Safari and Lake Explorer

Prices on request £0

Explore the wildlife-rich Mana Pools and South Luangwa National Parks before flying out to Lake Malawi for relaxation amongst unrivalled beauty and tranquility.

Prices: On request

Duration: 12 nights

Availability: May through November

Destinations: Mana Pools National Park (Zimbabwe), South Luangwa National Park (Zambia), Lake Malawi (Malawi)


i) Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site Mana Pools National Park in the far northern reaches of Zimbabwe

ii) Glimpse the elusive African wild dog in Mana Pools.

iii) Track leopard in the South Luangwa National Park

iv) Observe rare and elusive game on exciting night safaris

v) Walk amongst Africa’s flagship species in both Zimbabwe and Zambia

vi) Relax on the serene shores of Lake Malawi

vii) Explore the underwater world of Lake Malawi on snorkelling or diving excursions

All about Safari and Lake Explorer.


An excellent safari and beach combination ideal for solo travellers, families, honeymoon couples or just the general safari traveller. Visit wildlife hotspots Mana Pools National Park & South Luangwa National Park where both wildlife and safari activities are both abundant and varied, before escaping to the serene shores of Lake Malawi for rest and relaxation. Small and intimate accommodations are deliberately used throughout to intensify the solitude this part of Africa is renowned for. Pumulani offers the same level of exclusivity but adds that extra touch of luxury to ease you into the tranquil rhythm of the lake.

Best time to visit?

So what is the best time of year to take this trip to maximise your overall experience? Without knowing you yet this is a difficult question to answer. With so many variables to consider we need to know what is important to you before we advise on the preferable time for you.

There are many variables to consider when attempting to recommend the best time to visit. Specific considerations include the whereabouts of migratory animals, the effect the density of the vegetation and height of the grass has on wildlife viewing, special wildlife moments such as the birth of baby animals, and the effect weather patterns has on wildlife behaviour. Other factors to consider are the variation in prices at different times of the year, visitor traffic, whether you prefer a lush or relatively arid environment and of course the annual climate, namely temperature and rainfall values.

For this reason we present detailed information for each individual destination in the locations section to help you understand what may work best for you. We will of course have an in-depth discussion with you prior to making a booking so you are completely happy with the time of year you decide to travel.

Included activities:

  • Game drives
  • Night drives
  • Walking safari
  • Motorboat safaris (seasonal)
  • Breakfast in the bush
  • Snorkelling
  • Kayaking and paddle boarding

Optional activities:

  • Kitesurfing
  • Sailing
  • PADI 5 star diving
The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the tour price.


  • Domestic flights as described in the daily itinerary
  • Mfuwe to Lake Malawi flight
  • Ground transfers as described in the daily itinerary
  • 12 nights accommodation as stated
  • All inclusive meals and drinks plan
  • All relevant taxes and surcharges
What is not included in this tour?Items that are not included in the tour price.


  • International flight to Harare
  • International flight from Lilongwe
  • Airport transfers in home country
  • Meals and drinks not stated in the daily itinerary
  • Applicable VISAS
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Health innoculations and medications
  1. Day 1 Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure Begins

    Board your overnight international flight from your chosen airport to Harare International Airport, Zimbabwe.

  2. Day 2 John's Camp, Mana Pools National Park (L, D)

    Your arrival at Harare International Airport is the start of this epic exploration. One of our representatives will meet you on arrival and assist with your onward flight to UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mana Pools National Park. The flight will take approximately 1.5 hours. On arrival a member of the John’s Camp team will meet you and drive you slowly to camp, stopping for any interesting wildlife sightings enroute. On arrival in camp you will be oriented and introduced to the friendly staff before settling down for a relaxing meal. Depending on your time of arrival there may be time for a game drive.

