Departs: Daily private departures based on a minimum of 2 passengers
Malawi offers exceptional beauty and dramatic scenery that includes rocky outcrops, high mountains, plateaus and views across Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa. This 7 day safari ventures around Malawi’s south. From game viewing in Majete, Malawi’s only ‘Big Five’ reserve, cultural experiences around the Satemwa Tea Estate to searching for elephant on a boat safari in Liwonde National Park.
Day 1 - Majete Wildlife Reserve
On arrival in Blantyre you will be met and transferred southwest to the Majete Wildlife Reserve. Majete is Malawi’s only ‘Big Five’ reserve and one of Malawi’s largest protected areas, covering over 70,000 hectares. (LD)
Surrounded by 7,000 hectares of private concession, Mkulumadzi enjoys an idyllic location at the confluence of two rivers shaded by giant leadwood trees. It is the perfect combination of splendid isolation and first-class facilities. The lodge has eight superb chalets, each with spacious living quarters and private viewing deck. Guests can swim in the pool, dine under the stars, enjoy river cruises, game drives and walking safaris.
Majete Wildlife Reserve is a vast region of mature woodland and granite hills, picturesque river valleys and dense forest. It is home to the elusive black rhino, along with elephant, buffalo, nyala, sable, eland and hartebeest. There are plans to reintroduce lion, leopard and cheetah in 2012 as part of a pioneering conservation project.
Undiscovered by tourists, Majete is a true wilderness where every trip into the bush with our team of experienced guides will feel like an adventure.
Day 2 - Majete Wildlife Reserve
Enjoy activities provided at Mkulumadzi including game drives, boating safaris, cultural tours, birding trips and guided bush walks. (BLD)
Majete Wildlife Reserve is a 14,000 hectare sanctuary and was taken over by African Parks in 2003. With extensive private funding, the park embarked on an ambitious & systematic program of wildlife restocking and new roads. Thousands of animals have been reintroduced including nearly 200 elephant, black rhino, buffalo, zebra, sable antelope, eland, waterbuck, nyala, hartebeest, kudu amongst others. Both lion and leopard have also returned to the reserve.
You will have a good chance to see good herds of elephant, nearly 400 buffalo and plenty of the magnificent sable. There are a wide range of game viewing possibilities including elephant tracking, game drives, game walks and guided walks to the waterfalls. The Shire River is populated by large numbers of crocodiles and hippos.
Day 3 - Satemwa Tea Estates
Today you will transfer by road to Huntingdon House, situated on the Satemwa Tea Estate. Located on the slopes of Thyolo Mountain, this is a perfect hidden gem to explore. (BLD)
Originally the family home built by Maclean Kay in 1928, Huntingdon House exudes a colonial charm and unique character that cannot be recreated. This magnificent house forms the heart of Satemwa Tea Estate and is surrounded by sprawling manicured gardens with secret patios and terraces waiting to be discovered by guests.
The house has been tastefully refurbished to offer 5 unique suites, each individually decorated to reflect the quirks and character of this grand residence. Each area of the house has a story of it’s own from the original children’s nursery to the resident priests quarters and private Chapel. Guests are encouraged to share the colourful history of one of Malawi’s oldest homes while being spoilt by our team of professional staff.
Day 4 - Satemwa Tea Estate
Spend today exploring the surrounding area, including a tour of the tea factory, a guided bird walk, or perhaps a short hike to Dziwe la Nkhalamba rock pool and falls. (BLD)
As one of Malawi’s first land claims registered in 1874, Satemwa Tea Estate is undoubtedly among the countries most respected and established tea and coffee producers managed and operated by third generation members of the Cathcart Kay family. Chip, one of Maclean Kays sons, and his wife Dawn, live on the estate and Huntingdon’s guests are invited to step back in time and share some of Chips wonderful memories of his family home, discover the multitude of teas exported from the estate, and hear the fascinating history of Satemwa Tea Estate.
Day 5 - Liwonde National Park
Continue your journey today with a transfer by road to Liwonde National Park, from November to May this includes a boat transfer. Liwonde offers scenic game viewing, beautiful riverine surroundings and is considered one of the top birding locations in Southern Africa. (BLD)
Mvuu Lodge overlooks a tranquil lagoon just off the Shire River with the main lounge area set high above the water in an area of captivating variety and beauty. It has an extensive wildlife library and telescope to make the most of the exceptional bird and other life that moves around the river. Mvuu means “hippo” in Tonga and the name epitomises the large numbers of pods of these water-loving mammals that float in the river. In this lush and fertile area, an excellent diversity of animals can be seen.
Accommodation comprises eight luxury tents, one of which is a romantic honeymoon suite. Each tent has en-suite bathroom facilities and its own deck built to look over the water. Lodge facilities include a dining room, pub, lounge area and a swimming pool.
Activities include boat safaris, walks, birding, and traditional game drives by day and night. The Rhino Tracking Experience is a two- to three-hour guided drive and walk, tracking the endangered black rhino and learning how they are monitored and conserved. No visit to Mvuu is complete without a visit to one of the villages on its boundaries to experience authentic African village life.
Day 6 - Liwonde National Park
Enjoy the numerous activities including open-vehicle game drives, guided walks and boat safaris. Explore the Shire River which affords an excellent opportunity for sightings of elephants and birdlife. (BLD)
The Liwonde National Park lies south of Lake Malawi – lush and wild with the best wildife safaris on offer in Malawi. This is largely because of the Shire River, (pronounced Shiree) which drains Lake Malawi, forms its western boundary and acts as a magnet for wildlife. Broad and languid, it is alternatively fringed by riverine forest, Borassus palms and wide floodplains, stretching to 3km wide in parts. Liwonde Park offers a lush diversity of habitats. Relatively dry mopane woodlands cover the eastern half of the park – interspersed with candelabra trees – while patches of miombo woodland occur in the south. Palm savanna and numerous baobabs line the extensive floodplains of the Shire River.
Arriving by river boat is the best way to see the beauty of this magnificent park. With one of the densest populations of hippo in Africa, and a riverbank heavy with huge sun bathing crocodiles, the wide and scenic Shire river is a vital life source for the park’s animals in the dry season. The grass-covered floodplains attract large breeding herds of elephant, magnificent and rare sable antelope as well as impala, reedbuck, waterbuck & warthog amongst others. The park is also home to lion, the elusive leopard as well as buffalo, kudu and impala which inhabit the woodlands beyond the floodplain. Liwonde Park has a smaller sanctuary within which is a breeding project with a small number of black rhino.
Birdlife is prolific in Liwonde with over 380 recorded species offering probably the best year-round birding in Southern Africa and ‘specials’ include the rare Pel’s fishing owl, white-backed night heron, Böhm’s bee-eater and Lilian’s lovebird.
Safaris are conducted in open vehicles (on day and night drives), by foot and by boat. There is also an opportunity to track black rhino on foot which is an exciting addition. We recommend combining a couple of nights on safari in Liwonde with another safari destination such as the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, Majete Game Reserve also in the south or the contrasting Nyika plateau in the north.
Day 7 - End of Malawi Highlights Tour
After breakfast an early morning activity, transfer by road to Lilongwe and end of safari. (B)
Dates and Pricing
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.