Africa

The highlights of Malawi, the warm heart of Africa

highlights of Malawi

After reading our previous blog on Mozambique, it is time to give you an overview of our highlights of Malawi. Malawi is also called the “warm heart of Africa”. This is not because of its high temperatures, although it can be very hot there (especially when you visit at the start of the rainy season). No, this is because of its people who welcome you with their happy smiles. Together with the beauty and diversity of the country, Malawi has reasons enough to visit! Read all about our highlights of Malawi below.

1. Hiking in Mount Mulanje

Malawi

Our 3-day hiking trip definitely was one of our highlights of Malawi. Together with our guide Arnold (arranged via infoMulanje), we started our journey passing through the beautiful tea estates of Mulanje. Although the climb on the first day was very steep and very sweaty, we enjoyed our journey. We slept in basic huts, where friendly guards welcomed us. In the evening we cooked our own meals and enjoyed playing cards with some other tourists. No worries, Mount Mulanje is not very crowded!

2. Having the elephants to yourself in Majete Wildlife Reserve

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We enjoyed the 2 days we spent in Majete Wildlife Reserve. It is a small park and on paper you can find the big five here. However, don’t go here with the idea that you can remove “spotting the big five” from your bucket list. The animal population is not as diverse and dense as in famous parks like Kruger in South-Africa and Etosha in Nambia. What makes it one of our highlights of Malawi then? Well, we had the whole park to ourselves and we could enjoy some beautiful encounters from the different hides in the park!

We sat down in one of the hides late in the afternoon with a nice view over the Shire river and all of us sudden 4 elephants crossed the river to take a bath. Driving a bit further we stopped at a small waterhole. In the beginning, there was nothing to see, but after 10 minutes the show started! Warthogs, baboons, waterbucks, zebras, sable antelopes and even a herd of elephants entered the stage. What else do you expect from a wildlife-watching-experience?

3. Visiting the market in Zomba Town

Malawi

Zomba town is a small village close to the Zomba Plateau. We wanted to do some hiking on this plateau. However, the landscape on the plateau really disappointed us. A lot of the trees have been cut, resulting in an empty area covered with black ashes.

Luckily the colorful market in town fully compensates for the depressing atmosphere on the plateau. We tried some new fruits and stocked up on fruits and vegetables. Do expect that some vendors ask a little bit more to “muzungus”, some try to ask a lot more and expect you to pay 2 euros for a banana ;).

4. Kayaking between hippos and crocs in Liwonde National Park

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Liwonde National Park gives a completely different wildlife experience than Majete. Most of the wildlife is concentrated in or close to the water of the Shire river. Therefore we decided to take a kayaking trip. We had very close encounters with hippos and crocodiles. It was amazing to see grazing hippos splashing into the water just in front of our kayak.

We camped at Bushmen’s Baobabs, a safari camp beautifully located close the river. During the day we spotted buffalos there, in the night we heard the sounds of hippos and in the morning we had a hippo footprint 20 meters from our tent (!). From the lookout we had amazing views over the park and we could enjoy beautiful sunsets.

5. Relaxing in Cape Maclear

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After the many kilometers we had been driving and the many activities we had been doing, we welcomed some relaxation at Cape Maclear, a small town at Lake Malawi. Therefore we enjoyed reading a book, eating delicious curry at a local restaurant, kayaking and snorkeling between numerous colorful cichlids (=little fish) in Lake Malawi. We do need to warn you though, as there is one downside to Lake Malawi called bilharzia. Ensure to visit a doctor to check if this little worm didn’t find its way into your body. Rest you: we know from experience that the treatment is easy.

6. Diving in Lake Malawi

During our world trip we have discovered the magical underwater world. After several dives in the ocean, we wanted to try diving in fresh water. We experienced that the little colorful cichlids are really everywhere in the lake. Diving in Lake Malawi also offers opportunities to see geological underwater wonders, like huge rocks and narrow caves.

7. Meeting the people is definitely one of the highlights of Malawi

Malawi’s nickname the “warm heart of Africa” is certainly well-deserved. We experienced so many nice people and were often welcomed with big smiles. Moreover, people speak English quite well, which makes it easy to communicate.

So, plenty of reasons to visit the warm hearth of Africa we would say! And there is probably more to Malawi, as we only had time to visit the south of this country. Want to read more about our trip to Northern Mozambique and Malawi, check out our posts on “our highlights of Mozambique” and “back on the road”.

Discussion

4 Responses to “The highlights of Malawi, the warm heart of Africa”

  1. Leuk. Mooie foto’s.

    Jan

    Posted by Jan Schellekens | 2 April 2018, 7:01 PM
  2. Zowel de verhalen als de foto’s blijven indrukwekkend.

    Posted by Lia | 3 April 2018, 10:03 AM
  3. Om jaloers van te worden. Prachtige reis wederom, ondanks de bilharzia 🙂

    Posted by Tim | 11 April 2018, 12:41 PM
  4. Wat een opsomming! Heerlijk om te lezen en mee te beleven. Dank je wel.

    Posted by Angelique | 5 June 2018, 3:00 PM

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