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Lake Malawi is still one of Africa’s best kept secrets – crystal clear waters edged with mile upon mile of golden sand beaches – and without the crowds found in other beach destinations.

The swimming is safe, the people are unbelievably friendly and welcoming, the birdlife fabulous and the place is virtually deserted! Lake Malawi covers nearly one quarter of the country, and stretches some 500 kilometres north to south - with 2,000 species of fish, mainly endemic, it also offers some fabulous snorkelling and diving opportunities.

The northern lakeshore combines well with the Nyika Plateau and Vwaza Marsh. The southern lakeshore is busier than the north but it remains a superb beach location.

Lake Malawi is an easy drive or transfer from Liwonde National Park and is only a short flight from Lilongwe.

View suggested itineraries

Key info

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

Wildlife trips

This wildlife location is featured in the following itineraries:

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
Suggested accommodation options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Chintheche Inn

Chintheche Inn is a small boutique beach hotel on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Each of the rooms overlooks a white sandy beach, and activities include swimming and interesting beach walks, plus the opportunity to get out into the nearby indigenous forest for some excellent birding with knowledgeable guides.

Kaya Mawa Lodge

Tiny Likoma Island is reached by a short flight or by boat and its setting is impossibly romantic. Ten thatched cottages are scattered around a rocky promontory beside a crescent of white sand, surrounded by mango and ancient baobab trees. Each has a four-poster bed and terrace with views out over the lake.

Mumbo Island

Mumbo is an exclusive camp situated on a pristine and otherwise-deserted tropical island floating on the clear waters of Lake Malawi. Operated entirely off grid, the camp is built from timber and thatch, with canvas tents perched on rocks overlooking the lake, each with a shaded deck and hammock.


Pumulani is an exclusive property set on a peninsula overlooking the southern end of Lake Malawi. Subtly nestled in the hillside, ten stylish, grass-roofed villas blend with their surroundings and open out onto a private deck with lake views. Relax on the private beach or beside the infinity pool, snorkel, dive or kayak.