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14 nights
from £7995

Ultimate Malawi

A unique escorted exploration of Malawi’s wildlife & wonders

  • 9 June 2021
  • 8 November 2021
  • Wildlife Tours/ Natural World
  • Liwonde National Park

Known as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ due to the legendary welcome extended to all who visit, land-locked Malawi’s biggest draw is its beguiling sea-like lake but, with areas that were previously off-limits having become havens for wildlife, the country is now emerging as one of Africa’s top safari destinations. Boasting verdant highlands and tropical forests, undulating valleys and exceptional game viewing within its national parks, as well as a host of fascinating historical and cultural sites to be explored, it is easy to see why this wonderfully diverse African country has captured the imagination of so many.

Highlights of our new escorted tour will include visits to the national parks including Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi’s only Big Five park with thriving animal populations and plentiful birdlife, and Liwonde National Park where we will embark on game drives, bush walks and boat trips along the Shire River which is regularly visited by hippo, crocodiles, elephant and an array of birdlife. During our visits to the beautifully scenic Thyolo region, where tea has been grown since the time of the British, and the colonial city of Zomba, there will be opportunities for birdwatching and hiking and at the Zomba Plateau, an area of untamed wilderness which rises to nearly 2200 metres, we will witness some of the best views in Malawi. A fitting end to the tour is our visit to what Livingstone named ‘the lake of stars’, the beautifully expansive Lake Malawi where we will spend two days allowing for time to simply soak up the atmosphere or partake in the activities including a wonderful sunset cruise.

There are just twelve places available for each departure and we have selected the finest accommodation available. Tourism is still very much in its infancy in Malawi and, whilst the same facilities and infrastructure as that of Africa’s more visited destinations should not be expected, you will be able to truly immerse yourself in the heartland of Africa.

Useful links & Travel Advice

Please find a selection of useful websites to refer to for information from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, on visa requirements, NHS travel health advice and other useful travel tips.  

  • Our View

    "Although less than half the size of Great Britain, Malawi offers a unique combination of landscapes, lakes and wildlife and it is the friendliness and warmth of the Malawian people that make it one of Africa’s most welcoming countries. Join our small group to explore the country’s Majete Wildlife Reserve, one of Africa’s great conservation success stories and home to the Big Five, Liwonde National Park and the historical tea and coffee estates around Mount Mulanje. There will be opportunities to walk and explore the country on foot including at the Zomba Plateau from where, in colonial times, the views were called “the best in the British Empire”. With over 650 different bird species we will be sure to identify new species and I look forward to sharing my passion for Africa with you."

    Pierre Thomas, Tour Leader

    More information
  • Your Tour Leader

    Pierre Thomas

    Pierre Thomas

    Born in Belgium, Pierre moved to Zaire (the former Belgian Congo) with his family in 1978 where he lived and attended the Belgian School until 1989. Promising himself he would return to Africa after his studies, he moved to Ghent, Belgium to study tropical animal husbandry, specializing in tropical fish farming. His studies took him to Rwanda where he completed a fiveweek apprenticeship in Butare, and then to Ecuador where he worked with an Aquaculture Research Centre. This second apprenticeship allowed him to discover the Galapagos Islands, and soon after he moved there permanently to work as a Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader for 10 years. Since 2003, Pierre has lectured and worked within the travel industry and he works as a lecturer on board our expedition cruises and organises fine explorations of the natural world.

    More information

Malawi Accommodation

Malawi Accommodation

For this tour we have hand-picked the finest lodges and accommodations available so that you can truly unwind after the day’s events whilst enjoying wonderful views of the African landscapes.

View accommodation details

Itinerary

  • Liwonde National Park
  • Yellow Baboons, Zebra and Guinea Fowl sharing a waterhole in Majete Wildlife Reserve

Day 1 London to Chileka, Malawi.

Fly overnight by scheduled indirect flight from London to Chileka Airport in Blantyre.

