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Malawi Southern Region

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Market in ZombaZomba is 290km south of Lilongwe and 72 km north of Blantyre. Up until the mid 1970's Zomba was the capital city of Malawi. It lies at the foot of Zomba plateau, amongst blue gum trees. Many of the buildings are of colonial style architecture, the most prominent being the Gymkhana Club (Zomba's Golf Club House). Most supplies are available in the town and outside the main shops you can spend hours haggling for the best bargain with several of the many craft sellers. Zomba also houses one of the largest, most colourful and liveliest markets in Malawi.

Blantyre

Street in Blantyre, MalawiMalawi's largest city, Blantyre is situated in the Southern Region and includes the two communities of Blantyre and Limbe which are joined by an eight kilometre stretch of highway. Blantyre, Malawi's oldest municipality is the country's main commercial, industrial and communications hub and is set in the Shire Highlands.

The city is surrounded by some of the most beautiful hills and mountains in Malawi. A typical view from a city street could include Michiru, the rain mountain, a glimpse of Mount Soche or a passing glance of Ndirande, sleeping man mountain, looming behind a suburb.

The hills which surround the City are in fact the first layer of an echo of hills which stretch to the Kirk Range, the Zomba Plateau and Mount Mulanje. Blantyre's hills all have something special to offer. Most have patches of evergreen forest, wild orchids, aloes and numerous birds and always incredible views. Perhaps the most interesting is Michiru with its Mountain Conservation Area.

The Michiru Mountain is in fact an ongoing experiment in conservation where emphasis is placed on demonstrating wise land use. The Conservation Area has been divided into three sections, a forestry reserve, farming area and nature reserve for the improvement of natural resources. Visitors to the area can drive to the summit to enjoy spectacular views of Blantyre itself, Zomba, Mulanje and the Shire Valley.

Blanyre Water FallsThe City of Blantyre has much to offer visitors in the form of historical sights. These include the Blantyre Mission, the place where the City came into being, and the beautiful church of St Michaels and All Angels. Then there is the Mandala House, erected in 1882, the oldest building in Malawi and March 3 House used by Dr Banda as a base from which to lead Malawian's to independence.

Blantyre's position offers easy motoring to a number of Malawi's most interesting places. These include Zomba, renowned for its curio and produce markets and only 59km away, and Thyolo's lush tea-growing estate 39km from the city. Other places of interest which can be reached from Blantyre within an hour's drive is Mfunda Falls at Matope and Lengwe National Park.

With its more temperate climate, Limbe was favoured as a residential site for early settlers. The streets of Limbe are a continuous bustle of people and traffic and there can be no doubt that commerce is the lifeblood of the town. An abundance of Asian shops in close proximity, most selling either clothing or hardware items, lead to much good natured haggling.

Mulanje Mountain

Mulanje Mountains, MalawiMulanje is Malawi's premier hiking and rock climbing destination offering some of the most spectacular scenery in the country. The Massif rises up to 3,000 metres, with the highest peak being Sapitwa at 3,002 mtrs and covers an area of more than 1,000 sq km. On its slopes grow the Mulanje cedars, some of them over 200 years old. Deep gorges, impressive waterfall and trout streams cut their paths from its heights, while in the lush foothills are tea plantations. The Chambe, west face direct, is claimed to be one of the longest rock climbs in Africa, offering 1675mtrs of roped climbing. There are a couple of regular routes climbed, starting at Likhubula Forestry Station these are the Skyline Path to Chambe Basis and the Lichenya Path to Lichenya Plateau.

It is worth spending a couple of days at the forestry station, which is surperbly located close to rock pools and waterfalls. A Guide to the Mulanje Massif is widely available in Blantyre and the Map Sales office sells an excellent map of the Massif. Rock climbers and hikers planning to use unusual routes are advised to contact the Mountain Club of Malawi in Blantyre.

Shire Valley

Shire Valley, MalawiThe M1 southwest of Blantyre, takes you down the escarpment, giving breathtaking views over the Rift Valley lowlands towards Mozambique.

This area of Malawi is little visited by tourists and can proof quite difficult for visitors without their own transport, but it has some worthwhile attractions including two game reserves; the Majete and Mwabvi as well as the Sucoma Sugar Estate and the fascinating Elephant Marsh.

Boat trips to explore the Marsh can be organised in Mchacha James a small village approx 15kms from Bangula. This area is home to the largest population of crocodile in the country and many hippo. It is also bird watchers paradise with large numbers and many varieties to be found.
 

Feedback From Clients

Sandra & Claudia Smith


Hello Davies, Wow! What a great trip we had with Wilderness Safaris in Botswana! We loved every moment with our wonderful guide (Martin Lucky). Now we would like to go to Madagascar. Do you have any trips there? Look forward to hearing from you!

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