.......mountains just for you
".... it was little wonder that, after visiting Mulanje, Tolkien had been inspired to write 'The Hobbit'.
Mulanje is a beautiful place ...that is not in doubt, but a place for a few days peaceful rest! .... that is not the first thought that comes to mind with the image of those towering flanks of Mount Mulanje reaching up to into the sky! Sweat, aches and blisters are one's normal associations! Today, Mulanje does offer more than just hiking up into the mountainous heights as there is now the opportunity to also enjoy the many facilities and attractions available around the slopes of the mountain too.
Ease of access to Mulanje has opened up this traditional destination once again to tourism. Gone are the days when a trip to Mulanje challenged when the most rugged four-wheel drives to a tough rutted potholed single lane tar journey involving suicidal chicken-game challenges as oncoming vehicles claimed the middle of the road refusing to venture over the cliff-like verges! |Now there is a selection of very comfortable journeys to make. The most beautiful drive in Malawi is undoubtedly the tea-side drive through Thyolo down to the mountain, with appreciable panoramas to be viewed in all directions. Additionally, the Mdima tarmac road offers a short and sedate sixty kilometre drive direct to Mulanje from Limbe. More recently the ground has also been broken on the construction of a tarmac road from Zomba across the plains to Phalombe and then onwards south around the mountain to Mulanje.
Hiking on the mountain can be complex to organise to those unfamiliar and to resolve this JAMBO AFRICA is happy to assist your enquiries to book mountain huts, mountainside lodges, arrange porters & guides and visits to the local attractions. This service to visitors is to ensure that good planning and organisation makes their stay hassle-free.
So what is there to do?
Those vivid verdant vistas of green tea across Mulanje district represent a historical start to tea planting in Africa with some of the China jatt that was planted out in the early 1880's still being harvested today, now well over 100 years old! An interesting visit to an estate and factory to understand the process to make available our daily cups of tea is possible.
The Mulanje Golf Club is a well organsied sports club welcoming of visitors who wish to enjoy the facilities on a day's outing for a reasonable daily membership rate. The club offers a scenic golf course, tennis, badminton, squash, snooker, table tennis, darts and a swimming pool for the more active, or a reasonable menu and cosy bar lounge for those wishing to relax. Mulanje also has a rich cultural heritage and there are a range of interesting historical sites to visit. Traditional, religious and colonial heritage sites are available.
And then of course there is the mountain to climb....at 3,002 metres above sea level the second highest in southern Africa. Mulanje is some of the best climbing and hiking country available in Africa with a great diversity of sights as one crosses between the many peaks from plateau to shelf to basin through cedar cloud forests across grasslands and over the multitude of refreshing mountain rivers and streams. The sunning views and the cool mountain air all contribute to an invigorating experience never to be forgotten. On offer on top, accommodation wise, are nine mountain huts and the Hope's Rest Cottage. The forestry huts are basic whilst the cottage is furnished and equipped. A guide is certainly recommended if you are new to the mountain and porters are also available to assist you carry your load up. To arrange and book for a trip, it is best to book with the experts as the ill prepared are often faced with all sorts of difficulties.
And where to stay?
Likhubula Forest Lodge was the original forester's house in the valley gateway to the mountain. Recently privatised, the reconditioned lodge now offers comfortable accommodation on a self-catering basis to those wishing to enjoy a quiet stay in the valley or appropriate base for the climb up the mountain.
The Likhubula Valley Resort is an eco-tourist destination set on a large property in the heart of the valley. Originally a cosy hotel, it then became a tea planter's residence, and then the property was given to the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian to serve as a youth skills development centre. Today the Dutch and Scottish government assistance, a number of family chalets have been renovated, fully supported camping facilities and number of serviced picnic sites are now also available along the beautiful Likhubula River.
Kara o' Mula Country Lodge is the recent product of a careful renovation exercise on the 1904 constructed original district commissioner's residence, timely one century later. The lodge currently offers a quiet stay at the top of the 'boma' within the rainforest edge on the mountain overlooking views over the neighbouring tea estates. There are eight comfortable en-suite rooms, an attractive cocktail bar, a television lounge, and an a' la carte restaurant where a Mozambican chef specialises in sizzling prawns. Current extensions will see new family rondavels available and a run of river swimming pool renovated.
Lujeri Lodge is a gracious colonial mansion standing amidst the contoured tea fields within the greater Ruo River valley on the south eastern side of the mountain. A peaceful destination, the lodge is surrounded by a beautiful garden and a swimming pool is available to cool off on those warm summer days. The lodge only take block bookings and is available as a self-catering venue, or by special arrangement, meals can be provided. Residents also enjoy access to the secluded blue lagoon picnic site set amongst the riverine rain forest on the Lujeri River. A walk in the forest along the cascading river realizes the plethoria of interesting local plants and patience will reward the observer with sights of the rare forest bird life.
So now, how to make it happen?
All in all ..... there is much more to Mulanje whether you are looking at a day's trip, a quiet weekend or a chance to explore some of the most beautiful country in Malawi.
JAMBO AFRICA will happily organise your visit to Mulanje whether you are wanting to have a guided visit up the mountain or a stay on the mountain side to enjoy the more sedate pleasures on offer.