Malawi Holidays and Safari Guide

Malawi Holidays and Safari

Malawi Holidays & Travel Advice, Travel Planning Tips and Travel Information

If you are planning to go for Malawi holidays, then you have come to the right path. Malawi holidays offer many things for the visitors. It is the home to welcoming continent. Although this country is small, it is blessed with beautiful landscapes, beaches, and village.

Malawi travel is popular because of its popular spots for snorkelling. Away from the lake, Malawi has some fantastic spots to enjoy the Malawi safari. The wildlife areas are abundant there. If you are planning to go to some African country with your group, family, friends, or significant one, consider to add Malawi in your wish list.

Malawi Holidays and Safari Guide - Lake Malawi

Malawi Facts and Figures

Area: 118,484 km2 (45,747 sq mi)
Population: 18,697,240 (2019 est.)
Languages: English, Chichewa

Religion (2010 est.) : 82% Christian, 13 % Muslim, 5% practices traditional indigenous beliefs.
Administrative Capital: Lilongwe.
Lilongwe has about 646,750 residents (2019 est.)
Currency: Kwacha
Vehicle registration: MW
International dialing code for Malawi: +265
Form of government: Unitary presidential republic
Largest city: Lilongwe
Public Holidays: 1 Jan Tue New Year’s Day
15 Jan – John Chilembwe Day
3 Mar – Martyrs’ Day
4 Mar – Martyrs’ Day Holiday
19 Apr – Good Friday
22 Apr – Easter Monday
1 May – Labour Day
14 May – President Kamuzu Banda’s Birthday
4 Jun – Eid al-Fitr
6 Jul – Independence Day
8 Jul – Independence Day Holiday
15 Oct – Mother’s Day
25 Dec – Christmas Day
26 Dec- Boxing Day

Emergency numbers: Police: 01-753333
Lilongwe Central Police Station: 01-753-333
Fire Brigade: 01-757999 / Ambulance: 0111 979605

Time zone: UTC+2 (CAT)
Entry requirements: Visa and valid passport
Power: G 230 V 50 Hz
Driving side: left

Malawi Travel Map

History and Culture of Malawi

The culture name of Malawi is Malawian. For those who haven’t known, Malawians are the part of the big Bantu population that migrated from South Africa to the northern part of the country. Malawi has the capital named Lilongwe. But the major commercial center is in Blantyre.

Chewa is the mostly spoken language by 35% of population in the country. 19% percent speak Lomwe, and the other 45% percent speak regional languages. But English is the main language for the government, industry, and commerce. But English is the main language for the government, industry, and commerce.

Malawi has the solid proofs of the Stone Age and Iron Age settlements. The scientists found them around Lake Nyasa. Bantu people moved to the area in the first millennium. The Malawi Kingdom was dominating back then.
Long story short, the World War II shaped the Malawi History. The country gained independence in 1964 but was declared as republic two years later.

History and Culture of Malawi
Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Highlights of Malawi

World Heritage Sites in Malawi

Chongoni Rock-Art Area

The Rock-Art Area is definitely one of the things you cannot miss when having Malawi holidays. There are around 127 sites of the area which host the richest concentration of rock art in central Africa. Through these sites, you and your group can see the solid proof of the farmer rock art tradition done by the BatWa Hunters in the Stone Age. Later, the Chewa agriculturalists also lived at that area in the Iron Age. They practiced rock painting until the 20th century.

Chongoni Rock-Art Area Malawi
Photo: Courtesy Of UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Lake Malawi National Park

The national park is located at the southern end of Lake Malawi. It features the clear waters with the mountain backdrop. You will not want to miss to enjoy this in your Malawi holidays. The National Park hosts hundreds of amazing fish species. The guided Malawi travel is recommended here for more fun and safer experience.

Tentative List of Malawi

Beside the two sites above, Malawi also has six potential sites in the tentative list. They are:

  • Mulanje Mountain Biosphere Reserve (2000)
  • Nyika National Park (2000)
  • Khulubvi And Associated Mbona Sacred Rain Shrines (2011)
  • Malawi Slave Routes and Dr. David Livingstone Trail (2011)
  • Lake Chilwa Wetland (2011)
  • Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve (2011)

As a landlocked country, it offers the fantastic Malawi travel objects for adventurers, nature lovers, and average travellers. The first to notice is the Great Rift Valley. But then the country is dominated by Lake Malawi, which is one of the reasons you must do your Malawi holidays. The third largest lake in Africa is surrounded by the beautiful as well as the Malawi safari experience for you and your family.

The breathtaking scenery, rocky outcrops, mountains, and views across the country is one of the reasons why many travellers flock the country both in low and peak season. The Malawi is slated as “Warm Heart of Africa”. There is a sensible reason to this. The most reason is their people. Malawians are very kind and friendly. You can easily spot this kindness in every corner of the streets. Malawi is also abundant in the market scenes, road stalls, accomodations, scenic views, culture, leisure activities, heritages, amongst the many things.