  3. Days 3-4 John's Camp, Mana Pools National Park (all inclusive)

    After a much needed sleep you will be refreshed and ready to spend the next 2 days exploring Mana Pools. The name ‘Mana’ means ‘four’ in the local Shona language, this applies to the four large pools inland from the Zambezi River. Mana Pools is home to a wide range of mammals including the elusive African wild dog and over 350 bird species. A typical day on safari has guests woken early for a quick cup of tea or coffee and breakfast before heading out at first light. This is an excellent time to be out in the bush as animals are more active during the early and late hours of the day. You will head out on either a game walk or drive returning to camp for a late morning brunch. Midday siesta time is spent in camp and afternoon tea is served at 3.30pm. Head out again for an afternoon of game viewing as the day cools. Fishing from the banks of the river is also an option. Sundowners can be enjoyed while out on your afternoon game drive or back in camp. Warm bucket showers will be ready on your return. Gather around the campfire to share your stories from the day before enjoying a three-course dinner

  4. Day 5 Nkwali Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all inclusive)

    Today marks the end of your time in Mana Pools, and indeed Zimbabwe, as your next destination is the equally impressive South Luangwa National Park over the border in Zambia. After breakfast you will transfer by boat to Chirundu before heading to Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, by road transfer. On arrival at Lusaka International Airport, you will be met by one of our representatives who will assist you with check-in for your flight to Mfuwe, South Luangwa. On arrival a guide from Nkwali Camp will meet you and transfer you through local villages and game viewing areas to camp, stopping for wildlife sightings en route.

    Nkwali Camp has a wide view of the Luangwa River. On Robin’s private land, and overlooking the South Luangwa National Park, Nkwali is the perfect location to enjoy safari in the Luangwa Valley. The six rooms all look out over the river and have open air bathrooms. Depending on your arrival time in the day you will enjoy a lunch looking out over the lagoon to the back of Nkwali or if in the afternoon for tea and the afternoon and night game drive.

  5. Day 6 Nkwali Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all inclusive)

    You will begin today with breakfast served around the campfire. The morning walk or drive will leave soon after, entering the park by boat from the camp or by the nearby pontoon. The game in the area is excellent – and includes many family herds of elephants and the endemic species of giraffe, the Thornicroft Giraffe. A mid-morning break of tea, coffee and cake will be taken at a scenic point on a lagoon or the Luangwa River. Return to camp for lunch around mid-day. After lunch you can cool off in the swimming pool or siesta. Following tea you will go out on an afternoon game drive that continues into the early night giving the chance to see the nocturnal world and species such as Cape porcupine, genet, civet, and bat-eared fox. Return to camp at about 20.00 hrs with dinner generally at 20.30. You will be ready to retire to bed shortly afterwards.

  6. Day 7 Nsefu Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all inclusive)

    Today will be a more leisurely start as you enjoy a casual breakfast before embarking on a game drive up to the Nsefu Sector of the park. The Nsefu Sector offers you an excellent wildlife viewing experience. Not only is it packed with wildlife but it sees very few tourists. This offers a much more authentic safari experience when compared to some of the more commercial parks in Africa. Robin Pope Safaris owns the only two camps in this sector of the Park. Nsefu was the first game camp in Zambia and dates back to the early fifties. There are six round rondavels, each room has a clear view of the sweeping bend of the Luangwa River through large windows and from the wooden verandahs. On arrival you will be shown to your rondavel and then lunch will be served followed by a well-deserved siesta before the afternoon and evening game drive.

  7. Days 8-9 Nsefu Camp, South Luangwa National Park (all inclusive)

    These next two days are dedicated to enjoying safari in this remote and almost exclusive sector of the park. Your day will most likely begin with an early morning breakfast around the campfire. The daily schedule is by no means set in stone and will be flexible to your desires and designed to maximise wildlife viewing opportunities. Daytime activities are split between traditional game drives and getting out into the bush on a walking safari. Escape the heat of the day with time relaxing in camp or enjoying a siesta after your early start. Mid-afternoon will come around quickly and you will head out on the afternoon game drive which will continue into the night. Return to camp and enjoy dinner before retiring to bed ahead of another day of action.

  8. Day 10 Pumulani, Lake Malawi (all inclusive)

    Today marks the end of your time in South Luangwa National Park and indeed your time on safari. Enjoy a casual breakfast before transferring to Mfuwe International Airport (1.5 hours). Depending on your flight time it may be possible to fit in one last activity. At Mfuwe you will check into your flight to Lake Malawi, via Lilongwe.

