Malawi is blessed with a rich diversity of flora and fauna and has no less than nine National Parks or Wildlife Reserves. Whilst it may not have quite the sheer numbers of large mammals (particularly predators) as some of its better known neighbours, it makes up for this in other ways. Malawi provides intensive and exclusive wildlife viewing in unspoilt areas of genuine wilderness.
National Parks & Wildlife Reserves
In recent years the Parks and Reserves have undergone something of a transformation, with private concessionaires helping to improve conservation and the quality of viewing.
In the South is the country’s longest established Liwonde National Park, with excellent accommodation and the country’s best game viewing. Emerging rapidly is Majete Wildlife Reserve, subject to a re-stocking programme and due to become a ‘Big 5’ destination. A new lodge has been built and another is underway. Majete’s neighbours in the Lower Shire Valley, Lengwe National Park and Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve, also now have privately run accommodation, and growing amimal numbers.
Malawi has a fantastic variety of birds with over 650 recorded species spread across the different landscapes. They are primarily woodland or grassland varieties including Livingstone flycatcher, red-winged francolin and the endemic Lillian’s lovebird. However, the lake, rivers and dams also attract waterbirds such as hamerkop, fish eagle, kingfishers, egret and pelican. Raptors, like the African marsh harrier, black-breasted snake eagle and peregrine falcon, give further variety. For further details, see the Birdwatching pages.
Malawi is one of the few places in Africa where you can really meet the local inhabitants or visit a rural community in an atmosphere totally devoid of either expectation or affection.
Over the years we have increasingly incorporated the country’s greatest asset; it’s amazingly friendly people, into our tours and safaris. The people we visit are not ‘genuine tribesmen’ in exotic traditional dress, or hunter-gatherers eking out existence in some pristine wilderness. Usually they are simple farmers and the like, living in close-knit rural communities and happy to share their life with visitors.
The experiences we offer, always optioned and always attuned to the sensibilities of both traveler and villager, take a variety of forms. This varies from a straight forward visit to a village with a guide from the area on hand to lead you through the local customs and courtesies, to a bike ride to a school to listen to local children’s choir, or the famous “cathedral walk” on Likoma Island.
As well as providing a glimpse into a world that is all too often only seen in passing from a car window, we believe that these contacts foster greater understanding of the challenges of the developing world and give a better perspective as to how tourism plays a part in making a difference down at grass roots level.