About 6 months ago I met up for a coffee with a guy who was running a luxury resort on Lake Malawi and looking for someone to do digital marketing for him. Turned out I did not know enough about the travel and tourism industry to be able to help him out sadly, but it did firmly plant the idea of a Malawian holiday trip into my mind.
Malawi, Malawi, Malawi – where to begin? It is apparently often dismissed as “Africa for Beginners” and I’m not too sure why. The most famous highlight of the country is probably the beautiful lake that is name after – Lake Malawi also known as Lake Nyasa – “discovered” by Dr. Livingstone about 150 years ago.
Lake Malawi is the 3rd biggest lake in Africa and it’s clear waters are apparently full of brightly coloured fish that make it a great destination for snorkelling, scuba diving and kayaking – not to mention the many gorgeous tiny little beach islands on the lake to relax and chill on – and there definitely doesn’t seem to be any shortage of places to stay (hope they don’t ruin it!!).
There is a rich cultural mix in Malawi with the Chewa being the most numerous tribe. Others include the Yao, the Nyanja and the Maravi. In the north the Tumbuka are prominent. Each tribe has contributed to the modern Malawi scene, whether it be in dress or dance or language. Masks are commonly used in various dances and ceremonies and these are usually tribe-specific, the best known being the Gule Wamkulu, performed by the Nyau of the Chewa.
Places to visit: Blantyre, Zomba and Mangochi have a number of historical buildings, monuments and museums. Lilongwe and Mzuzu are of interest for their markets. Along the Lakeshore the places to visit are apparently Monkey Bay and Nkhata Bay for their bustling ports, whilst Nkhotakota is of historical significance (lot’s of Livingstone and also European missionary action around here apparently).
Next stop – book flights: