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Malawi is one of the lesser known African nations. Half the size of the UK, it may come as a surprise that this country - hidden in the heart of Africa - has a vast array of experiences and opportunities on offer for travellers. As such, with every passing year Malawi becomes more popular, and here is why...

The people of Malawi
Known throughout the country, and indeed the continent, as the Warm Heart of Africa, Malawi certainly lives up to its name. Often, it can be hard to live up to titles such as this, but the people of Malawi didn’t just give themselves the nickname, they earned it. Famous for warm welcomes, friendly attitudes to strangers and beaming smiles, visitors will find while they travel for other reasons, their fondest memories are of the people they meet along the way. It comes as small wonder then, that while Malawi is one of the friendliest countries in Africa, it is also one of the safest

It’s unspoilt
While other popular travel destinations in Africa have become awash with tourism, Malawi remains an untouched gem in the heart of central Africa. Home to everything you’d expect from a trip to a central African nation - a few of its own unique features - the hand of mass tourism has yet to touch the landlocked world of Malawi, making it the perfect place to visit when looking for a pure look at Africa and it’s culture. 

The scenery is stunning
There is nowhere quite like Malawi. This is partly due to its unique culture and history, but also because of its stunning landscapes and awe-inspiring scenery. Places like Lake Malawi, Mulanje Mountain and the Zomba Plateau provide incredible locations to see and explore.  The most famous of these, Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Nyasa, is the third largest in Africa and is complete with beautiful sandy shores and clear blue waters. Arguably one of the most beautiful places in all of the continent, it will come as no surprise that the lake draws in thousands of travellers every year, coming to experience this unique Malawian place. 

Big Game reserves
Unlike human society, the animals of Africa have little regard for country borders and as such, you’ll find the usual range of stunning and exotic wildlife you’d expect in southern and central Africa. This includes all the big contenders like hippo, rhino and elephant, as well as smaller primates, birds, antelope and more. Because of this, Malawi is home to many wildlife reserves and a range of safari options. These have seen a significant increase in wildlife numbers and reintroductions in recent years, making this an increasingly exciting destination for a wildlife trip to Africa. 

Be part of a change 
Over the past decade, Malawi has been trying to change from a country wrought by poverty and a failing economy to one of development and growth, but there is much work to be done. Individual wealth is very low, as is life-expectancy. Education and healthcare are overstretched and the country needs support to achieve a brighter future. The difficulty is, partly due to its relatively unknown nature, Malawi receives quite limited support compared with many other developing nations. With help of international visitors - either by stimulating the economy or volunteering in local communities - Malawi can continue to grow and move from being the poorest nation of earth, to a place of not only great happiness and beauty, but also great prosperity. 

Words by: Marc Crouch of Naturally Africa Volunteers. If you want to travel to Malawi, see the country and support its development then visit www.volunteerafrica.com and get involved.


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