Birdwatching in Malawi
Malawi has a number of species which are rare in the rest of Southern Africa, and birdwatching in Malawi is probably at its best in the country's water and forest habitats. Malawi's birding highlights include near endemics such as the Malawi batis, east coast akalat and white-winged apalis.
In terms of water birds, the expansive Lake Malawi is very important. Its lengthy shores are lined with marshes, savannah and evergreen forests, which support a variety of species. The lake also drains into the Shire River, which is lined with lush riverine vegetation and wide floodplains. This stretch of the Shire beside Liwonde National Park has some of the most spectacular birding in Malawi, with night trips to find Pel's fishing owl on many birder's wish-lists.
A handful of further noteworthy habitats for birdwatching in Malawi include mopane and miombo woodlands, palm savannah and marshes. Birders may also be keen to explore the montane grassland of the Nyika plateau, which supports the uncommon and localised blue swallow. For some of our best areas and lodges for bird watching in Malawi see the camps and lodges below.
6 of our favourite places for birdwatching in Malawi
Chintheche Inn|84% (5 reviews)The birding walks start in the grounds of the inn and then in the area immediately surrounding. The local area boasts a variety of habitats – open water, marsh, grassland and some thick forest. Varieties such as the blue spotted dove, palmnut vulture, moustached warbler ... More about Chintheche Inn
Heuglins Guest House|80% (2 reviews)Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary is near to Heuglins, and a real draw for keen birders, with opportunities to spot the olive sunbird, Livingstone's loerie, finfoot and the red-throated twin spot. More about Heuglins Guest House
Ku Chawe Inn|75% (4 reviews)Interesting montagne species in the forests here More about Ku Chawe Inn
Mumbo Island|100% (5 reviews)The island plays host to a variety of birds, including fish eagles, gymnogene (African harrier hawk), trumpeter hornbill, white-breasted cormorant, water thick-knee (water dikkop), paradise flycatcher and a variety of herons, weavers, doves and starlings amongst others... More about Mumbo Island
Mvuu Camp|92% (5 reviews)Great birding in this lush Malawi reserve More about Mvuu Camp
Mvuu Wilderness Lodge|100% (4 reviews)The best birdwatching is from the boat trips that the lodge offers – notables include the fish eagle, purple-crested turaco (we heard this well before we saw it!), bee-eaters, lilac-breasted rollers, and a great selection of water birds. To my delight we were able to find ... More about Mvuu Lodge