    The lodge is set on the Nankumba Peninsula, recognized as one of the most beautiful shores of the Lake and borders Lake Malawi National Park. This national park was established in order to protect the cichlid fish unique to the area. In 1984 the park was designated a World Heritage Site. Pumulani is exclusively situated here with ten villas scattered around the hillside, each individual in shape and style but all have a spacious bedroom, bathroom and extensive sitting area. The front sliding doors open onto the deck and are elevated above the ground providing optimal views of the lake.

    Today is all about rest and relaxation. Familiarise yourself with the beautiful natural surroundings, take a dip in the lake or one of the two infinity pools or enjoy a drink and a meal looking out over the lake’s endless vistas.

  9. Days 11-13 Pumulani, Lake Malawi (all inclusive)

    Enjoy 3 full days of relaxation and recuperation after the hectic safari programme of the previous week. Lake Malawi is the world’s most ecologically diverse lake. Its crystal clear waters are home to more than a thousand species of fish, including hundreds of species of colourful cichlids. Your days are completely free to do whatever you please. Relax with a good book and escape the heat of the day with a dip in the infinity pools or the lake itself. Wildlife enthusiasts who’s appetite has yet to be quenched can enjoy the lake’s underwater world by snorkelling or even diving. For those who still have energy to burn you may be tempted by the plethora of activities available such as waterskiing, kayaking, sailing or nature walks. For those who are interested in the real Malawian village life we offer guided walks through one of the local villages. All guests are certainly advised to climb aboard the dhow and sail off into the horizon on a spectacular sunset cruise at least once.

  10. Day 14 The End Of Your Ultimate Wildlife Adventure (B)

    Sadly, all great things must come to an end as you call time on your trip of a lifetime. You will transfer to the local airstrip in preparation for your domestic flight to Lilongwe Airport. Here you will reflect on everything you have experienced in such a short period of time before boarding your international flight to your home destination.

DI 1 Johns_Camp_2017-04-93
DI Hippo splashing
Our Recommendations

John’s Camp
Mana Pools National Park

Overview: John’s Camp is nestled amongst canopies of Trichelia and Mahogany trees on the banks of the mighty Zambezi River deep within Mana Pools National Park. The camp design is deliberately simple in nature in fitting with the authentic safari on offer here.

Accommodation: 6 twin or double en-suite Meru style safari tents totalling 12 beds.

Facilities & Amenities: The camp has minimal facilities as one may expect from a camp of this style. There is a common dining area and a sleep out under the stars deck.

Power & communication: 220 volt inverted from 12 volt solar available in the kitchen at all times for charging etc. Solar lighting
in tents. Paraffin and candlelight in the dining area. Please note due to the remote location there is no WiFi or mobile phone reception

Activities: Walking safaris, day game drives, fishing, night spent in a gauze pop-tent star gazing, National Parks
Headquarter tour, bush breakfasts and lunches.

Children: Children of age 12 and over are welcome in camp

Accessibility: The most common means of arrival is by charter flight into Mana Main or Mana West Airstrip then a leisurely 45 minutes game drive transfer into camp

Availability: May to mid-November

Nkwali Camp
South Luangwa National Park

Overview: Nkwali Camp is located on the banks of the Luangwa on a magnificent meander in the river on the border of the national park. Being situated on its own private land outside the park it has exclusive access to a private game viewing area behind camp, as well as access to the park itself either by boat or pontoon.

Accommodation: Six chalets accommodating a maximum of 14 guests at any one time. The chalets have various bed configurations as follows, one double, four twins and a honeymoon/family suite. All chalets have huge en-suite bathrooms with double sinks and open showers.

Facilities & Amenities: Public areas include the dining area and a swimming pool, which is often shared with elephants as they pass through camp in search of a drink.

Power & communication: The camp runs on mains electricity, allowing you to charge electrical devices and camera batteries with ease. Mobile phone network coverage is unreliable.

