Welcome to Malawi! Your flight arrives into Lilongwe where a representative will be waiting to meet you. Your adventure begins as you are driven from Lilongwe to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve. The drive takes four to five hours and gives you an introduction to Malawi's scenery you head for the wilderness. Your accommodation at Tongole Wilderness Retreat is consists of a gorgeous river cottage with its own viewing deck. Relax and unwind after your journey and soak up your surroundings.
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Nkhotakota is considered a true wilderness area, it is the oldest and least developed of Malawi's protected areas. It offers an authentic safari experience with fewer tourists and a rugged terrain. There is a range of activities available to you at Tongole, climb aboard a 4x4 safari vehicle and go in search of wildlife together with your knowledgeable guide, he'll be a mine of information for you to tap into. Walking safaris are another way to experience these natural surroundings. You can learn to read animal tracks and learn about the flora as you tread quietly through the reserve.
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve
Now you've acquainted yourself with Nkhotakota today might be the day to take to the water and enjoy a canoe safari on the Bua River. Enjoy your pristine, natural surroundings as you glide silently along the water looking out for the phenomenal birdlife, insects and also crocodiles and elephants that frequent these waters. Enjoy a relaxing stop at the riverside for a spot of lunch and maybe a little fishing if you fancy, before heading back to the lodge to freshen up for dinner.
To Nyika Plateau
Time for a change of scene and the chance to discover another corner of Malawi. It's a long drive ahead, so you'll have an early breakfast and then, with your bags packed, depart for the magnificent highlands of Nyika. Your accommodation at Chelinda Lodge consists of a cosy log cabin. It comes equipped with a welcoming fireplace as the evenings can be quite cool at this elevation, but the scenery alone is worth it, with sweeping views over Nyika's rolling grasslands. This will be home for the next three nights.
Nyika National Park
You have the next two days to explore this area and discover the wonders of Nyika National Park and there is plenty here to keep you occupied. Depending on the time of year numbers of game fluctuate but you can expect to see zebra and large numbers of antelope from the diminutive duiker to eland and roan. The elusive leopard is also represented in good numbers along with their prey, bushpig and warthog. Exploring on foot is popular in the park, with the option to take a 4x4 game drive to venture further afield.
Nyika National Park
Nyika is also a bird lovers paradise with over 400 species recorded. The rare Denham's bustard and the wattled crane are present, as is the red-winged francolin, endemic to Nyika. The landscape alone is worth seeing, with stunning waterfalls, a neolithic rock shelter, trout pools and even a 'magic lake'. Take the opportunity to go on a night drive and see some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the park, spotted hyaena, hunting serval, leopard and nocturnal bird species such as Ruwenzori nightjar.
To Likoma Island
Today we bid farewell to Chelinda Lodge and board the light aircraft bound for Lake Malawi, the jewel in the crown. The journey to Likoma will take about an hour with plenty of stunning scenery to see from the aircraft as you fly. On arrival you will be met and driven to Kaya Mawa lodge, your luxury beach base for the rest of your stay in Malawi, so unpack, relax and enjoy the sunset.
Spend your time at Kaya Mawa doing as much or as little as you please. You can fill your days swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on the beach. If you want to shake things up and get a little more active, then take to the mountain bikes and explore the trails. Take your time getting to know the island, and in between exploring there will always be the delicious meals and wines waiting for you at the lodge.
Day 9 & 10
Explore Likoma Island
With two more days on this paradise island, take your time to enjoy the wonderful views of the lake stretching out before you. If you are feeling restless from all the relaxing there are plenty of optional activities on offer that the lodge can book for you, boat trips, kite surfing, quad biking, water skiing and diving. It's perfectly safe to go for a wander on the island and explore under your own steam, you might like to visit the Katundu workshop, a half hour walk from the lodge, continue on to the cathedral and the local market, or you could venture out on a jeep tour of the island. Choices, choices.
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end and it is time to head home. You'll be transferred to the airstrip for your flight back to Lilongwe and your onward travel connections.
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