Malawi

Tailor-made Luxury Holidays

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Every member of our team has lived, worked or travelled extensively throughout our destinations.

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Our itineraries

Whatever experience you are looking for, our experts are ready to help…

The Digital Detox

The Digital Detox

10 nights The South Luangwa and Likoma Island
Highlands and Islands

Highlands and Islands

6 nights Chelinda Lodge & Kaya Mawa

Our lodges in Malawi

Mvuu Lodge

Mvuu Lodge

Liwonde National Park
Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa

Likoma Island, Lake Malawi
Tongole Wilderness Lodge

Tongole Wilderness Lodge

Lake Malawi
Chelinda Lodge

Chelinda Lodge

Nyika National Park

Why we recommend Malawi

  • Explore Lake Malawi with its crystal clear waters and golden beaches
  • Discover Malawi's collection of over 650 species of birdlife
  • Safari by boat, car or on foot in this unspoilt wilderness away from the crowds
Map of Malawi
About Malawi

Malawi, fondly known as ‘the warm heart of Africa’ is visited mostly for its exquisite beaches on the shores of the enormous Lake Malawi, once dubbed “the lake of stars” by David Livingstone. Small in size, Malawi is a welcoming and vibrant country with a relaxed pace of life and plenty to offer including nine parks and wildlife reserves, tea plantations and the dramatic peaks of Mount Mulanje. Majete Wildlife Reserve is Malawi’s premier wildlife destination, but Nkhotakota and Liwonde are also home to varied game. Horse riding and fly-fishing on the Nyika Plateau is a fabulous experience and throughout the country the birdlife is a real highlight.

Set on the Great Rift Valley, it is the geographical diversity that really captures you here. There is a truly unspoilt and undiscovered feeling which simply adds to the charm, it’s not a rich country, but its wealth is in its variety and the warm and friendly people. Whether the beguiling sandy bays of Lake Malawi or the beautiful wilderness of Nyika National Park, Malawi has hidden depths that are often overlooked in favour of its more celebrated neighbours – but here at True Luxury Travel, Malawi has long been a favorite of ours.

There are no direct flights into Malawi from Europe, however, you can easily access Blantyre and Lilongwe via African airport hubs like Johannesburg and Nairobi. This enables visitors to easily combine a visit to Lake Malawi with a southern or eastern African safari, or conveniently approach the country as a standalone destination. Within Malawi, as with much of Africa there are charter flight options and road links. Charter flights are more expensive but more efficient, road transfers or self-driving take time but can be a wonderful experience.

As for climate, there is no we would recommend not visiting Malawi, however, during the January to March peak rains logistics can be affected and some areas close up for the season. June through to August you can expect cooler evenings and clear hot days. It can get very hot later in October and November as the humidity builds before the rains. There are significant changes in altitude and terrain across Malawi, so depending on your itinerary it is important to bear this in mind when packing.

Snapshot of Malawi

Capital city: Lilongwe
Flight time: 13hrs from UK
Language: English
Population: 16 million
Religions: Christianity, Islam
Sun hours / day: 8
Max. temperature: 29
Min. temperature: 23

Seasons in Malawi

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Peak Mid Low
Where to go

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is an African Great Lake and the southernmost lake in the East African Rift system, located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.

Liwonde National Park

Liwonde is a small but beautiful gem of a national park, running along the banks of the Shire River visitors here can explore by game drive and boat safari and expect to see large numbers of elephant, hippo and buffalo.

Majete Wildife Reserve

Majete is a true African conservation success story, Malawi’s only Big Five reserve, the 70,000 hectares exists today as a demonstration of how hard work can restore a wilderness area which previously had been decimated by poaching.

Liwonde is a small but beautiful gem of a national park, running along the banks of the Shire River visitors here can explore by game drive and boat safari and expect to see large numbers of elephant, hippo and buffalo.

Nkotakhota Wildlife Reserve

khotakota, to the east of the region and near Lake Malawi, is one of the two large game areas in the Central Region. Its vast 700 sq miles (1800 sq km) is of rugged terrain crossed by a number of rivers which tumble down the edge of the escarpment as they make their ways to the Lake. Most of the reserve is Miombo woodland with large patches of tall grasses and occasional areas of rainforest.

This is a wonderful example of true wilderness which particularly attracts those who wish to enjoy a walking safari, fishing and climbing. The reserve is difficult to access because there are few roads or driveable tracks. The range of mammals is as good as anywhere in Malawi and birdlife is prolific with giant kingfishers and palm nut vultures among the 130 recorded species.

