The Beauty of Malawi

Malawi is a diverse and beautiful country with some of the most varied landscapes in all of Africa. From the lowest points just above sea level to the highest peaks of 3,000m, Malawi boasts many natural attractions, including the jewel in the country's crown, Lake Malawi. On the whole the country is green and lush with highlands, forests and mountains offering visitors plenty to see and do at all times of the year. Tourists can take in the natural beauty and get to know about local culture and tradition when they visit Malawi.

Rift Valley

The Rift Valley is the country's most dominant feature and it is in its vast chasm that Lake Malawi is found. The lake drains to the south into the Shire River. Flatter parts of the valley in the south of Malawi are home to wetlands including Elephant Marsh and these damp conditions are the ideal habitat for a wide range of wildlife.

Central African Plateau

The Central African Plateau is characterised with dramatic escarpments like the Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, which is a protected area of unspoilt wilderness. The plateau has undulating terrain that features lakes, dramatic hills and forest land and is a must-see for anyone visiting the country.


The highlands are widespread throughout Malawi and provide much of the country's spectacular scenery. In the heights the fresh, cool air breathes life into mountain streams, grasslands and forests. In the south, Mulanje Massif and Zomba Plateau are two of the best known highlands, with high peaks and plateaus that are beautifully scenic. The Dedza-Kirk Highlands are marked in the north by the Dedza-Salima and Thuma forest reserves, as well as the Dzalanyama reserve that borders Mozambique. The Viphya Highlands are undulating hills swathed in evergreen forests, and the Nyika Plateau is an extensive grassland plateau.


Malawi has a hot climate in the lower southern parts, but is more temperate in the northern highlands. It is the altitude that helps to moderate the climate, which would otherwise be equatorial. November to April brings warm weather with rains and thunderstorms. These diminish after March and May to September see almost no rainfall.

People and culture

The beauty of Malawi also lies in its people and culture. Indigenous ethnic groups have rich traditions, including basketry and mask carving. These crafts have a central role in many traditional ceremonies. Wood carving and oil painting are popular in the more urban areas where people will sell their work to tourists.

The National Dance Troupe of Malawi was formed in 1987 by the government as dance forms a strong part of the country's culture. Traditional music and dances are used in initiation rites, marriages and all sorts of celebrations and ceremonies.

Where to stay

Lake Malawi is a popular attraction and there are lodges along the length of its shores. The stretch between Mangochi and Monkey Bay, a town port, has many beautiful beaches with good accommodation nearby. Senga Bay is another area with many hotels.

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