Malawi: The warm heart of Africa

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As a travel destination in South-East Africa, Malawi often has to compete against its more popular neighboring countries such as Tanzania and Zambia. In the end most tend  to go to Tanzania and Zambia, however if you are a more adventurous traveler we recommend you go to Malawi.  Malawi is a beautiful country where you can still be a pioneer as a traveler. It is known as one of the poorest countries in the world, but has a very friendly population with different traditional tribes. The nickname 'The warm heart of Africa' suits this country very well. The kindness and warmth with which you will be received in Malawi is unique in the world.

The vast Lake Malawi occupies more than a 3rd of the land area and is therefore the most important landmark in the country. To the west of Lake Malawi, the landscape is covered with hills that turn into mountains towards the south and north. The lake itself has one of the largest bio diverse fish populations in the world. More than 700 different species of colorful fish swim in the warm and fresh water where the sunset is phenomenal every evening.

But Lake Malawi is not the only reason to visit. The country is an emerging safari destination with nine national parks and nature reserves where you can admire wildlife without mass tourism. The vegetation in Malawi consists mostly of forests and grasses, with large savannas in the west of the country and rich green vegetation in the mountain areas. The largest national park is Liwonde and is located in the south of Malawi. Here, but also in other parts of the country, you will find wildlife such as elephants, leopards and zebras.
Magnificent Elephant in Lake Malawi

Where to stay

In the North of Malawi you find Nkhata Bay and this place is located on the shores of Lake Malawi. The city is one of the more touristy developed parts of Malawi. In this area you find the Butterfly lodge. It’s a non profit community Eco lodge and they have loads of sustainable projects going on. The lodge has a lovely rustic feel and the staff are super friendly!

Butterfly lodge view of lake MalawiImage by

The location is incredible right on the lake and only a 15 minute walk from town. There is a great atmosphere, with a mix of people staying, backpackers, locals, families and volunteers.

Best time to visit

The warmest month in Malawi is October with temperatures up to 30 degrees Celsius (86° Fahrenheit), while the month of July is the coldest period with 21 degrees Celsius (70°F). Between November and April it is rainy season. In the higher parts of Malawi, it can cool down quite a bit, especially at night. So it is wise to be prepared for this when you want to travel around the country. The best travel time is from May to October, as the weather is mostly sunny but not yet extremely warm. It is also dry for most of the period. Click here for more climate information.

This article was last updated on August 24, 2021.