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Friday, July 12, 2013

5 reasons to visit Malawi

The ‘warm heart of Africa’ is one of our continent’s best kept secrets. Here are 5 reasons to visit the landlocked nation.

The Lake

No description of Malawi is complete without mentioning the lake that spans the entirety of this small African country.

Lake Malawi or Lago Niaasa as it’s known in Mozambique is the third largest and second deepest lake in Africa and is home to more species of fish than any other body of fresh water in the world.

It is a vital part of Malawian life, providing food and jobs to many of its people and the beauty of the lake is unrivalled; her turquoise waters driving most of the country's tourism each year.

After spending 4 nights on the banks of Cape Maclear in the Mangochi District of Malawi's Southern Region, I can understand why people so fondly refer to it as ‘the black hole’ of Africa.

The people


The local people of Malawi have a reputation of being some of the friendliest in Africa.

They are not only some of the happiest people I have met, but are friendly, kind and helpful, desperate to share the beauty of their country with their visitors.

When I was there, two men stopped what they were doing to spend almost an hour patiently teaching me how to play their local game Malawi Bao and another took me through his town, giving me a guided tour to make sure I experienced all sides of his home country.

It's cheap

Although petrol is incredibly expensive and, at times, difficult to come by, once you've arrived at your destination you can put down your calculator and forget about the budget. Food and accommodation are reasonably priced and activities on the lake are also great value for money.

Make sure you take a boat trip out on the Lake where you can spend your day swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and watching fish eagles swoop down to scoop fish straight out of the water.

The food


Although over-fishing is becoming more and more of a problem, buying fish ethically and responsibly is possible and will allow you to sample some of the most delicious and unique fish available.

Be sure to sample Chambo, the favourite of every visitor to Malawi or the large Kampango which is also widely enjoyed throughout the country.

The adventure

Malawi is a desperately poor nation still largely untouched by Western development. Her unspoiled wilderness gives you the chance to have a proper African experience making this little landlocked country a true adventure.

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