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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, with tea estates in the foreground

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 to the tea estateHighlights of Malawi

Breakfast then set off through beautiful Malawi, along the Mozambique border, with good views of the lake and via Blantyre where we stop for a coffee. There are a number of interesting sights enroute like the rock paintings, viewpoints overlooking the lake from the escarpment and market stalls alongside the road.

Continue to Malawi’s tea growing area and check-in to Game Haven, a serene, beautiful game park with lodge, set within the indigenous forests and grasslands of the Shire highlands, Southern Malawi. Game drive to see the wildlife which include kudu, roan, eland, sable, giraffe, zebra, and a prolific birdlife.  Relax to the sound of the cascading waterfall at the swimming pool; golf, fishing and braaing on the scenic lawns are all available. As the sun sets, enjoy a drink in the Victorian styled bar followed by dinner at the  Ambrosia restaurant. Overnight Dinner, bed and breakfast basis. [360 km, 7 hrs. driving time] .

Mumbo Island reception jetty

Mumbo Island reception jetty

Day 3: Thyolo and to Lake Malawi

After breakfast explore the tea estate and take a guided walking tour of the Satemwa Tea estate, followed by a tea tasting workshop. They produce a variety of white, black, gold and flavoured teas. Return to the luxurious Huntingdon House where we will have a superb lunch. Drive up to the Thyolo view point, with excellent views of the estate and the lower shire valley. For keen birders the forest surrounding this site is home to the rare and endemic Thyolo Alethe.  Midafternoon, return to Game Haven to relax around the pool, walking, mountain biking or even a round of golf. Overnight chalets on dinner bed and breakfast basis  .   www.gamehavenmw.com

Day 4: Lake Malawi

Travel on to Lake Malawi and Cape Maclear at the southern tip. En route visit the vibrant Zomba Market; cross the Shire River, via the historical Mangochi town and continue to the lakeshore. Arrival at Cape Maclear is mid Afternoon with time to enjoy a sundowner whilst relaxing on the beach. Overnight in Chembe Eagles Nest or Annie’s Lodge. En suite chalet accommodation, right on the beach with good access to the village.   Dinner, bed and breakfast basis. [280 km, 6 hrs. journey time]

Day 5: Beach time!

Relax on the beach; non-motorised watersports included. Other options such as waterskiing, diving and fishing are availabale.  Explore the village, walks into the surrounding mountains, visit local pubs, historic graves, swimming, snorkeling are all possible. Overnight lodge on dinner, bed and breakfast basis .    www.capemaclodge.com

Day 6: on the water.

This morning there is a full day trip on the lake. Board the catamaran and sail around the islands for a full day.  The trip will include a visit to an island with snorkeling and kayaking possibilities, a light lunch. Park fees ar included. Return to the Lodge in time or a sundowner. Overnight lodge on dinner, bed and breakfast basis.

Nyala herd, Majete National Park, Malawi

Nyala herd. Note the bull in the background.

Day 7: to KuNgoni Centre

Travel on to Mua Mission and the KuNgoni Centre of Culture & Art which provides insights into the history and culture of Malawi. The Carving Centre and new Research Centre/Library are also on the site. 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 and dances can be arranged. It is also home to a thriving community, including an arts and crafts center whose students create Malawi’s finest wood carvings and who go on to make a living from their handiwork throughout Malawi. After this, it’s a 1.5 hr. drive to our overnight stop at Blue Waters lodge; dinner, B&B. [210 km, 6 hrs. journey time] .   www.serendibhotel.com 

Day 8: to Nkhotakota Reserve.

Travel on along the beautiful lakeshore to Nkhotakota reserve (2 1/2 hrs) and game drive through the park to Kachenga Bush Camp, set in a remote area of the park. You’ll arrive in time fpr lunch followed by a short afternoon walk. Overnight chalets on dinner, B&B basis.  [160 km, 4 hrs. journey time]

Day 9: Nkhotakota to Chintheche, Lake Malawi

A Morning game walk fbefore a later breakfast [Brunch] after which we depart for Chintheche. Makuzi Beach Lodge, is on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Delightfully sited in its own private bay, the lodge is ideal for that perfect “Retreat to Paradise”. Makuzi Beach has stylish en suite thatched chalets – all nestled in manicured gardens overlooking the lake’s warm, clear waters. The restaurant has an excellent reputation and guests are encouraged to dine beneath the stars. There’s a wide variety of activities: swimming, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking or just wallowing in the lake.  Makuzi Beach is involved in several  community projects: walk to the original missionary site where the museum tells you all about the Livingstone years. Horse riding and scuba diving can be arranged off-site. Bird watching opportunities are some of the best along the lake. Overnight in a chalet on D, B&B [110 km, 3 hrs. journey time] .  www.makuzibeachlodge.com


Giraffe, Majete and Liwonde National Parks, Malawi

Giraffe, Majete and Liwonde National Parks.

Day 10: enjoying Chintheche

Day at leisure on the beach and exploring the area – visit Bandawe Point, the nearby local village to see the community project. Overnight chalet, D, B&B basis.

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

An early departure via Mzuzu to climb the escarpment to the Nyika Plateau. Picnic lunch en route and arrival in Nyika late afternoon.  Check in to Chelinda Lodge; all rooms have huge windows, spacious balconies, are comfortably furnished and have a fireplace (evenings can be chilly at this altitude!). The communal public area and bar are well appointed with superb views and comfortable facilities as well as a sauna. Activities include game drives, walking, mountain biking, birding and fly fishing for trout. [320 km, 8 hrs. journey time] .    www.cawsmw.com

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

The return route goes via Mzuzu and onto the Viphya Plateau. Luwawa Forest Lodge is an guesthouse and outdoor adventure centre in the unspoilt wilderness of the Viphya Plateau and at 1,600 m the area is malaria-free. The lodge overlooks a large, well-stocked lake.  Much of the lodge’s electricity is from solar energy and the water supply from a mountain stream. Fresh vegetables prepared in the kitchen are from the lodge’s permaculture garden. The lodge is dedicated to being in tune with its natural surroundings. The latest addition to the facilities is a sauna & bush shower. Luwawa has 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 squash, canoeing, abseiling, orienteering. Luwawa is ideal for family and individual holidays. The lodge is committed to responsible tourism through its many local community assistance projects in which guests can be directly involved. Overnight lodge D B&B basis. [385 km, 8hrs. journey time] .    www.luwawaforestlodge.net

Day 15: return to Lilongwe

We will co-ordinate the drive back to Lilongwe with your flight or onward journey plan. The travelling time is 4 hrs. Breakfast.  [210 km, 4 hrs. journey time]

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 $95)
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,