Malawi Shire River Basin

A Study to Enhance the Potential for Nature-Based Tourism

  • Client: The Government of the Republic of Malawi
  • Partners: The World Bank, Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), Ministry of Agriculture
  • Project Duration: August 2016 – May 2017

Project Overview

The Lake Malawi-Shire River hydrological system characterizes Malawi’s single most important natural resource system. The Shire River provides water for hydropower, agriculture, fisheries, transport, tourism, urban water supply and rural water usage. The overall objective of this program was to develop an integrated tourism strategy for the Shire River Basin that links attractions inside and outside of the major protected areas in the region into packaged routes that increase visitation and support sustainable management of these targeted protected areas. The program also developed practical marketing materials that are used to promote and improve access to information about the region. By strengthening the tourism experience and better promoting the region, tourism can grow, and in doing so contribute to the management of protected areas and improve the economic viability of surrounding communities. Conservation-based tourism also has the potential to increase public appreciation of the region’s protected areas and natural landscapes.

Major Activities

  • Understand the General Tourism Context: gather a comprehensive ‘snapshot’ of tourism assets, opportunities, issues, and other data about tourism in the region through desk research, assessment trip, and interviews both in Malawi and abroad;
  • Create tourism marketing materials and develop circuits: create a Regional Destination Brand and Marketing Strategy, develop website, mobile app, posters, brochures and visitors guide. Create inventory of nature-based tourism attractions in collaboration with Malawian tour operators; and
  • Increase awareness of the region and ensure its long-term success: promote the destination to tour operators and implement marketing training workshops for local stakeholders.


  • A Nature-Based Tourism Technical Report
  • A Brand and Marketing Strategy along with the development and distribution of promotional materials
  • A Final Report with summary of marketing activities and submission and training manuals for the use of all marketing materials developed


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