Classic Malawi Safari & Beach Holiday
Experience the best of Malawi, from exciting wildlife viewing on safari, to luxury beachside living on Lake Malawi.
With pristine white sand beaches sprinkled between old fishing villages and lowland tropical forest, it’s understandable why visitors are willing to make the journey to the shores of Lake Malawi.
This beautiful area is still a bit of a hidden gem on any Southern African safari circuit and those who visit find endless beaches where you can soak up the sea and sunshine in blissful isolation.
The sparkling waters of Lake Malawi are home to an impressive array of freshwater fish, with a greater variety than any other lake on earth. It's the perfect place for snorkelling, scuba diving and boating, and you’ll be sure to spot some of the 850 species of the mouth brooding cichlids.
Not all activities are under water though; with plenty of wild places to explore on land too. In the North, limited traffic and a plethora of trails mean bicycles are the perfect way to get around. You can cycle from Chintheche to the bustling harbor town of Nkhata Bay for the day, or embark on an exhilarating mountain biking excursion along intricate bush trails through Malawi’s most picturesque valleys, rivers, forests, farms and tea plantations.
If you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground you can hike through the forest trails searching for endemic species with your local guide. In the South, we recommend hiking up to Kungoni hills where you’ll get the best view of Cape Maclear from the summit, as well as spot some endemic bird species.
The only way to get a true idea of Lake Malawi’s magnitude is to soar above it by light aircraft flight to the remote Likoma Island. With uninterrupted panoramic views of Mozambique’s wild coast, Likoma Island offers authentic beachside luxury that’s near impossible to leave.
As evening falls, take in the the vivid orange sunset from a hammock under the baobabs with an ice-cold sundowner. The beachside bars and restaurants start to awaken with the sound of reggae and the smell of fresh seafood.
The best time to visit Lake Malawi is between May and October. During this time, the weather is warm and dry and makes for the best beach weather. The rains arrive in January and February, bringing lush green vegetation but also muddy trails, flood risk and higher mosquito activity. For music and art lovers, the Lake of Stars Festival is hosted in September which could make a fun addition to your itinerary.
North Lake Malawi is the perfect addition to any trip to Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, as it borders the three countries with excellent transport links. Cross directly into North Malawi from Southern Tanzania and float down the coast.
Central Lake Malawi suits those who are going on safari North of the capital city Lilongwe, travelling by car and avoids internal flights.
Southern Lake Malawi can be reached by plane or easily by car when combining with the main safari hot spots, Majete and Liwonde. We can pair you with accommodation that suits your style and needs, ranging from boutique guesthouses, family villas, remote island camps or luxury lakeshore lodges.
With plenty of activities to entertain all ages and plenty of family-friendly lodges, Lake Malawi is also a great addition to our Malawi Family Safari Holiday itinerary.
For honeymooners wanting an undisturbed paradise with a splash of adventure, Lake Malawi is the ideal destination for our Malawi Honeymoon Escape itinerary. Its lavish lakeside properties and friendly staff means Lake Malawi fits effortlessly into our Luxury Malawi Safari and Mozambique itineraries.
Accommodation in Lake Malawi is centered around the water with a plethora of beautiful lakeside lodges to suit both adventurous travelers and those wanting to relax in beachside hammocks and get lost in a book. The white-washed Kaya Mara on Likoma Island offers eco-friendly isolated luxury at its finest, ideal for relaxing after safari or for a family getaway.
Unleash your inner islander and get lost on the Mozambican shores of Cobue Island at Nkwichi or live like royalty at Kachere Kastle, both family friendly. For bike-enthusiasts, Chintheche Inn is ideally located for exploring the surrounding villages and reserves by bike, while providing a quiet refuge with a beachside pool to relax after a fun day of cycling.
In the South visit Cape Maclear and even head to Mumbo or Domwe Islands for a unique Robinson Crusoe experience.