Safari & Swimming at Lake Malawi

10 Days

Visiting: Majete Wildlife Reserve, Satemwa Tea Estate, Mount Mulanje, Liwonde National Park, Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi, Lake Malawi, Senga Bay, Lake Malawi, Lilongwe

Tour operator:

YellowWood Adventures

Tour code:

MAL-WW

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 8

Physical rating:

Low, Level 2

Age range:

18-90

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Safari Tours

Activities:

Snorkeling, Swimming

From:
$3799
$3628 Exclusive Tourhub Members Discount: -$171

NB: Prices correct on 19-May-2024 but subject to change.

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Tour Overview

Swollen baobabs rise from fiery soils that burn the colour of cayenne pepper and hills ripple like waves into the horizon. Sliced by the Great Rift Valley, ‘the warm heart of Africa’ is a geological wonder of raw and astounding scenery. Often overshadowed by its brash neighbours Zambia and Tanzania, Africa’s best kept safari secret has none of the crowds but every bit of the wild energy that pulses through this continent.

A conservation success story, Malawi’s national parks are flourishing once more with the help of non-profit conservation organisation African Parks and bodies like the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation. Reintroductions of big cats and black rhinos have put these protected areas on a par with some of Africa’s greatest stars of the savannah. Experience them now before others arrive at a fraction of the cost while contributing to their ongoing progress.

In Majete Wildlife Reserve in the southwestern part of the country, the roar of lions now competes with the thrashing rapids of the Shire River, packed with pods of hippos and crocodiles lazing on sandy banks. More than 100km north along the waterway, cheetahs prowl the floodplains of Liwonde National Park, their shadows weaving between the silhouettes of date palms at dusk. Safari by road or boat, listening to the squeals of fish eagles as malachite kingfishers flit past in a brilliant flash of colour.

While the Shire is off limits for swims, you can find respite from the African heat in Lake Malawi, home to more species of fish than any other lake on the planet. Snorkel with 700 types of cichlids and relax in hammocks on Crusoe-style islands.

This is raw Africa without the frills and fuss, the stress or chaos. Children play on wooden scooters, women weave baskets by the roadside and the twinkling lanterns of fishing boats shine as brightly as they did for David Livingstone when he first set eyes on the lake of stars.

Highlights

  • Affordable but thrilling safaris

  • World-class reserves packed with game

  • Tour of the Satemwa Tea Estate

  • Swimming & snorkelling in Lake Malawi

  • Lazing on golden lakeside beaches

  • Real raw Africa at its best

Itinerary

Expand All

Day 1: Majete Widlife Reserve

Location: Majete Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner

On arrival at Chileka International Airport (Blantyre) you will be met by your guide who will welcome and transfer you to Thawale Camp situated right within the miombo woodlands and granite-topped hills of Majete Wildlife Reserve, one of the outstanding success stories of African conservation. You will spend two nights of your tour here.Accommodation: Thawale Camp

Day 2: Majete Widlife Reserve

Location: Majete Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Surrounded by 7,000 hectares of private concession, Thawale enjoys an idyllic location. Largely undiscovered by tourists, this is rapidly becoming a first-class safari destination. But for now, sightings of lions, elephants and wild dogs can be enjoyed in near isolation.Accommodation: Thawale Camp

Day 3: Majete Widlife Reserve & Satemwa Tea Estate

Location: Majete Wildlife Reserve

Accommodation Name: Guest house

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After a final game drive Majete Wildlife Reserve, head to the historic, family owned Satemwa Tea Estates in the emerald Shire Highlands. You will be transferred to the owners’ former home Huntingdon House for the next two nights.Accommodation: Huntingdon House

Day 4: Satemwa Tea Estate

Location: Satemwa Tea Estate, Mount Mulanje

Accommodation Name: Guest house

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For almost 100 years, fine teas and coffees have been produced on the estate and exported around the world. This was, after all, the first country in Africa where tea was planted commercially. Go on a tour of the coffee factory, take part in a tea tasting and visit a sundowner spot for a sweeping view of the area.You can even take a day trip to Mount Mulanje, an inselberg that forms part of the Great Rift Valley and is known by locals as the ‘island in the sky’.Accommodation: Huntingdon House

Day 5: Satemwa Tea Estate & Liwonde National Park

Location: Liwonde National Park

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will be transferred to Liwonde National Park where you will be met by the Chimwala Camp staff and transferred to your home for the next two nights. You will be staying at Chimwala Tented Camp located against Chinguni hills in the southernmost tip of the park overlooking the Shire River. After settling into your tent, tucked between baobabs and fever trees, venture out on a game drive in Liwonde National Park searching for cheetahs, lions and black rhinos.Accommodation: Chimwala Camp

Day 6: Liwonde National Park

Location: Liwonde National Park

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Choose from game drives, walking safaris or boating safaris to explore this scenic park that’s benefitted from several wildlife reintroductions and translocations. In 2017, cheetahs were brought back to the area after an absence of almost a century. In between activities, relax by the pool or do some birding from your private deck.Accommodation: Chimwala Camp