Activities: Vehicle safari, night game drives, walking safaris, seasonal boating (late December/ early January to around April). Cultural visits are also extremely worthwhile ways to spend time in the Luangwa Valley. A tour to Kawaza Village or the Mfuwe area are fantastic ways to learn about human life in the area. Also a visit to Tribal Textiles supports the local community by purchasing their locally produced textiles.

Children: Youngsters aged 7 and above are welcome.

Accessibility: Nkwali is usually reached by fly-in safari to Mfuwe Airstrip. Flight times are 90 minutes from the Zambian capital of Lusaka and only 60 minutes from Lilongwe over the border in Malawi. The camp is then located another 40 minutes by road from Mfuwe Airport.

Nsefu Camp
South Luangwa National Park

Overview: Situated on the Luangwa River in the northern Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park. The camp was built in 1951 and the buildings remain in the same place making it one of the most historic camps in Africa.

Accommodation: 6 rondavels each with ensuite bathrooms including wash basin and shower.

Facilities & Amenities: Minimal facilities as one may expect in such a small camp

Power & communication: Fully equipped solar power with backup generator and full water supply. Evening breeze cooling units. No WiFi or phone signal.

Activities: Game drives, night drives, walking safaris, boating safaris (Jan-Apr), village tours, wildlife education centre, tribal textiles, children tailored activities.

Children: Children of 12 years of age and older are welcome in camp.

Accessibility: Fly into Mfuwe Airport and then enjoy a 75 minutes transfer through colourful villages and game viewing areas.

Availability: Open late January through March and then mid-May to mid-November

Lake Malawi


Accommodation: Beach lodge, ten villas (four twin, four king, one honeymoon & one family villa). En-suite bathrooms with double basins and showers. Each has a bath tub as well. The honeymoon villa has a
unique outdoor shower. Each villa has tea/coffee making facilities as well as a stocked minibar fridge.

Facilities & Amenities: The central area consists of a spacious open restaurant with an undercover area, bar and a cosy fire area. One of the infinity swimming pools is on a lower terraced deck. Three raised walkways with steps lead off from the central area to the villas and down to the beach and the second infinity swimming pool.

Power & communication: The lodge runs off mains electricity with a backup generator. You will have access to full electricity at all times. There is no WiFi but there is telephone reception.

Activities: Snorkelling, fishing, sailing, nature walks, kayaking, sunset cruises on a dhow, mountain bike tours and village tours are included. Motorised watersports such as diving, waterskiing, fun tubing and snorkeling excursions are at extra cost.

Children: Children of all ages are welcome.

Accessibility: Accessed via Lilongwe by a 3 hours road transfer or 40 minutes scenic flight.

Availability: Open April to January


John’s Camp
Mana Pools National Park





Nkwali Camp
South Luangwa National Park

Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, Nkwali Camp - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures


Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, Nkwali Camp 2 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures


Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, Nkwali Camp 3 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures



Nsefu Camp
South Luangwa National Park



Lake Malawi



Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures

Quick Facts

  • Special Status: N/A
  • Location: Eastern Zambia
  • Land mass: 9,050 km²
  • Mammal species: 60+
  • Bird species: 400+
  • Big 5 reserve: No (Rhino are absent)


  • World class walking safaris
  • Multi-day walking expeditions
  • Game drives
  • Night drives
  • Fly camping
  • Boating safaris (seasonal)

Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park 2 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures


  • World-leading leopard destination
  • African wild dogs
  • Large abundance and variety of game
  • A plethora of varied safari activities

South Luangwa National Park is the flagship park and jewel in the crown of Zambia’s safari circuit. Despite this it is little known outside of the enthusiastic safari community. This relative obscurity protects it from overcrowding for now.

With a total land mass of 9050 km² South Luangwa protects a very respectable area of pristine African wilderness. It is located in the Luangwa Valley in the north-east of Zambia, nestled between the remote North Luangwa National Park and the Lower Zambezi National Park.

