresh-water diving available for those who want to marvel at the unique and endemic fish species in the lake.

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  1. Fly to Lilongwe via Johannesburg

  2. Days 1-4: Mvuu Lodge

    Liwonde National Park, Blantyre and southern Malawi, Malawi

    Situated in lush riverine vegetation and overlooking the perennial Shire River in Lilondwe National Park, Mvuu Lodge is a beautiful lodge with just eight tented cottages and offers wonderful activities focusing on the river and the surrounding area.

  3. Shared charter flight to Nyika Plateau

  4. Days 4-8: Chelinda Lodge

    Nyika Plateau, Nyika Plateau and northern Malawi, Malawi

    Situated on the high northern plateaus of Malawi, Chelinda Lodge is a luxurious escape, surrounded by rolling hills, lakes and streams, and with a good variety of wildlife to spot from your game drives and walks.

  5. Shared charter flight to Likoma Island

  6. Days 8-15: Kaya Mawa

    Likoma Island, Lake Malawi, Malawi

    Kaya Mawa is an intimate, beautifully designed lodge on a lovely beach on the tiny Likoma Island, situated in the middle of Lake Malawi. It is deemed to be one of the most isolated and unique destinations in Malawi, perfect for families or honeymooners!

  7. Fly home

Location

Liwonde, Nyika & Lake Malawi

Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa, bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. Lake Malawi is the ninth largest lake in the world and the third largest and second deepest in Africa.

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We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 345 1761 to start planning your vacation.

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