South Malawi - Malawi
The southern region is the most populated and the most developed economically and dominated by the city of Blantyre and physically by the great Shire Valley and Mulanje Mountain.
Snaking through the region, the Shire River drains into Lake Malawi and follows the Rift Valley southwards. The Lower Shire Valley is broad and flat as the river flows out to Mozambique in the extreme south of the country. This is the lowest point in the country, yet only just over one hundred kilometres away is Malawi’s highest peak, the magnificent Mount Mulanje which towers to over 3000 metres and is the highest mountain in the whole of central Africa. The area between Mulanje and Blantyre is dominated by tea estates.
South Malawi has more National Parks & Wildlife Reserves than the rest of the country. Three of them are in the low lying Lower Shire Valley, home to vast sugar estates and accessed by descending the dramatic Thyolo Escarpment south-west of Blantyre. Majete Wildlife Reserve stretches west from the Shire River. Lengwe National Park has a good variety of antelope, including the nyala, and is easy to explore on drivable tracks and using hides at waterholes. Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve is the most remote but is now being developed under a community-based conservation project. The area furthest south in the Lower Shire Valley is Elephant Marsh – notable for its birdlife. Further north and on the upper reaches of the Shire River, is Liwonde National Park, Malawi’s premier game park, which offers boat safaris as in addition to the usual walking and 4x4 safaris.
Lake Malawi National Park at Cape Maclear. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the waters and fish, are protected, making the lake here a veritable aquarium of tropical fish. Between the port of Monkey Bay and the historic Mangochi is Lake Malawi’s highest concentration of hotels and lodges, with a long line of beautiful sandy beaches.