The Magic of Malawi
Liwonde National Park
Liwonde is one of Malawi’s most exciting and popular game parks, with its beautiful riverine setting and wonderful wildlife offering a wide-variety of safari styles and amazing game viewing. Not only can y0u explore this park on foot or by 4×4, but boat safaris are also available and an excellent way to enjoy the magnificent game around the river. A true highlight of Liwonde National Park is the small local community that benefit directly from your visits, alongside the well-managed conservation efforts. A visit to a local village will show you how your trip supports the community first-hand!
Where to Stay: Mvuu Lodge
(c) Mvuu Lodge by Central African Wilderness Safaris
Nyika Plateau National Park is Malawi’s largest park with rolling expanses of hills and sheltered evergreen forests that are truly a sight to see! The name, Nyika, means “where the water comes from” and, as such, explore waterfalls, trout pools and even a ‘magic lake’. During the rainy season you can see the 200 types of orchid in the area in flower, the richest concentration of orchids in south-central Africa, although in every season wildflowers abound. Besides from its exquisite beauty, Nyika National Park is rich with game viewing, especially the incredible and varied birdlife. The rare Denham’s bustard and the wattled crane are among those to be seen, as is the red-winged francolin. Nyika is a great spot for hiking and mountain biking as well as 4×4 excursions and safaris.
(c)Roam to Discover
Where to stay: Chelinda Lodge
‘The rolling hills of Nyika, covered in grass and pockets of evergreen forests, seem to belong to another continent. A pocket of hagenia woodland and forest backdrop shelters the idyllic upland Chelinda Lodge, and all its log cabins have sweeping views of the antelope-dotted hills. Wooden walkways link the cabins to the main area, complete with outside deck for sundowners, convivial dining around a fireplace and lounge area for quiet reflection or conversation. The vistas in Nyika are immense, while from a game viewing perspective a variety of animals can be seen around Chelinda Lodge – particularly in the grasslands. Numbers and species vary depending on season and include roan, eland, Crawshay’s zebra, southern reedbuck, bushbuck, warthog, spotted hyaena, leopard and side-striped jackal. Even elephant can be seen at times. Birding specials and orchid species add colour and vibrancy to this unique area.’
(c) Chelinda Lodge by Central African Wilderness Safaris
Satemwa Tea Estate
Located in the Shirelands of Malawi, as the name conjures, this area is gloriously green and fertile land. The aroma of a tea estate is truly a pleasure for the senses and adds to the charm of the area. Established in 1923, Satemwa Tea Estate is steeped in the farming traditions passed down through generations.
(c) Malawian Style
Where to Stay: Huntingdon House
‘Arguably the most scenically beautiful region of Malawi, The Thyolo district forms the heart of Malawi’s tea producing region with rolling hills of immaculately cultivated, emerald green plantations and some of the oldest estates in the country. With magnificent views of Mount Mulanje and the Lower Shire valley to the west, Satemwa enjoys a temperate climate of the Shire Highlands and relaxed ambiance of a by-gone era. Visitors to this corner of Malawi cannot but help to be caught up in the colonial magic of the area and diverse scenery which ranges from tropical evergreen forests to riverine thickets and rolling hills. Huntingdon House was built in the 1920’s and the estate has been in the Cathcart Kay family for generations with members of the family still running the tea and coffee production of the estate. The grand old colonial style house has been tastefully restored as a joint venture between the Satemwa Tea Estate and the Ulendo Travel Group.’
(c) Huntingdon House
Mulanje is known locally as the ‘island in the sky’ because it rises almost sheer from the plains below. If you’re looking for an incredible hiking spot this is the area for you! Explore the rocky crags and experience the incredible views available from the top. Keep a keen eye out for some of the beautiful birdlife that inhabits the area. Click here for the Mulanje Mountain Hiking Guide. Once on the mountain the vegetation changes with altitude and there’s plenty of wildlife from the klipspringer, a tiny antelope, to various other small mammals and, of course, a variety of birds. The latter include buzzard, the black eagle and countless white-necked ravens. Fishing for trout is possible in the River Lichenya which drains the south-western slopes.
Where to Stay: CCAP House Likhubula
‘The best location you could ask for. Right at the base of the mountain with great hiking routes right from the camp. The accommodation is basic but clean, the villas are great with lovely views of the mountains. Staff are lovely, would recommend rather than staying in a lodge in town where you have to drive to the mountain.’
-Trip Advisor Review
(c) Trip Advisor/ Roam to Discover
Lake Malawi, Africa’s third largest lake is the size of Belgium and is also one of the deepest lakes in the world. Lake Malawi National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage sight, not only for its astounding beauty, but also its importance as an outstanding example of biological evolution. “Adaptive radiation and speciation are particularly noteworthy in the small brightly coloured rocky-shore tilapiine cichlids (rockfish), known locally as mbuna. All but five of over 350 species of mbuna are endemic to Lake Malawi and represented in the park. Lake Malawi’s cichlids are considered of equal value to science as the finches of the Galapagos Islands remarked on by Charles Darwin or the honeycreepers of Hawaii.”* This vast body of crystal clear freshwater surrounded by golden sand beaches is not only a scenic paradise but allows for excellent water sports opportunities for those looking for something beyond sun, sand and swimming.
Where to Stay: Blue Zebra Island Lodge
‘A WILD ISLAND PARADISE: the exclusive Blue Zebra Island Lodge is situated on Nankoma Island, part of the Marelli Archipelago in Lake Malawi National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site). The perfect getaway for nature lovers looking for a combination of adventure and relaxation in a tranquil, private setting. The 3 islands are home to a vast array of fresh water fish, including some of the most rare and colorful in the world. The islands support diverse flora and fauna and are a bird watcher’s paradise. A unique set-up with 9 en-suite safari-style tented chalets and 1 Superior Cottage overlooking the lake. Secluded executive chalets boast stunning views from private balconies, some with lake access. The chalets are set in an unspoiled environment, immersed in nature. Activities: nature trails, birding, kayaking, snorkelling, wake boarding, water skiing, tubing, sunset cruise, seasonal scuba diving. Relaxing at the infinity pool & cocktail bar or chilling out on the hammocks.’
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Information in this blog gathered from Malawi Tourism.