Things to do in Malawi

Wildlife watching

Any safari in Malawi is fantastic. You could choose to watch wildlife on foot or by bike – in Nyika National Park or Kuti Wildlife Reserve, for example, where you’ll notice smaller animals and their behaviours up close. Or, opt for a 4x4 drive in Majete Wildlife Reserve or Liwonde National Park, where bigger game such as elephants, rhino and recently reintroduced lions are on the menu. A boat safari along the Shire River adds an extra thrilling dimension as you find yourself just feet away from an elephant, a hippo, or a crocodile sidling into the water to see what you’re up to.
What makes Malawi so wonderful is the combination of safari and beach that’s available to travelers – make the most of game drives, boat safaris and nature walks for a few days before chilling out on the pristine shores of Lake Malawi and exploring the underwater world – maybe factoring in a day or two seeing some city sights if you have time.


There are plenty of opportunities to make a difference as a volunteer in Malawi, for the most part working with animals or in conservation. You could find yourself helping out at a Lilongwe-based wildlife sanctuary, getting involved with the entire animal rehabilitation process, from orphan care and animal husbandry, right up to reintroductions. Or, you could head to the bush to work in rural primate and elephant projects at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, where you will be trained in all the necessary research techniques. For those with specific skills, formal internships are available, ranging from working in veterinary centers to gaining experience in wildlife law.

Volunteering placements range from two-week vacations that are open to single travelers and families alike, to longer internships that run for about a month. Most trips offer shared, dorm-style accommodation and will also involve some mundane day-to-day tasks and responsibilities, but you’ll come away with a much clearer idea about the bigger picture regarding conservation and local culture across the country.

Self drive vacations

Malawi’s roads are so much better than they used to be and are constantly being improved: they’re tarmacked no less, a luxury when compared to some parts of Africa!
Malawi is safe, compact and has a decent road network, which makes it an ideal destination for a self drive vacation, allowing you to be in control of what you see, for how long, where and when. There is no signage in Malawi’s more rural areas, but a tailor made vacation company will kit you out with all of the information and maps you need. Alternatively, hire a local driver-guide – they’ll know the roads back to front and can fill you in on local life, customs and culture as you go.

Our top Malawi Vacation

Malawi self drive holiday

Malawi self drive vacation

Discover Malawi at your own pace on this self-drive trip

From £4275 10 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Malawi or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.


Malawi’s petite frame is dominated by Lake Malawi, providing endless opportunities to snorkel, dive, kayak or just relax on golden beaches.
While wildlife watching and hiking are both worthy pursuits, many travelers are drawn to Malawi because of its famous lake. A shimmering mass of clear water, its depths are full of colourful cichlid fish, providing excellent opportunities for diving, snorkelling and kayaking. And when you’re done there are plenty of sandy beaches to chill out on and friendly lakeside villages to explore.
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: BarryTuck] [Wildlife: Greg Chimitris] [Self drive: Greg Chimitris] [Watersports: Alexandra Tyers]