If you dream of authentic Africa, it is time to plan one of our custom Malawi tours! A small but vibrant and densely populated country at the southern end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley, Malawi boasts green and fertile land, lots of small traditional farms, and famously friendly people.
Discover vibrant green tea plantations and the lofty Zomba Plateau when you travel to Malawi, ideal for a day’s hike in the clear mountain air. If you’re feeling adventurous, go on an overnight hike to the top of Mulanje Mountain, the highest in Central Africa. Explore Liwonde National Park or the rolling highlands of the Nyika Plateau, ideal for cycling and horse riding safaris.
The mineral-rich and crystal clear Lake Malawi, the ‘Lake of Stars’, stretches over 300 miles and is a haven for watersports, pure relaxation and beautiful beaches, particularly on Likoma Island and around Cape Maclear. Explore the famous star beds on your Malawi vacation for that perfect dream-filled sleep!
Malawi has a subtropical climate throughout the year. Although it is very warm all year round, a clear distinction must be drawn between the dry and the rainy season.
During the rainy season, there are strong showers, especially in the afternoon. The roads are often difficult to pass at this time.
Best travel time for your tour of Malawi
The ideal travel time is in Malawi from May to September, during the cooler season. The temperatures are pleasant and Lake Malawi is the perfect location for a beach vacation in Africa. We would be pleased to advise you on your individual Malawi trip. Contact us for an obligation-free and complimentary quote.
1. The crystal clear of Lake Malawi -with its colorful underwater world – is a wonderful place for snorkeling and diving. On the lakeshores you will find numerous romantic fishing villages.
2. Lake Malawi National Park in Cape McClear was part of the UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. More than 90% of the fish species – an estimated 1000 species – are found here.
3. Enjoy the magnificent summit panorama in the shade of the Mulanje Mountain during a hike in the tea plantations. En route, take a break at one of the small waterfalls and enjoy the fresh air.
4. The colonial Mandala House in Blantyre is the cultural heart of the city. In addition to a library where you can learn about the history of Malawi, it houses the La Caverna Art Gallery, where you can buy authentic local handicrafts.
5. In the Majete Wildlife Reserve there are elephants, buffaloes and rhinos. From densely overgrown shores to rugged granite hills to lush greenery, the 70,000 hectare reserve also offers a diverse landscape.
6. On boat and canoe safaris in Liwonde National Park, you can observe a variety of animals: gazelles, zebras, elephants and wildcats.
7. On a tour of Lilongwe you should pay a visit to Lizulu Market. The bustling activity takes place on both sides of the Lilongwe River, which are connected by bamboo bridges.
8. In the heart of the capital lies the Lilongwe Wildlife Center, a retreat for over 200 wild animals. From patient guides you will learn everything about endangered animals. You will also be accompanied by cheerful classmates, as visiting the Wildlife Center is a compulsory program for Lilongwe schools.
9. Discover the Shire uplands mountain biking or on horseback and get captivated by the unique view of the Mulanje Mountain. Visit one of the numerous tea and coffee plants nestling gently in the hills, which benefit from ideal climate conditions and fertile soil.
10. Trekking fans should venture into the Zomba Plateau during your tour of Malawi! Winding trails lead through peaceful pine forests. Aside from curious monkeys, diligent otters and a multitude of colorful birds and butterflies, it is an isolated spot to embrace natural tranquility.
If you travel to Malawi, you are among the first pioneers to discover this new African destination! Our specialists plan the ideal travel route for your Malawi round trip.
The early history of Malawi is limited but it is known that both Stone Age and Iron Age settlers made the environs of Lake Nyasa their home, prior to the ethnic Bantu peoples moving into Malawi. In the 1500s Malawi traded with Mozambique’s coastal regions and, aside from a few Portuguese Jesuit missionaries, there were relatively few visitors to the country until Scottish missionary explorer David Livingstone arrived in 1859.
Churches were built and a British consul was developed. Nyasaland, as the country was formerly known, became a British protectorate in 1891. In 1915, an African preacher who was unhappy about the treatment of the African people by the colonial powers, led a short uprising.
It was not until 1964 that Nyasaland, gained independence in 1964 and was given its new name, Malawi. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, known as Ngawasi (Fearless Warrior), became the first prime minister and modeled his government on the United Kingdom. Banda was a particularly interesting character: he always wanted a group of female dancers (mbumba) to accompany him, he expected servants to crawl out of the room facing him and streets would be at a standstill when he traveled through Malawi.
The country was declared a republic two years later. Today, Malawi is a thriving nation and Malawi tours bring an increasing amount of revenue to the country.
Why is Malawi known as Africa’s warm heart? Undoubtedly it is because of the people’s friendliness and community cohesion. During your Malawi tours, you’ll find that the people here live in extended families huts in the rural areas of the country and are of Bantu origin.
There are three main languages spoken in Malawi, Chichewa, Chitimbuka and Chiyao, which come from the three main ethnic groups. Chewa form the largest group, mostly in the center of Malawi, whilst the Yao live around Lake Malawi in the south and the Tumbuka people live in the north. Christianity is the major religion of Malawi.
Music is integral to the culture of Malawi and you can enjoy the a cappella Christian spiritual songs just as much as soft reggae. One of the oldest dance styles was the Gule Wamkulu (great dance) where the dancers would adorn themselves in animal hides, ragged cloth and masks to summon the spirits of dead relatives and animals alike, all to the hypnotic beats of a drummer.
During your Malawi tours, you will have the chance to see the Malinpenga dance, which has its origins with the local Tonga people near the northern shore of Lake Malawi, who mimicked the soldiers dance moves in an exaggerated manner.
Chitale, a call and response dance, can be found being performed by young girls on full moon nights – and is considered a competitive sport locally. Art is also an important element of the culture of Malawi, and you can expect streetside stalls brimming with colorful wax batiks and intricately carved sculptures and furniture made from exotic woods of ebony, teak and mahogany.
‘Chief chairs’ and three-legged tables (complete with a chessboard and the strategic bao board game, or African scenery) are renowned in the country as they can be disassembled and reassembled with ease.
As it is agricultural society, food during your Malawi tours will be no different from other southern African countries where the focus is on quantity. Nsima (maize/corn) porridge, is the main staple of mealtimes in Malawi and is sometimes molded into patties and served alongside ndiwo (fresh vegetables, beans or meat). Rice, cassava and potatoes occasionally replace the nsima, especially for special occasions.
Don’t worry about finding enough eateries during your Malawi vacation. Whilst food prepared at home is preferred, villages usually have a restaurant too, even if it is just a chippie that serves fried potatoes over an open fire.
Come on your Malawi vacation with a big appetite! The custom of dining in someone’s home is that a guest must be served enough food that they are entirely full!
The Enchanting Travels team welcomes you on one of our private and tailor-made Malawi tours.
Our team of experts can help answer any questions you might have. Please fill out the form below and a consultant will respond shortly.
US & Canada: +1 888 263 2574
UK: +0 800 098 8486
AUS: +1 800 044 986