Malawi Tourist Information and Tourism

(Malawi, MW, South-East Africa)

Blantyre to Lilongwe viewThe landlocked Republic of Malawi really is the perfect introduction to Africa, with its breathtaking and rather diverse scenery, friendly natives, giant lake and reasonable transport connections. There are many interesting towns and cities spread around Malawi, such as the sizeable Blantyre-Limbe, the cultural hotspot of Karonga, rapidly expanding Mzuzu, centrally located Salima, colonial Zomba, and Rumphi - a convenient gateway to both the Nyika National Park and the Vwaza Wildlife Reserve.

Located roughly in the geographical centre of Malawi is the capital city of Lilongwe, gaining this title from Zomba as recently as 1974. Whilst Lilongwe quickly became the country's definitive political centre, Blantyre (Mandala) is the second-biggest city and currently serves as the economic capital. Lilongwe is a useful place to pick up tourist information, with its Ministry of Tourism, Parks and Wildlife office being located just off Convention Drive.

Image taken in the southerly town of Mulanje, near the Mulanje Massif, photo by LixMalawi is at its most attractive to tourists between May and October, its winter months, since this forms the dry season and offers the most comfortable temperatures. May, June, July and August are the coolest months and this is when the native landscape is at its most green, after the heavy summer rains have resulted in a growth spurt. Wildlife viewings at this time of the year are particularly good, with excellent chances of spotting everything from elephants and hippos, to antelope, crocodiles and zebras, during safaris. The Kasungu, Liwonde and Nyika are amongst the best national parks, while for wildlife reserves, consider those of Majete, Mwabvi and Vwasa.

Photo of Blantyre to Lilongwe road

Malawi Tourist Information and Tourism: Top Sights

Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa) is one of the main reasons that the country enjoys such a high level of tourism. This vast lake lies in the Great Rift Valley area, north of Cape Maclear and Monkey Bay, and is Africa's third-largest lake. Now a national park, Lake Malawi contains some of the most colorful tropical freshwater fish that you are ever likely to encounter, and many visitors choose to take a closer look at this unique underwater world by joining a scuba diving expedition or by simply snorkelling in the prime areas. If you are just here for the setting, then you will find that the sandy beaches surrounding areas of the lake are the perfect place to relax and soak up the strong African sunshine. More information about Lake Malawi.

Picture of elephants at the Kasungu National ParkTourists planning a sightseeing holiday in Malawi should be prepared to travel. The Lilongwe Nature Reserve and Zoo is a good place for all the family, with its African creatures and host of exotic birds. When you are visiting Lilongwe, do try to leave enough time to experience the city's famous Tobacco Auction, where a public gallery allows you to watch the eventful goings-on. On the southern side of Malawi, the Thyolo Tea Estates date back to the early 20th century and visitors can watch the workers in action, picking the tea leaves from the seemingly endless lines of neatly clipped bushes. Located on the northern side of the country, enjoying an elevated setting between the Nyika Plateau and Lake Malawi, the Livingstonia Mission is steeped in history and was founded in the 1890s by Scottish missionaries. More information about Malawi Tourist Attractions.

Golomoti Escarpment photographMany of the most obvious sights in Malawi are within reasonable reach of Lilongwe, being a mixture of man-made structures and natural phenomena. Look out for the Cathedral of Bembeke, St. Michael's and All Angels Church in Blantyre, and the Chongoni Rock Art within the Dedza District, which now ranks as a World Heritage Site and boasts some impressive rock paintings, the most ancient of which are some 3,500 years old. Tourists frequently head to Nkhata Bay, on the western central shoreline of Lake Malawi, where some beautiful Caribbean-style golden sandy beaches and resorts await, along with noteworthy dive sites. Wildlife is in good supply all around the very distinctive Zomba Plateau, which makes for the perfect day trip destination, and those keen on outdoor recreation should spend some time hiking along the trails of Mount Mulanje. More information about Malawi Landmarks and Monuments.

Beachfront restaurant photoThe selection of museums in Malawi is fairly modest, considering the sheer size of the country, and the best choice of these cultural offerings is to be found within the city of Blantyre. It is here where the Museum of Malawi (Chichiri) resides, with its large exhibition hall, geological displays, weaponry collection, slavery tales and information about local traditions. Also in Blantyre is the extremely historic Mandela House, where a highly regarded art gallery sells genuine African paintings and wooden carvings. At Mtakataka's Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art, the Chamare Museum and Research Centre has many photographs and artefacts relating to the ethic people of Chewa, Ngoni and Yao. A special highlight at the town of Mangochi is the Lake Malawi Museum, where you can learn how this expanse of water has become integral to the plethora of villages surrounding its shore, while for families in Karonga, the Cultural and Museum Centre will be a real treat, with its dinosaur fossils and archaeological gems. More information about Malawi Museums and Art Galleries.

Picture of hippos bathing at the Liwonde National ParkWherever you are staying in Malawi, it is quite likely that you will require a fair trek each day to reach your chosen destination. To make the very most of your holiday, be sure to allow plenty of time to properly explore - at a sensible time of the year, weather-wise. Tourists looking for that ultimate African experience may also like to travel to one or more of the surrounding countries - Mozambique, Tanzania and Zambia, where game reserves, national parks, lakes, waterfalls, fortresses and enchanting towns are just some of the main points of interest. More information about Malawi Attractions Nearby.

Lakeshore view

More Malawi Information / Fast Facts and Orientation