This relatively little known gem of this diverse continent has so much to offer; wildlife, culture, adventure, scenery, and of course the third largest lake in Africa. A year-round destination, some even go as far to describe Malawi as the most attractive country in sub-Saharan Africa!
This may seem to be an extravagant claim for such a relatively small country but the truth lies in the unique combination of attractions that Malawi has to offer. Where else will you find such a genuinely warm welcome in a country at peace with itself? Where else can you experience such a diverse scenic kaleidoscope in such a small area? Here you have central Africa’s highest mountain, vast high plateaux with seemingly limitless views, forests and unspoilt game parks and, the jewel in the crown, Africa’s third largest and most beautiful lake – truly an inland sea.
The friendliness of the Malawians is renowned and this makes the cultural experiences second to none. Add to that the beautiful and varied scenery, thrilling safaris and beach-fringed crystal clear waters of Lake Malawi and you have the best that Africa has to offer in one, very compact, destination. If Malawi had a weakness in the past, it was that some of its neighbours had more animals, but significant changes in Malawi’s parks and reserves that began in 2015 are transforming its wildlife and safaris – making it now one of the most complete destinations in Africa.
Yet, remarkably, Malawi remains untouched and unspoilt by mass tourism. This is still real Africa where you will hardly see another visitor, and it is safe and easy to explore. For decades now, Malawi has been known as the Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi welcomes its visitors from overseas with a genuine warmth that is truly unforgettable; whether they be first time visitors to Africa or old Africa hands.
As well as the warmth of the welcome and the unrivalled cultural experiences, interacting with real people in real villages, there is a whole host of activities to choose from: safaris by 4×4, by boat, or on foot, sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, water-skiing and much more on the Lake: trekking, climbing, mountain biking and walking in the highlands and forests; or just relaxing on a golden sand beach or watching wildlife at a waterhole. Malawi is exceptionally family-friendly and there’s so much available to keep everyone interested. It also benefits from a lovely climate of largely warm, sunny days. If ever too hot, there will always be a highland area offering a cooler escape, and those highlands are the only places it could ever be described as ‘cold’.
Malawi’s tourism has witnessed unprecedented development in recent years. New lodges have opened and some existing hotels and lodges have been enlarged and upgraded. The tourist infrastructure remains small scale but what’s there is of a high standard. The country’s reserves are seeing the greatest changes. New public-private partnerships have safeguarded the future of the country’s wildlife through conservation initiatives and re-stocking programmes; at the same time improving the safari experiences beyond recognition. If Malawi’s wildlife was ever seen as a weakness, all that is changing! Investment has also been put into local infrastructure, making Malawi not just stunning, rewarding, and memorable, but also easy and safe. It is a destination simply waiting to be discovered!
As part of our Africa Travel Month in October, we were joined by Kelly from Malawi tourism to tell us all about the beautiful country. Watch the recording here!