Africa

Luxury African adventure: Malawian style by @davidsbeenhere


I had heard of Malawi because I have always been quite good at Geography, but also of course because of Madonna’s adoption. I have been following David Hoffmann’s blog for almost 8 months and was amazed by his recent trip to this remote part of the world. I had no idea that Malawi could have such stunning scenery and have to thank David for putting it on my map.

I also knew I just had to ask him to share his fabulous trip with my dear readers. I hope you enjoy this post and photos as much as I did. David has been around pretty much everywhere.. aren’t we lucky that @davidsbeenhere? I may be persuaded to go on a great luxury African adventure after seeing this! Xo, Mrs. O

Safari at Nyika Nat'l park

Safari at Nyika Nat’l park

When thinking about Africa, visions of zebra, elephants and leopards likely pop into your mind. But what about snorkeling, sailing and sunset cocktails? The reality is that Africa is an immense and diverse continent that offers much more than great migrations across the Serengeti. Sure, it is a sight to behold when it comes time for the Mara River crocodiles to chomp down on ill-fated wildebeest, but unforgettable and indulgent adventures can be had in some of Africa’s smaller countries. One such jewel is Malawi. Known as “the Warm Heart of Africa,” the Republic of Malawi is located in Southeastern Africa. It is home to the third largest lake in Africa, Lake Malawi (aka Lake Nyasa) that is roughly the same size as the country of Belgium. I traveled to Malawi in June 2012 for three exciting weeks. Here you have a re-cap of the various activities and accommodations that I experienced.

Map of Malawi

Map of Malawi


Though small in size (about 46,000 sq miles) Malawi has a geography that is as diverse as the indigenous wildlife- mountains, rainforests, marshlands and forests comprise the landscape. What that means for tourists is that there is plenty to see and do, and a plethora of excellent hotels and restaurants throughout the country.

 

Safaris Galore

Luxury safari groups such as Robin Pope and Wilderness Safaris hve taken a conservationist approach to providing visitors with memorable experiences both in the bush and at the lodges. These well-established hotel groups employ locals and put forth great efforts into respecting biodiversity. They are the two biggest names in Malawi for luxury eco-tourism because of their boutique style accommodations, superior customer service and mouthwatering menus. Malawi also features several privately owned resorts that offer everything from private beaches and massages to yacht charters and up-close encounters with wildlife. The best part of all? You don’t have to rough it if you don’t want to.

 

Boat Tour in Liwonde National Park by Mvuu Lodge

Boat Tour in Liwonde National Park by Mvuu Lodge

 

Tree house lobby at Tongole Wilderness Lodge

Tree house lobby at Tongole Wilderness Lodge

 

Jeep safari at Majete Wildlife Reserve by Mkulumadzi Lodge

Jeep safari at Majete Wildlife Reserve by Mkulumadzi Lodge

 

Tour of Zomba Plateau given by Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel

Tour of Zomba Plateau given by Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel

 

Lake Malawi

The lake features over 2,000 species of colorful cichlid fish and supports a large population of aquatic birds such as herons, egrets, fish eagles, cormorants, geese, kingfishers and pelicans. These feathery inhabitants attract hundreds of bird watchers and photographers to the country each year. Lake Malawi National Park is a protected section of the lake where there are dozens of water sports and diving opportunities available. Here are just a few:

 

Feeding cichlids in Lake Malawi National Park

Feeding cichlids in Lake Malawi National Park

 

Fishermen in Cape Malawi

Fishermen in Cape Malawi

 

Sailing in Cape Maclear

Sailing in Cape Maclear

Feeding Fish Eagles on Lake Malawi

Feeding Fish Eagles on Lake Malawi

 

Luxury Hotels in Lake Malawi National Park

 

Pumulani

Pumulani


 

Mumbo Island

Mumbo Island

 

Danforth Yachting

Danforth Yachting


Other lakeside hotels

 

Chintheche Inn

Chintheche Inn


Makuzi Beach Lodge

Makuzi Beach Lodge

Makokola Retreat

Makokola Retreat

 

Shopping

For the bargain-hunter in you, Malawi boasts lively markets where you can find unique wooden crafts like masks, furniture, kitchenware and sculptures. Amazingly, the majority of these local artists have no formal training, but their pieces tell beautiful stories of Malawian culture.

Crafts Market

Crafts Market

 

The pieces you will discover are inexpensive and ideal for decorating your home or for gifting to loved ones back home. The top three markets in terms of quality and selection are: Nkhata Bay (Northern Region), Senga Bay (Central Region) and Zomba Plateau (Southern Region).

