This destination alongside giant Lake Malawi is only now opening up for safari, but don't expect the best game sightings, though Majeti does now have the Big 5. But it makes up for this with the dramatic scenery of the Rift Valley, superb birding (palmnut vulture, Bohm's bee-eater, Lilian's lovebird, Livingstone's flycatcher) and up north on the Nyika Plateau, animals adapted to high altitude grassland. Malawi.
Best time: May through October, although October is very hot
Access: Charter from Lilongwe to your lodge (30 mins to 2hrs)
Combine with: Zambian plains

I recommend these camps

Mkulumadzi (8 suites) Be part of this growing conservation success story as the only camp in Malawi’s first Big 5 reserve; great variety of game but sightings not always strong. Dramatic entrance over the river, elegant interiors, good attention to detail. Solar powered. Majete National Park, Malawi. Member of Robin Pope Safaris. Child friendly. $$$.
Chelinda (8 suites) Double story log cabins with fireplaces to keep you warm – it’s high altitude, feeling somewhat Scottish and it gets chilly up there. A remarkably unusual safari experience. Night drives, walking, mountain biking and birding. Nyika Plateau National Park, Malawi. Child friendly. $$$.
Mvuu Wilderness (8 tents-en-suite) Simple but comfortable lodge next to a lagoon has some of Africa’s best birding, but low game density. River cruises, walks, drives. Liwonde National Park, Malawi. Child friendly. $$$.