Malawi is a beautiful country in south-east Africa; nicknamed the “Warm Heart of Africa for the nature of its welcoming people. A sub-Saharan jewel hidden amongst bigger, more world renowned countries, Malawi is a landlocked nation sitting in the heart of central Africa. This is a country bursting with art, culture, vibrant people, magnificent environments and old world history offering a taste of something different for travelers.
Lake Malawi which takes up a huge chunk of landlocked Malawi is blessed with golden coloured beaches hosting an incredible kaleidoscope of fish and underwater scenery. This makes for some of the greatest snorkeling and diving adventures. The southern end of the Lakeshore is very popular due to its proximity to the commercial capital, Blantyre. There are numerous bays to choose from and accommodation runs from simple campsites and cottage rentals, to the most luxurious. Something for everyone’s taste.
Catch the Ilala ferry from Monkey Bay and cruise up the lake to Likoma Island or spend a few days in Mangochi, on the Southern shores of Lake Malawi and experience the Lake of Stars music festival. This happens annually in September and draws hundreds of intrepid musos’ seeking that unique festival vibe. There is a wealth of things to do out here from eating a lotus flower whilst relaxing on a hammock, kayaking and sailing, snorkeling, walking or diving.
Explore the huge hulk of twisted granite rising majestically from the surrounding plains, Mount Mulanje, which towers over 3000m high. The locals call it the ‘Island in the Sky’ due its dazzling waterfalls and green valley’s which overlook the sprawling tea estates beneath it. The mountain offers up the perfect to opportunity for hiking and other activities.
Malawi is also home to a multitude of big game reserves, each playing host to its own select groups of animals and each with its own character. Liwonde National Park is the biggest and most well established of the reserves with the largest population of animals and a prolific birdlife, whilst Majete offers the opportunity to see all of the big five – elephant, lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo. Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve on the other hand is not as well known and has preserved its wild heart, making it perfect for walking and canoe safaris.
Our absolute favourite has to be a long stretch of powder-fine sand bookended by mountains and lapped by the sparkling waters of the Cape Maclear. By day the bay gleams a royal blue, studded with nearby islands and punctuated by hundred of crayon-coloured fishing boats. Cape Maclear is known as the hub of local life in the mornings as women wash clothes and children frolic in the shallows edge. Fishermen spread out their vermilion nets to dry in the warm sun while sorting through their morning catch. In the afternoon music from gospel choirs fill the air eventually giving way to the reggae sounds that spill out from the many open air bars nestled under ancient baobabs.
Prepare to be charmed by Malawi and her warm heart!