Malawi tourism 2022 at a glance
Best in Travel 2022
2022 has generally been a good year for Malawi tourism with a few setbacks. A summary of developments in tourism, travel, arts and culture.
Early in the year, Malawi was ranked “Best in Travel 2022” by Lonely Planet. No better way to kick off the new year!
Tourism development master plan launch
In April the Ministry of Tourism, with support from the Africa Development Bank, developed a 20-year Malawi Tourism Development Master Plan. The plan identifies 103 tourism and infrastructure projects, the implementation of which will lead to the promotion and growth of the tourism sector in Malawi. This will in turn result in economic growth and job creation. President Lazarus Chakwera officially launched the master plan.
The Department of Tourism attended a number of tourism meetings and shows. These included the Meetings Africa 2022 and the Travel Indaba in South Africa and World Travel Market London.
Honourable Dr. Michael Usi, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife led officials from the Department of #Tourism and #industry players at this year's #WTM London.— Malawi Tourism (@TourismMalawi) November 14, 2022
The World Travel Market London that was held in ExCel London from 7th to 9 November, 2022. pic.twitter.com/1to34eiA8I
In June, Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, African Parks and the International Fund for Animal Welfare translocated 250 elephants and other wildlife 350km north from Liwonde National Park to Kasungu National Park. The other wildlife included buffaloes, warthogs and antelopes.
Unfortunately, two bull elephants later escaped from the park and killed two community members and injured one other in separate incidents.
It was traditional festivals galore. Umhlangano wa Maseko Ngoni held their annual cultural festival at Nkolimbo village in Ntcheu district while the M’mbelwa Kingdom held their Umthetho cultural festival at the foot of Hora Mountain. The Chamare festival celebrated the unity of religion and culture at Mua Mission in Dedza.
The Chiwanja Cha Ayao cultural festival was held in Mangochi while the Mulakho wa Alhomwe festival was held in Thyolo.
During the Gonapamuhanya cultural festival held in Rumphi, President Lazarus Chakwera said all cultural festivals from 2023 will be held on National Day of Unity.
Images source: Malawi Tourism
Ministry launches strategic documents
The Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife launched the National Tourism Policy, National Ecotourism Strategy and the Ecotourism and Protected Area Management Investment Strategy on World Tourism Day in September. These strategic documents are aimed at providing a framework, guiding and directing strategic vision for developing the tourism sector that reinforces sustainable contribution to the socio-economic development of Malawi for the next five years.
During the course of the year, we got to learn more about Goshen City, a touristic city being built in Monkey Bay, Mangochi. The first phase of the project will include residential housing units, a five-star hotel and a 5 000 seat convention centre. Future developments include a hospital, a school and a sports stadium among others.
The sponsor of the project, Prophet Shepherd Bushiri, has met various stakeholders including members of the parliamentary Tourism, Trade and Industry Committee to sell his vision of the city. The project sealed agreements with various companies and institutions.
Images source: Goshen City
Liwonde National Park
Liwonde National Park has had mixed fortunes in the past year. African Parks Network, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife and GIZ Malawi worked to reconstruct a new tourist area at the park’s western gate. The reception area includes a space for local artisans, including a group of women who make recycled paper from elephant dung, to sell their crafts.
GIZ has also partnered with Central African Wilderness Safaris through a Public-Private Partnership to erect two solar-powered irrigation schemes for communities that no longer have access to the Shire River.
Earlier this year, Liwonde national park lost one of its rangers Given Gondwe. He was killed by a mob while arresting suspected rhino horn poachers. Later in the year, another ranger from the same park was attacked by poachers during a routine patrol and sustained a deep cut on his hand.
In November, a suspected water poisoning at a waterhole in the same park killed 18 African wild dogs. Some of the killed dogs were among the 14 African wild dogs that were translocated from South Africa and Mozambique to the park in July 2021 in an effort to reintroduce the endangered species to Malawi.
Statistics indicate that the park is losing four wild animals every month to poaching.
New environmental education centre
Recently the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust launched a new Environmental Education Centre in Lilongwe.
🌳 We’re excited to launch our new Environmental Education Centre. Officially opened by the @MinOfEducation today, the Centre will host our new hands-on learning programmes at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.— Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (@malawiwildlife) December 15, 2022
🙏 With thanks to @undpmalawi & @tusk_org for their generous support pic.twitter.com/lnYGvzu2at
Visa waiver for priority source countries
Tourism Minister Micheal Usi announced that effective 1st January 2023, visa fees have been waived for tourists from selected priority markets. The include the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, Belgium, Italy, France, Poland, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Sweden, China, Russia and Canada.
National Arts installation project
Daily shuttles to Likoma island
The Likoma Express is set to launch shuttles from Nkhata Bay to Likoma and Chizumulu Islands in the new year. The 20-seater boat is scheduled to operate daily from January 2023.
Image source: Visit Likoma Island