The Great Rift Valley runs right from southern Asia down to southeast Africa and shapes the landscape of Malawi and its neighbouring countries into something truly spectacular. It carves out Lake Malawi, which makes up makes up 20% of the country’s area, whilst the remaining part of the country is a series of undulating hills, escarpments, peaks, plateaus, and jagged mountains cloaked in lush greenery. There’s always something dramatic on the horizon.
With the highest peaks touching 10,000 feet and the lowlands barely above sea level, Malawi claims some of Africa’s most varied scenery. Anywhere else in the world, it would be billed as a hiker’s paradise, but as there’s so much else to see and do, the praise of active pursuits often gets drowned out by the cheerleaders of the wildlife, the people, and the incredible lodges and camps. At Africa Exclusive, we believe that the Great Rift Valley and the activities it affords also deserve to be championed. We want you to see them at their best.
Malawi is a country for landscape lovers. Whether you want to sit and admire the panoramic vistas from a strategic location, or to capture their beauty through a lens, Malawi never disappoints. For starters, there’s Lake Malawi, the third deepest freshwater lake in the world. Serious divers can certainly flipper their way down to the depths in a bid to reach the bottom, but most of us will be satisfied with snorkelling or walking along the shore. There’s a huge visual contrast between this and the Zomba Massif in the Shire Highlands; the area is covered with pine trees and almost has an alpine feel.
Dramatic landscapes beg to be explored as well as admired, and in Malawi’s share of the Great Rift Valley there are plenty of ways to do this. The fact that you can hike goes without saying, and we particularly like the trails through the grasslands and ravines of Mount Mulanje. The same routes are well suited to mountain biking, and indeed by bike you’ll be able to see more of the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve. Horse riding is, as yet, rather under developed in Malawi, but there are a few good locations where you can climb up into the saddle and ride off towards the horizon. The Plateau Stables in Zomba and Kande Horse by Lake Malawi are the most professionally run establishments; at the latter you can have an unforgettable time riding along the beach and then swimming in the lake with your horse.