overview

You kick off your 13-day Malawian adventure in Lilongwe where you overnight at Latitude 13, chic boutique hotel that houses one of Malawi’s most reputable restaurants. Then head off to Tongole Wilderness Lodge in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve where you stay in a vast open-fronted loft-style ‘apartment’ overlooking the reserve, which is inhabited by a diversity of wildlife, and have the option canoeing or fishing on the Bua River. Your next stop is Kaya Mawa Lodge, situated at the head of a crescent-shaped bay on Likoma Island, which offers balmy days wallowing in the warm waters and sunbathing on the pristine beach. The next leg of your journey takes you to Norman Carr Cottage on the southern shore of Lake Malawi. Here you can snorkel and scuba dive in the lake’s glistening waters that abound with brightly-coloured cichlids.

Your next destination is Mvuu Wilderness Lodge situated along the banks of a quiet tributary off the Shire River within Liwonde National Park. On guided 4x4 game drives you encounter the incredible bird- and wildlife that inhabits this magnificent reserve. Your next stayover is within the Majete Wildlife Reserve at Mkulumadzi Lodge, which overlooks the confluence of the Shire and Mkulumadzi rivers. Here you marvel at the Kapichira Falls on an afternoon boat cruise and enjoy game viewing from a 4x4 and the deck of your open-fronted suite. Your penultimate stop is the grand Huntingdon House on the Satemwa Tea Estate. Your epic Malawian journey ends at Zomba Forest Lodge – an intimate guesthouse nestled among the forests of the Zomba Plateau that offers hiking, mountain biking, fishing and barbeques under the African sky.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Canoe & fish on the Bua River in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
  • Snorkel & dive in Lake Malawi
  • Enjoy 4x4 game drives & walking safaris in Liwonde National Park
  • Guided village tours & sleep outs
  • Experience a working tea farm
  • Fly & freshwater fishing on Lake Malawi

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Malawi

On your arrival at Lilongwe International Airport you are met by a representative and transferred by road to Latitude 13 – a boutique hotel set in beautiful gardens. This ultra-contemporary abode is home to one of Malawi’s finest restaurants. Dinner is a stylish yet laid-back affair while leisurely lunches on the terrace overlooking the lush gardens and swimming pool are sublime. Enjoy an aperitif in the bar with its intriguing lighting features or make yourself comfortable in the lounge, which has an eclectic mix of unconventional furniture that double as works of art.

Your very large loft-style room features a private terrace overlooking the garden as well as a spacious en suite bathroom with a sunken tub and rain shower.

Day 2

The Lake of Stars

After breakfast, you are transferred by road to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve for your stay at Tongole Wilderness Lodge which borders Lake Malawi. This eco-friendly, solar-powered lodge built among the miombo woodlands on the banks of the Bua River offers just four exclusive open-fronted loft-style ‘apartments’ with sweeping panoramic vistas of the reserve.

Constructed from locally sourced wood and thatch, these elegant suites are breeze-cooled havens and are adorned with vibrant décor that reflects Malawian culture. Your sunken bath – also affording stunning wilderness views – doubles up as a plunge pool during the day. Sleep out at a remote location near a waterfall and enjoy a barbeque around a campfire. The next morning, sip hot coffee as the first light of dawn washes over the forest before you return to Tongole for a full English breakfast.

Traverse the snaking Bua River on a canoeing adventure – followed by sundowners on the riverbank – or hike through the unspoilt lake-side wilderness with an expert guide. The incredible diversity of fish species in nearby Lake Malawi means that fly and freshwater fishing from the lodge is phenomenal.

Days 3-4

Island life

After breakfast you are transferred to Nkhotakota’s airstrip and flown to the Likoma Aerodrome from where you are transported to Kaya Mawa Lodge on Likoma Island. At the head of a crescent-shaped bay nestled in the rocky headlands, this idyllic lodge is set on a glorious stretch of golden sand met by gin-clear waters. With direct lake access, spend balmy days wallowing in the warm waters or sunbathing on the pristine beach. The lodge’s lounge, bar and dining areas are all built right on the sand and feature rustic furniture covered in local fabrics of bright colours.

Kaya Mawa offers a host of thrilling adventure activities that include snorkelling, diving, kayaking and mountain biking on well-marked trails. A guided village tour – on bicycle if you like - is an enriching cultural experience that provides the opportunity to experience Malawian culture. Enjoy communal or private dining in a range of idyllic locations that make the most of the lodge’s stunning waterside setting before retiring to your stone-and-teak cottage, which features a sunken stone bathtub, a private terrace and an infinity pool.

Day 5

Head to the south

After breakfast you are transferred back to the Likoma Aerodrome and board your flight to Mtakataka airstrip where you are collected and transported by road to Norman Carr Cottage on the southern shore of Lake Malawi. En route you stop at the Kungoni Centre of Culture & Art to explore the museum and enjoy lunch in its restaurant. A testament to the wealth of Malawi’s cultural and artistic inheritance, the centre is renowned for its high-quality wooden carvings and the ethnographic museum holding interesting exhibits on the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao cultures.

Situated in the sheltered bay of Namakoma, your serene lakeside villa offers private access to a sun-drenched beach and the turquoise waters of Lake Malawi. Resembling an open-air aquarium, the lake’s glistening waters abound with brightly-coloured cichlids to be encountered while snorkelling and diving in the bay. During evening excursions on the lodge’s motorboat, savour the sunset as fishermen sail out of the bay in search of their evening’s catch. Dine by lantern light on the open beachside deck as the waves gently break on the shore. Discover an array of marine life in the rock pools just metres from your suite or gently paddle on a canoe along the water which on calm days is transparent enough to see the fish swimming right beneath you.

