Unforgettable Malawi Holidays | Lake Malawi Packages

About Malawi

Famed and loved for its lake – the ninth largest in the world, and dubbed the lake of stars by David Livingstone, Lake Malawi holidays are always memorable. When thinking of a location for a beach break most people would not think of a land-locked country but there a number of resorts on the shores of Lake Malawi where you can relax on the beach and enjoy watersports and fresh water diving and snorkelling.  

Interesting things to do in Malawi

Lake Malawi sits at the southern end of the Rift Valley and provides a fantastic playground for all with its superb beaches and great fishing. Also home to some 500 varieties of the tropical cichlid fish, at night everyone can see what Livingstone meant as the lake lights up with the reflection of millions of stars, and in December another spectacle is on view as its shores become home to a myriad of different species of orchid. The country also offers magnificent scenery – forests, mountains, vast plains – as well as a number of archaeological and anthropological sites where fossils, Iron Age workings and rock paintings can be seen. There is also great game-viewing to be enjoyed in the Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve.


The best places to stay in Malawi

Where you stay on your Malawi holiday is crucial, and so at Africa Travel we have rounded up a selection of our top accommodation picks.

Holidays in Malawi will invariably include an element of safari, and there is nowhere better to stay than Mkulumadzi. This luxury lodge has an idyllic setting in the Majete Wildlife Reserve at the confluence of two rivers, and it epitomizes splendid isolation with first-class service. Majete is almost unknown to tourists, but is home to the elusive black rhino along with elephant, buffalo, leopard and a myriad of antelope. Accommodation is in eight spacious chalets, each with its own outdoor shower and private viewing deck located on the banks of the Shire River.

In the Liwonde National Park, Malawi’s premier wildlife reserve, sits Mvuu Lodge. This is hippo central on the banks of the Shire River. In fact Mvuu means hippo, and this is indeed the place to see and enjoy all aspects of these great rumbling creatures. Along with hippos there are plentiful sightings of crocodile, elephant and leopard as well as hundreds of species of bird. At certain times guests do not even have to move from the lodge or its own private viewing area to spot the wildlife. Accommodation is in eight spacious tented suites, each of which is raised over a lagoon to make the most of the magical views.

Any Lake Malawi holiday would be incomplete without a stay at Pumulani Lodge - the most surprising and luxurious beach lodge in Malawi. Hidden away amongst trees and creeping out from the rocks, the lodge is a design dream with every villa having glorious views across the lake. Each of the ten villas is uniquely designed, with some incorporating the rocks that rush from the ground, and others incorporating the foliage growing around them. All have huge terraces, verandahs or decks plus spacious living, sleeping and bathing quarters. It is perfect to combine with a safari in neighbouring Zambia.

In Central Malawi lies the 1800 sq kilometre Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, and nestled in the forest here on the banks of the Bua River is the Tongole Wilderness Retreat. It enjoys an idyllic setting and provides the perfect opportunity to explore nature at a more leisurely pace. Rather than racing around on a game vehicle ticking off animals here you can a take a slow safari, stopping to explore the flora and fauna on a guided walk, taking a hike to waterfall or canoeing on the forest-fringed river. As well as being personally enriching a stay at Tongole benefits the local community as the lodge's foundation supports education and employment in the area.

Malawi holidays come in all shapes and sizes and those wanting to stay at the country’s premier resort should head for The Makakola Retreat. This is a lakeside paradise on a palm-fringed beach on the southern shores of the lake. It is the place to retreat to after days in the bush, to refresh and relax on the water’s edge. Each of its rooms and villas are based on the traditional African rondavel, with thatched roofs and local materials and fabrics used in the interiors. Family rooms are available, with all of the room types being within walking distance of the golden sands. The resort also offers a wide choice of water and land-based activities from sailing and squash, to windsurfing and golf.

On the south-western tip of Likoma Island you will find Kaya Mawa, where you can relax in the friendly and informal atmosphere of this unique getaway. Nestled on the lakeshore amongst rocky knolls and boabab trees the resort's rooms are all individually designed using natural materials and hand crafted furniture. The two bedroom family houses are right on the beach and for those looking for more exclusivity and privacy Ndomo House, a four bedroomed villa, has its own staff and private beach. Kaya Mawa has a PADI dive centre for those looking for adventure among the colourful cichild fish while snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing are also available. Exploring Likoma Island is hugely popular and many find visits to the markets and cathedral and meeting the friendly locals a rewarding experience.

Whichever areas you wish to visit, for a once in a lifetime experience, book your Malawi holiday today to indulge in a combined trip of nature and adventure. Contact Africa Travel for your dream holiday to Malawi and let our experts help create your perfect Malawi holiday package.

For more information, why not speak to one of our experts on +44 (0) 20 7843 3500 or email info@africatravel.co.uk


  • Take a catamaran across Lake Malawi
  • Sample the tea estates
  • Visit St Peter's Cathedral on Likoma Island
  • Dive amongst the tropical fish
  • Spot elephant in the Liwonde National Park


  • Hyena, Buffalo, Black Rhino, Zebra, Birds, Many tropical fish are endemic to Malawi


  • Green season – December to May (turns mild at the end)
  • Cool dry season – June to August
  • Hot dry season – September to October
  • November – It could swing either way as it transitions from the dry to green season.

In The Know

    • Capital – Lilongwe
    • Currency – Malawi Kwacha
    • Point of Entry – Lilongwe, Blantyre
    • Airlines – South African Airways via Johannesburg, Kenya Airways via Nairobi
    • Flying Time – 2 hours 20 minutes from Johannesburg or Nairobi
    • Time Zone – GMT +2
    • A 75 USD entry fee will be effective from 01 July 2015 for UK and other Schengen country members for entry to Malawi
    • Medical Requirements – Malaria prophylaxis recommended 

Insider Tips

    • Time your visit in September or October to see The Lake of Stars Music Festival
    • Note that the national parks are often not accessible in January & February
    • Visit from May to October for the best beach weather
    • If self-driving, allow plenty of time as some of the roads are in poor condition
    • Engage with the locals – Malawians are amongst the friendliest in Africa

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