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Malawi

Malawi, a landlocked country in southeastern Africa, is defined by its topography of highlands split by the Great Rift Valley and enormous Lake Malawi. The lake’s southern end falls within Lake Malawi National Park – sheltering diverse wildlife from colorful fish to baboons – and its clear waters are popular for diving and boating. Peninsular Cape Maclear is known for its beach resorts.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Malawi:

1. Liwonde National Park

The most accomplished wildlife spotting and safari area in all of Malawi makes its home along the courses of the Shire River.

A vast reserve of flood plains and wetland swamps, of swaying grass fields and baobab groves, it’s a picture of the beautiful backcountry of East Africa.

A smattering of good holidaying lodges offers easy access to the park, where walking and motorized safaris showcase everything from bush elephants to side-striped jackals, hyena packs to impalas, waterbucks, baboons and more.

There’s also a great diversity of flora to witness, from huge and waxy orchids to pretty lily-spotted ponds.

2. Blantyre

A business-minded metropolis of nearly one million people, Blantyre is the only real rival to Lilongwe when it comes to competing for the crown for the economic kingpin of the nation.

However, history also runs deep here, and the town boasts more than 150 years since it was first established by missionaries working for the Church of Scotland – hence the moniker: a namesake of Blantyre on the edge of the highlands back in the UK. Visitors can come and spy out old structures like the Mandala House, or get a feel for the invigorated Malawian economy at the Malawi Stock Exchange and the various tobacco packing factories that have popped up in recent decades.

3. Kasungu National Park

The Kasungu National Park is one of East Africa’s more off-the-beaten-track nature reserves.

Encompassing a whopping 2,100 square kilometers of land, where the rolling plateaus of western Malawi give way to the borderlands with Zambia, the area is a mosaic of swaying savannah and bush, sporadic miombo woodland and dusty plains.

Once known for its booming population of African elephants, Kasungu has been hit by hefty poaching problems in recent decades.

However, a clutch of lodges around the lake waters of Lifupa have helped raise the ecotourism profile, and safari going here is now all but back on track.

4. Lilongwe

Set to the distinct scents of recently-harvested tobacco and wafts of petrol fumes from the endless streams of traffic that pulse through the dusty streets, this nigh on one-million-strong capital represents the beating political and commercial heart of Malawi.

Linger a few days and you’re bound to unearth its wonders, which range from a particularly well-kempt nature reserve on the edge of the city (the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre) to a heady marketplace that throbs with haggling sellers touting everything from stacks of green mangoes to whittled wood figurines to multi-coloured pulses right throughout the week.

There are also oodles of lively local beer bars to kick-back in with a regionally brewed Carlsberg when you get thirsty!

5. Lake Malawi National Park

Once trodden by the revered Scottish expeditionary and missionary, David Livingstone, the lands of the Lake Malawi National Park are a must for both nature lovers and history buffs.

Nestled between he verdant, sylvan hillsides that ring the shores of the country’s largest lake, they encompass both freshwater habitats (famed for their uniquely evolved fish species) and swathes of land to boot.

Baboons and antelopes can be spotted strolling the shore, while a clutch of great safari lodges can be found on the reserve’s various islands, from pretty Domwe to handsome Mumbo.

There are also the relics of old missionary settlements to see.

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