5 recommended wildlife locations. The species listed below are just a selection of those you may see.

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
  • Excellent for:

Liwonde National Park

Set at the southern end of Lake Malombe, Liwonde National Park is a place of quiet lagoons, open savannah and wooded hills. Though there is an astonishing diversity of birdlife to be found here, the parks 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 Game 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 that undulates across the hills, which in turn overlook stunning river valleys and untarnished riverine forest; 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, Cape buffalo, Leopard
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

Nyika Plateau National Park

Nyika Plateau National Park is Malawi’s largest National Park. Shared with neighbouring Zambia, it is a vast highland plateau of varied habitats set at about 2,500ms and 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 at the foot of Nyika Plateau makes an interesting contrast. Much of it is flat mopane and miombo woodland, although the eastern side is hilly. Its wetlands are a haven for more than 250 bird species. Wildlife moves freely between here and the Luangwa Valley in neighbouring Zambia.

  • Where: Rumphi District
  • Ideal for viewing: Bushpig, African elephant, Greater kudu, Osprey, Palmnut vulture
  • Excellent for: Walking safaris, Vehicle safaris, Birdwatching

2 recommended locations for extending your wildlife trip.

Mount Mulanje

At 3,000 metres, this is one of Central Africa’s highest mountains, with an impressive array of peaks, plateaux, rolling grassland, montane forest and rushing streams. It’s a great area for hiking, staying in simple cabins with experienced guides. Around its base are the tea estates that were planted in the 1870s.

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. The views from the top were once described as ‘the best in the British Empire’.

3 recommended trips. All our trip ideas are offered to inspire you, but our strength is in tailoring your itinerary.

Bats, Rhinos & Reptiles

Kasanka National Park in Zambia plays hosts to a remarkable annual wildlife spectacle; from mid-November onwards an estimated eight million fruitbats arrive to feast on the newly ripened fruit.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Zambezi Wonders & Wilderness

A fabulous family safari offering the perfect combination of outstanding natural wonders, unspoilt wilderness, fun activities and incredible wildlife - combining the very best of Zambia and Malawi.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

Best of Malawi

Combine three contrasting elements to bring together the best Malawi has to offer.

  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea
  • Duration exc. international flights: 11 days

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.

Seasons

  • 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
  • Dec to Feb: Orchids bloom on Viphya and Nyika Plateaux
  • Nov: Denham’s bustard mating on Viphya and Nyika Plateaux
  • Nov to Apr: Hot & wet: palearctic & intra-African migrant birds
  • Oct to Jan: Miombo woodland bird breeds all over Malawi!

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