Malawi’s beaches are perfect for travellers seeking a little R&R while enjoying a location that’s totally off the beaten track. They combine very well with the safari regions of neighbouring country Zambia, to provide a superb bush-and-beach vacation! And many beach fans can consider Malawi simply for a remote standalone beach experience.
Location & access:
We recommend three beach destinations on the lake – the main shore, the eastern shore (actually in Mozambique but accessed through Malawi), and Limoka Island. Each can be accessed via 45 minutes’ to 1 hour’s flight from the international airport at Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital city, plus a short road or boat transfer.
Wildlife on Malawi's beaches:
The highlights of wildlife viewing here include the colourful little cichlid fish, swimming in the lake’s mineral-rich clear waters. In fact, over seven hundred fish species have been recorded in Lake Malawi, which is more than any other lake worldwide! Occasionally, hippo and Nile crocodile are spotted, and monkeys roam the shores in some areas. And keen birders appreciate sightings of some vibrant birdlife, not least the majestic fish eagle.
Activities on Malawi's beaches:
The beaches of Lake Malawi are perfect for simply sunbathing and generally enjoying some laidback beach time. However, for travellers who want to get active, there’s a good range of things to do here. For example, you can go on ‘blue safari’, via both diving and snorkelling. As these are lake rather than sea beaches, there are no coral reefs, but the underwater scenery, complete with cichlids, is pretty special. Other activities include kayaking and sailing.
Times/s of year to travel to Malawi's beaches:
The best months to visit Malawi’s beaches are May through to August. During green season, typically November to April, there’s high humidity, which can feel uncomfortable for most travellers. Once May arrives, the amount of rainfall begins to decrease and the air is fresher on the whole. Nights can be cool, especially through June, July, and August, but daytime temperatures throughout these months are pleasant, averaging 20°C. Come September/October time, the temperatures start to climb.
Top travel tips:
Malawi’s beaches really are a dream destination as the ‘beach’ element of a bush-and-beach break. Access to and from the national parks of Zambia, particularly the South Luangwa, is excellent. To start planning a vacation combining wildlife watching and beach activities, or simply to visit Lake Malawi, please contact a member of the YZ team.