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Malawi is a country of outstanding natural and cultural beauty. The warm and hospitable people of this small, sub saharan nation may make you feel welcome, but it is the incredible landmarks of Malawi that will really take your breath away writes Marc Crouch.

Mount Mulanje
Set against the rolling tea estates of Malawi’s southern border, the isolated Mulanje mountain range strikes a rather imposing figure, looming over the flatlands beyond it. Mulanje is an important site in many mythological and spiritual beliefs that are practised in Malawi to this day, with its peaks home to kings and gods, comparable to the Greek myths of Mount Olympus. The home of these gods, a peak reaching near 10,000 ft, is the highest in all of Malawi and allows for stunning views across the country and into neighbouring Mozambique. Home to a unique ecosystem of wildlife and vegetation, the mountain plays host to vibrant forests, wildlife — such as antelope and eagles — and incredible beauty spots, including hidden lakes and waterfalls. Mulanje is also home to the national tree of Malawi, the Mulanje Cedar, a tree found nowhere else on earth. Mount Mulanje is a true African paradise, and an unmissable site when visiting Malawi. 

Zomba Plateau
So stunning is the view from atop the fabled Zomba Plateau, that is was described as the best in all of the British Empire during the colonial era. Only a short distance from Mulanje, the distinctive sheer cliff edges of the plateau’s 6000 ft summit cast of magnificent shadow over the city of Zomba, the grasslands of Malawi and the nearby beauty spot of Lake Chilwa. Easier to climb than neighbouring Mulanje, the gentle slopes of the Zomba Plateau’s northern region also allow for horse riding and driving. An incredible driving experience, the road across the top of the mountain allows those unable to make the climb the same stunning views observed by members of the British Empire hundreds of years ago. 

Lake Malawi
Sublime, luxurious and unforgettable. These are the three words that most come to mind when thinking about the country’s greatest natural treasure, Lake Malawi. A vast body of water, the third largest on the continent, the lake brings life to the northern regions of the of the nation, providing food and work. For visitors though, it is a beautiful place for relaxing and unwinding on the gorgeous sandy beaches, resting in hammocks or sheltering from the sun under large palm trees. The lake is also the perfect spot for adventure seekers, with great opportunities for swimming and diving in the clear waters, or getting out on boats and kayaks to explore the stunning islands settled in the lakes heart. Lake Malawi is easily a match for any caribbean or mediterranean getaway with the added bonus that it is found deep in the wilderness of Africa, a place many people yearn to explore. 

Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Malawi is home to many wildlife reserves, such as Majete to the south and Vwaza to the north, but to find its most unique, we look close to the shores of Lake Malawi, at the Nkhotakota reserve in central Malawi. A pure African wilderness, home to larger animals such as elephants and hippos as well as harder to spot animals like lion and cheetah, Nkhotakota is fast becoming the go to spot for natural exploration in Malawi, with large animal introduction plans marked for the years to come. Unlike many reserves in Africa that have become smothered by high numbers of tourists, Nkhotakota remains a quiet park, allowing visitors total immersion into the wild ways of Africa. Home to multitude of rugged landscapes, perfect for walking and driving safaris, along with the Bau River straight through its wild heart, Nkhotakota is the perfect place for a unique African safari adventure. 

Lilongwe 
Buzzing with life, Lilongwe is a non-stop city. Awash with hectic crowds covering the streets, Lilongwe combines tradition with modern life which is conveniently demonstrated by the city's two districts, Capital City and Old Town. In the capital, you’ll find the comforts of home, nice hotels, an airport, high-end restaurants, banks and more. The Old Town, however, is where you really want to explore. Home to a traditional Malawian market, chocked full of exotic fruits, fresh fish from Lake Malawi and home-made clothes, nick-knacks and other oddities, this is just the start of your Lilongwe adventure. Venturing further through Old Town, you’ll come across examples of Malawian food, music and art. It’s by far to best place to discover Malawian culture and meet the people of Malawi themselves, famous for being warm, welcoming and earning the country its title of “Africa’s warm heart”. 

A founding member of the luxury malawi holiday resort Tongole Wilderness Lodge, and all round Malawi expert, Marc Crouch has a passion for introducing people to this wonderful and often overlooked country.


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Five incredible places to visit in Malawi
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