Malawi is a little-known gem of a country in the heart of central southern Africa that offers a true African experience. It is a long and narrow landlocked country, and Lake Malawi, nearly 600km long and up to 80km wide, dominates the countryside. When David Livingstone arrived at the lake shore in 1861, he was the first European explorer to see the Lake, and was so awestruck that he started missions here.

Malawi's landscape has been shaped by Africa's Great Rift Valley. Towering mountains, lush, fertile valley floors and enormous crystal clear lakes are hallmarks of much of the Rift Valley - and Malawi displays them all. Fertile soils are a result of the Rift Valley and evidence of this is to be found everywhere in Malawi. Throw a seed on the ground and a plant grows there.

There are rolling hills, plateaus, cool misty mountains and wide-ranging scenery. Each of the many diverse habitats is protected within Malawi's eleven national parks and game reserves - from elephants to orchids. The calm, clear waters of Lake Malawi are a great lure and there is plenty of opportunity to experience the lake more closely - either on it or in it. The lake ofers some of the best fresh water diving and snorkeling in the world.

Malawi is a warm and welcoming country that offers visitors wonderful scenery, fascinating parks and some of the friendliest people in Africa. It is no wonder that it is known as the "friendly heart of Africa." Though overall the lack of real quality wildlife viewing does mean that visitors tend to visit mostly for the lake as beach finales to safaris in nearby Zambia.

Malawi's landscape has been shaped by Africa's Great Rift Valley. Towering mountains, lush, fertile valley floors and enormous crystal clear lakes are hallmarks of much of the Rift Valley - and Malawi displays them all. Fertile soils are a result of the Rift Valley and evidence of this is to be found everywhere in Malawi. Throw a seed on the ground and a plant grows there.

There are rolling hills, plateaus, cool misty mountains and wide-ranging scenery. Each of the many diverse habitats is protected within Malawi's eleven national parks and game reserves - from elephants to orchids. The calm, clear waters of Lake Malawi are a great lure and there is plenty of opportunity to experience the lake more closely - either on it or in it. The lake ofers some of the best fresh water diving and snorkeling in the world.

Malawi is a warm and welcoming country that offers visitors wonderful scenery, fascinating parks and some of the friendliest people in Africa. It is no wonder that it is known as the "friendly heart of Africa." Though overall the lack of real quality wildlife viewing does mean that visitors tend to visit mostly for the lake as beach finales to safaris in nearby Zambia.