Non-priority projects in Malawi Tourism Development Master Plan

The Malawi Ministry of Tourism has developed a 20-year 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. The plan highlights 10 priority projects, which are listed here. This article lists a limited selection of the other non-priority accommodation, cultural, excursion and medical opportunities.

Tourism opportunities around Lake Malawi

Lake facilities and activities

Luxury Lodges on islands in Nkhata Bay, Likoma and Mangochi: Upmarket facilities which offer personal service and exclusivity. The islands will provide activities or take visitors to other destinations on the islands.

Mid-market resorts on the Islands in Nkhata Bay, Likoma and Mangochi: Affordable accommodation on the islands aimed at families and young travellers. The resorts will offer activities, pools, family bars and water sporting activities.

Public beach facilities in Senga Bay, Salima and in Monkey Bay, Mangochi: Ablutions, change rooms, open-air stalls and fast-food outlets for day visitors at public swimming beaches.

Houseboats in Chia Lagoon, Nkhotakota and Mangochi: Houseboats on Lake Malawi that provide opportunities for fishing and birding excursions.

Mid-market resort at Denbo River estuary, Chiweta: Resort with private beach and sports facilities around the river.

Lodging and Conferencing facilities

Ecolodge in Usisya, Misuku Hills and in the Thuma Forest Reserve: Small ecolodges that allow interaction with local people.

New Conference Lodge at Thazima, Nyika Nationa Park and on Lake Malombe, Mangochi: Upmarket and mid-market lodge and conference centre respectively offering delegates and spouses an opportunity to break from city life.

New Game Lodges in Kasungu National Park (near Kangwa) and in Liwonde National Park: Traditional “game lodge” products consisting of free-standing chalets linked to the central dining- and-entertainment area.

Upgrading of the Hiking Huts on Mount Mulanje: Upgrade huts and provide additional amenities to meet the expected growth in visitor numbers and today’s market needs.

Excursion activities in Malawi

Camping and excursions

Plantation Excursions in Vizara, Kavuzi, Limpasa and Thyolo: Packaging daily excursions into tea, sugar, and rubber tree plantations. Existing plantation houses can be used for restaurants and lounges, while others might be converted to self-catering overnight accommodation.

Overlander campsites on the outskirts of Mzuzu, on the North Rukuru river, north-western Karonga and various locations in Salima: Facilities to put up tents and space to park and manoeuvre a 10-ton truck. Covered facilities to prepare meals and dine, and ablutions.

Basecamp for hikers and mountain bikers in the Ntchisi Forest Reserve and Nkhoma Mountain Tourism Centre & Trails: Provide an affordable facility where hikers and bikers start their outings to surrounding areas offering natural beauty and cultural interests.

Nature walks in Chilundu Point, Nkhata Bay and hiking trails into the Fort Lister area of Mulanje Mountain: Base camps providing small cafeterias, public ablutions, and other facilities.

Cultural tourism opportunities

Cultural projects

Purpose-Built Archival Building, Village Museum, and Antiquities Research and Art Centre in Lilongwe: The infrastructure will play a major role in the preservation of the cultural, natural, and documentary heritage of Malawi. It will enhance research, preservation, presentation, and promotion of Malawi’s heritage through displays, performances, exhibitions, and provision of proper storage and retrieval conditions. It will also enhance and promote cultural tourism, while encouraging creativity by providing the means of producing and marketing authentic Malawian cultural material, in line with the Buy Malawi Strategy.

Upgrade the Karonga Cultural and Museum Centre: Enhancing the Malawisaurus dinosaur displays (even adding intuitive audio-visual material) and cultural activities, which could be accommodated in more traditional Malawian facilities on the same premises.

Slave Trade Museum in Mwahimba Village, Karonga and Fort Mangochi Museum, near Mangochi: Renovate an old building in the Mwahimba village as a museum to tell stories of the horrors of the slave trade. Create a themed Visitors Centre in Mangochi, including the old Fort, built-in 1895, and recreate old slave routes in the area.

Development of the Dr Livingstone Information Centre as part of the Malawi Slave Trade Heritage Route in Nkhotakota: Development of an Information Centre containing a museum and library supported by public amenities. The Centre will tell Dr David Livingstone’s story as well as that of the Slave Trade, which he was instrumental in dismantling.

Information service opportunities in Malawi

Outdoor activities

Visitor Information Centres and Entrance Gates at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Dzalanyama Forest Reserve, Lake Malawi National Park, Chongoni Rock Art Site, Lake Kaulime and Mulunguzi Dam: Well-designed and equipped Entrance Gate and Visitors Centre. The facilities would have a reception area where entrance fees are paid and information handed to visitors including public toilets.

Recreation Park, Mzuzu: A Recreation Park, which also serves as a Tourism Information Centre, offering various indoor- and outdoor activities, a choice of eateries, childcare facilities and activity desks selling destinations in the Northern Region.

Shire River Waterfront Development in Zalewa: A Waterfront Development on the river with water activities, birding and fishing trips upstream and white-water rafting or canoeing downstream. Decks with floating platforms will connect the river to the facilities comprising retail and refreshment amenities.

Catering opportunities

New Mountain Inn & Campsite, Cafeteria and Viewpoint in the Dzalanyama Rain Forest: A mid-market Mountain Inn, located in the Mchinji part of the Forest Reserve. A campsite with 20 stands and shared ablution facilities will be part of the development. A small cafeteria to provide snacks and light meals to people seated in a 30-seat dining area overlooking the forest.

Traditional Seafood Restaurant in Chembe Village: A 50-seat+ rustic restaurant on Chembe beach. Guests can be taken on short fishing trips to show them where the food comes from.

Medical project

New Medical Retreat in Zomba: A 100-bed medical retreat for patients needing fresh air, quietness and healthy exercise with indoor activities, and excursions into Zomba city.


The full 340-page master plan is available for download here.

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