Malawi offers a surprising range of things to offer its tourists for such a tiny nation. The beautiful Lake Malawi is a paradise for boating and watersports, and Nkhata Bay is home to some of the finest freshwater diving locations in the world. Eight land-based national parks and animal reserves provide a diverse range of safari experiences in natural wilderness settings. Along the Shire River, Liwonde National Park is home to hippos (including an albino one! ), crocodiles, lions, elephants, and even leopards (apparently). The diverse topography and sceneries, especially in the highlands, provide for great outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain riding. Sites of historical significance and simple hamlet excursions to meet the ever-smiling Malawians in their everyday lives are also excellent options for those seeking cultural experiences. You may go horseback riding in Kande or Nyika, visit the Carlsberg brewery in Blantyre, climb Mt. Mulanje (a series of high hills and mountains that make for an excellent trip), drive up or climb the Zomba Plateau, or just rest on the beaches of Cape Maclear.
Yoga vacations, tea factory excursions, and art safaris are just a few of the specialty trips and activities available. Pottery courses are offered in two locations: Dedza and Nkhotakota. The Lake of Stars international music festival takes place on the beaches of Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi during the summer months of Malawi (September/October). Foals, Freshlyground, The Black Missionnaries, Lucius Banda, Beverley Knight, and Chris Baio from Vampire Weekend performed at the 2011 event. The Noisettes and Get Cape were among the performers during the 2010 event. Put on your cape. Oliver Mtukudzi and Fly. This is a fun event where you can soak up the sun on the beach while sipping cocktails and listening to live music. Although camping is the most popular kind of lodging, many visitors choose to stay in Sunbird Nkopola rooms or adjacent lodge rooms or cottages.