Packages - Malawi - The Warm Heart of Africa
Welcome to Malawi, the heart of Africa! Malawi is an ideal destination offering an untouched ambience and the friendliness of only the greatest population on earth. The impoverished peoples of Malawi ensure a destination safe enought for single travellers, the elderly and families with young children. A destination where one can relax and spend time, reflecting on the past and regenerating your soul for the future.
A wildlife haven, no fences exist in Malawi and a healthy respect for the land and its environments this destination offers; birding (of over 650 species), orchids (of over 400 indigenous genera), Fresh Water Scuba Diving, magnificent Snorkeling, and short hiking distances between various attractions with the safety of this being a reality in opportunity, vibrant cultures and unspoilt environments are numerous in this beautiful land.
Getting there is just as simple with a two hour flight from major regional airports such as OR Tambo International Airport (formerly Johannesburg International Airport) and Nairobi. The routes are serviced by Air Malawi and South African Airways along with Kenyan Airways respectively. Alternatively take an adventurous road trip on various available routes or catch a bus up to either of the major cities of Blantyre or Lilongwe - we must indicate that these are scheduled routes once a week and planning is required in order to assure your seat is reserved.
The climate offering cool and dry weather in May to August, while July is the coldest month with temperature`s ranging from 15.5 to 18 degrees Celsius in the plateau areas and 20 to 25 degrees Celsius in the rift valley areas. There is little rain during this season with most of the precipitation occuring in the high South-East facing slopes. September to mid November provides hot and dry days, with temperatures ranging from 22 to 25 and 27 to 30 degrees Celsius in the plateau areas and the rift valley respectively. Mid November to April brings hot and rainy weather, with 90% of the annual rainfall being received during this time, leaving December and January as the wettest months. The total rainfall averages 760 to 1,015 mm with some areas in the plateau recording over 1,525 mm.
MALAWI TOURIST ATTRACTIONS
Malawi, “The Warm Heart of Africa” is one of the best holiday choices in Southern Africa.
It contains the most friendly and welcoming people in Africa! A politically stable and relatively safe (one of the safest destinations in Africa with isolated petty thievery recorded in main areas), again offering the safety of walking short distances between attractions.
Unique attractions such as Lake Malawi, being the third largest lake in Africa, and ninth in the world. The lake is one of the biological wonders of the world with over 600 species of fish most of which are unique to Malawi. Lake Malawi National Park was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984. Diverse tourist products in terms of lakes (Malawi has 4 lakes comprising of the renowned Lake Malawi, Lake Malombe, Lake Chilwa and Lake Chiuta), a range of wildlife reserves, networks of river systems, mountains and scenic landscapes. Malawi comprises of 12 tribes with over 73 languages and dialects across this tiny little country.
Lake Malawi, a definite highlight and attraction covers an area of 23,000 square km of Malawi`s total area; 118,400 square km. The crystal clear moving water, fine sandy beaches, wooden islands, variety of marine life and breath taking views are the major attractions for visiting tourists. It offers a unique African inland beach holiday. The lake supports over 500 species, now estimated to be over 1,000, of tropical fish endemic to Lake Malawi. The crystal clear waters of Lake Malawi are ideal for fresh water scuba diving experiences. Lake Malawi has the largest number of fish species in any lake in the world. Most of the colourful fish of lake Malawi have found their way to a number of aquariums across Europe for their beauty and isolated survival.
Sporting activities on the lake include swimming, fresh water scuba diving, "sea" kayaking, water ski-ing, surfing on days where waves are available, snorkeling for the days where the waters are calm and flat. Some resorts situated on the lake offer beach volley ball, squash facilities, tennis courts, as well as golf and playgrounds for children.
Lake Malawi is also known as: -
- Calendar lake – because it is 365 miles (days in a year) long and 52 miles (weeks in a year) wide.
- Lake of Stars – shimmering waters, named after the fishing communities who travel out in their hollowed tree stumps accompanied by tilly lamps for some light.
- Livingstone`s Lake – it was made known to the world by Dr. David Livingstone, a Scottish Missionary and various attractions exist due to this legends participation in the people of Malawi`s lives.
