Malawi ‘The Warm Heart of Africa‘ beckons our Indian friends to make it a must destination in your lifetime. E.F Schumacher famously claimed, “Small is beautiful,” and this could not be truer for Malawi.
Carefully tucked away between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia, this gem of Africa is rich in culture, magnificent scenery and the breathtaking lake that inspired Victorian England’s hero Doctor David Livingstone to crown the vision that lay before him as the ‘Lake of Star’s‘.
Malawi is truly an African romance. Whether you desire an adventurous backpacking experience or a pampered holiday to remember, Malawi has everything and caters to your needs. The perfect beach allows your eyes to feast on the wider wonder of turquoise water, blue sky and a distant shoreline of misty mountains. The uplands give way to dramatic inselbergs and spectacular highlands – the Mulanje Massif, the highest mountain in central Africa and Zomba Mountain in the southern region of the country. Northwards is the enchanting afforested Viphya Plateau and the superb rolling grasslands of the Nyika Plateau.
If you’re in London on either of the next two weekends, and want to find out more about Malawi, why not visit Adventure Travel Live, or Destinations, The Holiday and Travel Show.
At Adventure Travel Live (28-30 January at the Royal Horticultural Halls, Victoria), although there isn’t a dedicated Malawi stand, our Best of Malawi brochures are available on the Africa Explorer and Art Safari stands, and there’s a talk on Saturday afternoon by the organisers of Malawi’s Lake of Stars Music Festival.
At Destinations, The Holiday & Travel Show (3-6 February at Earl’s Court) we have our usual Malawi stand (13 consecutive years!) where we’ll be distributing the Best of Malawi brochure and various other information sheets, and giving out advice on all aspects of travel to and around Malawi. If yu don’t have tickets yet for Destinations, we can send you an offer code to get in for free:
Malawi has a massive diversity of beautiful landscapes. The highest peaks in Malawi touch 10 000ft (3 000m) while the lowest point is barely above sea level. This range of altitudes in a small area help to make the landscape of Malawi one of the moist varied in all Africa. It is generally a green, lush country, with plateaux, highlands, forests, mountains, plains, escarpments and dramatic river valleys. The variety of scenery is a major attraction to visitors and many of the highland areas and forest reserves have good accommodation options, and plenty of outdoor activities available.
The Rift Valley is the dominant feature, providing the vast chasm that Lake Malawi fills, and extending to te south of the country following the Shire River that drains the Lake. The flatter areas of the Rift Valley in South Malawi are home to some important wetlands, including Elephant Marsh, down in the Lower Shire Valley.
Central African Plateau
To the west of the Lake and either side of the Shire Valley in the south, is the Central African Plateau. The transition from Rift Valley floor up to the Central African Plateau is characterised by a series of dramatic escarpments, such as at Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, a protected area of rugged, unspoilt wilderness. The Central African Plateau itself is gently undulating land between 1600ft (490m) and 5000ft (1500m), with the occassional lake (such as Lake Chilwa) and punctuated by more dramatic hills and forests.
It is the widespread highlands and forests that provide the most impressive of the Malawi’s varied scenery. Up where the air is fresh and cool are clear mountain streams, heaths, rolling montane grassland and evergreen forests.
The southern part of Malawi has the best known highlands – Mulanje Massif and Zomba Plateau. The former is a massive wilderness plateau of syenite granite rising from the Phalombe Plains. It has a number of peaks, including the highest in both the country and the whole of central Africa: Sapitwa, at 3000 metres (10,000 feet). The tea estates that stretch west of Mulanje as far as Thyolo, are also wonderfully scenic. Zomba Plateau is not as high as Mulanje, but none the less impressive. It is slab-like with a gently undulating plateau top which is accessible by road.
The Dedza-Kirk Highlands extend the rise from the Rift Valley on its western edge between Blantyre and Lilongwe. The northern part of these highlands is marked by the Dedza-Salima Forest Reserve and then the Thuma Forest Reserve. South-west of Lilongwe, the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve covers a range of hills at the border with Mozambique. The Dowa Highlands north of Lilongwe have their most notable peaks at Dowa and Ntchisi, Forest Reserve.
The Viphya Highlands – undulating hills swathed in evergreen forests – stretch north-south in north Malawi and reach the edge of the Rift Valley. Finally, in north Malawi is the Nyika Plateau, a rolling whaleback grassland plateau unique in Africa. Much of this highest and most extensive high plateau surface in central Africa is gazetted as the Nyika National Park.
Malawian Style is working very closely with Getaway, and many Malawian style tours are now being marketed and sold as Getaway trips. Malawian Style is now offering four different tour group holidays that depart on set dates. The main part of the trip is Zomba, Mulanje and Lake Malawi and this is part of every trip however there are different additions. The first is just the Malawi experience, a ten day holiday experiencing the mountains and Magical Lake Malawi. They are also offering this same tour but for the outdoor adventure fitness enthusiast, which would involve cycling from Blantyre via Mulanje and Zomba to the Lake, climbing Mulanje on route and then Kayaking around Thumbi, Domwe and Mumba islands at the lake. The third trip is the basic Malawi tour with the Luangwa extension and the 4th trip is the basic Malawi trip with a 3 night house boat extension on Cahorra Bassa for the fishing enthusiast! The idea is to run one trip a month to start off with, there for the same trip is only done once every four months.
The other exciting trips are per request. Malawian Style has been asked to put some honeymoon packages together. They have put together 7/10 & 14 day honeymoon packages, with two different markets, middle and top end, depending on accommodation type. These Honeymoon packages generally consist of time at the lake bouncing between Mumba and Danforth, time in South Luangwa, Huntington in Satemwa and Mulanje. All these will be on the website shortly, so look out soon!