Bradt Guides Malawi
Bradt Guides Malawi is a comprehensive companion for your trip to Malawi.
This is the only standalone guidebook to the self-styled “Warm Heart of Africa”. Accessible, affordable and tranquil, Malawi is dominated by the scenic splendour of Lake Malawi, running for 500km through the Great Rift Valley. Elsewhere are numerous little-visited mountains, forests, game reserves and rock art sites. This updated edition covers everything from wildlife viewing and lakeshore idylls. It cover the best lodgings and eateries for all budgets as well as several significant political changes. Important developments include the conversion of Majete Game Reserve to a fenced ‘Big Five’ reserve with a world class safari camp.
From the moment I crossed the Malawi border I knew … ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ had claimed another victim, love-struck and powerless to resist the tranquil charms of this most welcoming of countries.
Underrated African nation
Malawi is one of Africa’s most underrated travel destinations. Indeed, many travellers who arrive on the continent are barely aware that Malawi exists. They come to regard it as their favourite African country by the time they return home.
Malawi’s inherent likeability has earned it several nicknames. These include ‘Land of the Lake’, ‘Warm Heart of Africa’, and ‘Africa for Beginners’. These go a long way to summing up its winning charms. Few countries are so dominated by a single geographical feature. Lake Malawi is enclosed by sheer mountains and edged by a seemingly endless succession of sandy beaches. It follows the dramatic contours of the Great Rift Valley for a distance of 585km, accounting for more than 15% of the country’s surface area.
There is much truth in the phrase ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’. Not only do Malawi’s climate and lush vegetation conform effortlessly to every stereotyped image of tropical Africa, but the people exude a laidback warmth that make visitors feel instantly at home. And ‘Africa for Beginners’? Well, certainly, this compact, cheap and hassle-free country would provide a great introduction to Africa. It offers a rich variety of attractions suitable to families, honeymooners, wildlife lovers and hard-core backpackers alike.
The lake is the indisputable focal point of Malawi’s tourist industry. Backpackers gather in their hundreds at lakeshore villages such as Cape Maclear and Nkhata Bay, while a host of more exclusive retreats cater to higher paying tourists. But there is more to Malawi than a lake, including accessible national parks teeming with wildlife, ancient rock art sites, forests alive with tropical birds, and hiker-friendly mountains such as Nyika and Mulanje.
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