Tailored from £6,200 per person excl. flights
12 days Blantyre, Majete, Liwonde, Mumbo, Cape Maclear
12 days Blantyre, Majete, Liwonde, Mumbo, Cape Maclear
Our Classic Malawi Safari & Beach Holiday is a favourite for travellers seeking to explore a greatly underrated corner of Africa. This itinerary will take you to Malawi’s best safari destinations, rivers, mountains and lakes.
You’ll go in search of Africa’s ‘Big Five’ while learning about Malawi’s ‘wildlife renaissance’ in Majete, where you’ll stay at the beautiful Mkulumadzi Lodge. You’ll then head to Liwonde, one of the best boat-safari destinations in Africa, where you’ll stay in a luxury safari tent at Kuthengo Camp. You’ll have the chance to float down the Shire River in search of lions, black rhino, elephants and more.
After a taste of barefoot luxury island living on Mumbo, you’ll end your holiday on the ‘Lake of Stars’ in Cape Maclear. Stay at the exquisite Pumalani Lodge to rejuvenate for a few days after a week of adventure. Here, you can absorb the slow pace of life and snorkel in Lake Malawi, the world’s most biodiverse lake for freshwater fish.
Tranquil and less travelled, our Classic Malawi Safari & Beach Holiday will delight anyone wanting to visit Africa’s finest up and coming wildlife destination.
After arriving in Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, you’ll be met by your private driver for the 30-minute drive to Leslie Lodge, your accommodation for the night.
Leslie Lodge is a reputable family-run boutique hotel and offers a restful stay after your long-haul flight. Situated in a peaceful neighbourhood in the heart of Blantyre, with lush gardens and two pet duikers, Leslie Lodge is the perfect spot to relax and breathe in Malawi for the first time.
You will stay here on a full-board basis and enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal for dinner, before getting some rest before your journey tomorrow.
Enjoy a hot breakfast this morning, before meeting your private driver for your 1.5-hour drive to Majete Wildlife Reserve, located at the base of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Despite its thriving wildlife population (thanks to an extensive conservation project), the reserve remains an off-grid destination with unspoiled wilderness and first-class guiding.
You’ll drive to the Mkulumadzi River, where you’ll finish your journey on foot over a suspended rope bridge, to arrive at Mkulumadzi Lodge. You’ll be greeted for check in before tucking into a fresh lunch overlooking the Shire River.
After lunch, grab your binoculars and board your 4x4 vehicle or boat for the first of your safaris. This evening, relax with a sundowner overlooking the Shire River, and enjoy your 3-course candle lit dinner.
Situated on the confluence of the Shire and Mkulumadzi Rivers just a few kilometres from the cascading Kapichira Falls, Mkulumadzi is Majete’s only luxury lodge with just eight private spacious chalets. You will stay here for two nights on an all-inclusive basis, in a secluded chalet overlooking the river.
You’ll rise early this morning to the sound of Majete waking up, before sipping on some warm Malawian coffee and heading out into the bush on your morning safari. Early game drives are brilliant for spotting big cats in action so keep your eyes peeled for these elusive creatures.
Following poaching and habitat destruction, Majete has recently returned to the thriving wildlife haven it once was, with over 12,000 animals including the ‘Big Five’, zebra, eland, hippo and birds such as Boehm’s bee eater and the elusive African finfoot.
Return to your lodge for a delicious lunch, a swim in the pool and afternoon tea on the veranda before your evening game drive. After dinner, sit around the fire listening to your guide’s stories from the wild and look out for bush babies in the trees.
After breakfast and a morning game drive, you’ll meet your private driver for your 3.5-hour drive to Kuthengo Camp in Liwonde National Park. On arrival, you’ll check in and enjoy a hearty lunch, before settling into your room.
Despite its relatively small size, Liwonde is arguably one of the most diverse habitats in the whole of Africa, with rocky outcrops and miombo woodland mixed with large forests of cathedral mopane and unique succulents.
This evening, you’ll board your first boat safari on the majestic Shire River. As the largest river in Malawi it provides a year-round haven for elephants, crocodiles and over 400 species of bird such as fish eagles, weaver birds and Pel’s fishing owl.
Return to your lodge for a cocktail overlooking the river before tucking into a traditional communal dinner. Join your guide around the campfire and listen to their stories of wildlife guiding in the bush, before retiring to your tent to fall asleep to the sounds of Malawi’s nocturnal animals.
Rise early today for your morning safari walk through Liwonde National Park. If you’re lucky, you might spot the elusive big cats that have recently been reintroduced into the park, including lions and cheetah. You’ll be accompanied by an expert local guide and an armed scout, who will share their knowledge about animal behaviour, tracking and species identification.
Return to your lodge for breakfast and relax in these unspoiled tranquil surroundings, before heading out on your evening game drive. The guiding in Liwonde is first-class and completely tailored to you. This means you can decide whether you would like to do a 4x4, boat or walking safari and your local guide is happy to oblige. In the evening, relax on the plush sofas with an ice-cold beer or cocktail in the bar area.
After breakfast and your morning activity, you’ll check out and take a boat across the Shire River, to find your private vehicle transfer waiting on the other side. You’ll then drive to Cape Maclear, which will take approximately 3.5 hours. Upon arrival, you’ll be taken to the Kayak Africa house where you can relax and wait for your scheduled dhow transfer to the remote Mumbo Island. The dhow transfer across Lake Malawi will take around one hour.
Once you reach Mumbo Island, you’ll discover tranquil barefoot luxury. The camp is built of reeds, timber, thatch and canvas, and is perched on high rocks overlooking the water. With solar lighting and recyclable water, Mumbo is the perfect eco-retreat.
You’ll stay in blissful isolation here for the next two nights in an en-suite chalet on a full-board basis. Enjoy hiking through nature trails, kayaking around the island to explore hidden coves, and swimming and snorkelling in the biodiverse protected waters of the National Park,
In the evenings, board the dhow for a sunset cruise around the island with an ice-cold sundowner, before returning for a delicious dinner.
After a leisurely morning and breakfast, you’ll check out and board the dhow back to the mainland. You’ll be met on arrival for your private transfer to Pumulani, located on a quiet side of Cape Maclear, around a 30-minute drive from Kayak Africa.
After checking into your hotel, you can recover from your long drive by lazing in a hammock under the baobabs on the glittering shore of Lake Malawi. You’ll stay here for the next four nights in a villa on a full board basis.
Spend your days absorbing the serenity of Lake Malawi, whether it be on an early breakfast cruise or an enchanting sunset cruise. For the thrill-seekers, Pumulani have two speedboats offering water sports like wakeboarding and tubing. Snorkelling and scuba diving are excellent in this area, or for the more experienced sailors, there are two dhingys for guests to use, all of which are included in your stay.
Join your guide for a hike into the hills to spot endemic birds and see the endless vistas over Lake Malawi.There are also guided walks through the local villages where you can learn about life on the Lake and the traditions and rituals of Malawian culture.
In the evenings, be sure to learn about astronomy with Godfrey, with the only ‘Stargazer’ telescope in the whole of Malawi. The telescope has a remarkable 200x zoom, so you can see the brightest colours on Saturn and Jupiter.
Enjoy breakfast and a final morning on the waters of Lake Malawi, before checking and meeting your private driver for your three-hour transfer to Kamazu International Airport. At the airport, you will be assisted to check-in with your bags, before boarding your return flight home.