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A bull elephant takes a drink

Highlights of Malawi and Zambia

Example 14 Day Tour
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Spend 15 exciting days exploring Malawi and Zambia, two unique yet wildly exceptional safari destinations in southeast Africa. Experience the awe-inspiring moments of close encounters with elephant or lion while on safari in Liwonde National Park and South Luangwa National Park. Immerse yourself in the island life of Lake Malawi, wandering the lake's white-sand beaches and snorkeling in pristine waters. Witness the incredible views from atop the Zomba Plateau, once known as the “the best in the British Empire”. Ideal for those looking for an off-the-beaten-path safari, a trip to Malawi and Zambia is sure to leave a lasting impression! 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Lilongwe, Malawi
Day 2 : Transfer to Liwonde National Park
Days 3-4 : Liwonde National Park
Days 5-6 : Zomba
Days 7-8 : Mumbo Island
Days 9-10 : Nankoma Island
Day 11 : Transfer to South Luangwa National Park
Days 12-14 : South Luangwa National Park
Day 15 : Departure


  • Embark on safari in South Luangwa National Park
  • Visit two of Lake Malawi's picturesque islands
  • Hike to the top of Zomba Plateau for sprawling views into Zomba town
  • Explore two of Africa's lesser-visited safari destinations

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A bull elephant takes a drink Look for leopards and other wildlife on safari Explore Lake Malawi A lioness prowls the savannah A quiet beach on Lake Malawi Hiking in the Zomba Plateau

Day 1 Arrive Lilongwe, Malawi

  • 1 Dinner
Upon arrival at Lilongwe International Airport you are greeted warmly by your guide, who will support you in transferring to your Lilongwe hotel. Settle in after your long flight before dinner at the hotel. Welcome to Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa! 

Day 2 Transfer to Liwonde National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast we head south to Liwonde National Park, a small yet popular game reserve just southeast of the capital city. The park's beautiful riverine setting is teeming with wildlife, including elephant, hippo, crocodile, kudu, sable and bushbuck as well as the rare leopards, hyaena and black rhino. Lion and cheetah were also recently reintroduced into Liwonde by the African Parks Association, turning the park into a truly exceptional safari destination! 

Time depending, we may have the opportunity for an evening game drive upon arrival. Return to the lodge to freshen up before dinner. Retire early for bed - adventure awaits us! 

Day 3-4 Liwonde National Park

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
We will spend the next two days exploring the furthest corners of Liwonde in search of wildlife. ​We arrange our game drives around wildlife activity, which is most active early morning and late afternoon. Set out after breakfast for our morning game drive, returning to the lodge in time for lunch and some relaxation before setting back out in the late afternoon. 

Dinner is served at camp. Exchange stories around the campfire, sharing your experiences from Liwonde with other camp guests. 

Day 5-6 Zomba

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Today we leave the park behind, heading for Malawi's historical capital city of Zomba. This vibrant city was Malawi's capital until 1975, and its colonial past is evident in much of Zomba's architecture. The city is home to the National herbarium, Botanic Gardens and the famous Zomba Plateau. Enjoy a free evening to explore Zomba's bustling market or wander the colonial era streets. 

On our second day in Zomba we embark on a guided walk of the scenic Zomba Plateau. The plateau is marked by crisscrossing steams, tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. The views from the top were described in colonial times as “the best in the British Empire” - you will soon understand why!  

Return to our lodge for dinner. 

Day 7-8 Mumbo Island

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Our exploration of the Warm Heart of Africa continues. Today we transfer to the Kayak Africa Cottage, where we meet our scheduled boat transfer to Mumbo Island on Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi is one of Africa's Great Lakes along the Great Rift Valley and Mumbo Island is an ecotourist's dream - measuring just one square kilometer across, this virtually uninhabited remote islet is covered with pristine miombo forests interspersed with ancient fig and baobab trees.  Spend the next two nights relaxing and exploring this incredible island. 

Additional motorized activities can be booked directly for an additional cost. 

Day 9-10 Nankoma Island

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
This morning we continue our exploration of Lake Malawi and transfer by boat to Nankoma Island. Relax on the beach or participate in a variety of lodge-based activities, such as nature trails, birding, kayaking, snorkeling, wake boarding, water skiing, tubing, sunset cruise and seasonal scuba diving (motorized activities incur additional cost). 

This island is the perfect getaway for those seeking both adventure and tranquility - The choice is yours! 

Additional motorized activities can be booked directly for an additional cost. 

Day 11 Transfer to South Luangwa National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today transfer by boat back to Senga Bay, where we meet our transfer to the border and onward to South Luangwa National Park, Zambia. We will spend the next 4 nights exploring this exceptional wildlife reserve. Welcome to Zambia! 

Day 12-14 South Luangwa National Park

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
South Luangwa National Park is known for its exceptional wildlife viewing and stunning scenery. The park's open, grassy plains and mesmerizing woodlands are home to an abundance of wildlife, fed by the tributaries and lagoons of the mighty Luanga River. While on safari you may spot predators such as the famed African wild dog, lion, and leopard, as well as elephant, buffalo, hippo, kudu and the beloved Crawshay's zebra. For bird enthusiasts, it's worth noting the park is home to 400 species of birds, including 39 birds of prey. 

The pristine beauty of South Luangwa will call you from every corner, imparting memories to last a lifetime. 

Day 15 Departure

  • 1 Breakfast
The time has come for the end of our tour. Today we return across the border into Malawi and to our starting point of Lilongwe International Airport. 15 days gone too soon, but you are sure to return home with memories of Malawi and Zambia's beautiful wildlife, rich cultural heritage and incredible landscape! 

Blue Zebra Island Lodge

Chikunto Safari Lodge

Mumbo Island

Mvuu Lodge

Zomba Forest Lodge

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  • 13 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 14 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Professional, bilingual guide service as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed


  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.
Chance for unpredictable weather but with fewer visitors.

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