Malawi is a little-known gem of a country in the heart of central southern Africa that offers a true African experience at a relatively low cost.
It is a long and narrow landlocked country covering more than 1000 kilometers from north to south. Lake Malawi, nearly 600km long and up to 80km wide, dominates the countryside.
There is no country in all of Africa that has its geography so sculpted and determined by Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the largest single geographical feature on Earth. This ancient 5000 km-long geological formation bisects much of Africa from Egypt to Botswana and boasts a bewildering array of habitats and lush vegetation. Towering mountains, lush, fertile valley floors, and enormous crystal-clear lakes are hallmarks of the Rift Valley – and Malawi displays them all. Fertile soils are a result of the Rift Valley and evidence of this is to be found everywhere in Malawi. Throw a seed to the ground and a plant grows.
Malawi’s scenery is diverse and the habitats are varied. At its lowest point, the country is only about 35m above sea level; its highest point, Mount Mulanje, is 140km away and over 3000m above sea level. Between these altitude extremes there are rolling hills, plateaus, cool misty mountains, and wide-ranging scenery. Each of the many diverse habitats is protected within Malawi’s nine national parks and game reserves – from elephants to orchids.
For those keen on experiencing African culture in all its complexity and beauty, Malawi is a warm and welcoming country that offers visitors wonderful scenery, fascinating parks, and some of the friendliest people in Africa. It is no wonder that it is known as the “warm heart of Africa”.