Rough Guides has listed Malawi as number three among the top 18 countries to visit in the world this year and number one in Africa.
Rough Guides is a travel guide book and reference publisher, owned by APA Publications. Its travel titles cover more than 200 destinations and has its headquarters in London, the United Kingdom.
Topping the list is England’s Newcastle while on second position is Civil Rights Trail, USA.
Africa is represented by four countries on the list, with Malawi as number one, followed by Sierra Leone [number 10], South Africa  and Tunisia on position 17.
Cosmopolitans, another travel guide, has also listed Malawi among the top 15 holiday destinations to visit in 2018.
Department of Tourism Director, Isaac Katopola, said the development is good news for the country.
“This is wonderful news for Malawi tourism as it offers a great public relations opportunity that will enhance the awareness and visibility of Malawi as a tourist destination.
“Malawi tourism continues to gain international recognition and this can be attributed to the diverse product offering, including Lake Malawi and its islands, rich cultural heritage, pictures que scenery and, now, a new Big Five destination,” he said.
Katopola said the international recognition follows extensive conservation drives that have boosted wildlife to attract more tourist flows into the country.
“This initiative has seen the world’s biggest translocation of 500 elephants from Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve to Nkhotakota Reserve as well as Nyika National Park. The restocking exercise has also seen the re-introduction of the cheetah,” he said.
According to Rough Guides, Malawi is fast gaining a reputation as a fabulous safari destination.
The travel guide notes that the running of Majete, Liwonde and Nkhotakota by conservation organisation, African Parks, has helped to regenerate the national parks.
“Today, Majete is home to all of the Big Five (elephant, buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard), which roam its lush rolling hills and revering landscapes. The year 2017 saw Liwonde welcome cheetah as new residents to its game-rich plains dominated by the beautiful Shire River snaking its way through the park. More predators, including lions, are due in 2018.
“As well as having superb lake, landscape, culture and, now, wildlife experiences, Malawi is warm and welcoming and still untouched and unspoilt by mass tourism, offering the ideal opportunity to experience the real Africa. This Rough Guides accolade confirms Malawi’s emergence as one of Africa’s ‘hottest’ and most complete destinations,” the travel guide said.
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