Malawi and Zambia: Geographical Tour HG1

16 Days From £0 (Please Enquire)

Malawi is a little-known gem of a country in the heart of central southern Africa that offers a true African experience. It is a long and narrow landlocked country, covering more than 100 kilometres from north to south. Lake Malawi, nearly 600km long and up to 80km wide, dominates the countryside.

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Key Information

Travel Style: Small Group
Start Location: Lilongwe, Malawi
End Location: Lilongwe, Malawi
Accommodation: Lodges, Camps
Period: All Year Round
Difficulty: Suitable For Most Travellers

About The Operator

Accreditations: Section coming soon
Years In Business: 25

There is no country in all Africa that has its geography so sculptured and determined
by Africa’s Great Rift Valley, the largest single geographical feature on Earth. This ancient 5000-kilometre long geographical formation bisects much of Africa from Egypt to Botswana and boasts a bewildering array of habitats and lush vegetation.
Towering mountains, lush, fertile valley floors and enormous crystal clear lakes are hallmarks of much of the Rift Valley and Malawi has them all. Fertile soils are a result of the Rift Valley and evidence of this is to be found everywhere in Malawi.
Malawi’s scenery is diverse and the habitats are varied. At its lowest point, the country is only about 35m above sea level; its highest point, Mount Mulanje over 3000m above sea level. Between these altitude extremes, there are rolling hills,
cool misty mountains and wide-ranging scenery. Each of the many diverse habitats is protected within Malawi’s eleven national parks and wildlife reserves - from elephants to orchids. For those keen on experiencing African culture in all its complexity and beauty, Malawi is definitely the best country for this. Malawi is a warm and welcoming country that offers visitors wonderful scenery, fascinating parks, and some of the friendliest people in Africa, It is no wonder that it is known as the warm heart of
Africa.
In contrast Eastern Zambia offers the chance to explore one of the best wildlife areas in Africa. Luangwa National Park contains one of the largest concentrations of elephant, as well as supporting a wealth of other species and habitat. This journey, rich in contrast and adventure, is full of unforgettable experiences.
Extension: Victoria Falls, Zambia
The first Europeans to explore this unique “undiscovered” interior of Africa were the Portuguese - Candido da Costa 1846.
David Livingstone also travelled extensively in this area in search of the source of the Nile. Zambia is considered “real” Africa by many people and appeals to the explorer in all of us.
We experience the white water frenzy of Batoka Gorge, the ‘flight of angels’ over the ‘smoke that thunders’, the adrenalin
choked bungee jump off Victoria Falls Bridge. We also have the opportunity to have a day visit to the renowned Chobe NP in Botswana.

Description

A full day by day itinerary will be provided by the tour operator when you make an enquiry about this holiday.

Includes
-All transport on tour.
-All meals as per itinerary.
-All park entry fees.
-All game viewing activities as per itinerary.
-All armed scout fees as per itinerary.
-All accommodation fees as per itinerary.
-Safari equipment.
-Reference library.
-Deep freezer.

Excludes
-Airfare.
-Visa fees.
-Airport taxes.
-Meals as per the itinerary.
-Drinks.
-Expenses of a personal nature.
-Any changes to the itinerary.
-Travel and medical insurance.

Note
-When camping, everyone is expected help with camp cooking, camp chores, loading and unloading of the vehicle as well as making & breaking camp.

Prices per person - please submit an enquiry to receive a personalized itinerary and costs.

