Malawi has once again been basking in the glory of some exceptional media coverage, this time with extensive features in two of the top travel magazines in Germany. These articles come courtesy of experienced German travel journalist and photographer Helge Bendl who enjoyed a comprehensive tour of Malawi in the second half of 2022.
Helge has such an affinity with and passion for southern Africa that he has his own 4×4 vehicle based in the region, which he used to explore the Warm Heart of Africa across a 5 week period in October and November last year. He travelled from the far north to the far south of the country, sampling the huge variety that can be experienced in Malawi, visiting highlands, islands, game parks, the lakeshore, villages and mountains. He even managed time for a kayaking expedition to the islands of the Lake Malawi National Park and a multi-day hiking trip to the peaks of the Mount Mulanje Massif, which touch 10,000ft/3000m. In between times, he was able to see for himself the transformation of Malawi’s safari experiences as a result of the conservation work of African Parks in all three of the reserves they now manage – Liwonde, Majete and Nkhotakota.
Helge’s first article was a beautiful 12-page feature in the first edition in 2023 of the quarterly Süd-Afrika Magazin. Süd-Afrika Magazin is the only travel magazine in Germany dedicated to that region and each edition is read by over 100,000 Africa-enthusiasts. Accompanied by his own wonderful photography, this piece focussed on the southern part of Malawi.
It showcased the variety found within just that region, covering the culturally rich Mua Mission and the scenically beautiful Mount Mulanje: “Malawi not only offers exciting insights into the traditions of the Bantu people ….. its location in the Great African Rift Valley guarantees spectacular scenery”; as well as following the exciting wildlife story of Majete and Liwonde, and touching on the charms of Lake Malawi: “Between the brightly polished granite rocks there are small sandy bays with crystal-clear water. In the evening, the sun colours the lake fire-red, before the fishermen’s lamps in their dug-outs sparkle as if fireflies were buzzing over the water. You think you are somewhere in the Indian Ocean – and yet you are in the middle of Africa.”
For his second article, Helge gave a Malawi overview, this time published in Reise & Preise. This is the top travel magazine in Germany, boasting the highest circulation figures, and known for its high quality and now also its comprehensive website. Also quarterly, the Malawi article appeared in the second edition in 2023.
Given the broader coverage, this feature managed to include the likes of Nyika National Park and Likoma Island in the north of the country. With some stunning images and a detailed fact page, it’s proving a very helpful starting point for travellers interested in learning about Malawi as a destination. Helge gives plenty of useful guidance including: “Because the country is comparatively compact, it is well suited for a self-drive tour. It helps that “The warm heart of Africa” is more than just a marketing slogan: everyone is very friendly here!”
With ever increasing flights to the country re-starting, and moves to waive visas for a number of nationalities, Malawi is certainly ready to welcome visitors from Germany and around the world who will have been inspired by Helge’s words and images. And Helge himself is, of course, very welcome back anytime!
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