From short walks to a full day of adventure we have hikes to suit all abilities.
Short Hike (1-3 hours)
$15 for a group of not more than 5
1. Nature Trail to Williams Falls (2 hours):
Mulunguzi nature trail runs from Mandala Falls following the forested banks of Mulunguzi river via the Trout Farm to William Falls and then back around the reservoir. Dragon trees, birdsnest orchids and tree ferns (one of the oldest plants on earth) are seen on the way, as well as Mulanje Cedar, Malawi’s national tree.
2. Birding trails:
For those interested in the rich birdlife of the Plateau, the Tour Guides have created a small network of paths close to the hotel that run in and out of the indigenous forest.
Medium Hike (3-5 hours)
$20 for a group of not more than 5
1. Emperors and Queens Views (4 hours):
This walk starts from Ku Chawe or Trout Farm and passes Williams Falls and on to Emperor’s and Queen’s view named after Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia and the Queen Mother of Britain, both of whom visited the plateau in 1965 and 1957 respectively. Both offer wonderful views over Zomba City and towards lake Chilwa, Mulanje mountain and Mozambique.
2. Inner Circular to Chagwa dam and peak (3-4 hours):
From Ku Chawe, towards the Forestry Office, via the Tour Guides tree seedling nursery, along the Inner Circular route, to Chagwa dam, over the peak and around the Mulunguzi reservoir.
3. Ku Chawe Ridge (3-4 hours):
From Ku Chawe, walk along the ridge and enjoy spectacular 360-degree views across the Plateau, towards Blantyre, Mulanje, Lake Chilwa, Shire Valley, etc.
4. Songani Lookout and Chivunde Falls (5-6 hours):
Similar to the above but pushing further north. Option of coming back via Ng’ondolo path and Williams Falls.
Day Long Hike (6 hours+)
$30 for a group of not more than 5
1. Chingwe’s Hole (6 hours):
Starting from Ku Chawe, along the outer circular road, or along the ridge, past Mulumbe peak 2085m (highest point on the plateau) to Chingwe’s hole (bottomless pit as reckoned by local people). The natural hole used to be a quarantine place for people suffering from leprosy. The place offers fantastic views across Shire valley and on a clear day, all the way to Lake Malombe.
2. Enchanted Forest Walk (4-8 hours):
From Zomba Forest Lodge. This walk is steep (ascent of 700m+) and passes through some beautiful evergreen afro-montane cloud forest. It summits at the ridge where guests will enjoy views across the Plateau before plunging back into evergreen forest and emerging again at Mlumbe Peak. Return walk either along the ridge or along one of the internal paths in the bowl of the Plateau. Hike back to ZFL using Old Up Road.
3. Super Hike (8 Hours+):
$ price negotiable depending on the group
This is a longest route which combines some routes mentioned above. It starts from model hat ku chawe through the ridge (most adventurous and scenery route) to the highest point then to Chingwezi hole, Songani lookout, Emperors and Queens views, Chagwa Dam and peak, down to Williams falls and then back through nature trail.
Note: Any extra person pays 5 dollars each. A group of more than 10 people will be recommended to hire 2 guides or more depending on how big the group is.
All hikes start from:
ZFL, Ku Chawe, Trout Farm on the Plateau, or Casa Rossa, Pa Kachere on the outskirts of town.
What to bring with you:
We recommend bringing the following with you:
Strong shoes for walking, 1 litre (minimum) water bottle, lunch or snack, waterproof coat, long trousers , light jumper / fleece.