 

Basic Info

Languages: Chichewa and English

Currency: Malawian Kwacha

Airports: Lilongwe and Blantyre

Tourism: www.malawitourism.com

 

David Hoffmann

David Hoffmann

For more information about Malawi or David’s trips, visit his blog here.

 


View Comments (47)

47 Comments

  1. Ian Sheppard

    December 7, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    Great country. Lived there in 70s when my father flew for Air Malawi and the Flying Doctor Service. Went back in 95 for honeymoon at Club Mac. My brother Richard loved Africa so mch he ended up living there and he established Fawlty Towers lodge in Livingstone!

  2. Vanessa (@turnipseeds)

    November 3, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Loved this! I lived in Malawi for 4 months, working there as a gender analyst with CIDA (Canadian Int’ Development Agency). Such an incredible country – really leaves an impression on a person!
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      November 3, 2012 at 11:04 am

      How interesting!! I really would like to go one day. Looks so beautiful!

  3. My Nomadic Habits

    September 24, 2012 at 6:07 am

    i never thought Africa has this gorgeous beach! Thank you for showcasing the other side of Africa. Will add this on my never ending bucket list list.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 24, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Me neither, I was so surprised when I followed David’s trip, that I had to ask him to share!

  4. Nikos

    September 4, 2012 at 2:06 pm

    Loved the video, and awesome photos. The only thing I knew about Malawi and I could be wrong… Didn’t Madonna get one of her kids from there? The resort looks amazing!
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 4, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      yup, exactly what I mentioned in my intro 😉

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Nikos thanks for commenting and for loving the video and pics. Yes Madonna did adopt, there was actually some problems with the government about that. The parents of the kid said take him/her and Madonna didn’t think to go through with adoption paper work. After visiting the country I am so happy that Madonna did that.
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  5. Pola (@jettingaround)

    September 4, 2012 at 7:29 am

    Fantastic pictures! This definitely makes me want to find out more about the country (and possibly check airfare…).
    Pola (@jettingaround) recently posted..Photo of the Week: Nationals Park in Washington, DCMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 4, 2012 at 8:06 am

      I need to check airfares.. wonder how easy it would be to get there!

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:39 pm

      Pola where are you from? or where would be flying from to Malawi? SAA is basically the monopoly in Malawi, but they also have other airlines like Ethiopian airways which could be great to combine both countries. Ethiopia is where I think I am heading to next 🙂
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  6. Bethany ~ twoOregonians

    September 3, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Since spending the past few months in South Africa, we’ve continually heard high praises for Malawi. Wish there was more room in our itinerary. Next time?? Love that picture of Makokola Retreat.
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 3, 2012 at 10:28 pm

      You were so close!! I have been to Cape Town only ! Malawi may need to feature on a future list for sure

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Thanks for commenting Bethany. Where are you headed from South Africa? Makokola Retreat was incredible… so much to see and so little time. If you think of it, I spent 22 full days in Malawi and I still missed a few locations that I wanted to see.
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  7. jenny@atasteoftravel

    September 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Malawi looks very interesting. It’s one country I’ve never considered for a safari but it would be fun to combine it with relaxing by the lake. I think I need to go Africa again!
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 2, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      thank you Jenny. To be honest it never ever crossed my mind 🙂

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:36 pm

      Hi Jenny, thanks for commenting. Well that is the beauty of Malawi, you can mix safari, lake and city. Most other southern/eastern african countries only have one or the either. Or the country is so large that to get to the coast might cost a pretty penny. Go to Malawi! What countries have you visited in Africa?
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  8. Raul (ilivetotravel in Twitter)

    September 2, 2012 at 2:50 am

    Wow, I’d love to go to Malawi and these pictures are selling it to me big time – the pix are awesome!
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      September 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

      Thank you, Raul 🙂 It seems like a perfect destination!

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks Raul. I hope because of this post you do get inspired to go. Malawi is so beautiful, people are amazing and the animals are incredible! Please let me know if you do decide to go.
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  9. Tawny- Captain and Clark

    August 31, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Incredible pictures. We need to get ourselves there stat!
    Tawny- Captain and Clark recently posted..How to survive hiking the Grand CanyonMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 31, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Just what you needed, huh? 🙂 It is amazing how huge the world is and we only get to see a tiny tiny bit!