Mulanje Mountain Biosphere Reserve – Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Malawi Tourist Attractions

Lake Malawi

A must-visit places in Malawi. There is no lake which is as beautiful as it is. You can easily spot beautiful fish species like tilapia, chambo, and so on.

Malawi Holidays Lake Malawi Beach

Mulanje Mountain

This area offers the best trails for hikers and climbers. If you are one of them or both, the Sapitwa Peak, the highest point in South Central Africa will pamper you with astonishing views.

Malawi Wildlife

In your Malawi holidays, Malawi wildlife is definitely one of the cores. There are nine National parks and wildlife reserves in the country which present you the fascinating Malawi safari experience.

Tea Tasting

When you are traveling to Mount Mulanje, there are many tea estates in your way. Tea tasting is also a great idea before start climbing or after.

Zomba

Zomba is a college city in Malawi which is popular with its melting pots and architecture. Here you can shop and stay in fantastic accommodations. It is also the main destination for leisure time seekers.

CCAP Church Zomba
CCAP Church in Zomba with Zomba golf course and Zomba Plateau – Photo: Courtesy Of Felefuchs / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zomba,_Malawi#/media/File:CCAP_Church_Zomba.jpg

Local delicacies

One of the things when you have Malawi travel that you can’t miss is its local cuisine. Food is a big part of Malawian culture.

Shopping

Malawi offers markets in Blantyre, Zomba and Mzuzu, Lilongwe. Find the stuff that you cant find in your country there.

Malawi Safari – National Parks

Majete Wildlife Reserve

It hosts the Big Five reserve. Adding this to your Malawi holidays will make it easier to watch Black Rhino, Buffalo, Zebra, Elephant, and Hartebeest.

Majete Wildlife Reserve Malawi Holidays and Safari

Nyika National Park

The Park covers the whole Nyika Plateau which features the fantastic valleys, hills, and wildflowers. The safari experience is also great here as you can see the Big Five and horseback safaris.

Liwonde National Park

Located in the south of Malawi, the park is a must visit for all visitors. Besides the scenery, you can aspire the animals like elephant, zebra, crocodiles, antelope, and more.

Liwonde National Park - Malawi Holidays and Safari

Lake Malawi National Park

Lake Malawi hosts the Cape Maclear. The park is the world’s pioneer in freshwater park. The snorkeling experience here will reward you with the abundant freshwater fish sightseeing.

Lake Malawi National Park

Kasungu National Park

As the second largest national park, it boasts the woodland and bush. You can easily spot hippos there and others such as buffalo, leopard, zebra, serval, jackal, and so on.

Kasungu National Park

Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve

This Game reserve has such breathtaking view and the good game viewing. Hippos, Elephant, and Buffalo are the main residents in the area.

Lengwe National Park

The core sugar cane production area surrounded by plantations. It’s perfect spot for bird watching.

Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve

Although becoming the smallest reserve, the game viewing is absolutely great with the scenery.

Nkhotakota Game Reserve

The largest game reserve in Malawi. Although the roads are not available, you can enjoy it by walking with the help of ranger or guide.

Biggest Cities In Malawi

Lilongwe, Central Region
Blantyre, Southern Region
Mzuzu, Northern Region
Zomba, Southern Region
Kasungu, Central Region
Mangochi, Southern Region
Karonga, Northern Region
Salima, Central Region
Nkhotakota, Central Region
Liwonde, Southern Region

Lilongwe

Lilongwe is the capital city of Malawi. There are two regions in this city: The New City and the Old City. The New City boasts the accommodations, offices, as well as embassies.

LILONGWE CITY AT NIGHT
Lilongwe city center – Photo: Courtesy Of Samymag / commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=80904494

Meanwhile, the old city offers your Malawi holidays with the restaurants, cafes, and markets for window shopping. Here are the attractions in the city that you cannot miss:

Lilongwe Craft Market

Popular of its wood carvings, jewelry, african printed apparels, and many more.

Lilongwe Craft Market
Photo: Courtesy Of Hans Hillewaert / commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lilongwe_(Malawi)_-_crafts_market.JPG

Kamuzu Mausoleum

A memorial history museum which you can stroll around.

Parliament Building of Malawi

Allowed through formal invitation, getting around the building will wow you and your group.

Parliament Building of Malawi
National Assembly – Photo: Courtesy Of Achipungu / en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lilongwe#/media/File:Parliament_Building_of_Malawi.jpg

Four Seasons Nursery and Garden Shop

A great one stop center for gardening. You can find a wide array of plants with affordable price here.

La Galleria Africa

Popular boutique that offers African paintings, bags, masks, jewellery, and so on. All made by local artists.

