The Lake Malawi National Park – The world’s first freshwater national park and a World Heritage Site, is situated at Cape Maclear. It is an ideal venue for boating, snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing, water-skiing, fishing and swimming. The countless thousands of freshwater fish, the mbuna, are more abundant and varied here than anywhere else in the world.
Lower Shire Valley – South west of Blantyre, the Shire river enters its final phase before leaving the country and joining the great Zambezi in Mozambique. This is the Lower Shire Valley, an extension of the Rift Valley and home to no less than three national parks/wildlife reserves.
Liwonde National Park – Is Malawi’s most accessible park. Visitors can view the aquatic and land animals and birds in and around the Shire River. The park is renowned for its bird life. Elephant, hippo, crocodile and rhino can also be spotted, and occasionally lions are seen. During the dry season the park can be accessed by car, however in the wet season the roads are closed. Walkers must be accompanied by a Park Ranger.
The Zomba Plateau – Situated 17 km from Blantyre, the heavily forested plateau Zomba is criss-crossed by streams, tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. Whether walking or driving, there is always something to see. Wildlife includes leopards, although sightings are rare. More in evidence are giant butterflies and, on the lower slopes, baboons. Birdlife includes the long-crested eagle and the augur buzzard.
Blantyre – The county’s commercial capital, has a number of historical buildings of interest that include the Museum of Malawi and Mandela House. Built in 1882, it was Malawi’s first two-storey building and is believed to be the country’s oldest house. Other places of interest include the Museum of Malawi and Carlsberg Brewery as well as the tobacco auction floors on the edge of Limbe. Also in the Blantyre region are Ndirande, the sleeping man mountain, Michiru, the rain mountain and the craggy Chiradzulu.
Nyika National Park – Situated in the north of the country, is the largest wildlife reserve and home to antelope, zebra, warthog and a large diversity of flora. The rainy season brings out an abundance of flowers, with 120 different species of orchid being recorded in the reserve. Most of the reserve is situated on the Nyika plateau, a vast area of valleys and rolling hills, and the views across Lake Malawi are magnificent.
Lengwe National Park – Has spectacular sandstone outcrops. Just 72 km from Blantyre, the park is best known for its population of Nyala antelope. Viewing hides have been established so visitors can watch the animals drinking at close quarters. The park is open all year although many roads are closed during the rainy season (December to March).