10 Day: Rift Valley Explorer Safari Itinerary
This Exploration, with constant contrast and variety, covers about 800 kilometres and three of southern Malawi’s most fascinating and contrasting destinations – all relatively close together and encompassing different types of wilderness, culture, and wildlife. Exploring the mountainous wilderness of Zomba Plateau is followed by viewing the wildlife of Liwonde National Park on foot, by boat and vehicle. The Exploration ends with three days of relaxation (with various activities for the more energetic!) on the beautiful eco-friendly Mumbo Island. The drives between the destinations are a revelation, providing ample opportunities to meet the friendliest people in Africa.
Explorations are led by highly skilled and qualified professional guides with an incredible passion for the natural regions they work in. Sharing the adventure and guiding you on this journey of discovery combined with their vast knowledge of the natural world, history and culture are their professions and personal hobby. Many of our guides are also skilled photographers and can assist you in taking away amazing wildlife photographs. Your guide will host you for the duration of your journey, providing you with a consistent, detailed interpretation that is shaped to your specific interests.
- This journey brings you a classic combination of bush, beach and mountain where you will explore the diverse habitats and spectacular landscapes of Liwonde National Park, Lake Malawi National Park and Zomba Plateau.
- Activities include guided walks, day and night game drives and boat safaris. Also included are non-motorised water-sports.
- All camps are fully serviced and allow a sublime "back to nature" experience.
- The road transfers showcase the breathtaking landscapes across Malawi.
Kumbali Country Lodge, LilongweDays 1:
Stylish, relaxed and informal, Fine food and refreshments, including organic home-grown fruit and vegetables and dairy products are served from the elegant lodge dining area. Did you know?
- Spectacular birdlife can be seen at the lodge as well as on stunning indigenous forest walks.
- A traditional cultural village and permaculture centre offer additional interest.
- Wireless internet access, 9 channel satellite televisions, tea and coffee facilities, overhead and floor standing fans, mosquito nets and indoor and outdoor seating areas.
Included: Dinner and breakfast.
Ku Chawe Inn, Zomba PlateauDays 2 - 3:
Ku Chawe Inn is located on the unique Zomba Plateau: an imposing mountain rising to 1 800 metres (6 000 feet) above sea level, with vast tracts of cedar, pine and cypress, interspersed with indigenous forest. The Plateau is criss-crossed with streams, cascading waterfalls and lakes. There are driveable tracks right round the top, offering views of such splendour they were described in colonial times as "the best in the British Empire." Perched spectacularly on the edge of the mountain, Ku Chawe is positioned to enjoy the commanding views across to Mount Mulanje in the south and down to the old colonial capital of Zomba town below. This landmark hotel offers you spacious en-suite rooms with fireplaces for the cooler evenings on the Plateau. Did you know?
- Places of interest around Zomba include the Zomba markets, the well-tended botanical gardens, the Commonwealth War Graves Memorial, and the old Parliament.
- As well as taking in the sights of the many distinctive colonial buildings, several forest walking trails explore the natural treasures of the area.
Included: All meals.
Mvuu Lodge, Liwonde National ParkDays 4 - 6:
Ideally positioned for you to explore the captivating variety and beauty of Liwonde, Mvuu Wilderness Lodge lies discreetly on the banks of a quiet lagoon off the broad Shire River. This languid waterway is Malawi’s largest river which sets the stage for an awesome wilderness spectacle. What’s more, the main lounge area is set just above the water for you to make the most of the surrounding wildlife and birds from camp. With a similar concept, our eight stylish en-suite tents are erected on wooden platforms and incorporate an intimate veranda. Lodge facilities also include a dining room, pub, extensive wildlife library, a hide overlooking the river and a natural rock swimming pool. Did you know?
- Since our inception into Liwonde in 1994, large areas of the Park have been rehabilitated; some 500 local people currently benefit financially from our camps.
- The diverse landscape includes relatively dry mopane woodlands interspersed with candelabra trees, patches of miombo, palm savannah and numerous baobabs on extensive floodplains and dense riverine vegetation.
- Your activities include boating, game drives (day and night) and cultural visits to villages across the river.
- Mvuu means ‘hippo’ in Tonga, referring to the large numbers that occur here. The Park is also home to elephant, rare black rhino, sable, waterbuck, Lichtenstein’s hartebeest and, rarely, lion.
- The prolific bird life includes African Skimmer, Palmnut Vulture and White-backed Night-Heron.
Included: All meals and safari activities.
Mumbo Island, Lake MalawiDays 7 – 9:
Set on a pristine, practically deserted tropical island, the eco-friendly Mumbo Camp is surrounded by crystal-clear waters. Lake Malawi National Park is the first in the world set aside for the protection of freshwater fish and therefore, not surprisingly, one of the best freshwater diving locations on the planet. To set the scene, your accommodation – one of six en-suite tents – is perched on rocks high above the water and shaded by lush foliage. With an idyllic lake view, you can while the hours away on the hammock on your private deck. Refreshments are served in the dining area and pub. Be warned, this lazy island lifestyle is contagious! Did you know?
- Mumbo Island Camp has partnered with Malawi's Department of National Parks and Wildlife to put an end to illegal fishing operations in this sanctuary.
- Bird life is abundant, dominated by the ever-present African Fish-Eagles.
Included: All meals, kayaking and snorkelling at Mumbo Island.