More and more people are opting to get off the beaten path on their travels to new exciting destinations. The tourism industry has responded in kind to this rising demand, providing carefully tailored packages that promise an unforgettable vacation experience.

 

Whether you’re looking for an agency arranged trip or prefer to explore Malawi independently, I hope these 5 thrilling activities I’ve carefully selected inspire you to visit the heart of Africa in unconventional ways and to discover all the natural beauty Malawi has to offer.

 

 1. Quad biking on Likoma Island

Likoma is one of two inhabited islands on Lake Malawi and is surrounded by Mozambican waters. That alone is a great selling point for those looking for new breathtaking locations. Aside from being a little slice of heaven on earth, it’s also one of the few places in Malawi where you can go quad biking. It may not be widely advertised as there are so many other activities and services offered on the island but honestly, who would want to miss out on exploring this paradise on four wheels?!

Find out more here

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Picture from Flickr @anilegna

 

 2. Yoga at The Mushroom Farm

I am particularly excited to present this eco-lodge to all of you! While I’ve picked yoga as the “thing to do” when staying at the Mushroom Farm, they also offer a range one-day hiking trips, permaculture tours, coffee workshops, woodcarving workshops etc. That said, I doubt there are many activities on this planet that would beat taking a yoga class overlooking Great Riff Valley. Travelling can bring up so many emotions from excitement and happiness on one end to culture shock and overwhelming exhaustion on the other. I’m so happy to have discovered a place in Malawi where you can get your minds, bodies and souls in balance.

Find out more here

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 3. Visiting Lilongwe Wildlife Centre

I have to make a confession: I intentionally left out Safaris from this article. Asides from the unoriginality of them, I doubt anyone travelling to Africa would have any difficulty in finding one. If you happen to be an animal lover but aren’t particularly keen on chasing them around with a car as one of my fellow travellers put it, I highly recommend visiting Lilongwe Wildlife Centre. It is a sanctuary for wild animals that are injured or in distress, a place where the animals will be cared for until they are ready to return to their natural habitat. In addition to an unique opportunity to learn about human-animal interactions in southern Africa and conduct research on wild animals and animal protection, Lilongwe Wildlife Centre also has different events geared to engage the both the local and international communities. On November 26th for instance, there will be a Thirsty Thursday soirée at the centre’s Waterhole Bar. Don’t miss out if you’re in town!

 

Find out more here

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Photo from Global Vets East Africa team

4. Scuba diving in Mumbo Island

Mumbo Island is situated in the pristine waters of Lake Malawi. What makes it stand out from your other scuba diving and snorkelling locations on the lake is that the island has never been populated and is therefore considered to be in its natural state. You can stay at the relaxing eco-friendly Mumbo Island Camp and truly get away from it all.

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The camp is committed to non-motorized water sports, which could be the reason why some consider it to offer the best freshwater scuba diving and snorkelling in the world. The island is easily reached by motorboat from Cape Maclear, another beautiful destination on the coast of Lake Malawi. to cap it off Mumbo Island Camp was included in the UK Sunday Times Travel Magazine as one of the top 100 hotels in the world, one of only ten hotels from Africa and Asia. Need I say more?

Find out more here

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Picture from blog.flightsite.co.za

5. Mountain biking in the Thyolo Tea Estates

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I feel almost obliged to lure people away from the glory of Lake Malawi and towards other parts of this diverse country. The Huntingdon House in Satemwa Tea Estates offers luxury accommodation in a renovated colonial family house. It is another one of those hidden gems Malawi has to offer. Visitors can partake in a wide array of activities from tea tasting to birding watching. I can personally vouch for mountain biking through the tea and coffee plantations – the view is simply picturesque. Huntingdon House will be there to recommend routes and spots until you’re ready to head of on your own!

 

Find out more here