Begin your 11-day self-drive tour of Malawi at the Lilongwe International Airport where you are chauffeured to luxurious Kumbali Lodge for your overnight stay. With some time for relaxation before dinner, you soak up marvellous views of the countryside.

Then drive your rental vehicle through the Thyolo region to grand Huntingdon House, which is surrounded by the rolling hills of tea plantations. Enjoy picnics on the estate’s beautiful gardens and guided birding walks that have marvellous views of Mount Mulanje. You visit Satemwa’s tea factory, which produces some of Malawi’s finest export teas and observe the production process from leaf to cup.

Next up is Mkulumadzi Lodge situated within the Majete Game Reserve where your home is an open-fronted riverside chalet overlooking the captivating wilderness. Stalk rare antelope through the reserve on guided 4x4 game drives and enjoy walking safaris through the shallow Mkulumadzi River valley and observe the glorious Kapichira Falls on an afternoon boat cruise.

Your last stop is Pumulani Lake Lodge, where your vehicle will be left at reception, collected and taken back to Lilongwe for you. From your thatched suite set in lush hills on Lake Malawi’s southern shore, experience barefoot-luxury with land and water-based activities to meet anybody’s idea of holiday recreation.

Itinerary Highlights

  • Stay on a historical estate & working tea farm
  • Picnics & guided birding walks near Mount Mulanje
  • Open-fronted chalet overlooking Majete Game Reserve
  • Barefoot-luxury & impeccable service on Lake Malawi

Day to Day Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Malawi

You are met at Lilongwe International Airport where you collect your rental car and drive to Kumbali Lodge, just 10 minutes from Lilongwe’s city centre. This secluded retreat on a working maize and dairy farm is set in an expansive garden and offers stately thatched suites which feature Wi-Fi access and balconies overlooking the splendid countryside. The serene lodge is adjacent to Malawi’s presidential palace. Dinner is enjoyed in the elegantly appointed restaurant where the kitchen serves cuisine made largely from ingredients produced by the farm itself – cue deliciously creamy desserts – and full English breakfast accompanied by your choice of fragrant Malawian tea or coffee. The fully-stocked bar offers comfortable outdoor seating with a splendid garden view while the swimming pool provides a place to keep cool during the day. 

Days 2-4

Gracious living in Thyolo

After breakfast this morning you depart the lodge in your vehicle, making your way by road from Lilongwe to the southern region of Malawi. Your journey takes you through the historical town of Blantyre and the trading centre of Limbe – stopping at either of the two for lunch – before winding your way through the Thyolo region to Huntingdon House. Surrounded by the rolling hills of emerald-green tea plantations, this grand colonial-style house has the charming ambiance of a bygone era. Set in magnificent gardens, the building has been tastefully refurbished and decorated to reflect the historical traits of the old residence, from the original children’s nursery to the resident priest’s quarters and private chapel.

Ask the kitchen to pack a picnic basket and wander off into the estate’s beautiful gardens or climb to a scenic spot and enjoy your lunch while soaking up splendid views of Mount Mulanje. Sit and quietly reflect on a secluded terrace with a cup of tea or take a guided tour of the indigenous forests of the Thyolo Mountains which teem with birdlife. Visit Satemwe’s tea factory which produces some of Malawi’s finest export teas and observe the production process from leaf to cup. Take a mountain bike up one of the estate’s trails, stopping occasionally to enjoy panoramic views of your awe-inspiring surroundings. For a formalised birding experience, expert guides are available to escort you into the forests for twitching, where you also have the opportunity to stand under the impressive waterfalls that run down Mount Mulanje.

Days 5-6

Into the Shire

After breakfast this morning you take the two-hour drive into the Shire Valley to Mkulumadzi Lodge situated within the Majete Game Reserve. Shaded by giant leadwood trees and overlooking the confluence of the Shire and Mkulumadzi rivers, this intimate lodge is set on a private concession near the Kapichira Falls. Each riverside chalet is equipped with a private viewing deck so that even while you are not exploring the reserve, you can indulge in ‘armchair game viewing’ from the comfort of home.

Animals reintroduced into the mature miombo woodlands, river valleys and lush forests of the reserve include rare antelope species as well as Cape buffalo and elephant. Explore the reserve on guided 4x4 game drives or on foot during a walking safari through the shallow Mkulumadzi River valley. Visit a nearby village and community centre for a unique cultural experience and observe the glorious Kapichira Falls on an afternoon boat cruise. Meals are enjoyed in the dining room where the trunks of mature leadwood trees support its high ceiling.

Days 7-10

Rest well at Pumulani

This morning you set off from Majete Game Reserve to Pumulani Lake Lodge, where your vehicle will be left at reception, collected and taken back to Lilongwe for you. Offering a bush-and-beach experience that epitomises barefoot-luxury, this spectacular lodge offers the only accommodation available within Lake Malawi National Park. Nestled among rocky crags in lush hills on the lake’s southern shore, your thatched suite is built along the hillside in harmony with the natural surroundings and designed with its own unique decorative features. In the local Chichewa language Pumulani means ‘rest well’ and this dynamic lodge certainly lives up to its name with private beach access and intuitive guest service. Pumulani sets the bar for a balmy beach getaway. Offering off-the-beach snorkelling, tubing and water sports, this premier beach lodge is a haven for both sun worshippers and thrill-seekers alike.

Open your eyes and step onto your private deck where the morning sun warms your face from across the lake that glitters like diamonds. A short walk down to your private beach and you have at your disposal an impressive stretch of pristine golden sand on which to make yourself comfortable under an umbrella. Take to the glistening waters in a speedboat for some skiing or set anchor alongside a coral reef to explore the marine wonderland and its colourful inhabitants with your snorkel. Over lunch, indulge in a delightful seafood medley of chambo fish and succulent prawns complemented by a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. While lounging around the infinity pool on the lodge’s lower terrace, you are able to enjoy marvellous bush-and-lake views which inspire the grand idea to romantically set sail on a traditional dhow just before sunset. The sun – having made its way back down to meet the horizon – has now set the stage for the magnificent stars which can be observed through the lodge’s incredibly powerful stargazer. Dinner is served on the main deck where you enjoy freshly prepared haute cuisine while the blinking lanterns of fishing boats bob on the expansive lake’s now still and dark waters.

Day 11

Farewell Malawi

After breakfast this morning you are transferred to a small airstrip in Monkey Bay where you board a scenic flight back to Lilongwe International Airport and connect with your return flight home. 


  • 1 Night at Kumbali Country Lodge on half board basis
  • 3 Nights at Huntingdon House on full board basis
  • 2 Nights at Mkulumadzi on full board basis
  • 4 Nights at Pumulani Lake Lodge on full board basis
  • Car hire with comprehensive insurance and unlimited mileage
  • National Park fees
  • Drinks at Huntingdon, Pumulani and Mkulumadzi


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

Tour Rates

  • dates rates from
  • 01 Jul 2016 - 31 Oct 2016 $4990
  • 01 Nov 2016 - 09 Dec 2016 $4765
  • 10 Dec 2016 - 09 Jan 2017 $4990

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

"If you want the best Malawi has to offer, you have found it! You can expect authentic Malawian hospitality whilst exploring some of the most breath taking areas of this hidden Gem in Africa"



Per person sharing

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