Malawi is the land of smiles, a warm and welcoming culture that invites you to visit its enchanting land. Home to the emerald jewel Lake Malawi, (one of the great lakes of Africa), the rolling hills of the Shire Valley and the big five Majete Game Reserve; Malawi truly is one of Africa’s most understated countries worthy of an expedition. A natural world of wonder with a humble and happy culture.
So, just what is there to do for visitors to Malawi and how do you plan your trip? There are three main things set Malawi apart from Malawi as a safari destination. There’s the historical Shire highlands, home to rolling hills dotted with established tea and coffee plantations; the Majete Game Reserve which is the only big five reserve in the area; and lastly, the significant inland body of freshwater called Lake Malawi, which is ideal for diving and other water sports.
This landlocked African country is most certainly the land of contrasts, which is why you really should pay a visit to enchanting Malawi.
Why Visit Lake Malawi? Imagine a beach holiday, a tropical paradise of sorts, where the days are hot and the stress minimal. This is what a holiday to the shores of Lake Malawi is about – the only difference? It’s a massive inland lake, making it one of the world’s geographical marvels. Lake Malawi is often referred to as the inland sea of Africa – and rightly so! Forming part of the Great rift Valley, Lake Malawi sits calmly on top of this natural fault line that rises steeply in some areas and gently in others.
As a result, there are areas of the lake that boast extraordinary depths and life beneath the surface is equally as mysterious. Divers and snorkelers love nothing more than to spot freshwater fish like catfish and other species swimming around the reef. Sunsets are spectacular and are best viewed from the golden beaches on shore or from the elite position of a yacht. Pina colada at the end of the jetty perhaps?
Kaya Mawa Lodge on shores of Lake Malawi is one of the most romantic destinations in Africa. Cosy thatch cottages overlook the massive expansive of water that laps at the shores of each cottage. This is an idyllic retreat, perfect for honeymooners or those seeking a private safari experience. Sun seekers and water lovers will love Kaya Mawa Lodge ! From sailing to kayaking and waterskiing, there is plenty to do. If you’re a fan of observing water sports from a distance, then there are also plenty of land based activities on offer. Walking, quad biking, mountain biking or simply soaking up the sun on the shore might be the solution for the less “ocean” adventures.
Why Visit the Majete Game Reserve? This game reserve is home to over 2000 animals and is a big five game reserve. Numerous species have been reintroduced into the park which means the area is now teeming with game. Vegetation is diverse and provides a variety of habitats for wildlife. Expect to see riverbanks, thickets, woodlands and lush vegetation. The main highlight is the tracking of elephants and visits to the local cultural village. Majete Game Reserve could be the next wildlife destination on the map!
Enjoy guided walks and summit the top of Majete Hill, where you will be treated to incredible views of the surrounding landscape. Rangers will also take you on walks to track rhino and elephant; while explaining the history of the reserve while exploring untouched landscapes. Of course, these are just the activities on offer at Mkulumadzi Lodge. If you choose to enjoy a more relaxed safari, then you can enjoy gentle game drives, afternoon tea on the terrace and dinner beneath the stars. Get in touch with nature while enjoying an outdoor shower.
THE SHIRE HIGHLANDS
Why Visit the Shire Highlands? Ancient tea and coffee plantations occur high on the hills of the Shire highlands. This historical and culturally significant area is worth exploring. Rolling green hills undulate through this agricultural area of Malawi, which is in the southern region of the country. The highlands is actually a rugged plateau that extends across 7 300 square kilometres of Malawi. With such a vast and lush landscape, there are plenty of cascading waterfalls, small lakes and densely populated forests. Trout fishing, horse riding and a myriad of other activities take place in this exquisite setting of ancient plantations.
Our choice of Shire Highlands accommodation is the regal and colonial Huntingdon House, which is located on an a family-run working estate that produces tea and coffee. Set in the heart of well-manicured gardens and surrounded by archaic trees, Huntingdon House is shrouded in ancient wisdom and history. There’s a beautiful picnic spot high up on the mountain tops which boasts views of Mt Mulanje and the meandering Shire River. This intimate camp has only five suites with finely finished bathrooms with clawed bath tubs, separate showers and even fluffy bath robes!