Malawi ups its game as a tourist destination
President of Malawi, Peter Mutharika, recently announced the there are plans to construct a new international airport in Mangochi.
Mr. Mutharika stated that there has been pleasing progress with regards to expanding and rehabilitating the Chileka and Kamuzu International Airports. The aim of the government is to transform transport via air in the country. The negotiations with investors for the new airport, near Lake Malawi, are looking positive and will be greatly beneficial to the country if successful. It is expected that the new airport will attract high standard hotels to the area and rejuvenate tourism around Lake Malawi.
"The time has come to transform this country, and that is what we are doing." says Mr. Mutharika.
Lake Malawi is a well known World Heritage Site and this spectacle of a lake is often know as Africa's inland ocean. This lake, which is roughly 80km wide and 580km long, is the only lake in the world where brightly colored fresh water fish, cichlids, can be found.
Malawi is also repositioning itself as a 'Big 5' destination, and intends to offer even more than Lake Malawi as a tourist attraction.
The country has significantly increased it's game population through conservation efforts, which includes the introduction of big cats such as cheetahs and lions. Approximately 500 elephants have also been dispersed across three major parks in the country, namely Majete, Nyika and Liwonde, which has helped in increasing the country's Big 5 status.
Isaac Katopola, Director of Tourism of the Malawi Department of Tourism, had the following to say:
“Majete National Park was almost completely poached, then the government signed a partnership with African Parks and we have been systematically introducing animals again. We now have over 2 500 animals.
The other parks have also seen animals being brought in, building on the country’s Big Five status – lions were brought to Liwonde National Park in February, and 30 elephants were brought to Nyika National Park.
We have the animals, the biodiversity, the scenery – including bird safaris for avid bird watchers. We’ve got a little bit of everything.”