available in Malawi
Reserves and Wildlife
Landlocked by the larger countries of Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique, Malawi boasts a wide variety of landscapes including plains, mountains, forests and river valleys. Despite its relatively small land mass for an African country, Malawi has a large number of national parks and open spaces making it ideal for a safari holiday.You have the option of choosing between walking or horseback Malawi safaris and 4×4 Malawi safari tours. Unlike many of Africa’s more well-known national parks and safari package destinations, those found in Malawi tend to be less touristy and unspoilt. The Big Five can be seen in Malawi as well as a large number of other species.
Of the nine national parks, the largest and oldest is Nyika National Park found in the north of the country where buffalo, zebra and leopard can be spotted amidst its diverse vegetation and landscapes. In the west of the country is Kasungu National Park, home to crocodiles, hippos, zebras and lions. The most popular national park for Malawi safaris is Liwonde National Park, in the south of the country, home to a huge number of species including elephant, lion and rhino. Apart from the Malawi wildlife, this place is also a popular bird watching destination thanks to the sheer number of species including fish eagle, kingfisher, pelican and flamingo.
Malawi safari parks also boasts two UNESCO protected areas; Chongini Rock Art Area in Central Malawi, with paintings dating as far back as the Late Stone Age and Iron Age periods, and Lake Malawi National Park with its protected fish and aquatic species. The country’s biggest annual music event, the Lake of Stars Festival, takes place in late September on the shores of Lake Malawi.
Although Malawi’s 14 million strong population live mostly in traditional rural villages, the cities are still a good place to find out more about Malawian culture. The capital Lilongwe is a small and manageable city split into two parts, the Old Town and the Capital City. The highlight of a visit to Lilongwe is the bustling daily market, the largest in the country. More can be discovered about both the land and the human history of Malawi at the Cultural & Museum Centre of Karonga and the Museum of Malawi.
Malawi Safari Travel Seasons
- May–mid-Aug Dry season with cooler temperatures and lush vegetation after the rains. A great time to hike Mount Mulanji or visit Lake Malawi. Night temperatures can drop below zero in the highland areas.
- Mid–Aug-Oct The end of the dry season brings optimum wildlife watching conditions, with animals teeming in the game areas, but temperatures are at their highest.
- Nov–Apr Rainy season with hot humid days and short sharp showers. A photographer’s paradise with stunning lush scenery and villages a hive of activity.
- Capital city – Lilongwe
- Currency – Kwachas (MWK)
- Languages – Chichewa, English
- Size – 118,500 km²
- Population – 18.09 million (2016)
Health and Safety
- Travel insurance is essential for all international travel. Click below to find out more:
- The CDC recommends the following vaccinations for Malawi: hepatitis A and typhoid. Check with your doctor for other vaccinations you might need and make sure your routine vaccinations are all up-to-date.
- Malaria is present in Malawi – get medical advice on which prophylaxis to take.
- It is best to stick to drinking bottled water.
- Varied landscapes including beautiful Lake Malawi
- Large number of wildlife areas
- Diverse fauna and flora
- Wide range of Malawi safari options
- Rich culture and history
- Under developed infrastructure
- Tours can be expensive
Arriving in Malawi
- Most travellers arrive in Malawi by air into Lilongwe International. There are taxi or airport shuttles to/from town which cost around US$35.
- If you are already in the region then you can drive or bus in.
- Malawi is not a vast country, like Tanzania or South Africa, so distances between major centres are relatively short.
- Most travellers will be on an organised tour with flights and transfers already sorted out.
- If you are an independant traveller then using the public transport system is pretty straight forward and reliable.
- Arrival visas are due on arrival for most travellers, please check Malawi Visas >>
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