Malawi Safaris – Malawi has an exceptional variety of activities and attractions that anyone would love to do while on an Africa Safari It is a landlocked country situated in the southeast of Africa, mainly bordered by Mozambique to the east, south and west and Tanzania to the northeast and Zambia in the north-west. It has a variety of stunning wildlife attractions in the national parks, is known for having very hospitable people and unique because of the beaches and landscape at Lake Malawi. Activities done at the lake are kayaking and canoeing, beach parties, horse riding, deep-sea diving, snorkeling, and clubbing. The sunset is pretty clear at this point. The lake is also famous for having a world heritage site at Cape Maclear which is one of the frequently visited places. Malawi has a long list of beautiful national parks and wildlife reserves that are home for the Big 5, offer fascinating scenery, thick forests, and hills. Other animals in Malawi are zebra, roan, jackal, serval cat, grey duiker, and kudu. Predators especially big cats were rare sightings but lions and cheetahs were later on introduced in Liwonde and Majete national parks. Hyenas are one of the common predators in most national parks. Leopards are also sighted. The avifauna includes Lilian’s love bird, egrets, fish eagles, and marine life of over 500 species of fish. The main wildlife destinations in Malawi are Majete wildlife reserve, Lake Malawi national park, Lengwe national park and Liwonde national park in the south of Malawi, Kasungu national park and Nkhotakota wildlife reserve in central Malawi, Kuti wildlife reserve, Nyika national park, Mwabvi wildlife reserve in the north and more others.
At the beginning of this new decade (2020), there is a variety of activities to do on a Malawi Safari the most adventurous include day and night game drives for wildlife viewing, rock climbing at Mount Mulanje, boat trips, water sports and canoeing, diving and snorkeling, cycling, horse riding, bird watching, forest walks. Game viewing is the main activity done in the major game reserves and national parks like Nyika National Park in the north of Malawi, Majete, Liwonde, Kasungu national parks, and Nkothakota Wildlife reserve in the central.
Wildlife lovers are encouraged to visit Malawi in the months of July, August, September, and October (dry season). From December to March, there is high rainfall in most parts of the country, though the temperatures remain high during the day.
Best time to visit Malawi
Winter season comes in the dry season of Malawi from May to October. The days are clear and the sun is warm making it perfect for the experience at the beach. From June, the days become very warm and nights are cold.
The best time for viewing wildlife in Malawi is from July to October. During this period, the grass is dry because temperatures are high and animals are commonly found at main water bodies since other pools of water are dry. When grass dries, it also becomes easy to spot animals even at a distance. Nyika national park is located on the Nyika plateau and has a different pattern of weather. The best time to visit Nyika is from November to May and January to May. Birders’ best time in Malawi is in November.
Malawi Safari Parks and Reserves
Malawi is one of the South African countries gifted with stunning attractions regardless of its small size. Recently, wildlife safaris to game parks have picked up because of the great advancement as a wildlife destination. The parks and reserve give a good result of sightings. Malawi’s variety of and adorable landscapes are great game viewing areas and give beautiful photography backgrounds. Make incredible lifetime memories at any of these magnificent national parks.
Liwonde national park
Liwonde National Park is located in the south of Malawi and is the premier park which makes any wildlife tour complete. It is well accessed by road and air flights. It is bordered by the Shire River in the west and is one of the great places to do a boat cruise. The park has a diverse vegetation cover and is a habitat for the Big 5, impala, hippos, warthog, crocodile, cheetah, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, hyena, and waterbuck among others. Due to human-wildlife conflict and poaching, predators were wiped out of the park until recently when lions and cheetahs were reintroduced by African Parks. There are about 400 species of birds- saddle-bill stork, African fish eagle, martial eagle, long-toed lapwing, pied kingfisher, goliath heron, and black heron.
The best time to visit the park is during the dry season from May to October when big populations of animals are sighted at Shire River.
Majete wildlife reserve
Majete wildlife reserve in southwestern Malawi was greatly affected by poaching between the 1970s and ’80s until the African Parks rescued it in 2012 and about 2500 animals were translocated to the park. Today, Majete is a premier safari destination of the big 5 alongside zebras, nyala, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest, greater kudu, spotted hyena, warthog, and suni. For the best wildlife experience, visit the park in the dry season from May to October.
Nyika national park
The park is located in the north of Malawi and covers the Nyika plateau with numerous hills, great escarpments, and valleys covered with beautiful forests. It is the country’s oldest and largest national park. Nyika national park offers a variety of stunning wildflowers and countless types of orchids alongside the impressive wildlife that includes leopards, zebras, common reedbuck, bushbuck, elephants, and roan antelope among others, buffaloes are rarely seen. The most popular activities here are hiking in the mountains, game drives and horseback safaris on the plateau. The perfect time to visit Nyika national park is from November to May.
