The ultimate adventure at Lake Malawi

Waves crash against golden sand at the shores of Lake Malawi.

It’s hard to believe we are not by the sea with a water so vast it stretches past the horizon.

We camped in Chitimba for two nights, with the lull of the waves sending us off to sleep as we sprawled across our inflatable roll mats in our sleeping bags.

It’s a mystical place and was the perfect spot to hit the reset button during our 56 day overland adventure from Kenya to South Africa.

Footprints in the sand Chitimba at Lake Malawi
Walking along the shore of Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi offers all the perks of a beach holiday including swimming, snorkelling, volleyball, surfing, sailing and glistening sunrises. Yes!

You can even ride on horse back into the water at Kande Beach.

Our first stop was the beautiful Chitimba and Nyika Plateau in the north.

I highly recommend Chitimba Campsite where you can pitch your tent less than a minutes’ walk from the water and enjoy hot showers, laundry services and a lakeside bar and restaurant.

There are also wooden chalets available for those wanting to upgrade.

Lake Malawi Nkhata Bay campsite

Beautiful campsites at Lake Malawi
Chitimba Campsite Nyika Plateau Lake Malawi

Locals offer wood carving and jewellery making classes, village tours and hiking in the Nyika Mountains – the tallest peaks in Malawi.

We opted for the latter which was no small challenge.

Our guide Washington led us to the top of the mountain and across the rolling plateau as we scrambled over tree roots and balanced on loose rocks, covering a total 30km.

Lake Malawi mountain hikes Nyika Plateau

Mountain hikes at Lake Malawi
Big smiles at the Nyika Plateau summit, Lake Malawi

I highly recommend the trek for those with some hiking experience and a minimum average fitness level.

The guides set a brisk pace and lead you through steep shortcuts, used by locals for generations.

At the top, you’ll find sweeping views of Lake Malawi. There is also a hill top cafe, selling local food, which overlooks an impressive waterfall.

Nyika Plateau hikes at Lake Malawi

Waterfalls at the Nyika Plateau Lake Malawi

Waterfalls at the Nyika Plateau Lake Malawi

Waterfalls at the Nyika Plateau Lake Malawi
Waterfalls at the Nyika Plateau Lake Malawi

Traverse the slopes to peer over the falls and go for a swim downstream.

On the full day trek, you’ll  journey deeper into the mountain to Livingstonia.

Founded in 1894, the town was named after David Livingstone – a Scottish missionary who helped to abolish slavery in the area.

Nyika Plateau at Lake Malawi
Hiking the Nyika Plateau at Lake Malawi

Hiking to Livingstonia is not for the faint hearted but should leave you with a huge sense of achievement and a good night’s sleep!

The steep terrain is a mixture of dirt roads, rocks and wild grass and the hike takes around six hours to complete.

Villagers will run up to greet you as you finish your final climb.

In Livingstonia, visit the fascinating Stone House Museum and discover more about the town’s history.

The two-room exhibition is displayed within the former home of Dr Robert Laws himself – who founded Livingstonia.

Entry costs just 1,000 Malawi Kwacha, or $1.50, which is invested into the village ❤

Stone House Museum Livingstonia Lake Malawi
Stone House Museum Livingstonia Lake Malawi

I gained many special memories from Chitimba at Lake Malawi.

The experience far exceeded my expectations and will forever hold a warm place in my heart.

If you have any questions about Chitimba and the Nyika Plateau or Lake Malawi as a whole, don’t hesitate to get in touch or drop your questions in the comments box below.

Laura x

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