I’m not a great fan of lakes. But this one is different. It’s a little paradise. At 365 X 52 miles it is southern Africa’s inland sea, forged in the southern tip of Great Rift Valley fault line.
Your trip begins or ends at Cape Maclear, one of Lake Malawi’s most beautiful spots. Sandy beaches and crystal clear waters line this friendly fishing village.
From Cape Maclear you will travel to Mangouchi for the Festival of The Lake of The Stars which delivers a mix of music from across southern Africa and a spattering of English bands.
South Luangwa National Park
One of the best game reserves in the region, South Luangwa is classic southern Africa bush. The Luangwa River is the life blood of the park's 9050km2: and its sweeping bends host you at sunset to watch the animals drinking. A walking safari is still one of the finest ways to experience this wilderness at first hand. There are 60 different animal species and over 400 different bird species.
Your luxury tented camp is situated on a bend in the Luangwa river and offers fine game views while you relax.
There are few superlatives that convey the true grandeur of this magnificent natural wonder of the world: the towering column of spray - "mosi oya tunya" or "the mist that thunders" - the terrifying abyss that separates Zimbabwe from Zambia, the calm languidity of the Zambezi upstream, with its hippos and crocs and forest and the down stream torrent gushing through a harsh and barren gorge.
It is the formation of the seven gorges that channel the water after the falls which give the Victoria Falls its fabulous vantage points. You can walk right in front of the falls, but you’ll need a head for heights! You can even bathe on the lip of the falls.
Victoria Falls is the adrenaline junky capital of Africa, with its White Water rafting down the rapids downstream of the falls and bungeeing off the bridge across the gorge, but it is also good for more leisurely activities like wildlife viewing, kayaking up river, the flight of angels over the falls or just admiring the wonder of the falls themselves.
Sample itinerary for the Festival of the Lake of the Stars
(For a Southern Africa Overland trip at other times the Lake of The Stars festival is replaced by day excursions on the lake.)
- Arrive Lilongwe.
- Transfer to hotel.
- After breakfast drive to the southern end of Lake Malawi and one of the most beautiful spots on the lake, Cape Maclear.
- Overnight in eco huts or safari tents on full board.
Days 3 & 4
- Lazy mornings by the lake, swimming, snorkeling, taking a boat out to the islands. After lunch you can be taken to The Festival Of The Lake of the Stars site or stay in Cape Maclear.
- After breakfast we drive to Zomba Mountain and plateau in the Southern Highlands.
- Stay at Kuchawe Inn Hotel.
- Spend the morning walking in Zomba, pm transfer to Lilongwe.
- Lilongwe to Zambia and South Luangwa National Park
- South Luangwa National Park for some of the best game viewing in southern Africa.
- Game drives/walks in the early morning and the evening.
- Full board in chalets or safari tents.
- After breakfast, we transfer to Lusaka.
- Stay at Pioneer Camp on bed and breakfast basis.
- After breakfast we continue from Lusaka over the Kafue River to Victoria Falls.
- Stay in lodge accommodation on the Zimbabwean side of the Zambezi.
- Plenty of activities:
- Kayaking on the Zambezi
- White water rafting
- Game viewing walks
- Flight of angels over the falls
- Bungee jumping
- Or simply admire again and again the spectacle of one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
- After breakfast, we depart back to Lusaka.
- A leisurely drive brings us to Pioneer camp mid afternoon.
- Overnight in Lusaka at Pioneer Camp
- Departure from Lusaka Airport.