If you’ve been searching for that next off-the-beaten-track destination then Malawi might just tick all the boxes for your next safari adventure holiday. Voted in the top ten destinations for 2014 (Lonely Planet) Malawi is affectionately known as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ and Malawi safari adventure holidays definitely deliver a wildlife adventure with a twist.
Malawi offers the safari enthusiast a diverse range of options, from river boat safaris on the Shire river, walking Safaris on the vast Nyika plateau and underwater safaris on Lake Malawi. A two-week trip to Malawi is plenty of time to truly explore this undisturbed slice of Africa, get immersed in nature and take part in some unique safari activities.
River boat safaris
The mighty Shire river carves its path through the heart of two of Malawi’s wildlife areas. Liwonde National Park, famous for its large herds of elephants and Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi’s only ‘big five’ game reserve.
The river attracts a wide array of wildlife, including herds of elephants, antelope and large pods of hippo. For birdwatchers, a river boat safari is ideal. Pels fishing owl, kingfishers and the African fish eagle are all popular in Malawi’s river-fed parks and your expert wildlife guide is on hand to help you spot those harder to find birds. Perhaps the best time of day to head out is after breakfast, when the park is starting to wake and the river is at its busiest.
Nyika National Park is Malawi’s largest park and lies at the very north of the country. The stunning montane landscape rolls down to the shores of Lake Malawi and the high altitude of the park makes the scenery feel a little like you are in the wilds of Scotland.
The majestic roan antelope can be found roaming the Nyika plateau and shares the hills with a good number of leopard, waterbuck, zebra and a vast array of birds. Best explored on foot your local guide can combine your game drive with a walking safari or guests can choose to take a three-day hiking trip through the park and finish on the shores of Lake Malawi.
Walking safaris are offered at all of Malawi’s parks and are highly recommended to truly appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of Malawi safari adventure holidays.
Lake Malawi is home to more species of fish than the Great Lakes of America. Malawi’s beautifully coloured cyclid fish can be easily seen from the shore but to truly experience life underwater you need to put on a snorkel and mask. Snorkelling and scuba diving activities can be arranged through your Lake Malawi lodge and there are diving schools for those wanting to learn. The fresh water lake is ideal for beginners and the lack of current and underwater predators means there is no limit on the exploring you can do.
One of the best spots for underwater safaris is the islands of Lake Malawi – two favourites are Likoma Island and Mumbo Island. Both offer scuba diving excursions and courses or for those who don’t dive your underwater safari can start straight from the beach with a pair of flippers, snorkel and mask. The cyclid fish are very territorial and love shallow rocky waters so there is no need to venture out of your depth, making it ideal for beginners.
The perfect combination
Why not combine your Malawi safari adventure holidays with a trip off into rural Malawi to spend some time with a local community? Malawi offers that perfect combination of safari, beach and culture.
For further information and to book your tailor-made Malawi safari adventure holidays please contact The Responsible Safari Co.