Malawi is known as “the warm heart of Africa” which aptly reflects the country’s welcoming and friendly people. Land of contrasts, it offers a great variety of unforgettable experiences: from the Highlands (tea plantations, sugar cane and tobacco fields), stretching to fabulous wildlife parks and on to the white beaches bordering the extraordinary Lake Malawi. David Livingstone described it as the “lake of stars”, referring to its shimmering surface. The exceptional wealth of its colorful fauna, with more species than any other lake in the world, and the exceptional visibility of the water make it a paradise for divers and swimmers alike. Generally excluded from most tourist routes, this small country will seduce all of those with an adventurous spirit who wish to discover an authentic Africa.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
My cargo ship – MV Ilala
Forget luxury cruises! The MV Ilala is a cargo ship that travels the entire length of Lake Malawi each week to exchange goods and mail. It’s not recommended for those in a hurry as the boat is rarely on time. However, you can choose to do only one segment of the journey (the most popular being between Monkey Bay and Likoma Island). There’s not much to do except absorb the atmosphere of another era, admire the beautiful scenery, play cards or read a novel. When the boat disembarks at each port it’s amongst a cacophony of horns, screams and laughter. Crowds of smiling Malawians line up along the quay crowded with luggage, bags of vegetables, bicycles, flapping chickens, sewing machines and pots. A real show…! When the ship raises anchor again the noise fades into the distance and the passengers return to their deckchairs in the shade.
The best kept secret in Southern Africa!
Lake Malawi…think transparent blue water and white sandy beaches … just as you’d imagine a tropical island in the Indian Ocean…the difference being that Lake Malawi is a sparkling freshwater sea and Baobab trees replace Palm trees! Snorkelling, diving, canoeing, kayaking, water-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, swimming, exploring the islands by foot … a magical sportsman’s paradise awaits you!
An unexpected safari destination
Liwonde National Park (in the south), has a unique landscape: the spectacular Shire river, calm lagoons, swamplands, savannah, forests and hills. Because of its various habitats, Liwonde is home to abundant and varied wildlife. It’s also quite possible that it holds the world record for birdlife throughout Central and Southern Africa.