Days 6-7

Enter the Shire

This morning you are transported by road to Mvuu Wilderness Lodge situated along the banks of the Shire River in the Liwonde National Park. Decked out in wood, bamboo and thatch, the decorative theme of your vast and secluded tented suite is authentically African while remaining refreshing and light. A balcony skirts the entire length of your chalet and features a hammock and outside shower where you can bathe while immersed in the captivating wilderness. But where you are afforded the most privileged perspective of the Shire River and its floodplains is the lodge’s magnificent, raised communal dining area. While savouring chambo fish caught in the river for lunch, observe brown-throated weavers carefully maintaining their nests in the trees and hippo and crocodile cavort in the waters below.

On 4x4 game drives encounter the incredible wildlife that inhabits this spectacular reserve, which is also renowned for its birdlife, especially large wading birds such as the yellow-billed and marabou storks. Bubbles rising to the river’s surface precede pods of hippos which peep their beady eyes out of the water while crocodiles are seen in impressive numbers sunbathing on the riverbank. Black rhino and impressive herds of elephant are a real treat to spot in the reserve’s lush riverine terrain. A guided walking safari is a fantastic opportunity to get up-close to small insects as well as plants and small mammals. Take a boat trip across the river to a school built as a community upliftment programme or visit Ndovu Cultural Village where you have the option to sleep out on a traditional grass mat and learn how to prepare a traditional dish made from maize meal.

Days 8-9

The Kapichiara Falls

This morning you are transferred by road to the Majete Wildlife Reserve for your stayover at Mkulumadzi Lodge. Walk across a swaying footbridge and arrive at this intimate safari retreat overlooking the tumbling rapids where the Shire and Mkulumadzi Rivers meet. Situated on a private concession within walking distance of the Kapichira Falls – which can be observed on an afternoon boat cruise – enjoy game viewing from a 4x4 as well as from the deck of both the main lodge and your open-fronted suite. With the trunks of mature leadwood trees supporting the roof of the lounge and dining area, this intimate safari lodge seamlessly blends into its stunning natural environment.

Majete’s mature miombo woodlands and granite-topped hills contrast with its distinct river valleys and lush forests, which are inhabited by rare antelope species including Lichtenstein’s hartebeest. Between excursions on the reserve in a vehicle or on foot, enjoy indoor and alfresco gourmet dining, taking a dip in the inviting swimming pool and sharing your stories of the day’s happenings with other guests around a roaring campfire. Walking safaris along the shallow bed of the Mkulumadzi River, which is dotted with islands and boulders, are especially rewarding as expert guides impart their knowledge about the fauna and flora of this magnificent terrain.

Days 10-11

The grandeur of the past

After breakfast you are transferred to Huntingdon House on the Satemwa Tea Estate, situated in the heart of the Thyolo district. Malawi's tea-producing region is characterised by rolling hills of emerald-green plantations complemented by a temperate climate and the relaxed ambiance of a bygone era. This grand house set in magnificent gardens has been tastefully refurbished to reflect the charming traits of the original residence. Each corner tells a unique story, from the original children’s nursery to the resident priest’s quarters and private chapel. Learn of the estates’ colourful history while sampling a range of world-class teas. Enjoy a picnic in a majestic spot with splendid views of Mount Mulanje as the sun begins to set behind the hills. Take a guided tour of Thyolo Mountain’s indigenous forest teeming with birdlife and on a visit to the Satemwa tea factory, which produces some of Malawi’s finest export teas, you can observe the production process from leaf to cup. 

Day 12

The peace of Zomba

After breakfast this morning you are transferred by road to Zomba Forest Lodge, which is a small guesthouse nestled amongst the forests of the Zomba Plateau. Situated above the old capital of Zomba in southern Malawi, this intimate guesthouse was formerly the colonial estate of the forestry commissioner before being converted into a haven for serenity-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. Set in an untamed garden, your rustic home features a cosy lounge with fireplace and a separate dining room – all candlelit by night. The plateau – which rises up to 2 085 metres – is easily accessible from the house and offers fantastic hiking and mountain biking. You can shop at the Zomba market and there is excellent trout fishing in the dam. At the end of a day exploring this unspoilt wilderness, return to your country home and sit around the open fire enjoying a barbeque dinner under the star-studded African sky. 

Day 13

Farewell to Malawi

After breakfast you are transferred by road back to Lilongwe International Airport to catch your connecting flight back home. 

Inclusions

  • 12 Nights accommodation on full board basis
  • All flights and road transfers as specified in the itinerary
  • National Park fees
  • Museum entry and lunch at Mua mission
  • All excursions and entrance fees as per itinerary
  • Selected drinks at Tongole Wilderness Lodge, Mkulumadzi and Huntingdon House

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • Airport taxes
  • All meals and drinks not specified
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Nov 2016 - 09 Dec 2016 $6020
  • 10 Dec 2016 - 10 Jan 2017 $6680

Our rates are per person sharing unless we note differently.

Please treat all pricing as a guide only:

  • All rates are subject to availability and may change without notice
  • Single supplements may apply

Request a quote or speak to one of our African Safari Experts for the best, most current rates available.

Ramona Cilliers

Ramona Cilliers

Africa Safari Expert

"A wonderful adventure for larger families or groups of friends covering the top highlights of magical Malawi. A mix bag of properties that will show case authenticity and luxury"

From

$6020

Per person sharing

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