Malawi is largely a agricultural country but its variety of attractions is Malawi’s greatest assets. Lake Malawi dominates the country with a mixture of beautiful landscapes, fascinating wildlife and a rich culture that makes this small country such a wonderful place to visit.
TOP 8 PLACES TO VISIT
1.LIWONDE NATIONAL PARK
The park is the park to go for the best game viewing in Malawi. Large herds of elephant, different species of antelope and an incredible variety of birds can be seen.The Mvuu Lodge offers early morning bush walks with guides or enjoy a boat safaris on the croc-and-hippo-dotted Shire River. In the evenings you can watch wildlife at the water’s edge from the comfort of your viewing deck.
The lake has lovely sand beaches and crystal clear water filled with many colourful fishes that it often feels like you're swimming in a giant aquarium. Activities offered is snorkelling, diving, sailing or kayaking.
3.CULTURAL & MUSEUM CENTRE KARONGA
The skeleton of malawisaurus and numerous fossil discoveries made in there parts is the largest attraction of this museum. You can enjoy a whistle-stop journey through the history of the planet, with particular reference to the Karonga district, 'from dinosaurs to democracy' via milestones such as the rise of humans and Malawi’s fight for independence. Other highlights is the is the prehistoric human staring back at you; displays of late-19th-century warriors’ dress and smoking pipes; and colourful wall murals by local artists defining the themes of the museum's various sections – from a prehistoric family sitting by the lake to 'president for life' Hastings Banda waving his trademark fly whip.
4.KAMUZU BANDA MAUSOLEUM
Construction of he mausoleum was completed in 2006. This marble and granite mausoleum is the final resting place of Malawi's 'president for life', Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. His most prized principles, unity, loyalty, obedience and disciple can be seen between the four pillars.
The beautifully decorated Chamare Museum with murals scenes from Malawian history is a must see. The museum is divided in 3 rooms with different plays – room 1 covers the history of Mua and the Roman Catholic Church, the second room delves into Chewa, Yao and Ngoni culture, and the third room you are confronted by the 'tree of the spirits', hung with 280 Gule Wamkulu masks, with interpretive panels explaining the Chewa masks' meanings. The museum is named after the French missionary Father Champmartin, who arrived in 1908 and taught the locals carpentry. They shortened his name to Chamare.
6.KUNGONI CENTRE OF CULTURE & ART
The fascinating centre was set up in 1976 by a Canadian, Father Claude Boucher and is part of the Mua Mission and made up of several exhibitions, workshops and even a botanic garden. The Chamare Museum, Kungoni Art Gallery, a Carving Works shop and a shop is all part of this centre. It also stages the Chamare Day festivals as well as other events throughout the year.
The cities oldest colonial dame is a eclectic gallery featuring vividly coloured, contemporary work by local artists, as well as sculpture, old maps and prints, and huge, carved wooden thrones.
8.CATHEDRAL OF ST PETER
The 1911 Likoma’s Anglican cathedral with its stained-glass windows, crumbling masonry and sheer scale are testament to the zeal of its missionary creators' religious conviction and a must see. Climb to the top of the tower to view the spectacular surrounding. The cathedral is less than 500m inland from the ferry terminal.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE
The best way to get around Malawi is by bus, car, motorcycle and ferries.
Malawi has a hot summer rainfall season from November to April so the best time to visit is during the drier winter months - early May to late October.