Magical Malawithe warm heart of Africa - African Encounters

Magical Malawi
the warm heart of Africa

(1 Review)
20 - 29 October 2024
20 - 29 October 2024

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    Availability : 20 - 29 October 2024
    Lilongwe, Malawi
    Lilongwe, Malawi
    Max People : 8

    Malawi is a little-known gem in southern Africa.  It has so much to offer: wildlife, culture, scenery, and, of course, crystal-clear Lake Malawi with its gorgeous sandy beaches. This tiny landlocked country is wedged between Zambia, Tanzania, and Mozambique, at the southern end of the East African Great Rift Valley. Lake Malawi almost 600 km long. It is a huge natural aquarium, teeming with colourful fresh-water cichlids – perfect for snorkelling and kayaking.

    Your Malawi safari is about memorable experiences, with plenty of game in beautiful surroundings but without the swarms of safari vehicles frequently seen in some African game parks. With relatively few visitors you’ll experience 4×4 game drives, boat trips, guided walks, and even wildlife viewing from your balcony, in peaceful privacy.

    Majete Wildlife Reserve, in the south of the country, is home to the elusive black rhino, along with elephant, buffalo, nyala, sable, eland, and hartebeest. In recent years lions, leopards, and cheetahs have been reintroduced as part of a pioneering conservation project, making Majete a ‘Big 5’ park. From your luxurious bush chalet perched on the banks of the Shire River you can spot wildlife without even getting out of bed!

    You’ll spend a night on a tea plantation, introducing you to another side of this captivating country, before enjoying more wildlife encounters in Liwonde National Park. The Shire River flows along the park’s western border, allowing boat safaris as well as the usual ones on foot or in 4x4s. The river is the lifeblood of Liwonde National Park, attracting hippos, kudu, elephants, crocodiles and elephants, and even black rhinos. Lions, cheetahs, and wild dogs have been recently reintroduced into Liwonde, and leopards, hyenas, and black rhinos may also be spotted.

    This African Encounters exclusive safari will be personally escorted from Lilongwe, Malawi by company director Karen Platzer for a group of 4 or more participants. For a group smaller than 4 people the tour will be guided by qualified local guides.

    This outstanding safari is limited to just 8 guests. Don’t miss your adventure of a lifetime – book your place now!

    Optional add-ons: enjoy a few relaxing days at a gorgeous island resort in Lake Malawi (a real favourite with my guests!), or join me at my favourite lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River at Victoria Falls!

    Arrival: Lilongwe, Malawi

    Departure: Lilongwe, Malawi

    • A genuine small group safari with a maximum of 8 participants – personal service
    • You’ll stay in private conservancies – away from the crowds and supporting local communities
    • Glamping in Africa – our stunning safari camps offer superb comfort under canvas!
    • Enjoy incredible photo opportunities and wildlife encounters
    • Your NZ tour escort is an Africa expert with over 30 years of experience

    What's included

    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Quality accommodation in luxury lodges.
    • Most meals
    • All transport as per itinerary
    • All Park and Private Conservancy fees
    • Game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles
    • Sundowners, guided bush walks and night game drives
    • Boat trips and canoeing on the Shire River
    • Contribution to Conservation and Community projects
    • Qualified professional safari guides
    • Tips & gratuities
    • Escorted from Lilongwe, Malawi, by company founder and director Karen Platzer for a group of 4 or more participants. For a group smaller than 4 people the tour will be guided by qualified local guides.

    Not included

    • International airfares
    • Visas
    • Travel insurance (mandatory)
    • Any Personal Expenses

    Day 1: Independent arrival at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, Malawi, where you’ll meet your guide and fellow travellers to join your short flight to Blantyre. Relax at our delightful family-run B&B in the heart of Blantyre CBD before your adventure starts tomorrow.

    Days 2 – 4: After breakfast, your guide will drive you to your lovely lodge in a private concession within Majete Wildlife Reserve, one of the outstanding success stories of African conservation. You will spend three nights here exploring the Reserve. 

    Majete Wildlife Reserve is a vast region of mature woodland and granite hills, picturesque river valleys, and dense forest. It is home to the elusive black rhino, along with elephants, buffalo, nyala, sable, eland, and hartebeest. In recent years lions, leopards, and cheetahs have been reintroduced to Majete as part of a pioneering conservation project, making Majete the only ‘Big 5’ park in Malawi. Still undiscovered by tourists, Majete is a true wilderness, where every trip into the bush with our team of experienced guides will feel like an adventure.

    Days 5: This morning you will be transferred to the beautiful Satemwa Tea Estates where you’ll stay for one night. You will be blown away by the beauty of these rolling hills of lime green tea leaves, and the beauty and grandeur of your accommodation, going back in time to the colonial era. Take a guided walk through the estate, which grows coffee and tea, and then your guide will take you up to the sunset picnic spot where the views are unparalleled – you’ll see the whole of southern Malawi!

    Days 6 – 8: Today you’ll drive to Liwonde National Park for more wildlife encounters. For the next 3 nights you’ll be staying at a lodge on the banks of a lagoon just off the Shire River, bordering the wildlife-rich Liwonde National Park. The main lounge building is set high above the water for long views upriver. The lodge has eight luxurious tents, each with en-suite bathroom facilities and a private viewing platform looking out on the lagoon. Lodge facilities include a dining room, lounge area, wildlife library, and swimming pool. You’ll enjoy delicious meals and spectacular animal sightings on your game drives. 

    Malawi’s main river, the Shire, forms the western boundary of the Park and is the park’s lifeblood. The park has become one of Malawi’s premier wildlife-viewing destinations with plentiful wildlife including hippos, kudu, crocodiles, elephants, and even black rhinos. The birding is excellent and a favourite sighting among birdwatchers is the Pel’s fishing owl. Visitors can look forward to a wide selection of activities including excellent wildlife viewing, canoeing, and boating safaris. 

    Day 9: Transfer to Lilongwe for your last night in magical Malawi.

    Day 10: Airport transfer to connect with your international flight.

    1 Review
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    Karen de Willimoff

    Couple Traveller

    We chose African Encounters because we liked the small number group escorted by Karen which appealed to our idea of a “boutique” safari instead of being packed into a zebra-stripe van full of tourists.
    What makes Karen’s trips so special is that after four safaris we have made friends on these trips by booking again with the same people and becoming serial repeaters. A small group gives us the intimacy and the richness of sharing these unique experiences.