La Galleria Africa
Photo: Courtesy Of La Galleria Africa

Nature & Wildlife Areas in Malawi

For the Malawi holidaysmakers, they can be pampered with the beauty of the country the moment they arrive. Although you might find few Big 5, Malawi is actually the home of big cats and abundant elephant population. Meanwhile, you can easily spot hippos, antelope, warthogs, zebra, and more. With such presentations, safari experience is absolute here. Malawi government has done such a great job in introducing the conservation and wildlife programs to the world. Many people around the world also have the same reasons to visit Malawi holidays.

Malawi`s Nature

Leisure Activities

Hiking

Malawi’s highland areas are the perfect spot for hiking.

Malawi’s highland Hiking - Malawi Holidays and Safari
Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Mountain Climbing & Abseiling

For mountain climbers, you can’t go wrong with the Mount Mulanje tracks. It will give you such a rewarding experience.

Bird Watching

The small country size does not make it unwanted. It has perfect spots for bird watching. There are over 500 bird species ever recorded here. Don’t miss the opportunity to get the snapshots for you.

Bird Watching Malawi
Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Fishing

Fishing is one of the most favorite leisure activities in the country. The Lake Malawi offers 400 species of fish.

Fishing Malawi
Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Sunset On Lake Malawi

Such a laid back experience. A great idea to impress your significant one.

Sunset On Lake Malawi  - Malawi Holidays

Other Attractions

  • Liwonde National Park
  • Wildlife Reserve
  • Lake of Stars Music Festival
  • Casa Rossa
  • Ad Lib
  • Mandala Cafe
  • Casa Mia
  • Huntingdon House
  • Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
  • Four Seasons Centre
  • Koko Bean
  • L’Hostaria
  • Cultural & Museum Centre Karonga
  • Kamuzu Mausoleum
  • 21 Grill on Hanover
  • Macondo Camp
  • Chamare Museum
  • Kaya Papaya
  • Ama Khofi
  • Gecko Lounge
  • Nyika National Park
  • Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art
  • Cathedral of St Peter
  • KwaHaraba Art Gallery and Cafee
  • Lake Malawi National Park
  • Safari Beach Lodge
  • Malipenga Dance Season
  • Central Africana Bookshop
  • Mandala House
  • Kapachira Waterfalls
  • Manchewe Waterfalls
  • Sailing
  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba Diving
  • Boat Trips
  • Horse Riding
  • Cycling & Mountain Biking
  • Kayaking
Kayaking Lake Malawi
Kayaking – Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Dining and Drinking

Here are the popular foods that you can find in Malawi:

Chambo – Tilapia fish which originated in the country
Nsima – A staple food made of ground corn served with meats or veggies.
Kachumbari – Tomato and onion salad
Mochi – Bread made of bananas
Kondowe – meal made of cassava flour and water. Served with fish.

Speaking of the drink, the most popular one is the tea. you can find this menu in all of the restaurants, cafes, and food stalls in the country. How about something stronger for your Malawi holidays? Then you can easily find beer in the country. The popular one is Carlsberg beer. Drinking age is 18. so, you will want to get assured first.

Tipping is not expected. But when you do, the staff will appreciate it much.

 Lake of Stars Music Festival Malawi
Lake of Stars Music Festival – Photo: Courtesy Of Malawi Travel Marketing

Best Time to Visit Malawi

Before going further, you will want to see the climate of the country first. Malawi is having the sub-tropical climate. The country is relatively dry and seasonal. The warm-wet season happens from November to April. Hot and dry season happens from September to October with average temp between 25 to 37 degrees celsius. The climate here is basically friendly all year long. But if you are not fond of the heat, we suggest you come to Malawi holidays in the warm-wet season months.

est Times to Visit Malawi- Lake Malawi

Travelling to Malawi

Here are the airport for your arrival and departures:

Malawi Airports

  • Chileka International Airport
  • Kamuzu Lilongwe International Airport

Travelling in Malawi: Bus, train and flights

By Air

Mostly, the international travellers who go to Malawi holidays arrive at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe. Then Chileka International Airport in Blantyre is also viable although you can also use it for local transports. Finding domestic and cheap flights to Malawi is easy.

Malawi Flights - Malawi Holidays

By Bus

Minibuses are operating in common roads in Malawi. If you want to get around the cities and towns, using the minibuses can be the most affordable way.

By train

The direct train lines to Mozambique. The service ends in Zambian border. There is no railway to Tanzania.

Holidays to Malawi Entry Requirements

You will need to use the passport as your international identification.

Visitors will need a visa to enter Malawi. You will need to fill in the application and submit it to the Malawi High Commission website. It is recommended to get a visa before arriving. You can get a visa on arrival at any port of entry. However, the process might be tedious. So, it is much better to prepare the visa in advance. Contact your Malawi travel agent for further information.

Holidays to Malawi Entry Requirements