Nyika National park - this was the first park to be proclaimed in Malawi, and is at an average altitude of 1,800m above sea level. It is Malawi`s largest National Park and covers an area of 3000 square km. Owing to its high altitude summer temperatures rarely exceed 21 degrees Celsius. The Nyika National park is a remote, wild and beautiful location and home to large herds of zebra, eland, and various species of antelope and has the largest concentration of leopards in Malawi. It is also home to high altitude birds like Den Itam`s Bustard and the Red-winged Francolin. This is the only park in Malawi where you can enjoy horse safaris with a variety of sightings including roan, where Nyika is home to the greatest concentration of roan antelope in Africa.
Kasungu National Park - Situated in the central region of Malawi and covers about 2,000 square km and is at an altitude of 1,000m above sea level. It is home to large herds of elephants, buffalo and zebra. Predators in the Park include lion, hyena, wild dog and serval. The park has also a number of archaeological sites.
Liwonde National Park - This park is in southern Malawi and is situated in the upper Shire river valley. The park has a dazzling variety of birds (about 450 species recorded) including the only population of Lillian`s lovebird in Malawi. Liwonde National Park is home to large herds of elephants, waterbuck and reedbuck. The Shire river has also large herds of hippos (one of the densest concentration in Africa) which can be seen, on boat safaris. Black Rhino, Zebra, Buffalo and Wildebeest, were recently reintroduced in the Park.
Other reserves are Lengwe National Park and Lake Malawi National Park – declared a world Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984, and is the world`s first fresh water marine park and is the largest fresh water reserve in Africa, Vwaza , Majete, Mwabvi and Nkhotakota Wildlife reserve.
Malawi`s SPECIAL INTEREST attractions
Bird watching - Malawi has a remarkable number of birds with over 650 species recorded so far. This is as a result of the great contrast in the landscape of the country. Most species breed in Malawi but some migrate from Europe and Asia to spend the rainy season in the country. Over 10% of bird species that occur in Malawi do not occur in southern Africa. This is so because Malawi is the link of Southern Africa to East Africa and hence has bird species both regions. Rare birds such as African skimmer; racquet – tailed roller, wattled crane, Boehm`s bee-eater and green-headed oriole are easily seen. Liwonde National Park – ornithologist`s haven Nyika National park - best place to see birds which occur in Malawi but not in Southern Africa. 435 species have been recorded. Zomba plateau, Mulanje Massif and Thyolo Mountains
Lake Chilwa – Wetland area. Rivers and other wetlands Lake Malawi wooded islands – Southern Lake Malawi has the largest density of fish eagles in Africa.
Wild flowers - Malawi enchants all its visitors with her beauty but in no way so than with the abundance of flowers which paint the landscape in a display of dazzling colours.The country is blessed with 400 indigenous orchid species, which are found throughout the country. There are over 120 known species of epiphyte in 29 genera and more than 280 terrestrials in 28 to 29 genera. The flowers can be found on the higher plateaus of Zomba, Nyika and Mulanje mostly in the months of January and February.
Yachting Marathon -This is an annual national yachting and tourism event, which is held every July. It draws participants from South Africa, UK, Israel, Zimbabwe and other African countries including host Malawi. It is the World`s longest fresh water yachting marathon and covers 500km divided in 8 legs taking about six days to complete. The marathon takes place in June/July when the South Easterly Mwera winds are blowing and waves reach as high as 2m making it a very challenging water sport.
Scuba diving - Lake Malawi`s crystal clear waters offer divers excellent visibility, and its warm waters also offer safe conditions and the panorama of brightly coloured tropical fish. Malawi offers an all year round holiday but best times to visit are:
When are the best times for the following activities:
1. Game viewing - April to December
2. Bird watching - November and December
3. Walking - May to November
4. Angling - November to January
5. Scenery - November to May
6. Orchids and Proteas - January to February
For more travel information on Malawi and surrounding Southern African Countries please view our country information pages. Please take note of Health precautionary measures when travelling in Southern Africa.
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