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Look for elephants on a game drive

Highlights of Malawi

Example 16 Day Tour
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Experience the journey of a lifetime with a trip to Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa. Malawi is defined by stunning topography of lush forests, mountainous highlands, vast plains, dramatic river valleys and the picturesque Lake Malawi. On this 16-day highlights tour we will embark on safari in the wildlife-rich Majete Wildlife Reserve, wander the scenic paths of tea and coffee estates, explore the beauty of the Zomba Plateau and find adventure along the shores of Lake Malawi. Ideal for those looking to combine "bush and beach" without unnecessary layovers, a trip to Malawi is sure to leave a lasting impression. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive Malawi | Majete Wildlife Reserve
Days 2-3 : Majete Wildlife Reserve
Day 4 : Transfer to Thyolo
Day 5 : Thylo
Day 6 : Transfer to Zomba
Day 7 : Zomba Plateau
Day 8 : Transfer to Liwonde National Park
Days 9-10 : Liwonde National Park
Day 11 : Transfer to Lake Malawi | Cape Maclear
Days 12-14 : Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi
Day 15 : Transfer to Lilongwe
Day 16 : Departure


  • Kayak above crystal clear waters on Lake Malawi
  • Search for wildlife while on safari in Liwonde National park
  • Experience the stunning views from Zomba Plateau
  • Explore the beautiful tea estates of Thylo

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Independent

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Look for elephants on a game drive Tea fields in front of Mulanje Mountain Beaches of Lake Malawi A variety of wildlife in Africa. A local fisherman on Lake Malawi at sunrise Visit tea farms in Malawi

Day 1 Arrive Malawi | Majete Wildlife Reserve

Welcome to Malawi! Upon arrival at Chileka International Airport you will meet your guide for a warm, Malawian welcome. After collecting luggage we transfer to our comfortable lodge within Majete Wildlife Reserve. Settle in for a restful evening in the Warm Heart of Africa. 

Day 2-3 Majete Wildlife Reserve

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Rise this morning after a peaceful night sleep, setting out for an early-morning game activity in the Reserve. Return to the lodge for dinner and rest, setting back out as the hot African sun begins its descent across the horizon. 

The Majete Wildlife Reserve offers an incredible testament to wildlife restoration projects on the African continent. In the 1970s and 1980s the wildlife population here was all but decimated, but after extensive work by African Parks and the Malawi Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Majete now boasts a healthy, thriving wildlife population. Notably, Majete Reserve is the only place in Malawi to view the Big 5! 

Over the next two days we will experience the magic of close encounters with wildlife and learn about Majete's historical resurgence and restoration. 

Day 4 Transfer to Thyolo

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we leave Majete Wildlife Reserve behind, setting out for the Satemwa Tea Estates in Thyolo. This area is known for its historical tea and coffee estates and is arguably the most scenically beautiful region in all of Malawi. With its lush landscape of undulating hills and immaculately kept tea and coffee estates, Thylo is a pleasure to explore on bike, vehicle or foot. 

We soon arrive at the lovely Huntingdon House. Enjoy dinner and a restful evening surrounded by beautiful landscapes. 

Day 5 Thylo

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we will explore the farms and estates around Huntington House, learning about the history of this important region and marveling at the landscape's exceptional beauty. We also have the opportunity to enjoy tea tastings and home-cooked meals right at Huntington House! 

Day 6 Transfer to Zomba

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast this morning we head for Malawi's historical capital city of Zomba. Situated in southern Malawi, Zomba's colonial architecture and location on the southern slopes of the Zomba Plateau make it a desirable city to explore and visit. While here you can traverse the surrounding wilderness and forests in search of glistening lakes and cascading waterfalls. For adventure seekers, Zomba offers exceptional hiking, fishing, horse back riding, birdwatching, mountain biking and even rock climbing! 

Settle into Zomba Forest Lodge for a peaceful evening.  

Day 7 Zomba Plateau

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we set out for a guided walk on the Zomba Plateau. This stunning plateau is marked by crisscrossing streams, tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. Gradually we make it to the top of the plateau, passing through King William's Falls, Queen's View (for an added adventure!), the Zomba Dam and Chingwe Hall. Soon we reach the top, where we will witness views once described as the "best in the British Empire". Return to Zomba after a full day of adventure! 

Day 8 Transfer to Liwonde National Park

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning we continue with our exploration of Malawi. Transfer after breakfast to Liwonde National Park, where we will spend the next 3 nights.

Liwonde National Park is situated at the southern tip of Lake Malombe in southern Malawi. Despite being one of Malawi's smaller parks, Liwonde is arguably the most popular of all the game parks in the country. With plentiful wildlife sightings, including hippos, kudu, elephants, crocodiles, Pel's fishing owl and even black rhino, the park had become one of Malawi's premier wildlife and bird-viewing destinations.

Settle in for a night under the vast Malawian sky, lulled to sleep by the stillness of the nature around you. 

Day 9-10 Liwonde National Park

  • Hotel
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Spend the next two days on safari in Liwonde National Park. Here you can look forward to a wide selection of activities including traditional safari drives, canoeing and boating safaris as well as overnight stays at well-positioned safari camps. 

Return to camp each evening to share stories from the day around the fire, experiencing the wild nature of a traditional bush camp. 

Day 11 Transfer to Lake Malawi | Cape Maclear

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we change pace and head for Malawi's crown jewel: Lake Malawi. Soon we arrive at Cape Maclear on the beautiful southern shores of the lake. Cape Maclear is a small resort town featuring an array of beachside bars, local restaurants and spectacular golden sand beaches. 

Settle in for the next 4 nights of sand, sun and adventure! 


Day 12-14 Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi

  • Hotel
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The next three days are yours to enjoy as you wish. ​Kayak to the nearby Thumbi island and spot the majestic fish eagle, snorkel amongst vibrant schools of fish or explore the local craft market. Sail across the lake and catch a picturesque African sunset, or scuba dive into the crystal-clear depths of the lake, which boasts some of the best freshwater diving in the world. Other activities include bird watching, windsurfing, island tours, guided village walks and motorized boat activities (motorized activities will incur additional cost).

Day 15 Transfer to Lilongwe

  • Hotel
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we leave the magic of Lake Malawi behind, transferring to the capital city of Lilongwe for tomorrow's departure. Enjoy an evening at the scenic Kumbali Country Lodge. 

Day 16 Departure

  • 1 Breakfast
Transfer this morning to Lilongwe Airport in time for your departure home. Board your flight with memories of Malawi's friendly people, exceptional wildlife and stunning natural beauty. Or, choose to extend your time in Africa with a visit to neighboring Zambia! 

Huntingdon House​​​​​​

Kumbali Country Lodge

Kuthengo Camp

Mkulumadzi Lodge

Pumulani Lodge

Zomba Forest Lodge

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  • 15 Lunches, 15 Dinners
  • 15 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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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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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