Known as the warm heart of Africa, here are some of the many reasons to visit Malawi.
Liwonde National Park
The most accomplished wildlife spotting and safari area in all of Malawi makes its home along the courses of the Shire River. A vast reserve of flood plains and wetland swamps, of swaying grass fields and baobab groves, it’s a picture of the beautiful backcountry of East Africa. See everything from bush elephants to side-striped jackals, hyena packs to impalas, waterbucks, baboons and more. There’s also a great diversity of flora to witness, from huge and waxy orchids to pretty lily-spotted ponds.
Lake Malawi National Park
Once trodden by the revered Scottish expeditionary and missionary, David Livingstone, the lands of the Lake Malawi National Park are a must for both history and nature lovers. Nestled between the verdant, sylvan hillsides that ring the shores of the country’s largest lake, they encompass both freshwater habitats and swathes of land to boot. Baboons and antelopes can be spotted strolling the shore, and there are also the relics of old missionary settlements to see.
Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve
Rising like a great back bone of stone from the dusty plains of southern Malawi, just a stones throw from the border with Mozambique, the hulking mass of stone and rock that is the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve has to be one of the country’s most breathtaking. Hailed as the highest peak in the region, its whopping height of 3,000 metres above sea level is enough to host a whole array of different habitats.
Enveloped by the waters of Lake Malawi, but nestled on the Mozambican side of the border, the picturesque reaches of Likoma Island are an enclave of Malawi proper. Famed as the one time headquartes of Livingstone, the spot is steeped in colonial history. This is evident with the likes of the Gothic rises of the Likoma town cathedral, and in steady stream of tourists that head this way. However many also come for the natural side of things. It is also famed for its crystal-clear shore waters and unspoilt coastline, where the occasional fishing skiff offer the only interruption to a day spent snorkelling in the company of cichlid fish.
Mangochi is the hub for perhaps Malawi’s most-visited section of lakeshore. It runs south to north between the town and the aforementioned Lake Malawi national park; a dash of palm-peppered Swahili fishing towns and accomplished resorts. However, there is also history here, and its still possible to see the great Hotchkiss gun that downed the German Naval ship Hermann Von Wissmann in WWII, wonder at a colonial clock tower raised by Queen Victoria, and trace the old past of Malawi-Zanzibar trade routes from centuries gone by.