Nyika National Park

Nyika National Park is a dramatic and magical contrast to Lake Malawi with its rolling grasslands and mountain outcrops. With a high concentration of zebras, bushbucks, roan antelopes, reed bucks and elephants, as well as the elusive leopard, the Park offers a memorably unique safari destination. Instead of just viewing the Park in a 4x4, you can also explore on foot or by mountain bike and when you fancy a break, you can rest-up by a gin-clear stream and enjoy a spot of fishing.

Practical info

Currency

The unit of currency is the kwacha (MK), which is made up of 100 tambala. The best foreign currencies to carry with you are US dollars, British pounds and South African rands. You’ll find a few ATMs at banks in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Karonga, Liwonde, Mzuzu, Salima and Zomba. Very few places outside main cities will accept credit cards. Most banks and bureaux de change won’t charge you a commission for changing cash, but there’s usually a 1% commission for changing travellers cheques.

Travelling with children

Lodge Specific

Passports and Visas

Passports: Your passport should be valid for minimum period of 6 months on arrival in Malawi. The Malawian authorities have confirmed they will accept British passports extended by 12 months by British Embassies and Consulates under additional measures put in place in mid-2014.
Visas: Visas are not needed by citizens of Commonwealth countries, the USA and most European nations (except Switzerland). Visas are limited to 30 days, although extensions are easy to get. You can get an visa extensions at immigration offices in Blantyre or Lilongwe or at regional police stations. It’s straightforward and free.

Vaccinations

Vaccinations recommended for all travelers: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Hepatitis B. Yellow Fever is required for all travellers arriving from a yellow-fever-infected area in Africa or the Americas and for travellers who have been in transit more than 12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. Not recommended or required otherwise. Rabies is recommended for those spending a lot of time outside or in contact with animals. Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccination recommended for all travellers born after 1956, if not previously given. Tetanus and Diphtheria revaccination recommended every 10 years.

Insurance

Comprehensive travel insurance is essential, including medical cover. We also highly recommend trip cancellation cover.

Weather

J F M A M J J A S O N D
A 27 27 27 27 25 23 23 25 27 30 29 28
B 17 17 16 14 11 8 7 8 12 15 17 18
C 230 206 205 98 21 8 7 3 3 15 75 212
A = Maximum average temperature (C)
B = Minimum average temperature (C)
C = Average rainfall (mm)

Malawi has a hot summer rainfall season from November to April so the best time to visit is during the drier winter months - early May to late October. Winter gets chilly high up on the northern Nyika Plateau but down on the shore of Lake Malawi you can expect warm, sunny and dry days - great beach weather! This is also when to go to Malawi for the best game viewing - much of the vegetation has thinned out and animals are concentrated at rivers and permanent waterholes.
We’d recommend avoiding a Malawi holiday during the mid-summer months of January and February: temperatures can get uncomfortably hot and humid, rainfall is at its highest - and so is the risk of malaria - while some of the roads in the national parks become impassable.

Weather

Malawi JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC
min. temperature ( ℃ ) 17 17 16 14 11 8 7 8 7 12 15 18
Max. temperature ( ℃ ) 27 27 27 27 25 23 23 25 27 30 29 28
Rainfall ( mm ) 230 206 205 98 21 8 7 3 3 15 75 212

What Our Clients Say

Our philosophy

Actual Expert Knowledge

Every one of our team has a huge passion for travel and spend at least six weeks each year visiting our lodges, meeting new managers and guides, ensuring our high standards are met and maintained.

Transparent Pricing

Unlike other tour operators, we do not charge you a premium for our services and as such, our prices are often better than booking direct because we can negotiate deals with our long standing relationships.

TOTAL Support

Our operations team are on call 24 hours a day to support you while you are travelling and to ensure that if something does go wrong, you are never left in the lurch. We are here to help so you can relax throughout your holiday. 

Blank Paper Bespoke

We do not have any 'off the shelf itineraries'. Instead, we begin your booking with a blank piece of paper, to ensure that we only propose lodges that will fit your specific requirements and guides who will suit your personality.

Unrivalled Guide Network

We are proud of our unrivalled network of guides on the ground who will turn your trips from a memorable one into a spectacular experience.

Hand Picked Lodges

Every single lodge that we propose to you has been recently visited by one of our team and meets the high standards that we set. Surprisingly, this is a rarity within the industry.

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We are a certified member of the Travel Trust Association (Q1588a), guaranteeing you 100% financial protection for every aspect of your trip.

Safety First

We have a team dedicated to producing safety intelligence in every country that we represent as a destination, so that you can travel with total peace of mind.

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One of our experts will reply to you within 12 hours.
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We will customise your requirements with the help of our true expert knowledge.
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We will create the best experience possible at a truly transparent price.
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