Why go to Malawi

Magical Malawi

A vibrant country nestled between Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique, Malawi is renowned for its friendly people, geographical diversity and exquisite lakeshore beaches. Its unrivalled combination of lake, landscape, wildlife and culture leaves many a visitor in awe.

Lake Malawi

Meandering through the idyllic landscape is Malawi’s namesake lake, the third largest in Africa and home to a myriad colourful cichlid fish. The vast body of freshwater fringed by golden beaches finds its origins in the Great Rift Valley and is famed for its crystal clear waters and long stretches of uninhabited lakeshore.

Aside from being a scenic wonderland, Lake Malawi provides exciting watersport opportunities, including kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and water skiing, to name a few. For a more laidback experience, motor vessel and yacht cruises offer great ways of exploring the area in comfort and style.

Diverse Landscapes

During a Malawi Safari, you’ll get to see some of the most varied landscapes in all of Africa. The lush green country is punctuated by plateaus, highlands, forests, mountains, plains, escarpments and river valleys.

The Great Rift Valley is the dominant feature, extending to the south of the country and providing the vast chasm filled by Lake Malawi. The flatter areas of the Valley are home to important wetlands, including Elephant Marsh, where scores of fish eagles, storks, kingfishers, herons and countless other species can be spotted.

To the west of Lake Malawi lies the Central African Plateau, an area characterized by dramatic escarpments, unspoilt wilderness, the occasional lake and dramatic undulating hills and forests.

Perhaps most impressive are Malawi’s highlands, where visitors can escape to a land of rolling grasslands, evergreen forests, clear mountain streams and cool, fresh air. The best known – Mulanje and Zomba – can be found in southern Malawi, and boast rising granite, awe-inspiring peaks and stretching tea estates.

Atelier Africa, Safaris, Malawi, Fish, Animals, Culture, Luxury Safari, Malawi Lake
Atelier Africa, Safaris, Malawi, Fish, Animals, Culture, Luxury Safari, Malawi Lake

Wildlife

With no fewer than nine national parks or wildlife reserves, a Malawi Safari offers unforgettable wildlife viewing in unspoilt wilderness.

The oldest of these is Liwonde National Park, which offers some of the country’s best game viewing. The River Shire flows along its border, allowing for boat safaris as well as 4×4 or walking expeditions. The area is home to large numbers of elephants, with hippos and crocodiles populating the river. Resident buck includes kudu, sable and bushbuck, and lucky guests can spot leopards, hyena and the occasional visiting lion. As in many of Malawi’s wildlife oases, the birdlife is greatly varied and includes everything from weavers to fish eagles and the famous Pel’s fishing owl.

A fast emerging destination is Majete Wildlife Reserve, a protected area for recovery and restoration in the south-west of Malawi. Majete’s story is a moving one. It was once a prolific wildlife refuge but most of the large game species were eradicated by the late 1990s. Thankfully, the African Parks NPO stepped in in 2003 to partner with the government and local communities and rehabilitate the area. After a mass translocation of wildlife, tourism development and ongoing conservation initiatives, Majete is now one of the only reserves in Malawi where the big five can be viewed today.

Neighbouring Majete is Lengwe National Park and Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve. Lengwe is best known for its antelope, including beautiful nyala, majestic kudu and little sun, as well as bushbuck and impala. Mwabvi is also home to kudu and impala, as well as other antelope and buffalo. You can also expect to see an impressive array of birdlife during your Malawi Safari.

Central Malawi plays host to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, home to varied landscapes, prolific birdlife, and newly translocated elephant, sable, kudu, buffalo, waterbuck, impala and warthog.

In the north, Nyika National Park is Malawi’s largest and boasts large numbers of antelope, zebra and smaller mammals like warthog and bush pig, as well as one of Central Africa’s highest densities of leopard. Neighbouring and complementing Nyika is Vwasa Marsh Wildlife Reserve, with its wonderful mix of vegetation, an impressive range of birdlife, herds of elephant, and a large number of hippos, buffalo and smaller mammals.

Culture

Despite all this natural splendour, the people of Malawi are arguably still the country’s greatest asset. Remarkably friendly and welcoming, their hospitality is genuine and ongoing. Most of the 14 million-strong population is rural, living in traditional villages.

There is a rich cultural mix in the country, with various tribes including the Chewa (most numerous), Yao, Nyanja, Maravi and Tumbuka people. Each tribe has contributed to the fascinating culture of modern Malawi, whether through dress, dance, ceremony or language.

Interaction with the locals is an important part of any stay in Malawi, and villagers welcome visitors into their daily lives with marked graciousness.

The various mission stations, handicraft hubs, historical buildings, monuments, museums, markets, ports and tea estates of Malawi all provide a fascinating insight into the lives of the country’s locals.

Whether you’re most enticed by the shimmering waters of Lake Malawi, the scenic wonderlands of the country’s landscapes, the diverse wildlife or the friendly tribes, you’ll no doubt enjoy an unforgettable stay in magical Malawi.

Atelier Africa, Safaris, Malawi, Fish, Animals, Culture, Luxury Safari, Malawi Lake, Toka Leya Camp

FAQ on Malawi

When to go best to Malawi?

Malawi can get pretty hot during the summer month from December to March, which are also the rainy months. Most guests prefer to go on a Malawi Safari during the dry and less hot months from April to November.

How to get around on a Malawi Safari?

Atelier Africa works with the best local drivers and guides to bring you from A to B during your Malawi Safari!

How to get to Malawi?

There are a few ways to get to Malawi with Ethiopian Airlines, South African Airways or Kenya Airways. Let us know where you’re flying from and we’ll help you find the beste flights to book.