5 reasons you should visit Malawi - African Encounters

5 reasons you should visit Malawi

A safari in Malawi is not only about the wildlife, but also about memorable experiences and stunning landscapes. Less well-known than its neighbours, this tiny country with a big heart is a favourite of discerning safari guests who want to experience an abundance of animals without the hordes of vehicles seen in some of Africa’s more famous game parks. 

Malawi is known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ and its friendly people will make you feel very welcome in their beautiful country. Without a doubt, some of the best memories of your Malawi holiday will be of the people you meet. 


Majete Game Reserve is a huge conservation success story. This newly-restored park is now a Big 5 reserve, home to bushbuck, nyala, zebra, kudu, waterbuck, eland and warthog, countless impala and baboon – as well as black rhino, elephant, lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, sable antelope, buffalo, and the smaller cats such as caracal and serval. 

In Liwonde National Park, along the Shire River in the south of the country, you’ll find elephants, lions, black rhinos, crocodiles and kudus. Hippos are present in large numbers, so much so that they are almost symbolic of Malawi’s wildlife. Boat safaris along the Shire River are a wonderful way to float close to the hundreds of hippos and watch elephants drinking just a few metres away. 

Nyika National Park, in the north of the country, is Malawi’s oldest and largest National Park. It is home to large herds of zebra, sable antelope, leopard and hundreds of wildflowers and bird species. Nyika is often compared to the highlands of Scotland because of its breathtaking mountainous scenery.

 elephants Majete N.P.

Unspoilt wilderness 

Two of the great attractions of Malawi’s national parks and wildlife reserves are their completely unspoilt wilderness and the absence of mass tourism. There’s a real touch of the Garden of Eden about the parks – a scene that David Livingstone would have experienced 150 years ago. Unlike more well-known destinations in Africa such as Kruger, the Serengeti, and the Masai Mara, Malawi is still relatively undiscovered and untouched by tourists and tourism, making it the ideal destination for travellers looking for an authentic and crowd-free African experience.

Lake Malawi

Stretching 560 kms along Malawi’s eastern borders with Tanzania and Mozambique, and about 75 kms wide at its widest point, Lake Malawi is the jewel in Malawi’s crown. Its crystal-clear waters offer some of the best freshwater diving and snorkelling spots in Africa, while also supporting small fishing villages along its shores.

Relaxing on one of its stunning golden sand beaches at the end of your safari, you’ll think you’re on a Pacific island with its sandy beaches and palm trees, with a backdrop of towering mountains covered in rainforest.

Lake Malawi
© Dana Allen / Central African Wilderness Safari

Tea estates

Tea has been grown on the rolling green hills of the Thyolo District, in the south of Malawi, since 1908, around the time of the British colonisation. Tea has become one of the biggest industries in Malawi and provides employment for many of the local people. Staying in a wonderful colonial house on a tea plantation adds another element to Malawi’s diversity alongside going on safari and staying on the lake. Guests can visit the factory to learn how the tea is grown, dried, and prepared, followed by a tasting session of a variety of teas and pleasing aromas.

tea pickers Malawi


Malawi has a rich cultural heritage, with a history that stretches back thousands of years. The Chewa people are the largest ethnic group in Malawi and their language, Chichewa, has been adopted as the official language. Visitors can take part in cultural activities such as village visits and community-based projects to experience a more authentic side of the country.

Malawi fish drying
© Dana Allen / Central African Wilderness Safari

A Malawi safari combines perfectly with Zambia & Victoria Falls.

There are daily flights from Lilongwe into Zambia. You can be on the beach at Lake Malawi in the morning, and on safari in Zambia in the afternoon – the perfect combo!

Love the sound of a trip to Malawi but not sure where to start? Check out my Magical Malawi safari and let’s start planning your trip!