About Malawi

Landscape

Malawi Landscape Malawi has an incredible variety of stunning landscapes.

The forested Viphya is a wonderful area for those seeking a combination of stunning scenery and solitude. It is an ideal area to unwind but there are also opportunities for trekking, mountain biking and various other activities.

Zomba Mountain is a unique great slab of a mountain rising up to 1800m (6000ft) with views of such splendour that they were described in colonial times as "the best in the British Empire". The vegetation on the mountain is wild and mixed with vast tracts of cedar, pine and cypress. Wildlife is vast and includes giant butterflies, the long-crested eagle and occassionally, leopards.

The scale of the magnificent Mulanje Mountain has to be seen to be appreciated. Its bare rock flanks tower to almost 3000m (10000ft), dwarfing all that surrounds it. It is an ideal location for quiet gentle walking and serious climbing. Once on the mountain the vegetation changes with altitude and there is plenty of wildlife from the klipspringer, a tiny antelope, to various other small mammals and, of course, a variety of birds.

Wildlife

Malawi Wildlife

The big five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant and rhino) can be seen in Malawi as well as a splendid range of antelope and other smaller cats such as caracel and serval. Hippos are to be found in large numbers, so much so that they are almost symbolic of Malawi's prolific wildlife.

The variety of fish, over 600 species, to be seen in the Lake Malawi National Park is unequalled anywhere else in the world. Malawi's birdlife is renowned. Best known is the fish eagle to be seen at the Lake and along the River Shire but, as with the Lake's fish, the range of species is breathtaking.

Lake

Lake Malawi

As the third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi occupies one fifth of the country's total area. Its approximate dimensions are 590 km north to south and 85 km broad, (365 miles by 52 miles hence the sobriquet: "the calendar lake"). The Lake drains an area larger than Malawi itself yet, surprisingly, only one river, the Shire (pronounced "shiray" - the old spelling) flows from it.

Lake Malawi is lined with hundreds of miles of tropical golden sand beaches - a true inland sea - and tideless. You can relax in the sun on an uncrowded beach, hand-feed tropical fish at the world's first freshwater National Park or enjoy watersports.

For much of the year the Lake is placid, a gentle giant, but, especially when strong winds blow north or south, it can become an angry monster. Because of its potentially rich harvest of fish, the Lake plays an important part in the country's economy. Fishing villages are scattered along the length of the lakeshore and the traditional industry and practices are an attraction to visitors.

People

Malawi People

With a population of approximately 12 million, Malawi is one of the more densely peopled countries of this part of Africa. Most of the population is rural (85 per cent), living largely in fascinating traditional villages. The largest town is the conurbation Blantyre-Limbe (the commercial "capital") in the south followed by the capital city of Lilongwe in the central region. Mzuzu is the only large town in the north. Zomba, once the capital, has, until recently, been the seat of the parliament.

Known as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi has a thoroughly deserved reputation for the friendliness of its people. Wherever you go you will receive a welcome which is unsurpassed anywhere else in the world. This is a land of smiles, of genuine friendship.