On Safari in Malawi


Nowadays, many of the classic safari areas — places like the Maasai Mara in Kenya, the Serengeti in Tanzania and South Africa’s Kruger National Park — often see excessive numbers of visitors and vehicles. So people who remember the wild and empty Africa of 40 years ago tend increasingly to range farther afield. The country that is currently of particular interest to safari aficionados is Malawi. Once denuded of wildlife, its reserves have been restored and replenished by African Parks, a remarkably effective nonprofit based in Johannesburg, which today looks after 16 protected areas in nine African countries.

This has attracted the attention of Robin Pope Safaris, an admirable 35-year-old company based in Zambia. It now manages the luxurious eight-chalet Mkulumadzi lodge in the 270-square-mile Majete Wildlife Reserve, which contains the Big Five game animals, including a small population of black rhino. And in Liwonde National Park, a four-hour drive to the northeast, it operates Kuthengo Camp, which comprises just four spacious and comfortable tents. Malawi will appeal to travelers for whom the feeling of being immersed in untrammeled wilderness is integral to the safari experience.

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