The park is reachable overland from Lusaka but the more medium budget, and certainly high-end safaris, fly in and out of the Mfuwe Airport close to the park’s border. Flying is much more efficient and helps to easily combine South Luangwa with other locations in the country and across international borders. Due to its location and domestic flight schedules it is most easily combined with the two aforementioned national parks, as well as further south with Victoria Falls.

South Luangwa National Park is unfortunately only recognised as a Big 4 location. The notable absentee, as is the case in many wildlife reserves across Africa, is the black rhinoceros. Its fate caused by uncontrolled poaching. Despite the best efforts to reintroduce this magnificent animal attempts have unfortunately failed so far.

The park has all the other big game you would expect to see on safari. It is perhaps recognised as the best place in the whole of Africa for observing leopards, only rivalled by the Sabi Sand Game Reserve in South Africa. If you are desperate to see leopard then visit South Luangwa for a great opportunity. As well as leopard, it is home to all the other cast of predators including lions and spotted hyena. Cheetah are present but the environment is less suited to their hunting style. Wild dogs reappeared back in 2015 and sightings are being reported as pretty reliable given their well-documented elusiveness.

The predators are supported by a diverse number of prey species including impala, greater kudu, warthog, bushbuck and waterbuck. The park is also home to three special sub-species that are endemic to the Luangwa Valley, these being Cookson’s wildebeest, Thornicroft’s giraffe and Crawshay’s Zebra. Other ungulate highlights include the 18,000-strong hippopotamus population, the densest in the world, that populate this stretch of the Luangwa River.

Birders will be especially keen to witness the 400 plus species of birds, especially the thousands of carmine bee-eaters that migrate to the Luangwa River for 3 months of the year.

Luangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park 3 - Ultimate Wildlife AdventuresLuangwa Zambezi Explorer, South Luangwa National Park 4 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures

Best Time To Visit

The climate of South Luangwa National Park can be simplified by dividing it into the dry season and wet season, with two transitional shoulder seasons. Each season, and indeed the months within each season, offers you a different experience. There is no time of year that offers you the best of everything so we provide you with a balanced account throughout the year so you are able to make an informed decision on the best time to visit based on your preferences.

The dry season runs from June to October. It is at this time of year wildlife viewing is at its best. The season, as its name suggests, is characterised by blue skies and no rain. A perfect time to be on safari. As Zambia is in the Southern Hemisphere this time of year is winter. The coolest months are July and August when night temperatures drop enough to necessitate warm clothing for early morning game activities. However, the sun quickly raises the mercury so expect to be basking in 30 degrees Celsius by lunch. Temperatures increase as the season draws on with October being extremely hot and dry and uncomfortable for those who do not enjoy such high temperatures.

Wildlife viewing is at its best in the dry season as the animals migrate towards permanent sources of life-giving water. This predictability and reliability makes game viewing much more reliable and predictable. Huge volumes of wildlife can be seen in one place which makes for great photographic opportunities. The negative aspects of the dry season are the premium price tags the camps carry at this time of year and also the dry and dusty park isn’t as beautiful as in the wet season.

The wet season runs from December to March. Rainfall is a feature of most days in the form of heavy showers and thunderstorms yet it rarely rains all day. Travel can be difficult at this time of year and some roads may become washed out. The presence of water throughout the park and beyond its boundaries allows wildlife to disperse into the hinterland making game viewing generally more of a challenge. However, many species of animals give birth at this time of year so it is the best time to travel for the cuteness factor.

Prices are at their lowest at this time of year but it must be noted most of the remote camps are closed. However, permanent lodges stay open and offer attractive rates. The wet season is definitely the best time if you are looking for an exclusive safari where other tourist vehicles are a rare sighting. Although South Luangwa National Park certainly isn’t a busy park it can suffer occasional crowding around water sources in the dry season.

The transitional shoulder seasons are November and April and May. At these times of year they represent a transition from the dry to wet season and wet to dry season respectively. These months are considered to offer a compromise between the two main seasons.

