Malawi

Cycle tour to the highlights of Malawi

Malawi – the warm heart of Africa. This versatile but relatively unknown country lies in the East African Rift Valley. In its center middle lies Lake Malawi, the ninth largest lake on earth. With a depth of up to 700m, it is home to a variety of fish, especially cichlids can be found while snorkeling on the rocky shores. The country has little motorized vehicles, so it is a paradise for cycling. The majority of people ride bicycles, a good opportunity to meet them at eye level, while everything is transported that fits on it: whole families, animals, furniture, harvest … You can only marvel! We have selected the best accommodations for this trip. These are mostly in the 3 * range. The climate between April and October is mild to warm from 23-30 degrees without precipitation and humidity.

In 2019 & 2020 this tour can be booked at any time with 4 participants or more

Tour program

km= Kilometer, hg= height gain in total altitude meters per day

Day 1 Arrival Malawi

Pick-up from the airport and transferred to Mafumu Lodge which offers good executive rooms, all larger in size than the normal hotel standard. All the rooms are air conditioned and ensuite bathrooms, with digital satellite TV, international direct dialing and email facilities. When it comes to mealtimes, guests are well looked after. The guest house offers a mouth-watering buffet breakfast as well as an à la carte menu featuring both African cuisine and international dishes. There is also a well-stocked bar. Dinner can be had either at the Lodge or an arrangement can be made on site for a taxi to take into town to a restaurant. Mafumu Hotel

Day 2 Cycling tour in the Luwawa Forest Reserve

Breakfast in Lilongwe and then a transfer by to Luwawa Forest Lodge which is an international guesthouse and outdoor adventure center in the unspoilt wilderness of the Viphya Plateau. At 1600m, the area is malaria-free. Just a 3-hour drive from Lilongwe and 8km off the M1 road, the lodge overlooks a large, well-stocked lake. The picturesque Luwawa Valley is stunningly Beautiful, and the overwhelming impression is one of peace and tranquility. Much of the Lodge’s electricity is from solar energy and the water supply from a mountain stream. Fresh vegetables prepared in the kitchen are from the lodge’s permaculture garden. The lodge is dedicated to being in tune with its natural surroundings. The latest addition to the facilities is a Sauna & bush shower. Luwawa has prolific birdlife and antelope can be seen close to the lodge. Further afield are monkeys, baboons, leopards and hyenas. The lodge is committed to responsible tourism through its many local community assistance projects in which guests can be directly involved. Winner of the Malawi Government’s Tourism Award 2008 for “Community Participation and Sustainable Tourism Practices”. Arrive at Luwawa for lunch. After that, do a 25km acclimatization ride through the Perekezi Indigenous Forest (all single track). (25 km, hg: 250 am, Gravel road, easy single trails) (B,L,D) Luwawa Forest Lodge

Day 3 Cycling tour on the central plateau

Early breakfast then cycle along tracks Northwards through the forest towards Mzuzu. Picnic lunch en route and depending on the group, route, the last section into Mzuzu can be done by vehicle. (65 km, hg: 600 am, of that 40 km on tar & 25 km on gravel road) (B,L,D) Mzuzu Hotel

Day 4 Cycling Mzuzu down to the lake at Chintheche

Ride on the tar road, down the escarpment into the lakeshore and then head south through the Vizara Rubber estate to Chintheche inn. (75KM approx. 5/6hrs riding). Arrive midafternoon. Chintheche Inn stands on the northern shore of Lake Malawi on what is acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful of all the lake’s beaches. With a backdrop of the Viphya mountains and patches of tropical rain forest, the white sandy beaches, broken only by small rocky outcrops, stretch for miles. Accommodation is in ten brightly furnished, en suite rooms, each opening out on to the beach. There is a reception and dining area with a bar, but many take their meals out of doors with dinner served under the stars. There is a delightful swimming pool. The intimate atmosphere of the lodge is reminiscent of a safari camp. Careful attention is paid to guests’ wishes and a variety visits can be organized to explore the locality. There are boats from which to snorkel or dive in the clear warm waters of the lake. (85 km, hg: 650 am, tar) (B,L,D) Chintheche Inn

