Southern Malawi 14 days - Venture Co WorldwideVenture Co Worldwide Southern Malawi 14 days - Venture Co Worldwide

Southern Malawi 14 days

At a GlanceItinerary

Malawi is a country of breath-taking landscapes, stunning wildlife and warm hearted people. Rolling mountains, high plateaus, beautiful lake shore beaches and enchanted forests, Malawi is unique.

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The country supports a diversity of landscapes, ecosystems and cultures providing itineraries which offer visitors the opportunity to truly explore and get under the skin of this remarkable country.

So whether you’re looking for a wildlife encounter, a challenging mountain hike or a horse ride across an incredible plateau, Malawi has it all. Not to mention the activities on offer at Lake Malawi which include scuba diving, sailing and kayaking. Or why not combine it all?

“The Warm Heart of Africa” as Malawi is often referred is one of the safest and most welcoming countries in Africa

Days 1-3: Ntchisi Forest Reserve

Your itinerary begins with a few days exploringt rural Malawi. Ntchisi Forest Reserve sits on the escarpment of the East African Rift Valley, on Ntchisi Mountain, and has stunning views of the valley, Lake Malawi and even across the lake to the mountains in Mozambique.

One of the last remaining patches of tropical rainforest in southern Africa, Ntchisi Forest Reserve is a haven for rare birds, several species of monkeys, hyena, small antelopes, civet, serval cat and many other small species. The rainforest flora, however, is the real highlight of this area of outstanding natural beauty. During your time here you will be staying at Ntchisi Forest Lodge .

Ntchisi Forest Lodge

Days 4-6: Lake Malawi

The jewel in the crown of the country’s tourist attractions is Lake Malawi, “discovered” by the missionary-explorer Dr David Livingstone just over 150 years ago. This vast body of freshwater fringed by beaches of golden sand is not only a scenic wonderland but it provides a wide range of water sport opportunities.

Because of its rich fish harvest, the Lake plays an important part in the economy. Fishing villages are scattered along the shore and the traditional industry and practices are an attraction to visitors. There are long stretches of totally uninhabited golden sand lakeshore, lapped by crystal clear waters. Kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and water skiing are just some of the lake activities available. One fabulous option for accommodation is the Norman Carr Cottage.

Norman Carr Cottage

Fishing dhow, Lake Malawi

Fishing dhow, Lake Malawi

Days 7-9: Liwonde National Park – Safari

Liwonde National Park is the country’s premier wildlife haven. The Shire River forms the western boundary of the park and, as a source of water, it draws all manner of fauna to its banks.

Liwonde was proclaimed as a National Park in 1973 is considered the most prolific wildlife area in Malawi, despite its size – only 548km2.

Named after Chief Liwonde who had championed its protection, the Liwonde National Park harbours very diverse landscapes. Relatively dry mopane woodlands cover the eastern half of the Park where they are interspersed with unworldly candelabra trees, while patches of miombo woodland occur on the limited hill slopes in the south and east. Palm savannah and numerous baobabs abut the extensive floodplains of the Shire River where dense riverine vegetation adds a tropical feel to the habitat.

Liwonde National Park is home to the largest remaining elephant population in Malawi and one of only two breeding nuclei of black rhino reside here. Liwonde National Park also boasts large numbers of impala, reedbuck, waterbuck, warthog and the majestic sable – which is rare anywhere else in Africa today.

Kudu and impala, together with sable herds, haunt the woodlands beyond the floodplain, while yellow baboon entertain with their social antics.

Buffalo, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, zebra, roan and eland were historically hunted to extinction in the area, but have since been introduced into what is known as The Sanctuary – a substantial 4,000ha fenced area within Liwonde National Park that serves as a reservoir for rare species. It is here that Liwonde’s black rhino find refuge too. A dense population of hippo can be found in the Shire River and monstrous Nile crocodile are found lazing on the sandbanks.

The birdlife here is prolific – probably the best year-round birding in Southern Africa. Over 300 of the country’s 650 bird species occur in the Liwonde National Park.

During your time here you will stay at Mvuu Camp

Liwonde N.P. elephants

Liwonde N.P. elephants

Mvuu Camp

Days 10-11: Zomba Plateau

Zomba Plateau is unique. A great slab of a mountain rising to 6000ft (1800m), it has vast tracts of cedar, pine and cypress but elsewhere the vegetation is wild and mixed.

The plateau top is criss-crossed by streams and there are tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. There are driveable tracks right round the top from which are views of such splendour that they were described in colonial times as “the best in the British Empire”. Whether walking or driving, there is always something to see. Wildlife includes leopards, although sightings are rare. More in evidence are giant butterflies and, on the lower slopes, baboons. Birdlife includes the long-crested eagle and the augur buzzard.

During your time here you will stay at Zomba Forest Lodge

Zomba Forest Lodge

Days 12-13 – Satemwa Tea Estate

Satemwa is a small privatly owned estate producing a unique range of hand made white and black teas, orthodox black, oolong and ph-uer teas, All teas are certified fair trade and grown without the use of pesticides.

Satemwa has a number of lodges on the estate where one can step back in time and enjoy a slower pace of life amongst magnificent tea gardens. Activities  include tea tastings, mountain biking, hiking and birdwatching amongst others.

You will be staying at Huntingdon House

Huntingdon House

Day 14: Lilongwe

Your final night will be in Lilongwe. Lilongwe became Malawi’s capital in 1975, a role previously filled by Zomba.

It owes its status to Dr Hastings Banda, the country’s first President, who was born just north of the town. The Old Town is distinct and separate from the new Capital City. While the former has all the appearance of a traditional African settlement, the City has much in common with other twentieth century urban developments around the world. Its gleaming modern buildings in their spacious garden-like settings, contrasts with the hustle and bustle of Old Town. Both of these different parts of the town are worth touring. The modern shops of the City are complemented by the exciting street and walled markets of Old Town. Lilongwe’s range of services and facilities is unsurpassed except, possibly, in Blantyre. Of the modern shopping precincts, Old Town Mall is the best, particularly for those looking for quality souvenirs. As well as African Habitat, with its locally crafted ornaments and furnishings, there is one of Central Africana’s galleries: full of fascinating books and modern and historical maps and prints.

The Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary lies between the Old and New towns. Within the Sanctuary is the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre – Malawi´s only sanctuary for rescued, orphaned and injured wild animals. It is also the world´s first accredited “People & Wildlife” PAW centre, working with the local people with the key objective of promoting nature conservation that will benefit both the people and wildlife of Malawi.

Here you will stay at Kumbali Country Lodge

Kumbali Country Lodge

Wildboar sow and piglets

Wildboar sow and piglets