Kasungu national park
Another amazing national park in Malawi –Kasungu is located in the central part of the country marvelous wildlife including elephants, hippos, jackals, zebra, leopard, roan antelope, and others. Day and night game drives and nature walks are a good choice of activities to participate in while at this park. The best time for game viewing in this park is during the dry season from May to oc5tober. A stay at the park gives a beautiful scenic view of the Lifupa dam.
Lake Malawi National Park
The park is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the presence of Cape Maclear which is also famous for having multiple islands. Lake Malawi national park is located on the southern bank of Lake Malawi and the main species in it are marine-life especially the Malawi Cichlids. Birds are also common in the park. The main activities done are hiking, snorkeling, water sports, and kayaking.
Lengwe national park
Lengwe national park has good scenery and lovely nyala antelope populations. Other animals in the park are warthog, samango, impala, bushbuck, duiker, and primates- baboons, vervet monkeys. Popular activities here are game drives, bird watching, and nature walks.
Wildlife and Birds in Malawi
Malawi can now boast for a great population increase of game after reintroduction of the species that were lost to poaching and human conflict. Today, Malawi is home to the big 5 (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and black rhino) and a big number of antelopes (roan antelope, sable antelope, puku, impala, eland, kudu, and klipspringer). More of the animals in Malawi are hyenas, hippos, zebra, jackal, hartebeest, baboons alongside fish and birds.
Malawi is an incredible destination for birders. It hosts over 670 bird species all over the country out of which about 530 species breed in their habitats inside the country. They will be easy to spot in the wet season from November to April after the arrival of migratory birds from Europe, Asia, and North Africa. Lake Manyara hosts a number of water birds including fish eagles, cormorants, egrets, fish eagles, and forest and savannah birds. Birders should expect to spot little bee-fly catcher, lilac-breasted roller, African hoopoe, babbling starling, black stork, blue swallow, Burchell’s coucal, European honey buzzard, red-necked falcon, mottled spinetail, swallow-tailed bee catcher and wattled crane to mention but a few.
The best parks/spots for bird watching are Liwonde national park, Nyika national park, Lake Malawi for water birds, and the Miombo woodland in the Nkhotakota wildlife reserve.
Malawi Safari Lodges
Safari lodges in Malawi have very friendly and kind workers that will prepare and serve the tastiest food. Mvuu wilderness lodge, Mvuu camp, Kumbali country lodge, Latitude 13, Woodlands Lilongwe, located at Liwonde national park, Chelinda lodge at Nyika national park, Mkulumadzi lodge, Thawale lodge, at Majete wildlife reserve, Mgoza lodge, Thumbi view lodge, Monkey Bay Beach Lodge, The Funky Cichlid Lodge, Cape Maclear Ecolodge and Scuba Shack lodge, Mufasa Ecolodge, and Beachside cottage in Lake Malawi national park, Lifupa conservation lodge at Kasungu national park. At Lengwe national park, have a cozy stay at Nyala lodge, Geetanjali Homesty. For excellent views of the beach, lodges like Nkwichi, Pumulani, Kaya Mawa, Mpatsa beach lodge, Queen Savannah cottage among others will be the best places to rest and relax with a breathtaking breeze and warm sun.
Malawi Weather & Climate
Malawi is located in the Northern hemisphere in the South of Africa with numerous hills, mountains, and Nyika plateau. It has a tropical climate and an annual temperature of 75 F. there are 3 varying seasons each year; a rainy season-summer from mid-November to April, dry season-winter from mid-August to Mid- November and a cool season from May to mid- August. The best time to visit Malawi is during the dry season.
Due to the terrain landscape, temperatures are friendly in areas above 1000m. Mountainous and hilly areas are characterized by a temperate climate.
Is Malawi safe for tourists?
With advice about the cautions to take while in Malawi, the country is a safe and secure destination for first-time visitors or any traveler. The people of Malawi are very hospitable but you are advised to be careful and not trust anyone except your guides and attendants. Like any other country, common crimes of theft, scamming and mugging are relatively high in urban centers and any other crowded areas. You are encouraged to take care of your bags and all property and avoid moving and driving at night. It is however safer to have a Safari in Malawi that is organized through tours and travel companies to prevent problems related to safety for easy planning and timely arrivals at your destination and accommodation centers.
The country is free from political interference with low threats of terrorism and any other violent demonstrations.
Be extra careful while at Lake Malawi national park near water bodies where you could come across crocodiles and hippos especially in the evening hours.
Malawi Safaris and tours
Explore Malawi with any of the available tours to remarkable destinations. Any of these tours can be adjusted according to your favorite interests and period of travel. A variety of tours will cater to wildlife safaris, beach safaris, and a combination of both wildlife and beach safaris through the ‘Warm Heart of Africa’.