Backpacking Malawi Travel Tips
Best places to visit in Malawi
There are amazing things to do and some of the best places to visit in Malawi. Once you arrive in Lilongwe, there are many options and you are possibly wondering where are the best places to stay in Malawi. Well, let me try to help you decide.
Best places to visit in Malawi
In the very south you have Cape Mac Clear which is one of the best places to visit in Malawi and extremely popular with backpackers and volunteers alike. Many of these visitors will choose this region as it has a particularly good reputation when it comes to Scuba diving in Malawi while also having a decent nightlife at the same time. When I say nightlife, you need to realize that this is Africa and things are different here. A “good nightlife” may simply consist of there being one half decent bar where backpackers can let their hair down.
Previously mentioned Lilongwe is the capital and most likely the starting point when you arrive (unless of course you are on one of the Africa overland tours), But to be honest, there is very little in the way of things to do in Lilongwe and anytime I visit, it is usually for a quick stopover. Senga Bay lies to the east of Lilongwe making it one of the most convenient places to see in Malawi if you only have a short time. It is very quiet here, there are just one or two decent places to stay, a handful of other backpackers and volunteer projects.
Nkhata Bay – Paradise in Malawi
Likely the most popular and best place to visit in Malawi is a charming fishing village called Nkhata Bay. It is one hour north of Kande Beach and a bustling town with many local restaurants and shops with a few western eateries thrown into the mix. It is busy as hell and there are many great places to stay in Nkhata Bay. Arguably the best? It is absolutely no competition for me – Mayoka Village makes it worth travelling to Nkhata Bay alone. Located on a cliff side, this series of bungalows offers excellent value in terms of pricing, it is always busy with people volunteering in Nkhata Bay or backpacking Malawi, the food is great and there are many things to do during the day.
Another of the best places to see in Malawi is much further up north at Kande Beach which has a glorious stretch of white sand, a very lively bar (when it’s busy) and friendly village on the doorstep. Many people arrive to enjoy the horse riding in Kande Beach which is one of the best day tours in Malawi but then there are also other things to do in Kande Beach such as scuba diving, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.
And then there is Chitimba Camp a little further north past the busy town of Mzuzu which is run by a really fantastic couple called Ed and Carmen. Ed Peters is a well-known photographer but they are very much involved and respected in the local villages which makes it quite easy to get outside the campsite and explore. From here you have a nice opportunity for a hike to Livingstonia which is probably the best day tour in Chitimba, albeit a very tiring one. You can take a village walk or visit the witch doctor while the campsite itself has many accommodation options and really good food.