Best known for the sprawling Lake Malawi, Malawi is a lush and fertile country in the heart of the southern Rift Valley. Stretching 375 miles north to south and 40 miles east to west, the lake dominates the western part of the nation. Dip into its crystal-clear waters for some of the best freshwater snorkeling and diving in the world. Immerse into the schools of jewel-toned cichlid fish, which thrive here in their greatest diversity. On the shores of Lake Malawi, escape from the pace of modern life in charming bungalows, get lost in a good book while lounging in a hammock or glide over the glassy turquoise waters as you explore the lake by kayak. Hike through the verdant jungles in search of rare orchids as birdsong fills the air and butterflies float past.
Though there are few traditional safari spots, Malawi still offers a unique combination of a safari with a beachy experience on the lakeshore. Elephants, lions, giraffes and other classic safari critters thrive in the emerging conservation-minded reserves and national parks of Malawi. Explore on game drives and walking safaris that pair well with the wildlife hotspots of neighboring Zambia.