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 at Chintheche Inn could form a great part of a Malawi birdwatching holiday. With a great variety of habitats, you may see blue spotted dove, palmnut vulture, moustached warbler and pennant-winged nightjar. More about Chintheche Inn
Heuglins Guest House|80% (2 reviews)Lilongwe Nature Sanctuary is near to Heuglins - a highlight on a birdwatching break in Malawi. There are opportunities to see 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)Nature walks and kayak trips around Mumbo Island are great addition to a birdwatching break in Malawi. From the tiny and colourful paradise flycatcher to the large African harrier hawk there is a great range of birds to be seen here. 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 excellent boat trips from the lodge are a ‘must’ for keen birders on a birdwatching holiday in Malawi. A handful of species here include fish eagles, purple-crested turaco, bee-eaters, lilac-breasted rollers and many water birds. More about Mvuu Lodge