Best of Lake Malawi

The Details

Type: Accommodated Accommodated
Start: Lilongwe Malawi
Length: 14 - 28 Days
End: Lilongwe Malawi
Comfort: Standard
Vehicle: Overland Vehicle
Group Size: Small (<12 People)
Countries: Malawi

Tour Dates

2020
  • 2020
December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
From USD 3020 pp
(Excl. local payment )
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Overview

Lilongwe – Dzalanyama Forest – Thyolo Tea Estates – Cape Maclear – Salima – Nkhotakhota – Chintheche – Nyika National Park – Luwawa Forest Lodge – Lilongwe

This is the tour to really delve into Malawi – From every corner, South to North, it combines the best of Lake Malawi as well as a wide variety of scenery, cultural gemstones and wonderful experiences. If you’re looking for the full Malawian experience, this may be for you. Made specifically to hit some of the very best Malawi has to offer.

What’s so great about these 15 days?

This is where you sink with ease into the Malawian way of life, gentle hiking and incredible scenery, tasting Malawian cuisine and the popular tea grown in Thyolo. Heading up to Cape Maclear you have the opportunity to witness the best sunsets Malawi has to offer, mix that with kayaking, swimming and snorkelling and you have the ultimate beach excursion. Following the famous Lake of Stars north we visit the famous Nkhotakhota Wildlife reserve to try and see the elephants transported in the largest wildlife relocation from Liwonde and Majete. 

The tip of the iceberg is the rolling hills of Nyika Plateau, the great expanse of open plains mixed with dense forest patches and littered with Eland, Hyena, bush pig and more. 

Prices are subject to change.

*2020 Prices are per person sharing. Price excludes single supplement and any additional activities or meals not set out in the itinerary.

Detailed Itinerary

DAY 1: Dzalanyama

Collect you from the airport and transfer you to Dzalanyama or Dedza Forest where you will meet the rest of the group – Afternoon walks into the surrounding forest .

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Forestry House or similar

Meals

Meals:

Dinner

DAY 2: Thyolo

Breakfast then it’s a scenic drive through Malawi, along the Mozambique border, with good views of the lake, through the commercial Capital of Malawi – Blantyre- till we reach our overnight. There are a number of interesting stops enroute like the rock paintings, viewpoints overlooking the lake from the escarpment and market stall alongside the road.  Game Haven is a serene, beautiful game park and lodge is set in the indigenous forests and grasslands of the Shire highlands of Southern Malawi. Experience exceptional viewing of the wildlife which include kudu, roan, eland, sable, giraffe, zebra, and a prolific birdlife.  As part of the unique Game Haven experience, enjoy the internationally designed Matkovich & Hayes 9-hole golf course, beautiful but challenging; The relaxing sound of the cascading waterfall at the swimming pool and fishing and braaing on the scenic lawns of Lake Bvumbwe. As the sun sets, enjoy a drink in the Victorian styled bar followed by exceptional international cuisine at our Ambrosia restaurant.

[360 km, 6 hrs. driving time]

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Game Haven Lodge or similar

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: Thyolo

After breakfast we explore the area. A highlight will be a walking tour of the world recognized Satemwa Tea estate, followed by a tea tasting workshop. They produce a variety of white, black, gold and flavoured teas. After the tasting, return to the luxurious Huntingdon House where we will have a superb lunch. After lunch its a short drive and walk up into the estate, to Thyolo mountain – a wonderful view site with excellent views of the estate and the lower shire valley. For keen birders the forest surrounding this site is home to the rare and endemic Thyolo Alethe.  Midafternoon, return to Game haven to relax around the pool, walking, mountain biking or even a round of golf.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Game Haven Lodge or similar

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: Cape Maclear

Drive to Lake Malawi – Cape Maclear. En route we pass Zomba and a visit to the vibrant Zomba Market is offered, then cross the Shire River, through the historical Mangochi town and continue to follow the lakeshore northwards. Arrival at Cape Maclear is mid Afternoon with time to enjoy a sundowner whilst relaxing on the beach.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Here we again stay in a choice of 3 similar lodges - Chembe Eagles Nest, Cape Mac Lodge or Annie's Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: Cape Maclear

Day on the beach at leisure – non motorised watersports included.  Explore the village, walks into the surrounding mountains, visit local pubs, historical graves, swimming, snorkeling, scuba to skiing is all possible

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Here we again stay in a choice of 3 similar lodges - Chembe Eagles Nest, Cape Mac Lodge or Annie's Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 6: Cape Maclear

This morning we prepare for our Kayaking experience. Transfer just down the beach to Kayak Africa Base camp and here we are familiarized with the kayaks and equipment and then set off for the island. The protected waters of the National Park bring sea kayaking within reach of anyone, irrespective of fitness or experience. The two-person kayak is stable and allows easy paddling. For those not wishing to paddle, it is possible to go by powerboat to the island. Arrival at the Island camp is before lunch with the remainder of the afternoon to explore the peaceful beauty of the place. Explore the island and surrounds by kayak, walking and swimming / snorkeling. Overnight Island Tented Camp with the remainder of the afternoon to swim, snorkel or kayak on the calm lake. On the island there are only limited en suite chalets and some clients will be staying in non en suite dome tents – en suite chalet preference will be given to those clients that did not have en suite facilities at Dzalanyama.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Island Tented Camp

