This small corner of Malawi is chiefly famed for its dazzling white beaches and scattering of desert islands. Backpackers’ hangout Cape Maclear is the first to spring to mind; a sunny peninsula where travellers slip into a daze of snorkelling, sunbathing and laid-back village life. Just over the water is idyllic Mumbo Island, home to one of Malawi's top ecolodges, and the more rugged Domwe Island, both reached by sea kayak or boat. Stylish resorts dot the coastline and luxury seekers will be rewarded with international-standard accommodation offering top-notch service.
Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, its wildlife stocks increased by a major elephant translocation, has fine lodges and good access from the coast. North of here is the Viphya Plateau, a haunting wilderness of mountains, grasslands and mist-shrouded pines. For cultural appeal, meanwhile, you can't beat the Kungoni complex and mission buildings in Mua.