Malawi is a beautiful country of tea estates, grasslands, forests, mountaintops, unspoilt wildlife parks and Africa’s third-largest and most pristine lake. Situated on the Great Rift Valley, Malawi is dominated by Lake Malawi, a magnificent shard of crystal water, 365 miles long and 52 miles wide (hence sometimes referred to as the calendar lake). Around 500 species of cichlids fish inhabit the lake, many of which are endemic to it which makes it a paradise for freshwater diving and snorkelling.
Liwonde National Park
Covering 548 km2, Liwonde National Park is considered to be the most prolific wildlife area in Malawi. The Shire River – the country’s largest river and Lake Malawi’s only outlet, dominates the park. A wide, meandering stretch lined by palms and surrounded by flood plains, woodland and parched scrub, harbours a dense population of hippo, crocodile and elephant as well as a variety of antelope and bird.
Lake Malawi National Park
Lake Malawi National Park is the world’s first freshwater Park. It was designated to protect the diverse species of tropical fish. The entire area is a sanctuary where fishing is restricted. The famous Malawi cichlids can all be seen here in abundance. The Waters in this area are exceptionally clean and the area possesses one of the best swimming areas in Malawi. Boats are available to hire. Inland the park has baboons, antelope, cormorants, mountain rabbit, bushbuck and much more.
The Central Kalahari
South of the Okavango Delta and dominating central Botswana, the 5 million hectares (12 million acres) Central Kalahari Game Reserve is one of the biggest protected areas in Africa.
Its diverse wildlife and wonderful scenery offer an amazing contrast to the rest of the country. The Kalahari Desert is the largest unbroken stretch of sand in the world and at its core is the Central Kalahari Game reserve. This area is home to a fascinating spectrum of very different plants and animals that have successfully adapted to living in such a harsh environment.
The Linyanti Concession
The 125 000 hectare (308 000acre) Linyanti Concession bordering Chobe National Parks western boundary is an enormous wildlife-rich area with an unrivalled atmosphere of remoteness and space.
Chobe National Park
Located in Botswana’s North West District. The Chobe River forms the Park’s northern border and Zimbabwe its Eastern border.
Being only 70 km from the Victoria Falls and teaming with elephant, hippo and a variety of other game and birdlife, this park makes a wonderful add on to a Victoria Falls visit.
Here one is able to view game by vehicle and by boat and is a photographer’s dream.
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
Lying southeast of the Okavango Delta and surrounded by the Kalahari Desert, is an area of shimmering white salt pans that stretch endlessly to the horizon.
These pans are the relics of Africas super-lake that covered the Kalahari several million years ago. Around the fringes, coarse grasses blow in the wind, ancient baobabs reach to the sky and vultures soar on the thermals. When the rains arrive, a dramatic change takes place.
Pink clouds of flamingo come to feed, vast herds of zebra and wildebeest are found on the savannah and the sound of frogs fill the air
Best time to travel:
- April and May are lovely months i.e. not too hot or cold with clear skies and green landscapes.
- June to August the night time temperatures can be close to freezing but the days are warm and clear. These months are peak season for game viewing as the land is dry so the animals congregate around the few available water sources.
- September and October are hot and dry which is good for big game viewing but October can become very hot.
- November is difficult to predict as it can be a continuation of October’s heat or it can be cooled by the first rains.
- December to March is the rainy season and the best time for bird watchers.
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