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Walking & Hiking in Southern Africa

Get ready to explore the stunning natural landscapes of Malawi and Zambia on foot! Lace-up those walking boots and immerse yourself in the beauty of Africa. Clamber over boulders, scramble up inclines, or stroll – the choice is yours! For a unique and off-the-beaten-track experience, head to Mount Mulanje in Malawi. It’s a must-visit destination with fewer crowds, unspoiled nature, and a cheaper price tag than Kilimanjaro. While there, check out the breathtaking waterfalls and crystal-clear pools of Dziwe la Nkhalamba. Legend has it that ancestral spirits reside here, so toss a coin into the water before taking a dip!

For those who love the wilderness, why not embark on a walking safari in one of the national parks? South Luangwa National Park is most famous for pioneering the concept with the fabulous Norman Carr. If you’re looking for an easier trek, Zomba offers spectacular views, birdlife, and even horseback exploration. And don’t miss Nyika Plateau for more breathtaking views, wildlife, and astounding birdlife. Take the Livingstone trail for an unforgettable three-day journey from Nyika to Livingstonia on Lake Malawi. With so much to see and do, a walking holiday in Malawi and Zambia is necessary for any nature lover!

walking safari, Zambia

What to Expect When Going on a Walking Safari

Walking safaris in South Luangwa offers an unparalleled experience to explore the African wilderness on foot. The safaris usually start early in the morning when the wildlife is most active and the temperature is still cool. You’ll be accompanied by an experienced guide and an armed scout who will ensure your safety throughout the safari. As you walk through the bush, your guide will point out and explain the tracks, sounds, and smells of the wildlife, making it an excellent opportunity to learn about the ecosystem.

You’ll witness diverse wildlife, including big game like elephants, buffalos, and lions and smaller animals like hyenas, civets, and genets. The expert guide will help you spot well-hidden animals, and you might even get to see some rare species that are not easily spotted from vehicles.

Walking safaris also offer a chance to observe the birds and insects that thrive in the South Luangwa National Park. You’ll come across various species of birds, including eagles, kingfishers, and storks, and have the opportunity to learn about their habitats and behaviours.

During the walking safari, you’ll also have the chance to explore and learn about the diverse flora in the national park. The guide will explain the medicinal uses of various plants and trees and their role in the ecosystem.

Going on a walking safari in South Luangwa is an exhilarating and immersive experience that offers a unique perspective on the African wilderness. It’s a must-do activity for anyone who wishes to experience the beauty and diversity of the natural world authentically and sustainably.

Hiking Trips in Malawi

Malawi is blessed with some of the most beautiful landscapes in Africa. The country has several stunning hiking trails, perfect for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

Mount Mulanje is a majestic mountain range that is located in southern Malawi. It is the highest mountain in central Africa and is a popular destination for hikers from all over the world. The mountain range is home to several hiking trails that range from easy to complex. The most popular trail is the Skyline Trail, which takes hikers to the summit of Mount Mulanje. The trail is challenging, but the top views are breathtaking.

Nyika Plateau is a vast highland plateau that is located in northern Malawi. The plateau is home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The most popular trail is the Chelinda Trail, which takes hikers through a dense forest and several waterfalls. The track is relatively easy and suitable for all skill-level hikers.

Zomba is a small town that is located in southern Malawi. It is home to several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the surrounding landscape. The most popular trail is the Zomba Plateau Trail, which takes hikers to the top of Zomba Plateau. The route is relatively easy and suitable for all skill-level hikers. The top views are breathtaking, making it a must-visit destination for anyone who loves nature.

Whether you are an experienced hiker or a beginner, there is something for everyone in Malawi.

Mount Mulanje

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Hiking Trip FAQs

What is the best time of year to go hiking in Malawi?

The best time for hiking in Malawi is during the dry season, typically from May to October. During this period, the weather is generally pleasant, with clear skies and cooler temperatures, making it ideal for trekking. Avoid the wet season (November to April), as heavy rains can make trails muddy and difficult to navigate.

What are the best hiking trails in Mount Mulanje, Zomba Plateau, and Nyika Plateau?

  • Mount Mulanje: The Sapitwa Peak Trail is popular for experienced hikers, taking you to the highest point in Malawi. For a less strenuous hike, the Likhubula Forest Reserve offers beautiful trails suitable for various fitness levels.

  • Zomba Plateau: The Plateau offers numerous trails with breathtaking views. The Ku Chawe Inn Loop is an excellent choice for a moderate hike. More challenging options include the hike to Emperor’s View or exploring the Chingwe’s Hole area.

  • Nyika Plateau: Nyika Plateau has a variety of trails suitable for all levels. The Chisanga Falls Trail is a gentle hike, while the Chelinda to Chikwasa Trail offers a more challenging experience with stunning views of the plateau’s unique landscape.

What kind of wildlife can I expect when hiking in Malawi?

While hiking in Malawi, you may encounter various wildlife, including antelope species, monkeys, and a rich diversity of birdlife. In some areas, you might spot species like the klipspringer or hyrax. However, Malawi’s hiking trails are not typically known for dangerous wildlife encounters. Always follow safety guidelines and respect wildlife from a distance.

What kind of accommodations are available for hikers in Malawi?

Accommodations for hikers in Malawi range from camping sites to comfortable lodges and guesthouses. Depending on your preference and location, you can find various options. Some trails have designated campsites with basic facilities, while others offer more luxurious lodges with stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. It’s advisable to book accommodations in advance, especially during the high season, to ensure availability and convenience during your hiking trip.

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