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Wildlife Locations

7 recommended locations:

Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi covers nearly one quarter of the country. Its northern shore combines well with the Nyika Plateau and feels relatively untouched, while the most exclusive lodges are located on the Mozambique side. Either way, relaxing on the sandy beaches makes a fine addition to any safari in Zambia or Malawi.

  • Where: Eastern Malawi
  • Ideal for viewing: African fish eagle, hippo, Nile crocodile, vervet monkey, dik dik

Liwonde National Park

Set at the southern end of Lake Malombe, Liwonde National Park has quiet lagoons, open savannah and wooded hills. There is an astonishing diversity of birdlife to be found here, however the park's major attractions are boat safaris on the Shire River and the successful reintroduction of black rhino.

  • Where: Southern Region
  • Ideal for viewing: Böhm’s bee-eater, African elephant, Livingstone’s fly-catcher, roan, sable
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, River safaris, Birdwatching

Majete Wildlife Reserve

Standing beside the Shire River in the south west of Malawi, this area of the Great Rift Valley is characterised by sculpted miombo woodland undulating across the hills, which in turn overlook stunning river valleys and riverine forest. It is surprising then that so few decide to travel to this natural treasure.

  • Where: Southern Region
  • Ideal for viewing: black rhino, African elephant, Burchell’s zebra, leopard, Cape buffalo
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Nyika National Park

Nyika National Park is Malawi’s largest national park. Shared with neighbouring Zambia, it is a vast highland plateau of varied habitats, consisting of open grasslands, upland forests and miombo woodland, sustaining copious wildlife including over 400 recorded species of birds.

  • Where: Chitipa Region
  • Ideal for viewing: blue duiker, bushpig, leopard, red and blue sunbird, roan
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Vwaza Marsh Game Reserve

This tiny, underrated reserve lies at the foot of Nyika Plateau and makes an interesting contrast to the highlands. Much of it is flat mopane and miombo woodland, and wildlife moves freely between here and the Luangwa Valley in neighbouring Zambia. Its wetlands are a haven for more than 250 bird species.

  • Where: Rumphi District
  • Ideal for viewing: bushpig, African elephant, greater kudu, osprey, palmnut vulture
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris

Mount Mulanje

One of Central Africa’s highest mountains, Mulanje has an impressive array of peaks, rolling grassland, montane forest and rushing streams. It’s a great area for hiking, staying in simple cabins with experienced guides, or viewing the birdlife of the area, which includes buzzard and black eagle.

  • Where: Mulanje District
  • Excellent for: Hiking

Zomba Plateau

Malawi’s most accessible mountain lies near the former colonial capital of Zomba and the southern tea estates. Consisting of a 1,800 metre high mountain, its forested slopes are laced with streams, waterfalls and lakes. Birds to be found here include long-crested eagle and augur buzzard.

  • Where: Zomba District
  • Excellent for: City stopover, Hiking

View trips to these locations

Wildlife trips

Malawi is one of Africa’s most beautiful countries. Known as the “Warm Heart of Africa”, it is a green and fertile country, whose people are renowned for their friendliness. Its mountains and plains, forests and rivers, conceal wonderful wildlife lodges and an exceptional array of birds – many of which are rarely found elsewhere.

4 recommended trips. Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.

Best of Malawi

Travel to the fascinating Majete Wildlife Reserve, where black rhino are thriving again after an intense conservation effort, and to Liwonde National Park, Malawi’s premier wildlife destination. Ending with some relaxation time on the beaches of Lake Malawi, this trip brings together the best of this captivating country.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £4,795 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Zambezi Wonders & Wilderness

A fabulous family safari offering the perfect combination of outstanding natural wonders, unspoilt wilderness, incredible wildlife and fun activities. From the spectacular Victoria Falls and the astonishing wildlife of South Luangwa, to the pristine shores of Lake Malawi, enjoy the very best of Zambia and Malawi.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £5,995 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Bats, Rhinos & Reptiles

Kasanka National Park plays hosts to a remarkable annual wildlife spectacle; from mid-November onwards an estimated 12 million fruitbats arrive. Guided walks will take you to witness this marvellous spectacle, and will be combined with time on safari in the national parks of Zambia and Malawi.

  • When to go: Nov-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 13 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6,345 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

Classic Africa Explorer

This 37-day comprehensive itinerary, which visits no less than seven countries, delivers the ultimate African safari experience and a wealth of contrasts. Travel to some of Africa’s best National Parks and stay in a range of classic lodges, hotels and tented camps on this wildlife trip of a lifetime.

  • When to go: Apr-Dec
  • Duration inc. flights: 37 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £16,495 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea

When to go

One of the many beauties of Malawi is that it is a all-year round destination, although it is best to avoid the rainy season from mid-November to mid-April.


  • Dry season

    May to Oct: Dry and cool – good time to visit
  • Green season

    Nov to Apr: The wettest time of year, with high humidity

Wildlife events

  • Jun to Oct: Dry season – good black rhino sightings in Majete
  • Oct to Jan: Rock pratincole breed in Majete & Shire River
  • Oct to Jan: Miombo woodland bird breeds all over Malawi
  • Nov to : Denham’s bustard mating on Viphya and Nyika Plateaux
  • Nov to Apr: Hot and wet – palearctic and intra-African migrant birds
  • Dec to Feb: Orchids bloom on Viphya and Nyika Plateaux

Where to stay