Day 2 Blantyre to Majete Wildlife Reserve.

Arrive this morning and transfer to Mkulumadzi Lodge where we will spend the first three nights of our tour. Enjoy time to settle in and relax and, in the late afternoon, we will take an evening game drive. Return to the lodge for dinner.

Days 3 & 4 Majete Wildlife Reserve.

Nestled in the south west of the country, we will spend two days exploring this unique reserve with morning and afternoon game drives on offer. There will also be the opportunity to join guided walks and explore the reserve’s spectacular and diverse landscape on foot, encountering wildlife along the way. Sprawling across 700 square kilometres of the Great African Rift Valley, Majete Wildlife Reserve’s undulating terrain incorporates grassy plains, riverside groves and forests of marula, acacia and leadwood interspersed with palms and the occasional baobab tree. The park provides a sanctuary for a diverse mix of wildlife including black rhino, elephant, antelope and warthog, while the Shire River is populated by large numbers of crocodiles and hippos. This conservation success story is a must-see, with over 2,500 animals having been reintroduced into the reserve since 2003 - making it home to Africa’s ‘Big Five’.

Day 5 Thyolo.

Enjoy the last morning at Mkulumadzi Lodge and after breakfast we will transfer to Game Haven Lodge in Thyolo, our base for the next two nights. Located between Blantyre and Mount Mulanje in what is arguably the most scenically beautiful region of Malawi, the town of Thyolo serves as the administrative capital of the Thyolo District. With its tidy landscape of undulating hills and immaculately kept tea and coffee estates, some of which date back as far as the early 1900s, the Thyolo area is a pleasure to explore. Magnificent views of Mount Mulanje and the Shire River Valley in the distance are a highlight of the region. Enjoy lunch upon arrival and in the afternoon we will take a tea tasting tour of Huntingdon House situated at the Satemwa Tea Estates in Thyolo district.

Day 6 Thyolo.

This morning we will drive to Mulanje for a guided hike. Mulanje is a place of inspiration, where you can feel the uniqueness of this land. The hike starts at Likhubula Forest Lodge, at an altitude of 800 metres, where there are spectacularly huge and rolling hills covered by green tea mantle. En-route we may spot baboons, vervets and blue monkeys and we will stop for a while to enjoy our packed lunches and to take in our surroundings. You may wish to enjoy a swim in Old Man’s Pool, a beautiful waterfall where legend has it that the spirit of an old man resides and disappears into the water every time someone comes to swim. After some time to relax we will descend and return to the Likhubula Forest Lodge before driving back to our accommodation.

Day 7 Zomba.

This morning we head to Zomba and Sunbird Kuchawe Inn, our accommodation for the next two nights. Arrive and spend the day at leisure to relax and enjoy the hotel’s facilities. Situated in southern Malawi, the city of Zomba formerly served as the colonial capital of the country; it is known for its colonial architecture and location on the southern slopes of the scenic Zomba Plateau.

Day 8 Zomba.

After breakfast we will have a guided walk on the Zomba Plateau with its rugged wilderness of lush forests, glistening lakes, and cascading waterfalls. The plateau top is crisscrossed by streams and there are tumbling waterfalls and still lakes - the views from the top were described in colonial times as “the best in the British Empire”. We return for lunch at our hotel and then take an afternoon city and market tour. We will see the Old Memorial Tower, the Old Masongola Hotel, and Old Parliament Building, dating to Zomba’s years as the national capital. Although the capital shifted to Lilongwe in 1974, the building served as parliament until 1994. We then visit the bustling and colourful local market selling everything from fruit and vegetables to arts and crafts, meat and traditional dress.

Day 9 Liwonde National Park.

Today we transfer to Liwonde where we will spend the next three nights at Mvuu Lodge situated right in Liwonde National Park. Enjoy lunch on arrival and in the late afternoon take an evening game drive returning to the lodge in time for dinner.