Day 5 Cycling Mbobo – Ntchisi Forest Lodge

Drive towards Kasungu via Nkhotakota . At the Ntchisi junction, cycle to the forest. Ntchisi Forest Lodge is located in some of Malawi’s last remaining rainforest in an isolated spot just two hours from Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital. The family-run lodge boasts stunning views over the hills down to Lake Malawi and all the way to the mountains of Mozambique on the opposite lakeshore. Guests at Ntchisi experience the warm-hearted hospitality of a part of rural Malawi where tourists are still a rarity and can enjoy walking and mountain biking in beautiful scenery. Rare birds and colourful orchids are abundant and samango monkeys, hyenas and baboons are regularly seen near the lodge. After a hard day’s exploring in the rainforest, the friendly hosts will prepare a delicious dinner using vegetables, herbs and fruits freshly plucked from the lodge garden. The lodge itself is a historical colonial building dating from 1914 (making it one of Malawi’s oldest buildings) so it is ideal for cozy evenings relaxing by a roaring log fire and soaking up the old-world charm. All five bedrooms are en suite and beautifully furnished in a fusion of African and colonial styles. A stay at Ntchisi Forest Lodge will be a highlight of any Malawi tour. (40 km, hg: 600 am, gravel road) (B,L,D) Ntchisi Forest Lodge

Day 6 Ntchisi Forest Lodge – Lake Malawi

On this morning, after an early breakfast, cycle down the escarpment again on a dirt road, then when you reach the main tarmac road, transfer by vehicle to Senga Bay to Sunbird Livingstonia Beach. This hotel stands on a one kilometer long, broad private beach known as the Grand Beach. It is one of the best-known hotels in the Malawi, set in immaculately kept gardens of bougainvillea and scented frangipani. The hotel’s stunningly beautiful setting has direct access to the beach. The buildings retain much of their original ‘colonial’ charm with the addition of rondavels. There is a total of 29 en suite rooms plus three family units. Rooms are furnished and decorated in local materials and have television with tea and coffee making facilities. Fish from the lake, including the delicious chambo, are available in the restaurant which is set high above the gardens and overlooking the lake. There’s a swimming pool, tennis court and a comprehensive range of water sports facilities. Visits to places of interest such as the Bird Island, and to crocodile and tropical fish farms can be arranged. Sunbird Livingstonia Beach has all that can be expected of a luxury lakeside hotel. (45 km, hg 400 am, gravel road) (B,L,D) Sunbird Livingstonia Beach Hotel

Day 7 Rest Day

A relaxing morning spent on the beach, a variety of activities can be done at the hotel including swimming, hiking, cycling around the area and other activities at the guest’s costs can be done. Lunch is at the guests cost and staying on a dinner, bed and breakfast basis. For active cyclists, there is an opportunity to cycle to Kuti Game ranch, with a ride in the game park, lunch in the park, then cycle back to the hotel. (20 km, hg:50 am, tar) (B,D)

Day 8 Kuchilipa – Cape Maclear

Road transfer then some 60km from Cape Maclear, cycle along a back road to Cape Maclear. Cape Mac Lodge is sited in the Lake Malawi National Park on the shore of Cape Maclear. Set in its own private gardens, complete with plunge pool, the lodge offers a high standard of accommodation in its architect-designed thatched buildings. There is a total of twelve well-equipped rooms including two family rooms, for two adults and two children, and another which sleeps three guests; all are en Suite, and each has a patio. Rooms have safes and air conditioning and facilities for making tea & coffee. The stunning views are towards the lake’s islands. The attractive restaurant offers a touch of French cuisine with a choice of dishes and fresh fish from the lake often on the menu. A spacious bar is open to guests. Lake activities include Hobie-cat sailing, snorkeling, lake charters, table tennis, volleyball and there is a Jacuzzi. The bar has satellite TV. Two nights will be spent here. (20 km, hg:200 am, gravel road) (B,L,D) Cape Mac Lodge

Day 9 Rest Day

The day spent relaxing at the beach, taking part in what the area has to offer, including village tours, swimming, relaxing and hiking, it is ideal should cyclists wish to cycle around the area. There is a charming route to Monkey Bay. One could have lunch there and cycle back to the hotel. (42 km, hg: 470 am, tar/gravel road) (B,D)

Day 10 Cycle tour Mangochi – Liwonde Nationalpark

An early morning breakfast and a road transfer again, before guests start the cycle to Mvuu Camp. Arrival is just after lunch. Mvuu Camp is sited on the banks of the Shire river and has spacious 7 X twin and 5 X family chalets for a maximum of 34 guests. There’s a restaurant, a camping site, children’s playground and large swimming pool. Game viewing is available in safari 4×4 vehicles, on foot or a boat safari. The river safaris are a wonderful way of viewing the exceptionally large schools of hippo that live in the Shire and of seeing the great herds of elephant which come to drink and bathe. The unspoilt nature on Liwonde National Park is one of its great attractions. There is a great range of wildlife to see including rare black rhino and some really large crocodiles in the river. For birdwatchers, Liwonde is a ‘must visit’ game park. Over 400 species have been recorded. A packed lunch will be served en route. On arrival at Mvuu, swop the mode of transport onto a 4×4 vehicle for a game drive. (60 km, hg 50 am, 45 km on tar & 15 km on gravel road) (B,L,D) Mvuu-Camp

