Introducing Northern Malawi
Remote northern Malawi is where ravishing highlands meet hippo-filled swamps, vast mountains loom large over empty beaches, and colonial relics litter pristine islands and hilltop villages. It is Malawi’s most sparsely populated region and the first taste many travellers get of this tiny country after making the journey down from East Africa.
Hugging the border with Zambia is Nyika National Park – an otherworldly wilderness where zebras pose on the skyline and pine forests hide leopards and hyenas. Head south a little and the sultry flat woodland and swamps of Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve bring forth huge herds of elephants, antelopes and buffaloes. Sitting within easy striking distance of both of them is Livingstonia, which sucks you into a time warp with its old missionary buildings and quiet, unhurried atmosphere.
This part of Lake Malawi is lined with gleaming coves and pristine beaches straight out of a Caribbean dream. Budget travellers will do particularly well here – there’s a huge choice of beachfront campsites, while those on a higher budget have the fine hotels of the Chintheche Strip.