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Tailored from £5,650 per person excl. flights

14 days Lilongwe, Luwawa Valley, Nyika National Park, Lake Malawi, Nkhotakota

Head down ‘the road less travelled’ and experience secluded wilderness at Malawi’s remote bush lodges, mesmerizing highlands and quirky castles on Malawi’s ‘Lake of Stars’

As a destination often omitted from many travellers visiting Africa, our off-the-beaten-track Malawi itinerary will take you to some of the most remote corners in the whole of Africa. Start with one night in Lilongwe’s homely boutique hotel named after the resident Robin, Heuglin. With its blossoming green gardens and plenty of nooks to relax in and hearty home-cooked cuisine, it’s the perfect spot to vitalise you for your upcoming adventures. Ascend to 1700m in the Viphya Mountains to breathe a breath of fresh air in the cool temperatures at Luwawa Forest Lodge. Surrounded by indigenous woodland, birds and wildflowers, there are plenty of adventurous activities on offer.

Continue North the next day to venture deeper into Malawian wilderness. Well worth the bumpy ride up to the highlands of Nyika National Park, Chelinda Lodge provides a warm retreat from which to explore these mythical lands for the next four nights. Afterwards, you’ll travel to your castle on Malawi’s ‘lake of stars’ where you have a chance to descend into another world in the biodiverse depths of Lake Malawi.

Next, it’s back to the bush in Malawi’s oldest and least travelled national park, Nkhotakota, where you will stay at the stunning Tongole Lodge for three nights. Embark on exhilarating canoe safaris where you will float down the Bua river and view wildlife in areas too rugged for vehicles. Finish your adventure back in civilisation at Heuglin’s lodge in Lilongwe before your flight out the next day.

With the perfect combination of feeling free in true wilderness and the laissez-faire lifestyle on Lake Malawi, you are guaranteed to leave Malawi having trodden paths never walked before.

What's included:

  • Private airport transfers
  • Meals and drinks as mentioned in full itinerary
  • Your choice of accommodation styles
  • National Park and Conservancy Fees
  • Professional local staff with fair salaries
  • All activities mentioned including non-motorised water sports

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you


Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Malawi

Day 1: Welcome to Malawi
Day 1: Welcome to Malawi Listing Image

You will be met on arrival into Kamazu International Airport in Lilongwe for your 30-minute private transfer to your hotel for the night, Heuglins Lodge.

Set in a quiet, leafy ambassadorial suburb of Lilongwe and just a short drive into the capital city, Heuglins Lodge offers the warmest of welcome’s into Malawi. With its eclectic décor, gorgeous gardens and inviting swimming pool, it’s the perfect spot to rest and recoup after your international flight.

Tuck into a delicious three-course dinner tonight, made fresh daily using local and seasonal ingredients, before retiring to your room to get some rest before you head into the wild.

Day 2: To Luwawa Forest

Day 2: To Luwawa Forest
Day 2: To Luwawa Forest Listing Image

You’ll say goodbye to bustling city life today to head deep into the forest. After breakfast at Heuglins, you will check out and be picked up for your private transfer to Luwawa Valley, taking approximately three hours. Starkly contrasting Lilongwe, Luwawa Valley’s evergreen forest and montane grassland supports populations of the majestic red duiker, along with yellow baboon, bush pig and the elusive leopard.

Set 1700m above sea level in the Viphya Mountains overlooking Luwawa Dam, Luwawa Forest Lodge is a rustic but welcoming stay well-suited for adventurous travellers with its plethora of outdoor activities on offer. Stretch your legs after your transfer and breathe in the fresh air along one of the excellent hiking and mountain biking trails, keeping an eye out for rare and endemic bird species along the way. Luwawa Dam is well stocked with a variety of fish including wide-mouthed bream so a spot of fishing in the afternoon can be arranged.

In the evening, enjoy a home-cooked dinner before sitting around the cosy log fire.

Day 3 - 5: Nyika National Park

Day 3 - 5: Nyika National Park
Day 3 - 5: Nyika National Park Listing Image

Wake this morning for a hearty cooked breakfast with a cup of Malawian coffee before checking out for your private transfer to Nyika, taking approximately 4.5-hours.

Ascend to 2000m in altitude to Nyika National Park, one of Malawi’s most remote and beautiful regions. Nyika is home to biodiverse wildlife including leopard, jackal, hyena, buffalo and large numbers of zebra and antelope. Aside from your fellow guests in the seven other European-style mountain chalets, you are unlikely to see another soul for the next four days.