Itinerary
Day 01. Join Tour in Lilongwe. We meet you at the airport and transfer to our lodge. Arrive at our lodge and check in. At an elevation of 1000 metres above sea level, Lilongwe lies on the Central African plateau, to the west of the Great Rift Valley.Officially named as the new capital of Malawi in 1975, this landscaped city is an interesting place to explore. This afternoon is free which offers us the chance to visit the city’s Nature Sanctuary, Capital Hill, or the market area. Barefoot Safari Lodge Chalet Or choose to relax and enjoy the 3 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens of our lodge.Lodge; 1 night (D)
Day 02. Blantyre. After breakfast we drive south to Blantyre, following the border road with Mozambique: en route we visit Dedza Pottery and visit the St. Louis Montfort Parish at Balaka. We come to a city rich in history; Blantyre was a settlement before gold gave birth to Johannesburg and well before Fort Salisbury was established. It was declared a township five years before Nairobi.Its name echoes a strong Scottish connection; one of the first men to recognise the possibilities of the area was David Livingstone. The early Scottish missionaries chose to settle here and gave Blantyre its name - after Livingstone’s birthplace in their home country. There are certainly reminders of Scotland in Blantyre’s beautiful scenery, especially in the enfolding mountains. Yet in the pale sepia of the dry season or when storm water turns streams to torrents, the aspect of Blantyre is completely African. And its enfolding mountains are many, so while other cities may have higher or more imposing mountains than Blantyre, not many can match the wooded beauty of Ndirande, Soche and Michiru. We do a city tour here.Hotel; 1 night (BLD)
Day 03. Zomba Plateau. Today we travel east to Zomba. Zomba, the first capital of Malawi, was chosen by Consul Hawes in 1885 as his headquarters. It was a decision that Harry Johnston fully agreed with, conceding that ‘Blantyre was pretty but Zomba was superb’. We settle into our hotel after a city tour. We visit this old colonial Capital of Nyasaland, including the first colonial Governor’s Residence, the botanic gardens, King’s African Rifles’ War Museum, the Clock Tower ( built in 1926), and the Zomba Gymkhana Club before we ascend the Zomba Plateau which looms over the town with sheer escarpments rising over a thousand metres above the Phelombe Plains. Our time here is spent exploring the Plateau by way of nature walks and visiting various viewpoints.The rest of the day is for free leisure time. The Old Colonial Parliament Building in Zomba
Day 04. Zomba Plateau. This high plateau (2,085m at its summit), gazzetted as a forest reserve in 1913, was first established as a forest in 1895 when the first plantation of Cypress and Mulanje Cedar were planted. The plateau forms a basin ringed by a number of peaks: Nawinbe, Mulumbe, Chiradzulu, Chivunde, Mulunguzi and Chagwa. In the west the plateau’s face offers spectacular views overlooking the Shire Valley and the Kirk Range of mountains far in the distance. To the South with the town of Zomba at the foot of the plateau, we can enjoy the magnificent views of the Mulanje Massif, soaring to 3,002m from the surrounding Phalombe Plain with Lake Chilwa to the east. Wildlife on the plateau includes Leopard, Hyena, Hydrax, Otter, Monkey, Bushpig, Common Duiker and Bushbuck. The birdlife is prolific including Livingstone’s Lourie and Bertram’s Weaver. We explore the plateau by nature walks as well as a drive for a sundowner to Emperor’s viewpoint. Hotel; 2 nights (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)
Day 05. Liwonde National Park. Leaving Zomba we travel eastwards to Liwonde, Malawi’s premier National Park. We visit the market and then cross the barrage (Shire River) where most of the electricity for Malawi is generated. There will be opportunities for Game viewing as we enter the park on our way to the camp. The park includes part of Lake Malombe, the Shire River and the eastern upper Shire Plain. Literally thousands of hippo and crocodile live in the river and there are several hundred elephants in the park, plus a variety of antelope. Black Rhinoceros has been introduced into the Park. Liwonde NP The combination of riverine, mopane grassland and mixed bushveld ensures that the birdlife is very varied. We undertake a game drive and we might see Bushbuck, Common Waterbuck, Kudu, Elephants, Rhino, Sable Antelope, Warthog and Hippo. The afternoon is spent on a further game activity, game drives. Safari Camp; 2 nights (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)