Quick FactsWaterfalls and Wilderness, Mana Pools National Park - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures

  • Special Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Location: North-west Zimbabwe
  • Land mass: 2,196 km²
  • Mammal species: 72
  • Bird species: 350+
  • Big 5 reserve: No (Rhino are absent)


  • Multi-day walking expeditions
  • Walking safaris
  • Multi-day canoeing expeditions
  • Canoeing safaris
  • Game drives
  • Night drives

Waterfalls and Wilderness, Mana Pools National Park 4 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures


  • Large variety of safari activities on offer
  • Walking safaris with approaches on large game
  • Outstanding levels of guiding
  • Low tourist numbers
  • World-leading canoeing activities and expeditions
  • Exceptional camps and lodges

Mana Pools National Park, although a relatively unknown destination to many travellers, is recognised as one of the premium locations in Africa for experiential safari. It was recently made famous in the latest David Attenborough BBC documentary Dynasties, by featuring the park’s famous African wild dog packs.

They say good things come in small packages and this is certainly the case at Mana Pools. With a land mass of only just over 2000 km² it is a relatively small park by African standards. However, it is surrounded by a wilderness of 20,000 km² including Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park just across the Zambezi River. Despite the actual park’s small size it is renowned for its excellent camps, superb guiding and some of the best walking and canoeing on the continent.

It is located in the remote reaches of North-west Zimbabwe. Access by road is difficult and almost impossible during the rains. However, it is well connected by air and combines very well with its larger neighbour Hwange and also Victoria Falls, both to the south.

As previously alluded to Mana Pools is an adventurers’ paradise. With so many activities on offer your only dilemma will be what to do next. Walking safari with some of the most experienced and accomplished guides in the whole of Africa operate in Mana Pools. Canoeing is also exceptional and is offered as a daily activity or as part of a longer expedition varying from 3 to 11 days. Game drives by day and night are also on offer rounding off a safari programme that offers such a variety of opportunities to view wildlife from different perspectives.

Wildlife abundance and diversity at Mana Pools is excellent and offers you a fantastic opportunity to view a huge variety of species without the company of the maddening crowds that blight some of the more well-known locations.

The park is perhaps most famous for its African wild dog populations and is without doubt one of the most reliable places in the world to see these charismatic but critically endangered canines. It is also recognised as the place to see huge bull elephants who have adapted to standing on their hind legs to reach vegetation in the trees.

There is a variety of ungulates including buffalo, hippopotamus, greater kudu, zebra, eland and impala who are kept alert by the park’s resident carnivores including the aforementioned wild dogs, lions, cheetah, leopard and spotted hyenas.

Notable absentees from the park include the giraffe, which like over the water in Lower Zambezi National Park, has never historically been present. The black rhinoceros is also absent through the more sinister actions of illegal poaching. For this reason Mana Pools can no longer be classed as a Big 5 safari destination.

Waterfalls and Wilderness, Mana Pools National Park 2 - Ultimate Wildlife AdventuresWaterfalls and Wilderness, Mana Pools National Park 3 - Ultimate Wildlife Adventures

Best Time To Visit

The climate of Mana Pools National Park can be simplified by dividing it into the dry season and wet season. It is very much a seasonal park with the overwhelming majority of camps only opening in the dry season. None of the camps we recommend open before April and are closed by mid-November at the very latest.

The dry season runs from April to October. It is at this time of year wildlife viewing is at its best. The season, as its name suggests, is characterised by blue skies and little to no rain. A perfect time to be on safari. As Zimbabwe is in the Southern Hemisphere this time of year is winter. The coolest months are July and August when night temperatures drop enough to necessitate warm clothing for early game activities. However, the sun quickly raises the mercury so expect to be enjoying temperatures of 25 degrees Celsius by lunch. Temperatures increase as the season draws on with October being extremely hot and dry.

Wildlife viewing is at its best in the dry season as the animals migrate towards the Zambezi and other permanent water sources. This makes game viewing much more reliable and predictable. The dry and parched landscape provides little cover for wildlife to hide and exposes them for easier game viewing. Large volumes and a wide diversity of wildlife can be seen together which makes for excellent photographic opportunities.

The prices are pretty uniform as the only real option to travel is the usually premium priced dry season. Tourist overcrowding is never a problem in Mana Pools as it is a true African wilderness.

