We can define this trip as a real adventure through the “warm heart of Africa“. Malawi lies on the Rift Valley between 1200 meters and 400 meters above sea level. It’s still an uncontaminated country with friendly and kind people that boasts different ecosystems and landscapes that will always make your journey rich and varied. National Parks, Wildlife Reserves, Mountains Forest reserves, Lake Malawi, Unesco Heritage Site, and the country’s beating heart. We focused our journey on Lake Malawi and the National Parks and Game Reserves to spot the wildlife, with a short 3 day stop in Zambia to visit the stunning South Luangwa National Park.
1° Day: LILONGWE
2° Day: LILONGWE – MALAWI/ZAMBIA BORDER – CHIPATA – SOUTH LUANGWA NP (Croc Valley camp)
3° Day: SOUTH LUANGWA NP
4° Day: SOUTH LUANGWA NP
5° Day: SOUTH LUANGWA NP – ZAMBIA/MALAWI BORDER – KASUNGU NP (Lifupa Lodge)
6° Day: KASUNGU NP (walking safari) – MZUZU – NKHATA BAY
7° Day: NKHATA BAY (Lake Malawi boat tour) – NKHOTAKOTA
8° Day: NKHOTAKOTA (hot springs and town tour) – SALIMA – MUA MISSION (Museum of culture and art) – CAPE MACLEAR (Chembe)
9° Day: CAPE MACLEAR (Lake Malawi boat tour)
10° Day: CAPE MACLEAR – MANGOCHI – LIWONDE NP (Liwonde safari camp)
11° Day: LIWONDE NP
12° DAY: LIWONDE NP – ZOMBA – MAJETE WILDLIFE RESERVE
13° Day: MAJETE WILDLIFE RESERVE – BLANTYRE
14° DAY: BLANTYRE – ITALY
Tips: you can tailor-make your itinerary to your taste. Malawi also offers beautiful places to have outdoor activities, such as Zomba Plateau and Mulanje Forest Reserve. There are other beautiful Reserves/NP, such as Vwaza Reserve, Nkhotakotha Wildlife Reserve or Nyika National Park, where you can have a pleasant game drive/walking safari to spot the wildlife. If you want to try a fantastic experience on Lake Malawi, we suggest cruising the Lake and taking the Ilala ferry (and sleeping onboard). It cruises the lake from Cape Maclear to Likoma Island and Chilumba (the north part of the lake), stopping in some towns along the lake shores (like Senga bay, Nkhotakhota and Nkhata bay) loading people and goods. It takes 3 days from Cape Maclear to Chilumba, but this is Africa, and the ferry is always late!)
INFORMATION ABOUT MALAWI
Click here for more information; consider that bilharzia disease is present in Lake Malawi like in most African lakes and rivers. Malaria is also endemic. Remember to take measures to protect yourself above all at night by applying mosquito repellent that contains at least 30% DEET. It is highly recommended to consult a travel medicine specialist to assess travel-related risks and have information to ensure your health and safety.
Mean of transport
A vehicle with a driver rented through a local agency; basically, all the roads are well maintained, and the traffic (out of the 3 major cities Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Blantyre) is minor. Length of the trip: 1900 km. You can also catch the local transports like buses and minivans, but it takes a long time to cover your itinerary.
Local tour operator
The best way to enjoy the country is to rent a car and self-drive. Anyway, suppose you want to experience the country with local tour operators. You can try Kiboko Safari, Baobab Travel, Malawian style, Best Car Hire, Land e Lake, Budget Safari, Africa wild truck or Porini adventure safari. If you like to have a more extended trip through Africa’s southern countries (including Zambia, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia or Mozambique), we suggest contacting Undhuvu Tours and Safari.
Medium range (tent, dorms and rooms); the average expense for camping was 10 USD, a bed in a dorm was 15 USD, and a double room was around 50 USD. We booked part of our accommodations through the website of, the accommodation itself and others with Booking.com. Tourism in Malawi is not so massive; therefore, you’ll always find accommodations when you get to the place you want to visit or stay (above all, if you bring your tent). If you visit Malawi during August, we suggest booking at least the accommodations and activities in South Luangwa NP, Liwonde NP and Majete WR.
Restaurants of our accommodations; The average price for a “main course” (meat or fish) with sides is around 5000/7500 Kwacha (7/10 USD).
The local currency is Kwacha (1 USD was 765 Kwacha – 1 euro was 860 Kwacha). There are some currency exchange shops at Lilongwe international airport (no commissions); you’ll find ATMs at the airport and in the significant city Lilongwe, Mzuzu, and Blantyre. You can quickly pay for accommodations, activities, and restaurants in US dollars. We changed just a small amount of Kwacha for paying our expenses at local markets/shops along the road. Most of the accommodations accept credit cards (better Visa) as well. So as in all the African countries, remember that they only accept US Dollars issued since 2010 and in good condition (no rips, pen stains, scotch tape…etc..);
When to go to Malawi
The best moment is during the dry season, from May to September. Take in mind that the night/early morning could be a bit cold since it’s their winter season (above all, in June and July and at high altitude).