Day 06. Liwonde NP. After breakfast we take a boat trip on the Shire River, gliding silently through the reed beds to view jacana, egrets, ibis and kingfisher. Liwonde has something of interest for all who enjoy the complete natural state of the African landscape. We do a night drive the evening. Hippo on the Shire River, Liwonde NP
Day 07. Lake Malawi, Nkapola Lodge. After our boat cruise we do a game drive out of the park and drive to our lodge at Lake Malawi where we can have the afternoon at leisure.
Day 08. The next day we have the entire day to relax next to the lakeshore. Lake Malawi’s tranquil waters are fringed by golden shores unsullied by pollution, and dotted with lush palm, mango, avocado and banana trees, making it the embodiment of a tropical paradise. These days are at leisure. Alternatively, the lake offers a wealth of water-based activities (all optional) which include windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba-diving, excursions by motor boat, or possibly canoeing in a bwato, one of the traditional dugouts made from a single hollowed-out tree trunk, whose handling requires a delicate sense of balance.Lodge; 2 nights (BLD)
Day 09. Barefoot. This morning we leave the open vistas and staggering beauty of Malawi behind and return to Lilongwe. Our drive takes us across the rich farmland of central Malawi; en route we visit Mua Mission Station and upon arrival in Lilongwe, in the early afternoon, there will be a chance to do some last minute shopping and to further explore the bustling capital.Lodge; 1 night (B)
Day 10. South Luangwa NP. From Lilongwe we drive to the Zambian border at Chipata on our way to South Luangwa National Park.The Luangwa valley is one of Africa’s prime wildlife sanctuaries, with concentrations and varieties of game and birdlife that have made it world famous. This is the landscape of the ‘real Africa’, where herds of antelope roam the plains, predators stalk through the shadows, with primordial flora in every vale and where oxbow lagoons provide natural watering holes. The list of animals thatfrequent the park is endless. Mammals include zebra, buffalo and lion, as well asendemic species such as Thornicroft’s giraffe and Cookson’s Wildebeest. Elephant, South Luangwa The park successfully supports one of the largest concentrations of elephant in Africa and also has an expanding population of leopard. We stay in our Lodge set in a beautiful location on the banks of the Luangwa River inside the national park. We do a night drive today. Safari Lodge; 2 nights (2xB, 2xL, 2xD)
Day 11. South Luangwa NP. We explore this remote wilderness area that covers over 9,000 square kilometres by way of game drive. The park encompasses a wide variety of habitats and the Luangwa River describes a torturous course along the valley floor. Near the river the vegetation is lush and dense, and along its many tributaries riverine forest remains emerald green all year round. We do a morning game drive in the National Park followed by an afternoon/night game drive. Only following the visit of David Livingstone on 16th November 1855 did they come to the attention of the western world. Soon they became an integral part of the grand African tour for the adventurous and wealthy. However, only with the explosion of air travel have more people been able to view them. After settling into our lodge we head for a visit to the falls. There can be few experiences on earth as gratifying as watching the gushing white waters of the magnificent Victoria Falls. The experience is enhanced by the fact that it is possible to walk in front of them, unlike many other waterfalls, which are seen from the side. Well-kept paths lead to different points for the views of the falls. But the most astonishing view is from the Knife Edge Bridge. This is as close as you will ever get to the falls. The afternoon is free. Common Waterbuck, South Luangwa. Viewing game at night allows us to see species that would normally be hidden throughout the day, and may include porcupine, hippo grazing on land and Honey badger. For scenery and sheer variety of animals, South Luangwa is one of the best wildlife parks in Africa. Multitudes of species thrive in this sanctuary, and the size of the national park allows large herds to develop and live in harmony with each other. South Luangwa National Park is one of the world’s great wildernesses.
