East of Lilongwe, and stretching predominantly northwards from the capital, Lake Malawi is vast, and spills over the borders into Mozambique and Tanzania, where it is known as Lake Nyassa. Long the haunt of chilled-out backpackers, the lake is increasingly known for its boutique eco-properties and, consequently, the well-heeled type of traveller. Clear blue water, knock-out sunsets and pristine sand shores are reminiscent of Indian Ocean beaches, with the atmosphere refreshingly low-key and relaxed.
Malawi's famous lake boasts more species of fish than any other body of freshwater in the world. More than 600 have been discovered so far, and many of these are the small, brilliantly coloured cichlids favoured by aquariums worldwide, which, combined with the lack of currents, makes for great snorkelling and diving.
Other activities that Original Travel can arrange for adults and children include mountain biking, canoeing on the lake, guided walks and bird-watching.
Away from the popular budget accommodation area of the Southern Lake Shore, we particularly recommend Likoma Island. Come here to relax, switch off, and to enjoy the natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere of this remote island and its excellent eco-hotel Kaya Mawa, see right.