Malawi is for sure a country we are in love with. It is also a country unknown to most. Even though there is a lot of backpacking tourism most people enter Malawi not knowing what they will find, but it is a common stop in the route Kenya – South Africa or vice versa. Here is a list of the best 10 places to visit in Malawi.
1. Nkhata Bay. Relax at the bay, enjoy the lake, take a kayak, a paddle board or a canoe to visit different beaches in the area. Hike up the mountain and admire the view. Visit Chikale Beach on a Sunday if you want to join the local party. There are plenty of activities to do and places to stay, our favourites are Mayoka Village Beach Lodge and Butterfly Space.
2. Kande. Around 40km heading south of Nkhata Bay you can find Kande, a completely different beach area: white, fine sandy beach with an island just across the shore. However you can also choose to go around the forest. Many overland trucks stop in this area. You can scuba dive or horseback ride with Kande Horse at both settings.
3. Majete Wildlife Reserve. This beautiful park has changed a lot in the past few years. In 2012 lions were reintroduce in the park, today you can see the big 5 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and cape buffalo). You can stay inside the park at the lodge or even go budget. Take a guided walk with a ranger around the park and you will be surprised with the impressive Kapichira Falls
4. Mount Mulanje. If you enjoy hiking you can’t miss this isolated granite massif. It’s the highest summit in south-central Africa, Sapitwa at 3000m; but be aware that it is steep. Most people hike it in a three days trip (an over night at its peak). There are also alternative hikes and an amazing view with a tea plantation at the foot of the mountain.
5. Liwonde National Park. If you love wildlife but you don’t want travel very far within the country this is an option. Running across the Shire River it has a large population of hippos. This park offers an exclusive lodge with its private Rhino Sanctuary or a variety of activities such as walking safaris or boat trips.
6. Vwasa Marsh Wildlife Reserve. A very different reserve from the rest of the wildlife attractions. Although today the park is not at its best, the feeling of being alone in nature is a great pleasure we should all experience. Running at the border with Zambia and only 60km from South Luangwa National Park there is a strong commitment to eradicate poaching.
7. Nyika Plateau National Park. When you visit Nyika you would probably wonder where are you really. Because of its majestic landscape, it’s not the easiest park to spot animals, however, the landscape itself its the reason to visit: rolling hills, lush grassland it reminds you of Scotland’s Highlands.
8. Chongoni Rock Art Area. Dating from the Stone Age, this area is surrounded by paintings that are culturally relevant even today. The painting show traditions and the history occurred from a foraging lifestyle to the coming of the “white” man.
9. Lake Malawi National Park. This lake measures are hard to believe: 580km of length, 75km of width and 706m of maximum depth. In the far south it is located the first fresh water National Park. You will find one of the most beautiful sunsets in Malawi, swim and enjoy the area.
10. The islands: Likoma and Chizumulu. Although these islands are a few kilometres away from Mozambique, they belong to Malawi. Likoma is the biggest of the two, besides the area, its most famous attraction is the Angelical Cathedral. Chizumulu on the other hand, is even smaller with just one retreat to stay. Just hop on the Ilala Ferry and visit.
More photos from Malawi here