Malawi is possibly not the first African country youd think of travelling to for a great wildlife experience. It has historically been better known for its lake-focussed activities, its links with local communities enabling visitors to get a real insight into the local culture, and walks and horse riding in the Nyika Plateau with its almost-Scottish landscape, or perhaps in Zomba or Mount Mulanje. However Liwonde National Park has always been there, offering visitors to Malawi a great wildlife experience within a truly stunning location by the Shire River. Then, 10 years ago, a new project was begun to reinvigorate Majete Wildlife Reserve from a rural expanse with little wildlife to a big five destination. Over 2500 animals including black rhino, lions and leopards as well as more common species such as zebras, antelope and hippos have been translocated into the park. Now there is a real buzz about the reserve and last year over 6000 visitors came to stay here. The best place to base yourself if you want to see the park for yourself is the luxury Mkulumadzi Lodge run by Robin Pope Safaris. Set on the riverbanks of the confluence of the Mkulumadzi and Shire Rivers, the lodge is in a 7000 hectare private concession within Majete, near Kapichira Falls. Open all year, it has just 8 spacious chalets, and offers game drives, walks and boating safaris. There are also hides nearby, and you can also visit a local village if youre interested. If you want to relax after your wildlife viewing and of course if youre coming to Malawi you really do have to take time to chill out there is a big range of lakeside properties to choose from depending on what kind of place you fancy. For a rustic escape on an island, try Mumbo Island. Romantics will love Kaya Mawa, and if you want more of a focus on water-based activities such as sailing or diving, try Danforth Lodge. Malawi is one of those countries that, whilst you might not initially think of it as a major contender for your visit to Africa, really should be up there in the list these days. Amanda Marks is Founder and Managing Director of Tribes Travel. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.
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