Malawi is an African success story with a growing economy and relative prosperity. It is also one of the continent's best-kept secrets when it comes to adventure travel. Hiking, wildlife, river cruises, water sports — this tiny country has it all, and a warm and hospitable local population to boot. With great tourist infrastructure and dozens of gorgeous, largely undeveloped locations to explore, Malawi is a great place to discover before the crowds do.

01Hike Mount Mulanje

Tea plantation in southern Malawi with Mount Mulanje in the background. Robert_Ford / Getty Images

Mount Mulanje, near Blantyre and the Mozambique border, is the country's highest mountain. A popular location for trekkers and climbers, it can take up to four days to fully explore and reach the summit, but stunning vistas reward those who persevere. Hire a guide in one of the several villages at the base of the mountain and choose a trailhead. Mulanje Town is a great place to start, and the multiple routes pass through unique eco-systems. This is rugged terrain, with moderately difficult trails and a few technical challenges for experienced climbers.