Days 10 & 11 Liwonde National Park.

Enjoy two full days exploring the park with morning and afternoon game drives on offer, as well as safaris by boat and on foot. Liwonde National Park is situated at the southern tip of Lake Malombe in southern Malawi. Although Liwonde is one of Malawi’s smaller parks, it is arguably the most popular of all the game parks in the country. Malawi’s main river, the Shire, forms its western boundary and is the reserve’s lifeblood. With plentiful wildlife including hippos, kudu, crocodiles and elephants, and even black rhino, the park has become one of Malawi’s premier wildlife-viewing destinations. The birding is excellent and a favourite sighting among birdwatchers is the Pel’s fishing owl.

Day 12 Lake Malawi.

After breakfast we transfer by road to Salima and then by boat to Blue Zebra Island Lodge, our accommodation for the final two nights of our tour. Lake Malawi is the crowning jewel of this beautiful country and it is one of the largest, longest and deepest freshwater lakes in the world. Numerous fishing villages are scattered along its length but there are still vast stretches of uninhabited golden beaches. Known as ‘The Lake of Stars’, the natural beauty of Lake Malawi draws travellers from around the globe. It has more species of fish than any other freshwater lake in the world, boasting over 600 species of fish in the Lake Malawi National Park alone. The 590-kilometre-long and 85-kilometre-wide lake is the third-largest lake in Africa, occupying one-fifth of Malawi’s total area. With a depth of 700 metres, it is incredibly deep with its lowest point reaching more than 200 metres below sea level. We can look forward to spotting a myriad of wildlife in and around the lake including, hippos, crocodiles, fish eagles, and over 1000 species of brightly coloured endemic cichlid fish.

Day 13 Lake Malawi.

Spend the day relaxing at the lodge and soaking up the atmosphere or choose to participate in the activities on offer including nature trails and birding. Malawi is world renowned as a birdwatcher’s paradise. The country boasts over 650 different species of birds, 10% of which are native species non-existent anywhere else in the world. Lake Malawi provides an ideal habitat for birdlife with the African fish eagle (Malawi’s national bird) being a prominent fixture across its shores. In fact, Lake Malawi has the highest concentration of African fish eagles on the continent and its cry is heard frequently echoing across the skies over Nankoma Island. In the late afternoon we will take a sunset cruise on the lake which is a wonderfully fitting end to our tour.

Day 14 Lake Malawi to Senga Bay to Lilongwe to London.

This morning we will take a boat transfer to the mainland at Senga Bay. We then transfer by road to Lilongwe International Airport for our scheduled indirect flight to London.

Day 15 London.

Arrive this morning.

Please note that to best enjoy your experience in Malawi you should be in good physical condition and be able to participate in moderate hikes over rough or uneven terrain. There will be opportunities for hikes of varied lengths and for most activities a moderate level of exertion is required. Some days may entail early starts and long drives, however the vehicles used are modern and comfortable.

  • Cheetah, Liwonde National Park
  • Old Man’s Pool near Mulanje
  • Elephants bathing in the Shire River, Liwonde National Park

Dates and Prices

Prices per person based on double occupancy
9 to 23 June 2021 • 8 to 22 November 2021
Category Price
Twin £7995
Single On Request

Tour Reference Code: LAMALAWI

PRICE INCLUDES: Economy class scheduled air travel • Three nights at Mkulumadzi Lodge in Majete Wildlife Reserve • Two nights at Game Haven Lodge in Thyolo • Two nights at Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel in Zomba • Three nights at Mvuu Lodge in Liwonde National Park • Two nights at Blue Zebra Island Lodge in Nankoma Island • Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily • House wine, beer and soft drinks with meals • Excursions including entrance fees • English-speaking guides and drivers • Noble Caledonia Tour Leader • Gratuities • Transfers • Airport taxes.

Not Included: Travel insurance, Malawi visa.

