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FROM US$4,340-US$5,700

Utaka Cichlid Safari

Explore two of Malawi's safari parks - Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde National Park - before finishing your trip with some beach time: relaxing, snorkelling and sailing in Lake Malawi National Park.

Utaka Cichlid Safari: Summary

Utaka Cichlid Safari in a nutshell

Malawi is not the first place that springs to mind when thinking of an African safari, but for those after a great-value adventure where you’ll get to know some of the most welcoming people in the world, support some inspiring conservation work and explore some real wilderness, this is a pretty special opportunity. The trip takes in Majete Wildlife Reserve, then continues in Liwonde National Park before finishing within Lake Malawi National Park, staying in top-notch lodges run by Robin Pope Safaris, with high standards of accommodation, food and service. With all transfers by road, rather than by air, this trip is a great introduction to the "warm heart of Africa", giving you a feel for the country as you pass through rural areas and towns, perhaps stopping to visit an interesting market or to grab a cold beer at a local shop.

Begin with a safari in the Majete Wildlife Reserve, 700km² of forested hills flanking the fast-flowing Shire River in the south of the country. By the late 1990s, much of the wildlife here had been poached, but thanks to efforts supported by NGO African Parks, including the ambitious reintroduction of black rhino and lion, Majete has become a thriving model of sustainable development. Malawi’s only "big five" park, it retains a truly wild atmosphere, yet still receives only a few thousand visitors a year. You'll stay at the stylish Mkulumadzi Lodge, which offers a great mix of activities including game drives, walking safaris, boat trips on the river, visits to a nearby village, time in the photographic hide and even a night out on the star deck. Wildlife viewing is getting better by the year, the birding is fantastic - and by spending time here you’ll be supporting the ongoing restoration of the park.

From Majete, you'll drive via Blantyre to the Liwonde National Park, where your home for three nights is the small, secluded Kuthengo Camp, set beneath huge trees on the banks of the Shire River.

The final stop is at Pumulani, a lovely beach lodge overlooking Lake Malawi. Relax on the beach or by the pool, or explore the blue waters while kayaking, snorkelling, diving, sailing and water-skiing. On land, head out on birdwatching walks or cycle to a neighbouring village for an insight into local traditions. Then in the evening, watch the sunset from a dhow as stars appear overhead: an unforgettable way to round off your trip.

At a glance

Starts: Blantyre International Airport
3 nights Mkulumadzi - Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi Full Board & Activities
3 nights Kuthengo Camp - Liwonde National Park, Malawi Full Board & Activities
4 nights Pumulani - Shore of Lake Malawi, Malawi Full Board & Activities
Ends: Lilongwe International Airport

Mkulumadzi Lodge

Days 1-4

Overlooking tumbling rapids at the confluence of the Shire and Mkulumadzi (sometimes written 'Mukulumadzi' or even 'Mkurumadzi') rivers, is the smart and solidly built Mkulumadzi Lodge. Opened in 2011, it is owned by Robin Pope Safaris and incorporates some innovative 'eco' ideas. The lodge is located in a 70km² private concession, within the newly revitalised Majete Wildlife Reserve.

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Kuthengo Camp

Days 4-7

Kuthengo Camp is a small intimate bush camp in the unspoilt Liwonde National Park, which opened in April 2018. It is located on a bend of the Shire River, under shady fever trees and baobabs.

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Pumulani

Days 7-11

Pumulani is a luxury beach lodge located high on a hill on the west side of Nankumba Peninsula, towards the southern end of Lake Malawi. It is within the Lake Malawi National Park so is a great spot for walking, snorkeling or simply relaxing.

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Mkulumadzi Lodge

Mkulumadzi

Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi

Kuthengo Camp

Kuthengo Camp

Liwonde National Park, Malawi

Pumulani

Pumulani

Shore of Lake Malawi, Malawi

About image

Highlights

Our thoughts on five of the top experiences of this Utaka Cichlid Safari.

  • Discovering the wilderness of Majete and Liwonde
  • Playing your part in a conservation success story
  • Snorkelling in Lake Malawi's crystal-clear waters
  • Watching the sunset from a traditional dhow
  • Gaining an insight into Malawi’s welcoming people

Activities

Some activities which can be included in the Utaka Cichlid Safari: talk to us about those which interest you.

  • 4WD Safari

  • Birdwatching

  • Boat trip

  • Cultural excursion

  • Fishing

  • Guided walking safari

  • Night drive

  • Scuba-diving

  • Snorkelling

  • Watersports

About image
PUMULANI in LAKESHORE

Key species to see on the Utaka Cichlid Safari

Based on our travellers' observations, we’ve estimated the likelihood of seeing these species during the Utaka Cichlid Safari. Click on the animals and our wildlife surveys page for more info.


Eland

100% chance

Elephant

100% chance

Hippo

100% chance

Sable antelope

100% chance

Zebra

100% chance

Buffalo

84% chance

Lion

82% chance

Roan antelope

60% chance

Cheetah

53% chance

Giraffe

45% chance

Black Rhino

20% chance

Leopard

18% chance

Spotted Hyena

18% chance

Aardvark

0% chance

Pangolin

0% chance

Wildebeest

0% chance

Let us help you customise your trip

All of our holidays on this site are just ideas; none are fixed. All of our trips are tailor-made, so we'll always adapt them to suit you. Talk to an Expert and let us help you to work out your perfect trip.


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