The landlocked country of Malawi is located in south eastern Africa, nestled between Tanzania to the north, Mozambique to the south and east, and Zambia to the west. Malawi’s most prominent geographic feature, Lake Malawi, is shared with Mozambique and its northern shores determine the border with Tanzania.
What can you expect of the terrain?
Malawi is a pint-sized land of many terrains. Rocky cliffs and mountains split the country in two through the centre and savannah grass for as far as the eye can see creates a picturesque African landscape as if taken directly from a travel brochure. In the north of the country, rolling highlands and rugged hills are often compared to the Scottish Highlands, and in the south, thick clouds cloak towering mountains and thick woodland. Malawi is also dominated by meandering rivers and the large Lake Malawi.
What type of wildlife will we see?
Malawi may be a small country, but it has no shortage of wildlife waiting to be spotted by adventurous travellers. Huge herds of breeding elephants are scattered across the country, as are hippos and crocodiles bathing in the lakes and rivers. You can also expect to see various antelope species, including eland, roan antelopes and greater kudu, chachma baboons in the trees, vervet and blue monkeys, and bushbabies. As Lake Malawi covers a third of the country, Malawi is also home to 500 species of fish, including African catfish, carp, sardines and barbs.
Best time to go and why?
Between mid-May and October, the cooler months of the dry season, the weather is more predictable, and the wildlife is concentrated along the shores of lakes and rivers. However there are is possible frost at night at the higher altitudes. The rainy season between November and April is best for visiting the northern plateau as the temperatures are warmer. In terms of extreme weather, cyclones are possible from mid-November to mid-May.
When is high season?
Although there is no crowding at any time of the year, the dry season between May and October is the busiest time for visitors.
When is low season?
Few visitors come to Malawi during the extremely hot and humid rainy season between November and early April. At this time of year, safaris will feel more exclusive, but flora and fauna will not be in bloom.
When is the best weather?
From May to October temperatures are lower and skies clear, making for spectacular photographic backdrops. When visiting the northern hills, November to April brings more pleasant weather for hiking.