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A bull elephant takes a drink

Highlights of Malawi and Zambia

Example 15 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! 
Look for leopards and other wildlife on safari
  • 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: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Lilongwe, Malawi

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 2-3: Transfer to Zomba Forest Lodge

  • 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 4: 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 5-6: 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 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! 

Photo Gallery

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



Mvuu Lodge

Experience the beautiful solitude of Mvuu Lodge
Experience the beautiful solitude of Mvuu Lodge
Experience the beautiful solitude of Mvuu Lodge

Zomba Forest Lodge

A couple enjoying an evening walk at Zomba Forest Lodge
Relax in front of the fireplace after a full day of adventure
Simple yet comfortable interiors at Zomba Forest Lodge

Mumbo Island

Experience the beauty of Lake Malawi at Mumbo Island Camp
Experience the beauty of Lake Malawi at Mumbo Island Camp
Experience the beauty of Lake Malawi at Mumbo Island Camp

Blue Zebra Island Lodge

Enjoy the beauty of Blue Zebra Lodge on Lake Malawi
Enjoy the beauty of Blue Zebra Lodge on Lake Malawi
Enjoy the beauty of Blue Zebra Lodge on Lake Malawi

Kumbali Country Lodge

Explore Kumbali Country Lodge's lush gardens
Spacious rooms at Kumbali Country Lodge
Find peace and solitude at Lilongwe's Kumbali Country Lodge

Chikunto Safari Lodge

Comfortable yet traditional safari tents at Chikunto
Evenings spent along the river at Chikunto Lodge
Well appointed twin bed tent at Chikunto Safari Lodge

Dates & Prices

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  • 14 Breakfasts, 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
  • Tourist Visa

When to Go

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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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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