Experience the unforgettable beauty and energy of Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa. From spectacular wildlife to stunning scenery, Malawi is often called the “Warm Heart of Africa” and for good reason – it’s easy to fall in love with this diverse country! Take an adventure safari through nature reserves and explore villages that offer a glimpse into authentic African culture. Enjoy all kinds of activities on or around the lake such as kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, bird watching and more. No matter how you choose to enjoy it, a trip to Malawi is sure to leave you with lifelong memories. Come discover why so many call it the most attractive and complete destination in all of Africa. A little piece of a continent, nestled in the heart of East Africa, lies waiting to be discovered. It is here, in Rwanda, where you will experience a world like no other. At the foot of the beautiful Virunga Volcanoes, you will find yourself surrounded by lush forests and abundant wildlife, with breathtaking views that stretch out as far as the eye can see. Here, amongst the vibrant local culture and embracing spirit of its people, you’ll discover something special – an unparalleled sense of harmony and joy that can only be found in this unique corner of the world. The lake shore breezes that come off Lake Kivu bring not only refreshment but a feeling that invites exploration. From mountain trekking to visiting iconic villages to sampling the fresh local cuisine, Rwanda offers a million experiences waiting to be discovered. Where else can you find such beauty and peace? There’s truly no place like it.
Things to do
It is Malawi’s remarkable variety of experiences that is its greatest asset. Whilst Lake Malawi dominates the country, this is not a country of a singular experience. It is the mixture of beautiful Landscapes, fascinating Wildlife, the alluring Lake Malawi, and rich Culture that combine to make this small country such a wonderful place to visit. There are few countries in Africa that can offer this level of variety, and it comes in a small, easy to access and friendly destination – a real gem.
- Crystal clear Lake Malawi
- Swimming & Water Sports
- Malawi is full of a rich diversity of flora and fauna, this is best seen by taking part in a walking safari
- Hike in tea plantations
- UNESCO Site – Cape McClear
- The Great Rift Valley
- Big 5 Safaris (9 National Parks)
- Trekking into the Zomba Plateau. The highest peaks in Malawi touch 10 000ft (3 000m). It is generally a green, lush country, with plateaux, highlands, forests, mountains, plains, escarpments and dramatic river valleys.
- Mountain biking or horseback
Most of the Main Roads in Malawi are paved, once you get off the Main Road the roads are no longer paved. It is important to note that the condition of the paved road are more agreeable when travelling on them and its important to be rested if driving as to not miss any of the potholes on the surface of the roads.
By Taxi: Taxis are available for hire, offering a convenient but more costly option for transportation
By Private Vehicle: To hire a private car is also available option, this is definitely an advantageous option, however it is a bit more expensive option for transportation, the positive side to spending a little more is the freedom and flexibility to explore at your own pace.
By Bus: In Malawi the locals most common form of public transportation are the buses and minibuses. These are also the most affordable options to get to most destinations within the country.
The Malawian people are, without doubt, its greatest asset: friendly and welcoming to a fault. Every visitor is met with a smile and the warmth of the welcome is genuine and long-lasting. There are number of places of particular cultural and historical interest, but all travel will include some element of cultural experience because engagement with local people is very much part of any stay and it is that natural cultural interaction with real (and very friendly!) people in real villages that is usually the highlight of any visit.
What is the weather like
With its cool and dry season lasting from May to October with the temperature dropping to about 13°C in June and July and its hot and wet season from November to April with temperatures between 30°- 35°C., this beautiful country is full of natural wonders, culture, and tradition. The best time to visit Malawi is during the dry season between May and October.
What to pack
Many items may not be available for purchasing and to please pack all of these items if required, as some of the below items may not be relevant to you and your travel plans. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
- Hand sanitizer
- Water purification tablets (may need these in remote areas)
- Insect repellent
- Sunglasses and hat
- Personal safety equipment
- Bed net
- Bed net
- First-aid kit
- Health insurance documents
- Proof of yellow fever vaccination
- Copies of all prescriptions
- Contact card.
- Medical alert bracelet or necklace
- Doctors script for repeat medications
- Comfortable, eastly to wash, quick to dry travelling clothes.
- Warm jacket which can withstand the rain in wetter seasons.
- Comfortable walking shoes
All prices are payable in the official currency of Malawi is the kwacha. The kwacha replaced other types of currency, namely the British pound sterling, the South African rand, and the Rhodesian dollar. Those currencies had previously circulated through the Malawian economy however they are no longer circulating or officially accepted.
The CDC and WHO recommend the following vaccinations for Malawi
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Typhoid Cholera
- Yellow fever
- Rubella (MMR)
- Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis)
- Chickenpox, shingles
- Pneumonia and influenza.
Discover its untamed beauty, explore unique cultures, and make meaningful connections with the warm and hospitable people who inhabit this lush land. From unparalleled game viewing experiences to captivating encounters with locals, you are sure to take away life-changing memories. Find a sincere sense of community on your travels as you venture through villages, meet native tribes, and support social enterprises at work for positive change in the region.
- Learn the lingo, by learning a few Chichewa phrases it will surely be a delight to your Malawian hosts.
- Take time for greetings, this is a big part of the Malawian culture. They delight in you taking time to ask about their health and family. Good topics are politics, Malawians are good conversationists that are full of humor and warmth.
- The rainy season is best avoided
- The LGBTIQ+ community is not supported, homosexuality is illegal in Malawi. Though this is unlikely to be an issue for foreign travelers. Open discussion of any sexuality may make Malawians awkward.
- Don’t be tempted by Malawi Gold – Malawi’s cannabis may be a temptation for travelers, but drug taking and possession are illegal and carry punitive sentences.
- Flamboyant physical displays of affection between couples are not the norm in Malawi and may cause offense.
- Bring a water filter
- Rates of HIV in Malawi are high, please always use protection.
- It is recommended to test for bilharzia when you return home, this is a parasitic illness carried by freshwater snails. The disease can be picked when swimming in Lake Malawi in a reedy areas especially. It is very is easily treated, but if left undiagnosed, it can cause rashes, stomach pain, fever and extreme fatigue. Do not let it put you off swimming in Lake Malawi, this is one of the top pleasures when visiting Malawi.
- Bargaining for buying local goods in Malawi is not necessary, the locals are quite happy to make a small profit and do not overcharge for their goods.
- Wearing modest clothes is part of Malawian culture, you will receive a warmer welcoming when dressing modestly by covering your legs and chest. One easy and comfortable way to do this is to buy a chitenge cloth. Women travelers can carry chitenge cloth to wrap around their waist or chest for village visits especially in predominately Muslim areas. Chitenge materials are usually made of bright African colors and it is a great souvenir to take home.
- It is not recommended to drive at night time, the roads are dangerous especially due to the lack of street lamps. When planning a trip to Malawi it is best to take advantage of the their great coach and ferry travel options or if your budget allows then hiring the services of a guide/driver can take some of the stress of driving on the roads.
- Malawi may be known for its thrilling safaris, stunning lake, beautiful landscapes, and captivating culture, but there are also other sports and leisure activities available including golf, spas and yoga retreats.
- The variety of scenery is a major attraction to visitors and many of the highland areas and forest reserves have good accommodation options, and plenty of outdoor activities available.
- Malawi has a growing number of events that take place annually around the country. The internationally-renowned Lake of Stars Festival, the Likoma Island Festival and the Mulanje Porter Race are just a few of the popular events.