The 13 most beautiful places to visit in Malawi

malawi lacs

Dreaming of Africa? Then why not visit Malawi? Here are the 13 most beautiful places to discover in Malawi: between a change of scenery and sharing.

Located in south-east Africa, but less well known than its neighbors Mozambique and Tanzania, Malawi is nonetheless an enchanting destination. From Lilongwe, its capital, to the summit of Sapitwa Peak, via Lake Malawi and the wide expanses of savannah, the warm heart of Africa will feed your imagination, far from mass tourism.

You’ll visit Malawi for the beauty of its nature, fauna and flora. You’ll discover an infinite variety of landscapes: savannah, mountains, plains, tea or rubber plantations… All of them are home to numerous nature reserves. Here, you can observe the big five: leopards, elephants, rhinoceroses, buffaloes and lions, as well as hippos, buffaloes, antelopes, zebras…

Still not convinced? Then read on. We’ve put together a list of our 13 favorites in Malawi. Now let Africa dazzle you and delight your eyes.

1. Lake Malawi National Park

Éléphants du Parc National du Lac Malawi, Malawi.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / T.Sahl

Malawi’s greatest asset is without doubt its lake. The third largest lake in Africa, it is a veritable inland sea. After all, it covers three-quarters of the country’s length!

On its many beaches, you can dive into deliciously warm, transparent water. In fact, you can see up to 20 metres below the surface! This purity allows you to admire the exceptional biodiversity of the underwater world, with over 800 species, most of them endemic. In fact, this has earned Lake Malawi National Park a place on Unesco’s list of the country’s natural heritage.

What’s more, the surrounding landscapes are of exceptional natural beauty: hills, marshes, lagoons, mountains… This park alone is worth a visit to Malawi, as you’ll be spoilt for choice in a dream setting.

2. Liwonde National Park

Antelope kudu in Liwonde National Park. Malawi

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Yury Birukov

Even if you’ve already been to other parks in the country, don’t hesitate to visit Liwonde National Park. Here, you’ll be able to admire a huge number of wild animals in the heart of an unspoilt natural environment. Elephants and hippos are the undisputed kings, but impala, kudu, monkeys, antelope and warthog are not to be outdone! This is also one of only two parks in Malawi where you have a small chance of spotting rhinoceros. Finally, birdwatchers will also be delighted, as birds are the park’s main attraction. You can, for example, contemplate the majestic flight of the African fish eagle, the country’s symbol bird.

There are two ways to discover all these wonders when visiting Malawi:

  • The classic self-drive safari.
  • The adventure version in a canoe among the crocodiles. And in the evening, you’ll sleep in a lodge in the middle of nature. Wild thrills guaranteed!

3. Lilongwe

Une mosquée jaune avec tour de minaret l'été sous ciel bleu dans la capitale Lilongwe, Malawi

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Pil-Art

Malawi’s capital since 1975, Lilongwe is a must-see when visiting Malawi. Its rich heritage includes the World War I Memorial. The Lilongwe Wildlife Center is also a must-see wildlife sanctuary.

But visiting Malawi also means discovering the traditional Malawian way of life at the Kumbali Cultural Village. The town’s market is also well worth a visit. You can get a taste of the local atmosphere by exploring the colorful stalls, if you can’t buy everything!

4. Blantyre

Blantyre au Malawi

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Bastian Schnabel

Located in the ShireHighlands, Blantyre is the country’s second-largest city. So if you’re going to visit Malawi, make a detour to its impressive Saint Michael and All Angels church, which is both beautiful and steeped in history. Completed in 1891, Saint Michael and All Angels is built entirely of red brick.

Don’t miss the Mandala House, the oldest Western-style building in Malawi. Now a listed building, it houses a café, an art gallery and the library of the Malawi Historical and Scientific Society. If you still have a little time, don’t forget to visit the Carlsberg brewery, Malawians’ favorite beer. To round off your visit, beer lovers will be treated to a tasting session. In moderation, of course!

5. Majete wildlife nature reserve

Majete National Park, Malawi.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / mhenrion

Don’t miss the magnificent Majete Wildlife Reserve. Here, you’ll be immersed in sublime savannah landscapes surrounded by miombo forests, trees that lose their leaves during the dry season. Then, just before the rainy season, they grow back and adorn the vistas with a magnificent orange-red color. A real enchantment!