The wet season, as its name rightfully suggests, is characterised by lots of rain. This makes travel into and around Mana Pools very difficult. Therefore, all the best camps used by us are closed at this time of year.

Quick Facts

  • Special Status: UNESCO World Heritage Site (Lake Malawi N.P portion)
  • Location: Eastern Malawi/ Southern Tanzania/ Western Mozambique
  • Area: 29,600 km²
  • Length: 580 km
  • Width: 75 km
  • Max. depth: 706 metres
  • Did you know?: Lake Malawi is home to more species of fish than any other lake in the world.


  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkelling
  • Sailing
  • Kayaking
  • Paddle boarding
  • Waterskiing
  • Mountain biking
  • Quad biking
  • Fishing
  • Cultural visits


  • Exceptional scuba diving and snorkelling opportunities
  • 1500 kilometres of pristine and deserted shoreline
  • Outstanding water sports available
  • Perfect safari combination destination

Lake Malawi is a huge expanse of fresh water stretching across 3 African countries, Eastern Malawi, Western Mozambique and Southern Tanzania. It covers an impressive 29,600 km², almost 3 times the size of the island of Jamaica and larger than the African country of Rwanda. It is the southernmost lake in the East Africa Rift system and a member of the African Great Lakes. It is the 4th largest fresh water lake in the world by volume and the 9th largest by surface area. It is the 2nd deepest lake in Africa and 3rd largest by surface area, a colossal lake.

The lake and its surrounds offer a real Out of Africa experience. The environment is dominated by the lake’s clear water and the islands punctuating the water’s surface against the backdrop of the Great African Rift Valley escarpment. Habitat types vary from rocky shorelines to sandy beaches. Further inland you will find wooded hillsides to swamps and lagoons.

The lake’s 1500 kilometres of pristine and deserted shoreline are the main attraction for visitors. Lake Malawi is a sought after destination for safari goers as an ideal alternative to the hectic pace of life on safari. Naturally it is combined with the emerging safari locations in Malawi. However, it’s relative ease of access to and from some of the established safari heavyweights in Zambia and Zimbabwe ensure it is often used in combination with these.

Although time spent at the lake is seen as an alternative to safari there are still wildlife opportunities available in and around the lake. Large species of wildlife include Nile crocodiles, hippopotamus, antelopes, hyrax and baboons and monkeys. Visitors are also likely to see one of the iconic raptors of Africa, the African fish eagle. This impressive bird occurs in impressive numbers around the lake. Other impressive bird species include herons, kingfishers and cormorants. The lake particularly comes into its own with its impressive aquatic life. The lake is home to more fish than any other lake in the world. There are a recorded 700 (but an estimated 1000) cichlids inhabiting the lake, more than any other body of water. Of the 350 mbuna cichlids, an astonishing 345 are endemic to the lake. Other species of fish are the now critically endangered kampangotigerfish and redbreast tilapia.

Most visitors to Lake Malawi visit for the opportunity to escape the pace of the real world or to partake in the exceptional diving and snorkelling or watersports on offer on the lake. It offers the perfect alternative to life on safari. Stays at the lake are easily combined with reserves in Malawi


Best Time To Visit

When considering the best time to visit Lake Malawi there is thankfully less to consider than when planning a visit to the more complex safari areas. The climate around the lake roughly falls in line with the rest of the country and indeed most of the wider region. Malawi has two distinct seasons, the hot and wet summer season and the cooler but dry winter season. The summer season runs from November to April and is characterised by hot and humid weather and significant rainfall. The wettest months are December to January. Winter runs from May to October and enjoys blue skies with very little rainfall. June to August are the coldest months on the calendar but the low altitude ensures days are still warm and enjoyable by the beach. September and October really start to warm up whilst still remaining dry.

The dry winter months are undoubtedly the best months for those wanting to relax by the beach and soak up the delightful weather. December to February are best avoided. Snorkelling and diving are productive all year round but are best from September to December. June is the windiest month so is enjoyed best by windsurfers and kitesurfers. Other than these factors we always recommend travelling in the dry season.