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Highlights of Malawi

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Highlights of Malawi

Explore the warm heart of Africa on a two week journey of discovery. Trek, kayak and explore on foot and by mountain bike. This gentle-paced trip will reveal why Malawi is such a welcoming and delightful country and why it is called “The warm heart of Africa”.

Mount Mulanje, Malawi

Mount Mulanje, Malawi

Day 1: Arrive Lilongwe; to Dedza

Arrive in Lilongwe and transfer to Dedza which is the place to see the remarkable rock paintings

Continue to the lodge in time for an afternoon sunset walk up Dedza Mountain (2,198 m) for those that wish. It’s an easy walk on a well maintained path and leads to a point with commanding views east, over the plains. On a clear day you can even see Lake Malawi.
Overnight in lodge. L,D.

Day 2: Dedza pottery; drive to Mulanje Mountain. (link)

Morning tour of the pottery workshop, then depart for Mulanje via the old capital, Blantyre. Mount Mulanje, on the Eastern boundary of Malawi, is Central Africa’s highest peak. This magnificent mountain is a large massif of basins and peaks, valleys and forests, streams and waterfalls, sheer faces and slopes of all gradients. It towers to almost 10,000 ft/3,000 m. Everything from gentle walking to serious climbing is possible. Once on the mountain the vegetation changes with altitude and there are various small mammals and, of course, a variety of birds to be seen.
Overnight in cottages. FB

Mumbo Island reception jetty

Mumbo Island reception jetty

Day 3: exploring the Mulanje villages

Today we explore the foothills around the mountain. A morning hike to a nearby waterfall is a great way to get the legs loosened up; return to the cottages for lunch. In the afternoon visit a local village to see some traditional dancing, before enjoying a sundowner and returning to the cottages. Overnight cottages. FB.

Day 4: to Lake Malawi and Domwe Island

Today we head north to the lake, passing beneath the massif of Zomba Plateau, and the charming town of Mangochi to follow the lakeshore northwards. Arrive at Cape Maclear kayak base which is in the middle of town. After lunch there’s a briefing and a period to familiarize yourself with the kayaks and equipment; set off for the island. The protected waters of the National Park bring sea kayaking within reach of anyone, irrespective of fitness or experience. The two-person kayaks are stable and allow easy paddling. For those not wishing to paddle it is possible to go by powerboat to the island (which is how the luggage is transported). The boat leaves the mainland at 15:00 and the remainder of the day is free to explore the island and surroundings by kayak and swimming / snorkelling.
Overnight in a tented camp. FB.

Day 5: Domwe Island back to mainland.

Today’s a lazy day! The morning is free to explore at your own pace either on foot, swimming or by kayak. After lunch paddle, or transfer by boat, back to the mainland. And tonight we stay at a lovely spot on the east side of Cape Maclear which takes 10 mins to drive to. The remainder of day is spent either exploring Cape Maclear village, or relaxing on the beach.
Overnight Lodge. FB.

Day 6: on the beach.

Day on the beach at leisure; non-motorised watersports are included. Water-skiing and motorboats can be arranged privately, as can a diving trip (if you hold a PADI license).
Overnight lodge. FB.

Nyala herd, Majete National Park, Malawi

Nyala herd. Note the bull in the background.

Day 7: to KuNgoni Centre and Kuti private reserve.

It’s only a two-hour drive to reach Mua Mission which is where the KuNgoni Centre of Culture & Art is found. It provides insights into the history and culture of Malawi through the Chamare Museum, the Carving Centre and the new Research Centre/Library. The museum describes the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao cultures, their rites of passage, their interaction with one another and their encounters with Islam and Christianity. It also holds a unique display of Gule Wamkulu masks, texts and images. It is home to a thriving community of wood carvers and these students create Malawi’s finest carvings and go on to earn a living from their own handiwork, throughout Malawi.

In the afternoon continue to Kuti which is a 2,000 Ha private conservation area, not far from the lakeshore. The habitats range from Brachystegia and Miombo woodland through to grasslands, wetlands and marshes, making it a haven for wildlife, including mammals such as Sable, Zebra and Impala. Afternoon game drive, walk or cycle ride.
Overnight in chalets. FB.

