Southern Malawi Explorer – Budget Friendly




13 days

Price Category


As the name suggests this itinerary covers some of the best of southern Malawi - while keeping it very affordable. This itinerary visits a private game reserve, Malawi’s best national park Liwonde, the city of Zomba resting at the base of the stunning Zomba plateau before heading to Malawi’s jewel in the crown - the beautiful Lake Malawi. It’s a perfect mix of game viewing, city exploration, hiking opportunities, relaxation on the shores of Lake Malawi in Cape Maclear with a couple of nights on the uninhabited Domwe Island where you can truly be at one with nature staying at the eco-camp.


  • 7 nights Full Board
  • 5 nights Bed & Breakfast
  • Private road transfers
  • Island boat transfers
  • Lake Malawi National Park fees for Domwe island
  • Prices are per person based on 2024 Low Season Rates and based on min 2 people
  • Drinks (unless stated), Tips & Items of a personal nature
  • National Park Fees for Liwonde
  • Single supplements - please contact us for rates for single travellers

Tour Plan

Day One to Three - Game Haven

On arrival at Chileka International Airport, your driver will meet you and transfer you in a private taxi to Chimwenya Game Reserve roughly an hour away from the airport.

Accommodation will be at Game Haven Lodge in a private ensuite room on a full board basis for two nights.

Game Haven lodge is in a private game reserve where your biggest worry is having zebras on the golf course blocking your shot off as they casually graze on the fairway. Beautiful spacious rooms, great food, numerous activities and a swimming pool are all included which make this a very popular destination.

Day Three to Five - Zomba

After lunch you’ll depart Game Haven for Zomba city - approx 2 hours drive away - where you’ll stay for the next two nights. Your accommodation will be at Kefi Hotel Cafe in an ensuite private room on a bed & breakfast basis.

Zomba city has beautiful colonial architecture and a good selection of cafes and restaurants.   Your lodge is a favourite with local residents for lunch on the terrace and we’d also highly recommend a delicious Italian dinner at restaurant Casa Rossa.  At the top of the plateau is Ku Chawe Inn where the views are magnificent. The plateau offers plenty of scenic hiking trails or for those wanting a more relaxed time perhaps a visit to the Botanical Gardens.

Day Five to Eight - Liwonde National Park

Today you will journey to Liwonde National Park - just 90 minutes away - and arrive in time for lunch and your first afternoon game activity.

Your accommodation for the next three nights will be at Kutchire Lodge, a locally run safari camp on the very edge of Liwonde National Park with a selection of accommodation options and a really nice swimming pool area. You’ll be staying in a private room or treehouse on a full board basis with all your meals and two game activities per day included - a total of six activities including the fantastic boat safari along the Shire river surrounded by wildlife.

Arguably the best National Park in Malawi, Liwonde has a high concentration of elephants, hippos, crocodiles, antelope plus a rapidly growing population of cheetah, lion & other mammals.  The most recently introduced black rhino and wild dogs make this park Malawi’s star attraction with its ‘Big 5’ status.

Kutchire Lodge

Day Eight to Ten - Domwe Island

After your final morning game activity and breakfast, you'll travel approx 3 hours to Cape Maclear. At 3pm you'll take the afternoon boat to Domwe Island camp - approx 45 minute boat journey through the beautiful Lake Malawi National Park. You’ll be staying for two nights in a safari tent (shared bathrooms) on a full board basis with kayaking and snorkelling included.

Domwe camp offers basic safari tents, camping and a communal dining/hangout area all set on a beautiful boulder-strung small beach. This island offers a back-to-nature feel. It offers some challenging hikes up the hillside but with the most incredible views from the top making it worth the effort.

Day Ten to Thirteen - Cape Maclear

After lunch on Domwe island, you'll take the boat back to mainland to enjoy 3 nights in Cape Maclear.

You’ll be staying at Thumbi View Lodge in an ensuite lakeshore room on a bed and breakfast rate for the next three nights. The lodge is right on the beach with a large swimming pool and deck where you’ll get stunning sunsets over the lake each evening.

This is a bustling lakeshore community with souvenir street stalls and a beachfront full of activities. Be it poolside relaxing with a drink in hand and a good book or, for those feeling more active, kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, local boat trips with snorkelling and fish eagle feeding trips, Cape Maclear has something for everyone.

Day Thirteen - Lilongwe (Optional Blantyre) - Departure Day

Today we depart Cape Maclear after breakfast for the 4 hour journey back to Lilongwe where your trip ends.

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