Malawi is a small country – by African standards – but its size belies its varied landscape. From the central region’s white beaches and desert islands, it expands to the remote north where highlands meet hippo-filled swamps, and to the south’s mist-shrouded mountains. This off-the-beaten-track escape captivates visitors with its country wildlife, alluring lakes, and vibrant culture.
Africa’s third largest lake – Lake Malawi – slices through the landscape in a shimmering mass of clear water, filling the trough formed by the Great Rift Valley. Explore its depths, which swarm with colourful fish, or kayak its calm surface. The northern side is lined with golden sands and coves, straight from a Caribbean dream. To the east, flanked by jade-green tea plantations, looms Mt Mulanje and the Zomba Plateau, the holy grail of trekking, with mist-shrouded forests and fascinating wildlife.
Shouldering the Zambian border is Nyika National Park, an ethereal wilderness of stark plateaus and pine forests that shelter zebra and leopard. Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve’s sultry flat woodlands and swamps are home to huge herds of elephant, buffalo, and antelope. Bordering the Nyika National Park, Livingstonia, features old missionary buildings and an eerily quiet and unhurried atmosphere.