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Malawi

A relatively unknown gem, this beautiful and compact African country, is known as the “Warm Heart of Africa” emanating from its people’s genuine warmth and hospitality. The name ‘Malawi’ derives from the native word meaning ‘flaming water’ or ‘tongues of fire’ believed to have been used to describe the dazzling reflections of its huge Lake Malawi. 

Home to central Africa’s highest mountain, vast high plateaux with seemingly limitless views, forests and unspoilt game parks and Africa’s third largest and most beautiful lake – truly an inland sea. The legendary Lake Malawi’s clear waters shimmer, its depths teem with colourful and rare fish and its landscape is punctuated by desert islands.  The lakes’ shores are adorned with romantic island-style accommodation making it an idyllic honeymoon destination. A paradise for diving, snorkelling or kayaking, a visit to this mystical lake is a must.

Stunning scenery encompasses the country from North to South, with several wilderness areas and highlands offering awe-inspiring views and mesmerising photographic backdrops.

Mount Mulanje rises sharply from the surrounding plains of Chiradzulu, and the tea-growing Mulanje district.  Much of the mountain consists of rolling grassland at elevations of 1800-2200m, intersected by deep forested ravines. Most popular for hiking and climbing.

With a historic elephants’ translocation undertaken, Malawi is Africa’s most recent ‘Big 5’ destination with newly introduced lions, cheetahs and giraffe.  Malawi now has it all.

Malawi’s plantations traverse the country and include tea, sugar, rubber, coffee and forests offering a myriad of activities and experiences.  In Malawi you will discover ancient traditions living in perfect harmony with a modern festival subculture.

Lake Malawi estimated to boast 700 rare and colour fish species mostly endemic to Malawi. The small brightly coloured mbuna are easily seen in the protected waters of Lake Malawi National Park.

Lilongwe Wildlife Centre – an award-winning sanctuary set in 180 hectares of beautiful woodlands is home to lions, monkeys, antelope and more.

Mount Mulanje – this 10,000 ft. imposing mountain accommodates gentle walking and serious climbing.

Majete Wildlife Reserve – a rugged wilderness on the western bank of the Shire River with more than 3000 animals in the reserve, including lions, hyenas, sable antelope, nyalas, black rhinos, buffaloes, elephants, hippos and leopards.

Kumbali Cultural Village – immerse yourself in traditional Malawian culture and living.  Try your hand at an array of crafts and sample the delicious range of traditional African delicacies as you enjoy the authentic experience of living life in a Malawian village.

Elephant Marsh – an ideal venue for bird enthusiasts on the Shire River, 40 miles south of Blantyre.

Liwonde National Park – is 220 sq. miles (580 sq. km) and the River Shire flows along its western border, boasting uncommercialised accommodation and the country’s best game viewing. The river attracts fish eagles and weaver birds and Pel’s fishing owl is seen at dusk along the river’s edge. The area encompasses riverine swamps, deciduous woodland and open grassland.

Nyika National Park – is one of Malawi’s jewels and offers unique wildlife viewing on its rolling grassland plateau. The Nyika Plateau in the north offers routes for every level of climber or hiker.

Thyolo Tea Estates – is home to the Satemwa Tea Estate where you can enjoy tea tasting and learn about the history of tea production. Tea is Malawi’s 2nd largest export.

The Gule Wamkulu – meaning ‘the big dance’ this is one of the most important cultural events in Malawi.   It is performed by the Chewa and Mang’anja of Malawi and is associated with heavily carved masks, feathers and skin paint.

Fishing especially attractive on the southern lakeshore north of Mangochi and at Senga Bay. Catches include the delicious Sungwa, yellow fish, lake salmon (mpasa) and lake-tiger. There is also good fishing for lake-salmon in the rivers of the Nkhotakota Game Reserve.

GOOD TO KNOW

MALAWI AREA

119,000 km²

POPULATION

52.21 million

Capital of MALAWI

Lilongwe

Currency

Malawian Kwacha (MWK)

ClimatE

A tropical climate (or sub-tropical at high altitudes), with a hot and rainy season from mid-November to April and a relatively cool, dry season from mid-May to mid-August.

People

Chewa, Nyanja, Yao, Tumbuka, Lomwe, Sena, Tonga, Ngoni, and Ngonde. There are sizable populations of Europeans and Asians

Official language

Official language is Chichewa. English is spoken

Time

GMT + 2hours

“I never knew of a morning in Africa when I woke up that I was not happy.”

Ernest Hemingway