Day 11 Game drives in the Liwonde National Park

Early morning starts with a game drive or boat safari, returning 3 to 4 hrs. later. After the game drive, a brunch will be served at the camp and the guests have the opportunity to spend the afternoon relaxing until an afternoon tea and an afternoon/evening game drive or boat safari. A fantastic opportunity to see some of Malawi’s nocturnal animals. With a sundowner in pristine wilderness, the guests will return to the lodge to have dinner.

Day 12 Cycle tour Liwonde – Zomba Plateau

After breakfast, a short road transfer and the cyclists continue to Zomba town. A visit to the local market is recommended, before heading up 1000m to the plateau and overnight hotel. Sunbird Ku Chawe enjoys one of the most amazing sites of any hotel in Africa. Set on the very edge of the great Zomba Plateau, a table-top mountain of 6000 ft./2000 m rising above the old capital of Malawi, Zomba town, it has its own micro-climate and a huge biodiversity. Ku Chawe is imaginatively designed, built with handmade bricks incorporating fine arches throughout the public areas. Neat gardens spill down the mountain side. There are 40 large bedrooms, all en suite, in three categories. All have satellite television and all, but the standard rooms have fireplaces for log fires on the cooler evenings. There’s an impressive restaurant, a bar and a terrace with stunning views. Guests can fish for trout in the nearby dam, go horse riding or tour the forested wilderness which is part of the extraordinary beauty of the plateau. (50 km, hg: 610 am, tar/gravel road or 60 km, hg: 1330 am, tar/gravel road) (F,M,A) Sunbird Ku Chawe Hotel

Day 13 Cycle tour Zomba Plateau – Game Haven Lodge

After breakfast, the journey continues with the transfer / cycle to Game Haven Lodge. Game Haven is a serene, beautiful game park and lodge is set in the indigenous forests and grasslands of the Shire highlands of Southern Malawi. Experience exceptional viewing of the wildlife which include kudu, roan, eland, sable, giraffe, zebra, and a prolific birdlife. Enjoy in this tranquil setting our 5 private cottages with a fireplace that warms the spacious lounge and leads onto the verandah with exceptional views. There is also a choice of 20 rustic en suite rooms. As part of the unique Game Haven experience, enjoy the internationally designed Matkovich & Hayes 9-hole golf course, beautiful but challenging; The relaxing sound of the cascading waterfall at the swimming pool and fishing and braaing (barbecue) on the scenic lawns of Lake Bvumbwe. (87 km, hg: 870 am, tar) (B,L,D) Game Haven Lodge

Day 14 Cycle Tour Game Haven Lodge – Mulantje

The day spent exploring the area. A recommended cycling route is towards Mulanje mountain. For those wishing to relax, there are walks around lodges grounds and golf course, a visit to the next-door tea estate is also a worthwhile experience. Return to the lodge in the afternoon. (67 km, hg 210 am, tar) (B,D)

Day 15 Home journey

Today it’s only a 2-hr. transfer to Blantyre airport in time for your return flight and the end of your journey. (B)

Accommodation subject to availability

Services

Services included:

• All transfers and back up in mini bus
• Transport of bikes and luggagge
• English speaking bike guide
• Accommodation as mentioned above
• Meals: 14 x breakfast, 11 x picnic lunch/lunch, 13 x dinner
• Water, fruit, energy bars during bike rides
MTB 27/30 speed hardtail

Not included:

• Visa for Malawi US$ 75.00 issued on arrival
• Drinks
• Flights
• Tips

Hints

There is a certain risk of malaria in the country. Please take the necessary precautions. There are Mosquito net and spray available at all accommodation.

Trip at google maps

Categorization
Level of fitness  
Grading of accommodation  

Group size

4 - 10 Participants
Terms & Conditions
Dates and rates
Booking code: RHM
19.09.19 - 03.10.19 USD 4470 book

Discount

  • 3% discount on bookings made 6 months prior to departure subject to minimum group size
  • 5% discount on all land packages for returning guests subject to minimum group size
Extra services
Single room surcharge 2019 USD 680