Malawi Holidays: an Overview

The country's main feature is Lake Malawi - an inland sea 350 miles long that occupies a fifth of the country's total area. Fringed with sandy beaches and fishing villages, the lake is popular for watersports and has some of the best freshwater diving sites in the world.

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Image of Eleanor Orr

Eleanor, Louise Fitzgerald and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • Exploring Lake Malawi's long sweeping beaches and crystal clear fresh waters is spectacular - and a great location for learning to snorkel with the little ones, too
  • Liwonde National Park is one of the best areas for keen birders to visit in Sub-Saharan Africa, with more and more parks are opening up
  • You'll feel extremely welcome - Malawians are amongst the friendliest and most relaxed people

More on Travelling to Malawi: the Detail

Malawi has long been an Original Travel favourite, so while Lake Malawi is the obvious focal point for tourism, we can recommend much more to see besides. There are scenic highlands such as the Nyika Plateau in the north and the Mt Mulanje region in the south - both of which offer excellent trekking.

One of the best parks for game viewing is Liwonde, most of which comprises the wide flood plain of the Shire River that flows out of the lake. The Vwaza Marshes also provide good game-viewing and budding botanists should enjoy the 200-plus species of orchid that grow here. Finally, for a most unusual and enjoyable holiday try a riding safari up on the montane grasslands of Nyika among the resident wildlife.

Each of Malawi's regions, and the country as a whole, can offer itineraries at upmarket and mid-market levels. Malawi holidays can be relaxed, or packed with a variety of activities. There are also plenty of specialist niche activities and tours which can be catered for, including: cycling; diving; eco-tourism; trekking; birdwatching; weddings & honeymoons; and many more.

Nowadays it's also fairly straightforward to combine sections of Malawi with neighbouring Zambia, particularly as Lilongwe is so close to the South Luangwa National Park, making Malawi the perfect 'beach add-on' to a Zambia safari. Malawi and Tanzania or Mozambique can also be combined in a wider itinerary using air charters."

Did you know

  • The chambo fish is one of Malawi's delicacies and is endangered
  • The country is known for its friendly and welcoming people
  • The Mount Mulaje is known as the 'island in the sky' because of its spectacular views of the country


Original Highlight

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Likoma Island is the most peaceful and beautiful area, and you can explore by bike, boat or foot. Plus, there's lots of local culture to discover. Fancy a Sunday church service in the island’s impressive cathedral?

Eleanor, Original Traveller

A note on price

We can arrange a tailor-made 10 day road trip for you around Malawi starting from approximately £3,000 per person including flights, but a more remote fly-in option could be more in the region of £6,000 per person. Learn more about our pricing

Weather in January January February March April May June July August September October November December
  • Average Temp. — 23°C / 73°F
  • Rainfall — 22cm / 8.8 inches
Flight from London

9:45 hrs

Time Difference

GMT +2 hrs

Top picks for Malawi

Mumbo Island Camp

Mumbo Island Camp

Lake Malawi

Mumbo Island is deserted save for the elegant tented camp of the same name.

Where to stay

Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa

Lake Malawi

Likoma Island is the larger of two small inhabited islands situated in the far north of Lake Malawi.

Where to stay

 Huntingdon House

Huntingdon House

Liwonde National Park & The South

This grand colonial-style house was built in the 20s and is surrounded by magnificent gardens and beautiful ancient trees.

Where to stay

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge

Liwonde National Park & The South

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge sits beside a lagoon besides the Shire River, surrounded by riverine forest, Borassus palms and floodplains.

Where to stay

Lake of Stars Bed, Nkwichi Lodge

Lake of Stars Bed, Nkwichi Lodge

Lake Malawi

For the ultimate Robinson Crusoe experience, spend the night under the stars.

What to do

Nkwichi Lodge

Nkwichi Lodge

Lake Malawi

Named after the sound the sand makes when you tread on it, Nkwichi (which literally means squeaky sand) is a slice of undiscovered paradise on the shores of Lake Malawi.

Where to stay

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