Zomba Plateau

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View of Zomba plateau from north

Zomba Plateau is in Southern Malawi.

Get in[edit]

A tarmac road runs from Zomba town to the Ku Chawe Inn at the top of the plateau. The best way up if you do not fancy a 6 hour uphill hike is by taxis, which you should be able to haggle to around 2000 Kwacha ($15) each way. Remember to take a number for your taxi driver if you want to be driven back down the plateau, but the walk back is beautiful and highly recommended. The walk down is quicker as it is quick down hill pace on tarmac. If you are happy to, large trucks which act as a bus service to those who live on the remote villages of the plateau, several times a day descend and ascend the plateau. If your going up the plateau wait up the road side away from the very center of Zomba (close to the police station/prison - not as scary as it sounds!!) If going down the mountain, stay near the Ku Chawe Inn and ask the curio boys when the last truck left. Make sure you leave plenty of time to catch a lift down!

Get around[edit]

The Zomba Plateau is infamous for the guide boys who are generally reliable and very knowledgeable. They will be able to show you the beautiful waterfalls, streams, dams and take you up the mountains to all the spectacular view points overlooking Zomba town and Southern Malawi. The boys will try to sell you crystals from the mountains, and other small curious and lots of berries from the mountains. Due to the remote location of the plateau, which is rarely properly explored the guide boys are keen to talk and find out about you.

You can ask at your accommodation to recommend a guide. Cost should be approximately 500kw for a day with a guide. It is very easy to get disoriented in the forest!

See[edit]

Go to the stunning waterfalls, in particular Williams Falls. Visit the large model of the plateau near the Ku Chawe Hotel to gain an idea of where you are. Go to the top of Chawe mountain, or Queens View or Emporers view for a stunning look across Southern Malawi.

Do[edit]

Climb the Chawe mountain, which is possible in an hour if up for a good hike. Visit the viewpoints for breathtaking views. Visit the man made and natural dams. Visit (and swim under!) the waterfalls. all very funky!!!! but freaky

Buy[edit]

There are a lot of curios available at the top of the plateau outside the ku chawe inn.

Eat[edit]

There are lots of berries to buy from the mountain side. In particular wild rasberries and gooseberries. The trout farm does not serve food, but has basic essentials such as sodas and biscuits for a snack.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  • Zomba Forest Lodge, a signposted turning off the old up road then follow a dirt / gravel road through the forest for about 6km, formerly run by Land and Lake Safaris (call them for more information on +265 (0)1 757 120, (0)1 754 303, [1]). A beautiful, friendly and well-run place, with a fantastic chef. All 5 rooms are en-suite with hot running water. There's a garden with views down towards Zomba town, and a large residents lounge with a library and a log fire in the evenings. $40/person/night including dinner and breakfast (some guide books say that you can bring your own food, but this is no longer the case).
  • Ku Chawe Inn. Clearly signposted from Zomba town. Situated at the top of the plateau with stunning views. $80-$100 for a double room including breakfast.
  • The Trout Farm is for budget travellers, costing about $10/cabin/night. Each cabin sleeps two people in single beds and as well as lovely log cabins there are hot showers. The paths leading out around the plateau pass by the camp, and although no food is available at this farm, it is only a short walk to the Ku Chawe Inn. Be warned, it can be fairly chilly at night, so wrap up warm!


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