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The best time to visit Malawi

Three small masted boats unfurl their sales on the shores of Lake Malawi

Small and land-locked Malawi is loaded with diverse game parks, lively cities, varied topography, and a stunning lake that packs a punch no matter what time of year you visit.

The country has two distinct seasons: wet and hot (November to April), plus cool and dry (May to October). The best time to is dependent on what you want to do and see, but there’s plenty on offer all year round. Here’s our guide on when to visit Malawi. 

Peak season isn’t just for watching wildlife – these months also offer the perfect weather for sailing Lake Malawi © / 500px

June to October is the best time for wildlife watching

The winter months of June, July, and August bring bright sunshine, lush landscapes, and lower temperatures. Pack a jacket for chilly night drives in game parks and frosty mornings around the campfire. June is a good month for spotting elephants and large flocks of lovebirds in Liwonde National Park. With clear sunny days and lower temperatures, it’s ideal for tourists who want to skip the heat. However, nights and mornings can reach a chilly 30ºF (-1ºC) in the highlands.

Crocodile mating season is in July and the last gasp of winter brings windy, cooler conditions to Lake Malawi that make for excellent sailing. Spring starts in August and warmer days mean mid-day temperatures that hover around 80ºF (27ºC) and nights around 50ºF (10ºC). Come September and October, temperatures rise, the land dries out and wildlife-watching opportunities abound as hippos, elephants and water birds cluster around water sources. After a few days in the arid bush, refresh on the shores of Lake Malawi by sailing, snorkeling or just sipping a cocktail on the beach.

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Groups of yellow baboons, zebras and guinea fowl sharing a watering hole in Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi
As the dry season sets in, animals congregate by watering holes, making for memorable photo safaris © mhenrion / Shutterstock

April to May is the best time to visit for budget travelers and budding photographers 

In April and May, the rains have slowed down, making travel within wilderness areas easier. Photographers keen to capture Malawi’s big skies and vibrant shades of green will find plenty of places to shoot, from the coffee and tea estates of the Shire Highlands to Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve

In April, male antelopes clash in the national parks as the rutting season gears up. The lodges around Lake Malawi start to reopen, and the humidity drops….

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