Malawi is in the process of rebranding itself as a Big Five safari destination, expanding its marketed tourism offering beyond Lake Malawi.
Increased conservation efforts, including the introduction of more lions and cheetahs, as well as the dispersion of 500 elephants across the three major national parks – Majete, Nyika and Liwonde – are increasing the country’s status as a Big Five safari destination. “Majete National Park was almost completely poached, then the government signed a partnership with African Parks and we have been systematically introducing animals again. We now have over 2 500 animals. The other parks have also seen animals being brought in, building on the country’s Big Five status – lions were brought to Liwonde National Park in February, and 30 elephants were brought to Nyika National Park,” says Director of Tourism of the Malawi Department of Tourism, Isaac Dalton Katopola.
“Lake Malawi is a World Heritage Site and is the only lake in the world where tourists can see cichlids, brightly coloured freshwater fish,” says Katopola. “Lake Malawi has long been known as ‘Africa’s inland sea’, stretching 365 miles long and 52 miles wide. But we are more than a ‘beach’ destination, and are building our tourism brand to include the country in visitors’ itineraries as a Big Five safari destination as well. We have the animals, the biodiversity, the scenery – including bird safaris for avid bird watchers. We’ve got a little bit of everything.”