Escape for the Weekend

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Malawi

Stunning wildlife of the Lake Malawi National Park; tea plantations; waterfalls of Zomba Plateau; the Old Town of Lilongwe; tropical underwater fauna of Lake Malawi; and caves and tunnels of Cape Maclear.

Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi is a state in East Africa. To the south and south-east it is bordered by Mozambique, to the west - by Zambia, to the north - by Tanzania. The total area of the country comprises 118.5 thousand square kilometers; the population is 16.5 million people. The capital of Malawi is Lilongwe. The official languages are Nyanja and English.

Much of Malawi’s terrain is a large plateau, in the north there are rugged mountains, while the southern part of the country is a part of the Great African Rift Valley. The climate is moderate in the highlands, and hot in Shire River Valley. The rainy season continues from November to April, and the dry season lasts from May to October.

The national currency is the Malawian kwacha. It is recommended to exchange money at registered bureaux or banks in order to avoid fake banknotes. Credit cards are generally accepted.

Malawi is one of the most exotic countries in Africa. Lush vegetation, crystal-clear lakes, fertile valleys, and tower-shaped mountains make Malawi very attractive for tourists. In Malawi there are eleven national parks and reserves, containing great variety of flora and fauna. The most popular is Liwonde National Park, located on the banks of Shire River, where you can meet hippos, elephants and lots of birds. Another popular destination for nature lovers is The Lake Malawi National Park, inhabited by baboons, leopards, vervet monkeys, spotted hyenas, black eagles, African pythons, plentiful lizards and crocodiles.

In Southern Malawi you can visit stunning tea plantations. On a clear day the majestic Mount Mulanje can be seen rising up out of the emerald tea fields.

On Nyika Plateau you can enjoy cooler weather, amazing sceneries and graceful antelopes. Zomba Plateau boasts dense pine forests, waterfalls and dams full of trout.

In Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, it will be interesting to walk along the Old Town, do some shopping in its colorful markets, and see the modern city architecture, within the frame of lush gardens.

Those who like climbing and hiking should visit Mulanje Mountain, a very picturesque mountain with lots of hiking routs, some of which are suitable for families.

Airports

Lilongwe International Airport (LLW), also called Kamuzu International Airport, situated near Lilongwe.

Chileka International Airport (BLZ) serves Blantyre, Malawi’s second largest city.

Diving in Malawi

As Malawi is a landlocked country, diving here is possible only in the large freshwater Lake Malawi inhabited by around a thousand species of tropical fish - 350 of which are endemic (Most of them belong to the cichlidae family).

About 30 per cent of the lake’s bottom is rocky. It has few plants and little organic material, which provides excellent visibility.

Lake Malawi covers one third of Malawi’s terrain. The maximal depth of the lake is about 706 meters.

One of the most popular dive sites is Cape Maclear, a fresh-water marine reserve, where you will find interesting caves, rocks, tunnels and boulders.

Those who are fond of deep diving will like Zimbawe Rock with its plentiful channels, stunning swim-throughs and rich marine life.

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