Group Size: We are restricting the group size to just 12 participants.

Important Visa Information: A visa is required for entry into Malawi. British citizen passport holders can apply for the visa through the Malawi High Commission. The Malawi visa cost is currently £65 for British citizens. This information is correct at the time of printing and should the information change, we will be in touch with booked passengers with updated guidelines.

 

Malawi Accommodation

For this tour we have hand-picked the finest lodges and accommodations available so that you can truly unwind after the day’s events whilst enjoying wonderful views of the African landscapes.

 
  • Mkulumadzi Lodge

    Mkulumadzi Lodge – Three nights

    The lodge has eight superb chalets, each with spacious living quarters and private viewing decks offering dramatic and unimpeded views over the confluence of two rivers, the Mkulumadzi and the Shire. The main lodge is an open-fronted space maximising the beautiful river views and taking advantage of some cool shade on the forested banks. Enjoy dining under the stars and take a dip in the kidney-shaped pool. Activities on offer include river cruises, game drives and walking safaris.

     

  • Game Haven Lodge

    Game Haven Lodge – Two nights

    Established in 2006, Game Haven Lodge within the Private Chimwenya Game Park has been the realization of a dream that started in the 1980s to create a unique retreat within Malawi which would combine tourism and wildlife conservation whilst supporting the surrounding communities in Bvumbwe. The family owned Lodge has over the last three years developed from a small five cottage establishment to now having a variety of 25 rooms. Fitted with a patio, the units feature a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower. There is also an outdoor swimming pool.

  • Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel

    Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel – Two nights

    Nestled in the heart of Malawi, Sunbird Ku Chawe is Malawi’s premier mountain resort and one of the best places to fully take in the vast and beautiful countryside of Malawi. The hotel overlooks the Zomba Plateau, which rises to nearly 2200 metres above sea level. Surrounding the hotel are some of the most stunning views to be seen in all of Africa. The hotel’s facilities include the Mulunguzi Restaurant and Bastions Bar, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. Guest rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, a TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom with shower.

  • Mvuu Lodge

    Mvuu Lodge – Three nights

    Mvuu Lodge overlooks a tranquil lagoon just off the Shire River with the main lounge area set high above the water in an area of captivating variety and beauty. It has an extensive wildlife library and telescope to make the most of the exceptional bird and other life that moves around the river. Mvuu means “hippo” in Tonga and the name epitomises the large numbers of pods of these water-loving mammals that float in the river. In this lush and fertile area, an excellent diversity of animals can be seen. Accommodation comprises of eight luxury tents, each with its own en-suite bathroom and deck built to look over the water. The facilities at the lodge include a dining room, pub, lounge area and a swimming pool. Activities include boat safaris, nature walks, birdwatching trails, and traditional game drives by day and night.

     

  • Blue Zebra Island Lodge

    Blue Zebra Island Lodge – Two nights

    Blue Zebra Island Lodge is situated on Nankoma Island, part of the Marelli Archipelago in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lake Malawi National Park. The three islands are home to a vast array of freshwater fish, including some of the rarest and most colourful in the world. The islands support diverse flora and fauna and are a bird watcher’s paradise. The lodge consists of a unique set up with nine en-suite safari-style tented chalets boasting stunning views from private balconies. The chalets are set in an unspoiled environment, immersed in nature. The lodge offers an outdoor pool, restaurant and bar.

  • View all tours
  • Mkulumadzi Lodge

    Mkulumadzi Lodge – Three nights

    The lodge has eight superb chalets, each with spacious living quarters and private viewing decks offering dramatic and unimpeded views over the confluence of two rivers, the Mkulumadzi and the Shire. The main lodge is an open-fronted space maximising the beautiful river views and taking advantage of some cool shade on the forested banks. Enjoy dining under the stars and take a dip in the kidney-shaped pool. Activities on offer include river cruises, game drives and walking safaris.