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7: Senga Bay

Paddle back to the mainland [or return by boat], then its a 2.5 hr. drive to Mua Mission – Mua is the site of the KuNgoni Centre of Culture & Art.  It provides insights into the history and culture of Malawi through the Chamare Museum, the Carving Centre and the new Research Centre/Library. The museum describes the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao cultures, their rites of passage, their interaction with one another and their encounters with Islam and Christianity. It also holds a unique display of Gule Wamkulu masks, texts and images and dances can be arranged. It is also home to a thriving community, including an arts and crafts center whose students create Malawi’s finest wood carvings and who go on to make a living from their own handiwork throughout Malawi. After this, it’s an hour 20 mins drive to our overnight.

[210 km, 5 hrs 20 mins. journey time]

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Blue Waters lodge or similar

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8: Nkhotakota Reserve

This morning you have the opportunity to go on an early morning game drive, a walk or a cycle ride in the reserve, before returning for breakfast, then departing for a 3-hr. drive to Nkhotakota reserve.   Here we stay at Kuchenga bush Camp or Bua River Lodge. Set in a remote area of the park, Kuchenga offers 6 chalets, where 2 chalets shared ablutions. Superb views and set in a remote area of the park.  Arrive after lunch and the afternoon a walk is offered.

[160 km, 3 hrs. journey time]

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Here we stay at Kuchenga bush Camp or Bua River Lodge.

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9: Chintheche

A Morning game walk for those that wish then return for a later breakfast [Brunch] after which we depart to Chintheche. Makuzi Beach Lodge, is located along the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Delightfully sited in its own private bay, the lodge is ideal for that perfect “Retreat to Paradise”. Makuzi Beach has stylish en suite thatched chalets – all nestled in manicured gardens overlooking the lake’s warm, clear waters. The lodge is perfectly positioned to offer guests spectacular views of the lake while enjoying a quiet drink at the bar. The restaurant has an excellent reputation for outstanding cuisine and guests are encouraged to enjoy the full African experience while dining under the stars. There’s a wide variety of activities: swimming, snorkeling, fishing, kayaking or just wallowing in the lake.  Makuzi Beach is involved in community projects, one of which is the village tour and includes a visit to the historical missionary site, museum and a taste of the local cuisine. Horse riding and scuba diving can be arranged off-site. Bird watching opportunities are some of the best along the lake.

[110 km, 3 hrs. journey time]

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Makuzi Beach Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10: Chintheche

Day at Leisure on the beach and exploring the area – visits to Bandawe Point, the nearby local village to see the community project.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Makuzi Beach Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 11: Nyika Park

After an early morning departure, we drive through Mzuzu and continue up to Nyika Plateau. Picnic lunch en route and arrival in Nyika is midafternoon.  Chelinda Lodge- each beautiful pine chalet has large windows, spacious balconies, are comfortably furnished, en suite with a fireplace. The communal public area and bar are well appointed with superb views and comfortable facilities as well as a sauna. Activities include game drives, walking, mountain biking, birding and fly fishing for trout.

[320 km, 8 hrs. journey time]

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Chelinda Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12: Nyika Park

Morning and afternoon game drives and walks – Optional Night drive.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Chelinda Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13: Nyika Park

Morning and afternoon game drives and walks – Optional Night drive.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Chelinda Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14: Viphya Plateau

From Nyika continue through Mzuzu again and onto the Viphya Plateau. Luwawa Forest Lodge is an international guesthouse and outdoor adventure centre in the unspoilt wilderness of the Viphya Plateau.  At 1600m, the area is malaria-free. The lodge overlooks a large, well-stocked lake.  Much of the Lodge’s electricity is from solar energy and the water supply from a mountain stream. Fresh vegetables prepared in the kitchen are from the lodge’s permaculture garden. The lodge is dedicated to being in tune with its natural surroundings. The latest addition to the facilities is a Sauna & bush shower. Luwawa has prolific birdlife and antelope can be seen close to the lodge. Further afield are monkeys, baboons, leopards and hyenas. Numerous activities are offered such as squash, canoeing, abseiling, orienteering. Luwawa is ideal for family and individual holidays. The lodge is committed to responsible tourism through its many local community assistance projects in which guests can be directly involved.

Accommodation

Accommodation:

Luwawa Forest Lodge

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast, Picnic Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15: Departure

Today we co-ordinate our departure to arrive in Lilongwe in time for your return flight or onward journey [Luwawa to LLW is a 3-hr. drive and check in is 2 hrs. before your international flight].

[210 km, 3 hrs. journey time]

Meals

Meals:

Breakfast

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