Day 12. Lusaka. This morning we leave the open vistas and staggering beauty of eastern Zambia behind drive to Lusaka. Our drive takes us across the rich farmland of central Zambia. On arrival in Lusaka in the late afternoon, there is the chance to do some last minute shopping and further explore this bustling capital or to relax next to the swimming pool or do a nature walk and bird watching. Lodge; 1 night (B,L,D)
Day 13. Victoria Falls. Today is a short but interesting day to one of the seven natural wonders of the world; the Victoria Falls. These are the greatest curtain of falling water on earth. The clouds of spray and tremendous roar produced by this immense amount of water crashing down into a narrow chasm, gave rise to its more evocative African Name, Mosi-O-Tunya, Smoke that Thunders . About 1,708 metres wide and 103 metres deep at the highest point; the Victoria Falls is in fact divided into six waterfalls: Devils Cataract, Main Falls, Horseshoe Falls, Rainbow Falls, Armchair Falls and Eastern Cataract. For centuries, these dazzling waterfalls were considered to be sacred and local people came here to pray and make their offerings. Lodge, 3 nights (3xB)
Day 14. Victoria Falls. Today we visit the Victoria Falls and have a boat cruise on the Zambezi River in the afternoon.
Day 15. At Victoria Falls. Today is set aside to explore this area and the following OPTIONAl excursions are available. Game Viewing: Visit Chobe NP in Botswana. Canoeing: The natural beauty of the Zambezi is unsurpassed and a canoe trip is the best way to enjoy the upper parts of this lovely river. This is a part of the Zambezi so different from the one that challenges white water rafters. Jet Boating: For stomach-churning thrills, spin on the Zambezi in a sleek and powerful jet boat. River Surfing: If you ever wanted to pit yourself against the Zambezi, river surfing is the way to do it. After learning the basic skills of catching waves in calm water, armed only with a helmet, flippers, wetsuit and body board take on progressively larger rapids with names like Terminator, Gnashing Jaws of Death and Stairway to Heaven Flight of Angels: For an unsurpassed view of the famous water falls and the Zambezi River rapids, just above and below the falls take to the air in a helicopter or light wing aircraft. Or even more exiting take a micro light flight. White-water rafting: White-water rafting is the most famous activity in the area and how it began is a piece of local history. In 1981, amid gales of publicity, Sobek, an American rafting company made the first attempt to raft the Zambezi. This attempt was successful and within a week of this first exploratory expedition, Sobek was offering commercial trips down the Zambezi. Today there are numerous reputable and licensed companies willing to take you down the Zambezi. Kitted out in helmets and life jackets, you will listen closely to a final briefing from your guides. Then you are off to a gentle start down river, but soon you find yourself hollering with fear or joy as you experience the most exciting white water in the world. Bungee jumping: For sheer heart-stopping terror, bungee jump from the Victoria Falls Bridge on the Zambezi River. At 111 metres, it is reputed to be the second highest commercial bungee jump in the world. The scenery of the gorge and the Zambezi River with the Victoria Falls as a backdrop makes this jump even more breathtaking. Mosi-O-Tunya, Smoke that Thunders Abseiling: Expertly harnessed in climbing gear abseil down the side of the beautiful Batoka Gorge. Or try free falling off a 70m cliff harnessed to a rope.River cruises. To relax take a sundown cruise up the Zambezi River. While gently sipping a cold drink, watch the wildlife and gorgeous sunset over the river. The Victoria Field Museum: A few metres away from the falls is a museum of the Victoria Falls geology. Built around an actual excavation site the purpose of this museum is to preserve and display material telling the story of the falls. The Curio Market: The small curio market, located by the Victoria Falls car park, offers a wide range of arts and crafts. Mosi-O-Tunya Zoological Park, Old Drift Cemetery, Mukuni Village, Songwe Point Village, Livingstone Museum, Railway Museum and Maramba Cultural Village is also there to explore. Your guide would assist you to organize the optional excursions you would prefer to partake in.
Day 16. Lusaka. We transferred you to the airport. End of service. (B)