Malawi, the 'Warm Heart of Africa', is a fantastic tourist destination. It offers incredible scenery and wildlife, beautiful beaches on Lake Malawi, and perhaps the most friendly welcome you'll get anywhere in Africa!
The tourism industry in Malawi is in a period of continued growth, with new luxury hotels and resorts, established and growing game reserves, and an increasing network of good quality roads.
Malawi is now home to The Big Five (Elephant, Rhino, Lion, Buffalo and Hippo) and has nine national parks and wildlife reserves. Whenever or however Malawi is described, it nearly always comes with the subtitle of 'The Warm Heart of Africa'. Wildlife, lake, and landscape are key features Malawi has to offer but, most importantly, Malawi is safe and welcoming, home to some of the most friendly people in the world. Malawi offers a rich, genuine, cultural experience that gives visitors a feel of the real Africa.
Tourism for Malawi already provides income for thousands of families. A recent survey by Wildneress Safari showed that over 1,500 individuals benefit from the income paid to the 150 Malawians employed by the company. This is just a small example and doesn't include the community projects, charity work, volunteering projects and long terms community development initiatives, but quite clearly proves that as tourism grows, the rewards could be exponential for the country as a whole.
Tourism for development
Tourism offers Malawi an opportunity to support the sustainable development of the local economy. It brings in much needed foreign currency, offers local employment and ensures the future of conservation of Malawi's National Parks and fragile ecosystems such as Lake Malawi.
Scottish links with Malawian NGO's and CBO's provide a key lifeline for these local organisations, enabling them to access skills to enable capacity building, external funding, links to international organisations and the support to continue the work they are doing.
Through initiatives such as eco-tourism, local communities can be a part of the tourism industry: however, the success of initiatives such as homestays, village visits, school linking and cultural exchange programmes are all reliant on sustained visitor numbers and supporting local Malawian operators who are working hand in hand to promote ecotourism in Malawi.
As a small land-locked country, Malawi's economy is constrained by its trade deficit: it imports more than it exports. No amount of aid will solve this problem but increasing revenues from sustainable tourism can make a huge difference. For this reason, the SMP is active promoting Malawi as a world-class tourist destination and we encourage all our members to encourage friends and family to visit Malawi.