Malawi may be landlocked and quite some way from the coast, but that doesn’t stop it being a fantastic beach destination! That’s because Lake Malawi, one of the African Great Lakes, has unspoilt sandy shorelines, clear water ideal for snorkelling and diving, and a superb selection of luxury lodges and camps on its islands and peninsulas. There’s no better way to end your safari than with a few days relaxing by the lake.
Accommodation options around Lake Malawi have been created with relaxation in mind. At Pumulani Lodge you can wander from the family villa straight out onto the sand, and then step into the water. The other spacious, airy villas are dotted up the hillside so they retain a sense of privacy and all benefit from striking views across the lake. You have a choice of two different swimming pools, one on the hilltop and the other on the beach, and meals also alternate between the different viewpoints so you can admire the panoramas in different lights.
If you stay on Mumbo Island, barefoot luxury is the name of the game. It is a fast and exhilarating motorboat ride out to the island’s jetty, and once you are there you feel like a castaway as everything is completely off grid. You might snooze in a hammock on your shaded private deck, have a drink in the bar beneath a baobab tree, and then take a walk around the island’s rocky coastline. Swimming and kayaking are possible straight from the beach, and one of the coves is particularly sheltered. A sunset cruise around the island is the perfect way to round off a day of doing absolutely nothing!
There is a huge amount to do on Lake Malawi, from diving and kayaking to bird watching and cultural visits to local villages, but it’s relaxing as there’s no pressure to do anything at all. You can do as much or as little as you please. Sitting watching the fishermen from a rocky outcrop is just as acceptable as lying on a sun lounger on the beach with a cool cocktail in one hand, or floating for hours in the swimming pool. Lake Malawi is never crowded, and the vistas are stunning, especially at sunrise and sunset, whatever the time of the year.