For a small country, Malawi has a quite remarkable array of activities to offer its visitors. The magnificent Lake Malawi is a haven for boat activities and water-sports, as well as having some of the best freshwater diving sites in the world, right in Nkhata Bay. Eight land-based national parks and wildlife reserves offer all type of safaris in a wide variety of natural wilderness environments. Liwonde National Park, along the Shire River, has hippos including an albino one!, crocodiles, lions, elephants and even leopards apparently. The mixed terrain and varied landscapes also provide for excellent outdoor activities, including trekking and mountain biking, particularly in the highland areas. Those seeking cultural experiences are also well served by sites of historical interest and simple village visits to meet the ever-smiling Malawians in their daily life. You can visit the Carlsberg factory in Blantyre, climb Mt. Mulanje a series of high hills, mountains - making a good trek, drive up or climb Zomba Plateau, go horseback riding in Kande or Nyika, or just relax on the beaches of Cape Maclear.
Specialist tours/activities include yoga holidays, tea factory tours and art safaris. Pottery classes are available at two centres in Dedza and Nkhotakota. In the summer months of Malawi September/October there is the Lake of Stars international music festival on the beaches of Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi. 2011's festival included Foals, Freshlyground, The Black Missionnaries, Lucius Banda, Beverley Knight and Chris Baio from Vampire Weekend. 2010's festival included The Noisettes, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly. and Oliver Mtukudzi. This is a good festival, where you can relax in the sun on the beach having a few drinks and listening to some good music. Camping is the prominent form of accommodation, however many people do chose to stay in Sunbird Nkopola rooms themselves, or in rooms or cottages of nearby lodges.
Malawi's largest tertiary education structure at present is the University of Malawi which is made up of Chancellor College located in the heart of Zomba, Blantyre Polytechnic in Chichiri and College of Medicine. Bunda College of Agriculture and Kamuzu College of Nursing are located in Lilongwe. There is also Mzuzu University in the Northern part of Malawi.