Lilongwe would be recommended as your entry point
into Malawi from outside of Africa. Air Malawi have flights from within
Southern Africa to Lilongwe, international flights from outside of
Africa are serviced by British Airways (London) and KLM (Amsterdam).
Land & water
Main entry points into Malawi from other African countries include
Tanzania (Songwe), Zambia (Mchinji & Chitipa), South Africa (Marka),
Mozambique (Zobue & Lake Malawi) and Tanzania (Kyela & Songeya Ferry).
When to Go
The best time to go is during Malawi's dry season from April to October. The
vegetation is at its most attractive between May and July,
it is green and lush.
From September the temperature starts to rise and the
landscape starts to dry out, by October it is definitely hot, but the
best time to view
the wildlife and just before the rains fall.
Highlights not to Miss
Nyika National Park
Malawi's oldest and largest national park, Nyika is about 3000
sq km with a vast range of grassland covered rolling hills, unusual for
Africa. It boasts a dense pine forest where the air is cool. Views on
a clear day in this national park are endless. From December to April,
when the rainfall is high, wild flowers contribute to the beauty of the
Nyika National Park and around 200 species of orchid grow on the plateau.
Birds are also prolific in the area with wildlife ranging from antelopes
to predators. From Lilongwe the park is about 350 km, the
best way to get there is by charter flight.
Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve
The vegetation and habitats in this wildlife reserve is varied.
In the north is the Vwaza Marsh, a large area of swamp surrounded by
miombo woodland with patches of mopane and acacia woodlands. The reserve
is about 300 km from Lilongwe and a charter flight can get you there
in no time.
This lush tropical bay is on the northern lakeshore of Lake Malawi.
With picturesque sunsets and the Caribbean atmosphere Nkhata Bay could
be your escape to a small paradise. Activities include swimming, kayaking
and scuba diving. Nkhata is about 250 km from Lilongwe.
Getting to Likoma is a ferry away from Nkhata Bay.
Although it is on the Mozambique side of Lake Malawi it belongs to Malawi.
island is about 17 sq km with a population of about 6000. Likoma boasts
pristine beaches and the area is covered by eucalypts and mango trees
in the north where it is hilly. In the south you will find a flat sandy
area with baobabs and you can view the wild coast of Mozambique which
is 40 km away. Activities on Likoma Island include swimming, snorkeling,
water skiing, scuba diving, mountain biking, walking or just lazing
in the sun.
Kasungu National Park
West of Kasungu town you will find
this 2000 sq km national park. Since the elephant population has greatly
reduced by poachers,
the miombo woodland is dense and covers the region. Bird watching is
excellent, woodland and grassland species as well as waders can be seen.
On the southern end of Lake Malawi you will find Cape Maclear.
Being well publicized and a popular place for tourists it is ideal for
first timers. This picturesque and relaxing place gives you an opportunity
to unwind and enjoy the beauty and activities of the Lake. Cape Maclear
is part of the Lake Malawi National Park, one of the few freshwater aquatic
parks in Africa.
Liwonde National Park
Rated the best national park in Malawi you can find Liwonde
National Park which is about 16 km from Lilongwe. The Shire River in
the west attracts an abundance of wildlife and floods the plains in the
east of the park.
The Zomba Plateau
The plateau is divided into two by the Domasi Valley. In the
southern half you will find hiking paths that go through pine forests
and patches of indigenous woodlands. Viewpoints of the plains below are
found along ridges on the edge of the escarpment. There are streams,
waterfalls and some lakes where you can go fishing. Hiking is good in
the cool air which is a welcome from the heat of the lowland areas.