     

  • Game Haven Lodge

    Game Haven Lodge – Two nights

    Established in 2006, Game Haven Lodge within the Private Chimwenya Game Park has been the realization of a dream that started in the 1980s to create a unique retreat within Malawi which would combine tourism and wildlife conservation whilst supporting the surrounding communities in Bvumbwe. The family owned Lodge has over the last three years developed from a small five cottage establishment to now having a variety of 25 rooms. Fitted with a patio, the units feature a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with shower. There is also an outdoor swimming pool.

  • Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel

    Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel – Two nights

    Nestled in the heart of Malawi, Sunbird Ku Chawe is Malawi’s premier mountain resort and one of the best places to fully take in the vast and beautiful countryside of Malawi. The hotel overlooks the Zomba Plateau, which rises to nearly 2200 metres above sea level. Surrounding the hotel are some of the most stunning views to be seen in all of Africa. The hotel’s facilities include the Mulunguzi Restaurant and Bastions Bar, as well as complimentary Wi-Fi. Guest rooms are equipped with air-conditioning, a TV with satellite channels and a private bathroom with shower.

  • Mvuu Lodge

    Mvuu Lodge – Three nights

    Mvuu Lodge overlooks a tranquil lagoon just off the Shire River with the main lounge area set high above the water in an area of captivating variety and beauty. It has an extensive wildlife library and telescope to make the most of the exceptional bird and other life that moves around the river. Mvuu means “hippo” in Tonga and the name epitomises the large numbers of pods of these water-loving mammals that float in the river. In this lush and fertile area, an excellent diversity of animals can be seen. Accommodation comprises of eight luxury tents, each with its own en-suite bathroom and deck built to look over the water. The facilities at the lodge include a dining room, pub, lounge area and a swimming pool. Activities include boat safaris, nature walks, birdwatching trails, and traditional game drives by day and night.

     

  • Blue Zebra Island Lodge

    Blue Zebra Island Lodge – Two nights

    Blue Zebra Island Lodge is situated on Nankoma Island, part of the Marelli Archipelago in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lake Malawi National Park. The three islands are home to a vast array of freshwater fish, including some of the rarest and most colourful in the world. The islands support diverse flora and fauna and are a bird watcher’s paradise. The lodge consists of a unique set up with nine en-suite safari-style tented chalets boasting stunning views from private balconies. The chalets are set in an unspoiled environment, immersed in nature. The lodge offers an outdoor pool, restaurant and bar.

Our View

"Although less than half the size of Great Britain, Malawi offers a unique combination of landscapes, lakes and wildlife and it is the friendliness and warmth of the Malawian people that make it one of Africa’s most welcoming countries. Join our small group to explore the country’s Majete Wildlife Reserve, one of Africa’s great conservation success stories and home to the Big Five, Liwonde National Park and the historical tea and coffee estates around Mount Mulanje. There will be opportunities to walk and explore the country on foot including at the Zomba Plateau from where, in colonial times, the views were called “the best in the British Empire”. With over 650 different bird species we will be sure to identify new species and I look forward to sharing my passion for Africa with you."

Pierre Thomas, Tour Leader

Your Tour Leader

Pierre Thomas

Born in Belgium, Pierre moved to Zaire (the former Belgian Congo) with his family in 1978 where he lived and attended the Belgian School until 1989. Promising himself he would return to Africa after his studies, he moved to Ghent, Belgium to study tropical animal husbandry, specializing in tropical fish farming. His studies took him to Rwanda where he completed a fiveweek apprenticeship in Butare, and then to Ecuador where he worked with an Aquaculture Research Centre. This second apprenticeship allowed him to discover the Galapagos Islands, and soon after he moved there permanently to work as a Naturalist Guide and Expedition Leader for 10 years. Since 2003, Pierre has lectured and worked within the travel industry and he works as a lecturer on board our expedition cruises and organises fine explorations of the natural world.

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