Day 7: Liwonde National Park & Southern Lake Malawi

Location: Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will be transferred to Kayak Africa Cottage in Cape Maclear where you will meet your boat transfer and set off for Mumbo Island in Lake Malawi. Settle into your rustic lake view chalet at Mumbo Island Lodge and take a dip in the warm waters of one of the world’s largest lakes.Accommodation: Mumbo Island Lodge

Day 8: Southern Lake Malawi

Location: Lake Malawi

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Take advantage of all the many water-based activities available, including snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking or a sunset cruise. Or explore the uninhabited Mumbo Island by following one of several nature trails to discover hidden beaches, caves and astounding birdlife before settling in for a sundowner on the famous ‘pod rock’ viewpoint.Accommodation: Mumbo Island Lodge

Day 9: Southern Lake Malawi & Senga Bay

Location: Senga Bay, Lake Malawi

Accommodation Name: Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today you will be transferred by boat back to the mainland to meet your guide. He will then transfer you to Whistler’s Cottage in Senga Bay to catch the Blue Zebra boat to their private island. Blue Zebra Island Lodge is set on the Nankoma Island, a private paradise under the protection of Lake Malawi National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Take a gentle walk around the island to search for wildlife, kayak to beaches or snorkel with some of the rarest and most colourful fish in the world.Accommodation: Blue Zebra Island Lodge

Day 10: Departure

Location: Lilongwe

Meals Included: Breakfast

Today you will be transferred by boat back to the mainland where your guide will be waiting to transfer you to Lilongwe Kamuzu International Airport for your flight home - please note this is different to the airport where the adventure started.

What's Included

  • Accommodation

  • Fully Guided

What's Not Included

  • Insurance

  • International Travel

Check out our Q&As

  • Physical rating of this trip

    Level 2: You need to be in good physical health to enjoy your active holiday, but you don’t need to be an experienced hiker. These itineraries offer a mix of sightseeing and easier walking for around 2-4hrs a day, with the emphasis on sights and cultural experiences.



    Walks will be well marked or on defined pathways, and often around sites of interest. The expected amount of descent/ascent will depend on the landscapes of the destination, but will not exceed 400m/day, and will often be much less. Walks are at low altitude (below 3000m).



    You will not be required to carry more than a day sack with water and essentials. Ensure you are aware of the weather conditions likely in the destination you are visiting and have a pair of comfortable and worn in walking shoes/boots.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 2015

  • Risk Assessment

    YellowWood operates a Safety Management System which encompasses a planned, researched, implemented and reviewed approach to your Health & Safety. A risk assessment is a careful examination of what could cause harm (hazards) and the assessment of likelihood of hazards occuring, as well as the severity of the outcome of a hazard.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for our latest Covid-19 policies

  • Experienced Leaders

    On all of our adventures you will benefit from the daily presence of an experienced, English speaking local guide. You will also have additional guides at various points during the trip (see itineraries for details).

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    As a visitor to a foreign country, we inevitably leave our mark. At YellowWood Adventures, we are determined that this ‘mark’ will be a positive one. Tourism is not always beneficial and we are conscious of treading lightly in the lands we explore.

Reviews of this operator

Ruth  

FANTASTIC TRIP TO EITHIOPIA!!

2020

From guiding us through the crowded alleys of Lalibela at Genna to clambering up the dizzy heights of Abuna Yemata this was a trip that surpassed all expectations! Yellowwood hits the right balance of organised small group travel with adventurous, 'off the beaten track' experiences all the while making you feel as if you've travelling with a small group of your friends. Ethiopia is truly a beautiful country with wonderful friendly and generous people throughout. I highly recommend this trip and am already planning for my next Yellowwood adventure!

Ethiopia Adventure, 2020
Sophie  

Absolute trip of a lifetime

2019

This trip was one of the best I've ever done. Getting into the Tian Shan mountains was really quite magical; experiencing the scenery and feeling isolated from the rest of the world, thanks to the personalised feel of the trek, was unrivalled. The quality of the food was also a highlight, and I was catered for as a vegetarian (in a very non-vegetarian place!). Kyrgyzstan is a relatively undiscovered gem, and it was lovely to do a road-less-travelled style trip. Thanks to Sam and YellowWood for taking us on a genuine adventure with a fantastic itinerary. I look forward to joining some more non-traditional trips when possible!"

Kyrgyzstan Adventure, 2019
Ken  

People and Landscapes of Oman Adventure

2022

Every day was a highlight for me, no specific favourite. Oman deserves all the superlatives it gets -magnificent scenery, safe, friendly environment, welcoming and engaging people. YellowWood delivers a winner on this trip! Kudos to all.

Oman Adventure, 2022

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Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    YellowWood Adventures requires a minimum deposit of 400 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of yellowwood adventures charges.

    Up to 57 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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