To visit Malawi and not enjoy the lake to its full potential is nothing short of criminal! This spot of fresh water paradise is a year-round playground for anyone who enjoys being in or near the water. With pristine beaches, crystal clear visibility, tropical fish galore, and a selection of isolated islands bursting at the seams with birdlife it’s a must see for everyone.
Snorkelling and Diving
Venturing underwater is one of the great ways to experience Lake Malawi you can simply grab snorkelling gear from your lodge, or take the plunge with a full PADI scuba diving course. The African Great Lakes (Malawi, Tanganyika and Victoria) are home to over half the fresh water fish species on the planet. This diversity, combined with a dramatic underwater landscape of rock formations, caverns and cliffs make Lake Malawi one of the best freshwater diving locations on earth. With part of the lake being declared a world heritage site by UNESCO there really is no excuse not to dive in! Chat to us about PADI beginner courses, dive safaris for the more experienced or snorkelling trips
A handful of our favourite lodges have sailing dinghies for hire, which you can take out to enjoy for a few hours and often you can choose whether or not to have a crew. If it’s real luxury you’re after, how about chartering a 38 foot, 8-berth catamaran to cruise the lake in style.
For a truly epic sailing adventure, Lake Malawi hosts an annual week-long sailing Marathon which runs from the southern lakeshore, across to the Islands and all the way up to Chintheche. This is not for the faint hearted, and attracts serious sailors from all over Southern Africa!
Lake Malawi makes up twenty per cent of this country’s territory, so there are many hundreds of miles of coastline to discover and explore by kayak. For beginners and families with smaller children, we can organise a short morning’s paddle to Thumbi Island in Cape Maclear, to meet with Malawi’s national bird the Nkwazi (Fish Eagle). For enthusiastic paddlers – whether beginners or the experienced, we can plan an unforgettable 5-day kayak and camping expedition along the lake shore, barbecuing your fish supper under the stars.
Speed Boats & Water Sports
Lake Malawi is not exactly overpopulated with speed boats… But if you have your heart set on something a bit quicker than a dugout canoe, do not fear! There is a selection of lodges along the lakeshore which offer water based activities at breakneck speeds, from banana boating and tubing to water skiing and wake-boarding. Get your balance at the ready!
Whether it’s a trip in a canoe through pods of hippo on the Shire River, chartering a traditional wooden fishing boat to transfer you to your next lodge, or a couple of days sipping gin and tonics on the top deck of the Illala, we can find you the perfect boat trip. (And it has long been accepted that Matt is the only person in Malawi – except maybe the captain himself – who can tell you the Ilala Ferry timetable!)
ON THE GROUND
Malawi offers a fantastic selection of land-based adventure activities. In southern Malawi, options range from walking safaris spotting elephants and rhino, to spectacular treks up the slopes of the mystical Mount Mulanje. Further north, in the most undiscovered parts of Malawi, you can bike through the mountains, trek along the lakeshore, camp on uninhabited beaches and stay in lodges so untouched that roads, electricity and mobile phone reception are non-existent.
Horse Riding– What a beautiful way to see the country. You can gallop on top of Zomba Plateau, with views stretching to neighbouring Mozambique, or take a swim in the lake with your mount after a ride through the bush down to the beach in Chintheche. There are two very well-respected riding stables here, with horses to suit most abilities.
Trekking – As you may have guessed by now, Malawi has a huge depth and breadth of landscapes to explore. We have some of the best single-day and multi-day hiking trails in Africa. Mulanje Massif and The Nyika Plateau are justifiably famous highlights but we can also take you to the less well-known and absolutely stunning trails along the lakeshore or into the mountains – there are more options than we can fit into this paragraph, so why not download our ‘Trekking’ PDF? We can make arrangements for individuals, small group of friends or a larger schools and organisations. Have a look at our Inspiration page to see more on Malawi’s amazing treks.
Safaris –The opportunity to see Africa’s extraordinary flora and fauna up close is of course not one to miss. We are exceptionally lucky in this region to have such incredible and diverse safari destinations. We can take you on a guided trip to any of these game parks or book you on a scheduled-departure trip with one of Malawi’s reputable safari companies if that’s the best option for you. Speak to us and we’ll take the effort out of finding the best deal, at no extra cost. Don’t forget, we can book safaris in South Luangwa too!
Cycling– This is a fantastic country to cycle. It’s not only friendly and welcoming, but has lots of bicycle repair stalls, and very low levels of traffic outside the two main cities. Most of the main roads are paved, so you can cover distance if you want, but there are many miles of dirt roads if you want to test yourself. Malawi is unblemished by heavy industry so there’s another gorgeous view around every corner. Be it a day’s cycle round the city or a week-long North to South trip with full expedition & logistical support (support vehicle, route planning, accommodation booking & meals organised) we are happy to assist, whether for individuals, couples, families or charity fund-raising expeditions.
Special Events – Throughout the year Malawi hosts a number of special events. If you’re after the Porters’ Race on Mulanje, the Mud Run at Kuti Game Reserve, The Luwawa Mountain Bike Challenge or the Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon we have all the inside information on dates, times and entry fees. What are you waiting for!?
Specialist Requests – If it’s not covered on these pages let us know. We thrive off the unusual and love the opportunity to research new ideas. For a quick question or a full trip consultation, send us an email and we’ll talk it through with you. Malawi adventure holidays are our passion.