You have three days to revel in this magical Alpine wonderland. Wake to view the hazy sunrise over the undulating hills through the large windows in your chalet before heading out on your morning activity.

From spotting rare wildlife to visiting rolling waterfalls, there’s plenty to explore in this remote corner of the world. Experience Nyika through guided walks, mountain bike safaris, horse rides, game drives and scenic plane rides over the plateau with your excellent local guides who will teach you all about animal tracking and wildlife conservation in the area. With a keen eye and a spot of luck, you may just spot some of the rarer species in the park like honey badgers, leopards and African bush elephants.

Other activities include fly fishing in the well-stocked lake, overnight trail hikes and wild camping.

Day 6 - 8: Relax on the ‘Lake of Stars’

Day 6 - 8: Relax on the ‘Lake of Stars’
Day 6 - 8: Relax on the ‘Lake of Stars’ Listing Image

Enjoy your morning activity and breakfast before checking out for your 4.5-hour private transfer to Lake Malawi. Break the journey up with a pit-stop at the buzzing town of Nkhata Bay for lunch before arriving at Kachere Kastle.

Kachere Kastle is a truly unique stay on the sandy shores of Lake Malawi and the perfect place to relax and restore after your exciting safari adventures.

You have three nights at Kachere Kastle where you can do as little or as much as you please. With a large pool with a swim up bar and sun loungers, Kachere is the perfect spot to slow down and lose yourself in a book under the warmth of the sun. For those more adventurous, head out on a bike to visit the local neighbourhood or venture out on Lake Malawi on a kayak or boat at sunset. Whatever you choose to do, you cannot leave without snorkelling in one of the most biodiverse lakes on the planet.

Day 9 - 12: Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve

Day 9 - 12: Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Day 9 - 12: Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve Listing Image

After a leisurely morning and breakfast, you will check out and be met at reception for your private transfer to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, taking around 2.5-hours. Often described as Malawi’s ‘last true wilderness’, Nkhotakota’s inhospitable terrain, tumbling rivers and incredible birdlife deliver an awesome off-grid experience for adventurous travellers.

Nkhotakota is Malawi’s oldest and least developed protected area which gives a unique safari experience of challenging but rewarding wildlife sightings.

You have two full days on safari in Nkhotakota where you can drift along the tranquil Bua River on an exciting canoe safari, walk the terrain too rugged for vehicles with your local guide and scout, or safari in a 4x4 where you will have a chance at spotting elephants, baboons, lion, leopard and an array of exotic birds.

In between safari, relax back at Tongole Lodge, go fly fishing or cultural visits to local schools and communities can be arranged. The Tongole Foundation financially supports several schools in the local area, providing an education for hundreds of children, which you can experience first-hand on a community visit.

Day 13: Back to Lilongwe

Day 13: Back to Lilongwe

After your morning activity and breakfast, you will check out of Tongole to be picked up for your private transfer back to Lilongwe, taking around 3.5-hours.

There’s no better way to celebrate the last night of your off-the-beaten-track Malawi holiday than to share your stories around the table at Heuglin’s Lodge with other guests over a delicious, home-cooked three-course dinner. Finish off the night with one or two last Malawian gin and tonics before getting an early night for your international flight home tomorrow.

Day 14: Departure

Day 14: Departure

This morning you will have breakfast before checking out and being picked up for your 30-minute private transfer to Kamazu International Airport for your international flight home.

Talk to the team

Find out more and tailor your perfect trip with the help of
our specialist team on +44 117 313 3300

Why Wayfairer

Our off-the-beaten-track Malawi itinerary features Malawi’s best eco-lodges in the most remote locations possible. Many of the local people in the surrounding villages of these remote locations live in extreme poverty with limited choices for making a sustainable livelihood. The existence of these lodges, funded by your visit, hugely benefit the surrounding communities. For example, the Tongole Foundation in Nkhotakota National Park has improved education, training and employment whilst concomitantly preserving and protecting wildlife in the area. Luwawa Forest Lodge is also heavily involved in local community initiatives including the opening of a new local nursery school.

In terms of the environment, our off-the-beaten-track Malawi itinerary cherry picks some of the eco-friendliest lodges in Malawi. The construction of Tongole Lodge involved hiring over 100 local people and was constructed with local, sustainably sourced materials to create a lodge unobtrusive to nature. Lodges featured in this itinerary operate with low impact safari activities meaning that you have the best safari experience whilst leaving the least environmental impact and observing the animals with respectful distance.

Why Wayfairer Malawi Off the Beaten Track

Call us on +44 117 313 3300 to start planning your holiday, we’re looking forward to hearing from you