Unlock the unspoilt wonders of Malawi, a sub-saharan hidden jewel nestled in the heart of central Africa, teeming with a radiant sense of personality and vibrant culture.
Although overlooked for its bigger, more popular neighbouring African countries, Malawi is a country that begs to be discovered. It is filled with hidden come-hither nooks tempting you to explore, while the ever-changing landscapes form the perfect backdrop for travellers in search of a taste of something different.
Perhaps, Malawi might not seem like an obvious choice to visit, but this under-the-radar, mysterious land, welcomes all with bright smiles and warm hospitality.
1. Malawi is Paradise Redefined
The moment you step off the plane at Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, you can forget the luxuries of OR Tambo International as you are welcomed by the warm breeze and bucolic settings of Malawi. Get a snapshot into the lifestyle and culture of the locals, passing markets of fresh produce and local art while viewing the pearly-white smile of the locals straddling off the backs of bicycles – Malawi’s most popular form of transport and, dare we say, its uber.
The drive becomes all worth it when you’re welcomed by the striking beauty of Malawi’s natural wonders. Malawi is dotted with pristine golden stretches of beach lapped by the shimmering clear waters of Lake Malawi. The landscapes of lush forests and evergreen hilltops that fringe the lake give Malawi its tropicalesque atmosphere. These glorious shorelines can rival those found in the Caribbean. Enjoy a glass of the famed Malawi Gin as the sky bursts in warm sunset hues.
2. Malawi is Safari Adventures
Malawi has borne the brunt of poaching and has underwent decades of rehabilitation to now feature unspoilt wilderness teeming with diverse wildlife. Home to beautiful parks like Majete, Liwonde and Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, wildlife enthusiasts have the opportunity to view the Big Five, a plethora of antelope species and you’re guaranteed to be exclaming “look, it’s a Pumba!” on a safari drive. Soak in the natural surroundings of lush riverine forests, picturesque river valleys and majestic miombo woodlands.
3. Malawi is Lakeside Thrills
Lake Malawi is not only the ninth largest lake in the world but it’s the perfect setting to live out your ultimate Baywatch dreams, as you pace the seemingly endless stretch of golden shoreline to the theme song, “Save Me” playing in your head. Looking for something more along the lines of James Bond’s Spectre? The crystal-clear blue waters of Lake Malawi are a mecca for water-sport enthusiasts.
Dive in to explore the vast, diverse fish species that brighten up the waters in their technicolour appearances, kayak out to scenic islands like Marelli Islands, go on a leisurely cruise listening to the twitters of the local birdlife or catch glimpses of hippo heads breaching for air. Alternatively, feel the wind in your hair as you zip over the shimmering waters being pulled by speed boats or on a good day, catch a wave on the lake tides.
4. Malawi is Flavoursome
A trip to Malawi will not be complete without taking your taste buds on a tantalising journey sampling Malawian cuisine. Prepare for a food coma as Malawians aren’t shy in their serving portions of food and most of their dishes are similar to dishes served in other parts of Africa . Lake Malawi is the lifeblood of the country and the source of food for the locals in the form of fish. When in Malawi, try out one of the most popular dishes of grilled fish, specifically chambo, accompanied with a little taste of home, with what the locals call “Nsima”, something similar to the South African pap. Wash this down with the legendary Malawi Gin, where you’re guaranteed to be stuffing your luggage with a bottle or two to take home with you. For a non-alcoholic option, savour the rich blends of freshly ground Malawian Coffee.
5. Malawi is the Warm Heart of Africa
Malawi is known throughout the country as the “Warm Heart of Africa”, attributed by the warm, welcoming and friendly nature of its people. This intrinsically warm hospitality has tugged at the heart-strings of Madonna, who not only has adopted 4 Malawian children but has pushed efforts to improve and build the country with her charity, Raising Malawi. Irrespective of who you are, whether you’re Madonna or a city slicker from Johannesburg, you will be overwhelmed by the sheer warmth of the locals and their smiles and laughter will go down as one of the fondest memories of your visit to Malawi.
6. Malawi is Luxurious Living
This home-grown authentic Malawian hospitality is matched with the modern conveniences and luxuries of stunning accommodation options on offer. Wake up to the sounds of Africa at Mkulumadzi Lodge, set within the serene wilderness of Majete Wildlife Park, which boasts unrivalled views of the roaring river valley and thick bush. The lodge offers rivers cruises, walking safaris and game drives to explore the surroundings and its wildlife inhabitants.
Nestled within the lush forests amongst the craggy hills, enjoy the luxury of Pumulani Luxury Beach Lodge, where guests are greeted by panoramic views of Lake Malawi from the comfort of their bedrooms. By day, enjoy a myriad of water activities on offer and by night, dine underneath the sparkling lights of the night sky.
Perched along the golden shores of Southern Lake Malawi, The Makokola Retreat is an escape into somewhere tropical and is a unique blend of splendid solitude and first-class facilities. It is an extravagant display of lakeside living as you’re lulled by the soft laps of the shoreline or soak in the tranquility of its glorious gardens.
Can you hear that? It’s the alluring calls of Malawi beckoning you to explore all its wonder and beauty. Feeling inspired to add Malawi to your bucket list? Book cheap flights to Malawi today and let this undiscovered part of Africa charm your socks off.
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