Day 8: to Nkhotakota Reserve.

This morning you have the choice of an early morning game drive, a walk or a cycle ride in the reserve. Return for breakfast, then depart for a 2 hr drive to Nkhotakota reserve. The reserve is centred around the Bua River and our base while at Nkhotakota is the lodge that stands on the riverbank, a perfect and peaceful place to stay. This is a small, owner-managed lodge with luxury tented accommodation. The staff all come from the surrounding communities and are always happy to talk about village life. Afternoon walk along the Bua River hopefully spotting elephants that come down to drink in the late afternoon.
Overnight river-side tented camp. FB.

Day 9: Nkhotakota to Chintheche, Lake Malawi

Morning game walk for those that wish then return for a late brunch. Set off for Chintheche and our lakeside lodge, which has its own private bay, nestled in manicured gardens overlooking the lake’s warm, clear waters. The lodge is perfectly positioned to offer guests spectacular views of the lake while enjoying a quiet drink at the bar. The restaurant has an excellent reputation for outstanding cuisine and guests are encouraged to enjoy the full African experience while dining under the stars. There’s a wide variety of activities: swimming, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking or just wallowing in the lake.

The lodge is involved in a number community projects, one of which is the community-run village tour and includes a visit to the historical missionary site, their museum and a taste of the local cuisine. Horse riding and scuba diving can be arranged off-site, and bird watching opportunities are some of the best along the entire lakeshore.
Overnight lodge. FB.

Giraffe, Majete and Liwonde National Parks, Malawi

Giraffe, Majete and Liwonde National Parks.

Day 10: enjoying Chintheche

Day at Leisure on the beach. You can visit Bandawe Point, the nearby village or take one of the off-site activities.
Overnight lodge. FB.

Day 11: climb the escarpment to the Nyika Plateau National Park.

An early morning start to drive via Mzuzu up to Nyika Plateau. Picnic lunch en route and arrive in Nyika during mid-afternoon. Our base has just six twin-bedded, en suite rooms overlooking a freshwater lake that attracts a great deal of bird and wildlife activity. The restaurant and bar also overlook the water. Activities include game drives, walking, mountain biking, birding and fly fishing for trout. Overnight lodge. FB.

Day 12: exploring Nyika.

Morning and afternoon game drives and/or walks, or any of the other activities available. There is also an optional night drive to hunt out the elusive leopard.
Overnight lodge. FB.

Day 13: exploring Nyika.

Morning and afternoon game drives and/or walks, or any of the other activities available. There is also an optional night drive to hunt out the elusive leopard.
Overnight lodge. FB.

Day 14: to Viphya Plateau

From Nyika drive back via Mzuzu and on to the Viphya Plateau. The lodge tonight is first and foremost an adventure centre in the unspoilt wilderness of the Viphya Plateau. At 1,600m the air is fresh and warm. This eco-lodge is energy neutral and has a private water supply. Its kitchen is supplied from its own kitchen and permaculture gardens. The lodge is dedicated to being in tune with its natural surroundings. The latest addition to the facilities is a sauna & bush shower.

There is prolific birdlife and antelope can be seen close to the lodge. Further afield are monkeys, baboons, leopards and hyenas. Numerous activities are offered such as canoeing, abseiling and orienteering.
Overnight lodge. FB.

Day 15: return to Lilongwe

Today we co-ordinate the departure to arrive in Lilongwe (3 hrs driving) in time for your return flight or onward journey.
B only.

Crossing the Shire River, Liwonde Park, Malawi

Crossing the Shire River, Liwonde Park, Malawi

Included in the price

Accommodation as per above schedule
Meals as indicated (FB = full board; B = breakfast.)
Game Park Fees (worth $65)
Activities as indicated
Services of the guide
Private vehicle, fuel & taxes

Not included

Visas [Malawi $ 75 Single entry] Activities not indicated above

Fish eagle on Lake Malawi,

Fish eagle on Lake Malawi,