Somehow, safe, scenic Malawi has fallen under the African travel radar. Nearly a third of the country is covered by the stunning Lake Malawi, where you’ll find the rare Thyolo Alethe bird soaring above and tasty chambo fish proliferating the water. Though Lake Malawi may be the country’s iconic national image, it’s far from the only spectacular sight.

You can also hike among towering Mulanje Cypress trees to the top of Mulanje Mountain, where Sapitwa Peak stands as the highest point in South Central Africa. You can also visit one of nine national parks full of buffalo, hippos, and leopards. The countryside is dotted with tea plantations as well, and you can easily spend a day cruising the Satemwa, Lauderdale, and Esperanza estates and tasting the local terroir.