What’s more, you may be lucky enough to come across the king of animals in the reserve, where lions have been gradually reintroduced since 2003.

6. Nkhata Bay

Nkhata Bay

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / LMspencer

Nestled in the heart of tea and rubber plantations, Nkhata Bay is also one of the most popular tourist destinations when visiting Malawi. This fishing village on the shores of the lake exudes an almost Caribbean vibe. You can enjoy the beaches of Chikale and Kande for a swim in the warm turquoise water, or admire the underwater world during a snorkeling session.

To round off your enchanting day, you can admire the sunset over Lake Malawi. A spectacular sight!

7. Mumbo Island

Otter Point à Cape Maclear, au lac Malawi

Photo credit: Shutterstock / mhenrion

If you’ve always dreamed of deserted islands, Mumbo Island is the place for you. This small island paradise is home to white sandy coves bordered by turquoise waters. A real Robinson’s dream! As this seaside resort is managed as an ecotourism zone, you’ll be able to observe unspoilt nature. For example, you may come across monitor lizards swimming peacefully or fish eagles soaring overhead. You can also enjoy snorkeling and hiking in the silence of nature.

In short, Mumbo Island is a must for nature lovers visiting Malawi!

8. Likoma Island

Baobab Malawi likoma

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Warren Parker

Although geographically located within Mozambique’s territorial waters, Likoma Island belongs to Malawi. Even if reaching the island may seem complicated, it would be wrong not to go!

In fact, it’s a magnificent place, wooded with giant baobabs, where peace reigns because there are virtually no cars on the island. It’s a peaceful place, as there are virtually no cars on the island. Let your steps lead you past Saint Pierre Cathedral, a stunning Anglican church in this setting.

9. Chongoni rock art

Art rupestre de Chongoni (Malawi)

Photo credit: Wikimedia / Lazare Eloundou Assomo

Interested in history? Then go and see the Chongoni reserve, because you can’t visit Malawi without going there! Here you’ll find an astonishing concentration of 127 sites, all featuring exceptional rock paintings – some dating back 50,000 years! For this reason, the site is listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. You’re sure to marvel at these traces of our distant ancestors.

10. Livingstonia

Livingstonia Mission Church

Photo credit: Wikimedia / Benjdahl

Perched high in the mountains, Livingstonia is a town with breathtaking views, and for good reason! From its 1300-metre altitude, you’ll be able to enjoy numerous views of Lake Malawi and the surrounding valleys.

What’s more, from the town you can go hiking in the surrounding area before discovering Manchewe Falls and nearby Nyika National Park.

11. Manchewe Falls

Chutes Manchewe

Photo Credit: Shutterstock / tr3gin

Just 4km from Livingstonia, you can admire the magnificent Machewe waterfalls. This majestic 125-meter-high waterfall is well worth the detour if you’re visiting Malawi. You’ll reach it in 1 hour from the town through beautiful scenery, and can even explore a small cave behind the waterfall. A refreshing walk to forget the heat for a moment.

12. Nyika National Park

Paysage du parc national de Nyika - Malawi

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Radek Borovka

Perched on the Nyika plateau, Nyika National Park is sure to impress. It rises to over 2,500 metres above sea level, and can sometimes bear a striking resemblance to Scotland. However, this impression won’t last when you see its grasslands crossed by herds of zebra, antelope or elephant.

Nature lovers and hikers will be charmed. There are many endemic flower species and charming hilly landscapes. If you’re visiting Malawi, Nyika National Park will be a highlight of your stay.

13. Mulanje mountain forest reserve

Des dômes de granit qui composent une partie du Masif de Mulanje au Malawi.

Photo credit: Shutterstock / Karl Beeney

The Massif Mulanje (also known as Mount Mulanje) will delight climbing and trekking enthusiasts. Classified as a biosphere reserve by Unesco, this mountain range offers impressive scenery.

During your hikes, you’ll go from cirques to waterfalls along grandiose paths. You’ll pass through rainforests, along streams… And you’ll even be able to bathe in mountain pools. In the Mulanje Massif, you’ll also find Malawi’s highest point: the 3002-metre-high Sapitwa Peak.

So, what are you waiting for to visit Malawi?

Map of hotels and accommodation – Malawi