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

      I can help you do that! I am in close relations with the Malawi Tourism. The only issue they have is that they can not bring anyone over there. USA to Africa was quite expensive but well worth it.
      David Hoffmann recently posted..Toiletry BagMy Profile

  10. John

    August 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    My roommate spent some time working in the embassy in Malawi and he said it was absolutely one of his favorite destinations. It sounds like an amazing country.
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 31, 2012 at 8:11 am

      And we know so little about it. He was very lucky!

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:33 pm

      John, it was amazing. I have not yet visited any other country in Southern or Eastern africa, but from my experience I have to say it is a must!
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  11. Paula Cristina Neto

    August 30, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    wow, amazing! 🙂

  12. Leah Travels

    August 30, 2012 at 2:08 am

    STUNNING! I’ve yet to visit Africa, but am so eager to. I haven’t yet determined where I’ll start, but Malawi looks like it might be where I should begin. Brilliant…
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I think this could be a really interesting destination. I have always wanted to go to Mozambique which apparently is nearby. Let’s see what the future brings

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:32 pm

      Malawi is supposably known for being the country in Africa for beginners. This is mainly due to the safety. Malawi is called the warm heart of africa and that is because of the people, they are too friendly. Next up Swaziland and Uganda, I hope!
      David Hoffmann recently posted..Toiletry BagMy Profile

  13. D.J. - The World of Deej

    August 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Incredible photos…This is literally all I know of Malawi except for when celebrities try to adopt kids from there…
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    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 30, 2012 at 8:15 am

      I was so surprised. Again, had only heard of the country and Madonna’s adoption. I had no idea. On the list now

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:30 pm

      D.J. I am very happy that I showed you what Malawi’s all about. I also didn’t know anything about the country. I got my itinerary 2 days before I went and I was so happy once I was there. 2 countries down 54 to go 😉
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  14. Mira

    August 29, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Add Malawi to your travel list or any other safari destination in Eastern or Southern Africa – you wil LOVE it, all is deluxe and all is meant for pure enjoyment and comfort – I know, I have done it and continue to do send my clients on safari to Kenya, Tanzania, Boswana, Zambia, Malawi and South Africa…… thanks for the update….a safari is like no other trip!!!

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      I knew this post would have you back here 😉 I will I will, promise 🙂

      • Mira

        August 30, 2012 at 2:57 pm

        You did perk up my inerest, no doubt about it 🙂 hahaha

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Mira you are so right. Safari destinations are the best.. You sleep good, eat good and go looking for wildlife all day. I am so happy I did it because now I know exactly where in Africa I want to go next. 56 countries, I have only visited two.. Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia are next on my list.
      David Hoffmann recently posted..Toiletry BagMy Profile

  15. lola

    August 29, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    liking this post very much! beaches look heavenly 🙂
    lola recently posted..i spy eye candy! – New YorkMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 29, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      I thought it would be totally up Lola’s street 🙂

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      Lola the beaches are amazing! The only thing you have to watch out for our the clouds of flies. The locals love it because they make fly paddies but for someone getting a tan you have to cover up and keep them out of your eyes 🙂
      David Hoffmann recently posted..Toiletry BagMy Profile

  16. Simon O'Reilly

    August 29, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Wow! This was unexpected! And one can do it without “roughing it”! Fantastic pictures and a whole range of things to do and see! Another one for the list which is growing everytime I read the blog! Excellent David and thanks Mrs O.

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      I was very surprised – loved it 🙂

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      Hi Simon, you can rough it if you want but I like the thought of not catching malaria 🙂 jaja Thanks for commenting, and keep that bucket list growing. Mine never stops growing.. so many locations so little time
      David Hoffmann recently posted..Toiletry BagMy Profile

  17. Kay Doughety

    August 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Damn – another place to add to our “bathtub list”! Love the uncrowded beaches and didn’t know they had luxury lodging. Fabulous!
    Kay Doughety recently posted..The role of the “Poopa” in protectioning babies in OrtigiaMy Profile

    • @mrsoaroundworld

      August 29, 2012 at 4:06 pm

      Me neither, was blown away as David was sharing pics on Instagram. Need to investigate how to get there!

    • David Hoffmann

      September 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Kay, thanks for commenting on the post. Malawi is full of Luxury locations, even more place that I didn’t get a chance to visit. Africa in general is made for luxury not backpacking. My list got even bigger once I was there because all the managers of the lodges know every country around Malawi. MIght be focusing more on Africa in the coming years 😉
      David Hoffmann recently posted..Toiletry BagMy Profile

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