Lots of holiday destinations claim to be family-friendly in order to tap into that huge market, but you’ll find Malawi is quietly the true frontrunner above any location in Africa as a family destination. Malawi is often described as ‘Africa for beginners’, the reason being how safe and easy it is to travel around this beautiful country. Malawi will ensure an enriching and meaningful holiday for the whole family.
Malawi is dubbed ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’, because of her people. Malawians have been named the friendliest people in the world, a claim made by endless journalists and travel bloggers. Just driving along the road you’ll pass by locals going about their day with a smile on their face, often spontaneously dancing (it’s true, I see it often!), laughing, playing football and enjoying a cup of tea with friends.
In some countries, you can sometimes find a negative attitude towards tourists, but not here – they love to get to know you, where you’re from, what football team you support (just say Manchester United!), and if you throw in a word or two of Chichewa (their local language) you’ll have them giggling with joy!
They are particularly warm and friendly with children and have a natural parental instinct. “It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment, meaning your children are in a safe space and are in good hands if you ever want to use the lodge’s babysitting service and enjoy a romantic evening or private game drive to yourselves.
Interaction with the local people is an opportunity you will have at most lodges around the country whereby you can visit the surrounding villages to meet new people and local children the same age as your little ones. Visit the craft market to purchase some souvenirs, or visit charity projects going on in the local communities to learn about the struggles they face and the solutions made to help. A holiday can be an important life experience as well as a time to unwind.
Being such a small country, most of Malawi is easily accessible by car. When you’ve got 3 kiddos, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that flights can quickly become very expensive. You can drive all around Malawi and experience the beauty of the country from your window. Take a drive and explore our exquisite lake Malawi for a few days, get the kids to try out the numerous activities such as waterskiing, sailing, snorkelling and tubing; before heading off to the bush to spot those big cats.
There are two main safari destinations in Malawi, Liwonde National Park (soon to be a Big 5 park, also contains cheetah and wild dog) and Majete Wildlife Reserve (a Big 5 reserve, also containing cheetah and wild dog). All the lodges in both parks (a total of 6 lodges combined!) have swimming pools, which is always a win for the little ones who love a good splash around.
The lodges also have fantastic Malawian guides who excel in family safaris and go that extra mile to give special attention to ensure your mini-me is getting the most out of the experience they possibly can, learning all about the bush and tracking the animals from their footprints and spoor!
You won’t be disappointed with a visit, Malawi is easy-going, affordable, unspoiled and most importantly, dying to welcome you and your family into her arms.