Visiting Malawi and Zambia With Kids

Last updated 26th July 2022

Taking the family on safari can seem like a daunting task. But family holidays should be fun, not stressful, so we have found the perfect solution. Why not head to Malawi? The locals are extremely welcoming and friendly, the country is one of the safest on the continent and there is plenty to do and see. In addition to your time in Malawi, you can extend your trip for an incredible safari in Zambia. Here are some of the adventures for the kids in Malawi and Zambia.[dividder]

Photo by M.Torres

The Lake

What child doesn’t love to be by the sea? Well, in Malawi it gets even better, with sandy white beaches and crystal-clear water it has all the benefits of the seaside without the salt. Build sandcastles, swim in the water and play football on the beach. For those feeling adventurous, pop on a snorkeling mask and see all the colorful fish in the lake, rent a kayak or paddle board and explore the waters.

Places to try: Head to Mumbo Island near Cape Maclear. The island has no electricity or Wi-Fi so you can get back to nature on your own private island. Go for adventures around its rock outcrops and explore the turquoise waters. With kayaking and snorkeling included in the price, you can enjoy exploring the lake with your loved ones.

Mount Mulanje

Depending on the fitness and ages of your kids, you may wish to take them on a mountain adventure. With beautiful landscapes and stunning waterfalls, enjoy the three-night hike staying in rustic wooden cabins. Your meals are cooked for you, so you only need to carry a small bag of personal items and water. Complete the rewarding challenge with the family and make memories for a lifetime.

If the mountain seems a bit challenging, try Zomba Plateau. Here you can partake in a range of activities including walking, trekking, cycling, mountain biking, fishing and horseback riding. The plateau top is crisscrossed by streams and there are tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. The views from the top were described in colonial times as “the best in the British Empire,” so it is well worth the hike to the top. If you don’t feel like hiking, there are a number of drivable tracks to the peak. The plateau also has a variety of wildlife, from baboons to giant butterflies.

Places to try: If a home away from home sounds good to you, try Zomba Cottage, just five minutes from the Zomba dam and the horse stables. It comes with its own staff member to help make it a relaxing and stress-free trip.

Get Involved with the Community

Malawians are well known for being some of the friendliest and happiest people in the world. Let us set you up with a local community; learn how they live, get involved in a school day, play a game of football, explore the local markets and enjoy traditional cuisine. One of Malawi’s biggest exports is tea. Enjoy the beautiful rolling hills of Satemwa, where you can stroll through the fields, mountain bike in the surrounding mountains or simply enjoy a cup of relaxing tea. Taste some of the 20 varieties of tea on offer, then buy your favorite in the shop.

Places to try: Stay at Huntingdon House and enjoy a flashback in time to what used to be the founder’s family home. Enjoy a refreshing Gin & Tea or a MoTeato (for mom and dad) on the picnic spot with an incredible view down to the Shire River and up to Mulanje Mountain. Indulge in a delicious three-course dinner using mostly ingredients grown in the garden behind the lodge. Or simply explore the gardens and library of this old colonial house with a spot of tea and cake!

Safari in Malawi

Malawi is one of Africa’s great conservation success stories. Having lost most of their wildlife to poaching and commercial hunting, they have turned themselves around, from reintroducing the Big 5 to Majete to the recent reintroduction of cheetah to Liwonde and the move of 500 elephants to Nkhotakota. With more plans to get the rest of the cats (lions and leopards) into Liwonde in early 2018, the wildlife is positively thriving. Why not experience this firsthand and teach your kids the importance of looking after our planet.


Places to try: Mvuu Lodge has some stunning family chalets with private balconies overlooking the floodplain and the Shire River. You could quite easily spend most of your time here watching as hippos, warthogs and antelope “mow the lawn,” baboons root for seeds and roots, mongoose dig for insects and elephants come down to drink in the river. If you want to head out, you can enjoy game walks, drives and the incredible boating trips where you can get up close to pods of hippos, spy on crocodiles basking in the sun or watch as elephants come to drink and bathe in the water. If you are really lucky, you might spot a newly released cheetah.

Safari in Zambia

The South Luangwa is well known for its prolific wildlife and walking safaris. To walk, kids must be over 12, however there are companies that offer special bush walks for kids, where they can learn to track and recognize animal footprints and the different types of spoor.

Places to try: Robin’s House accepts children from all ages. With an onsite hostess who will be there to help look after the kids, why not let them sleep in in the mornings while you go out for an early drive. The kids can help bake afternoon cookies, play in the pool, play games, make papier mache animals or take a short bush walk to see what animals are visiting the house. Then in the afternoon, you can all head out on drive together to see the animals in South Luangwa.

To play a family vacation to Malawai and Zambia, visit Malawian Style.