Experience the tranquillity of Zomba Plateau

Location: Zomba Plateau, Zomba. Malawi

The windy road up the plateau

Zomba City is the old capital of Malawi. It sits at the foot of the Zomba Plateau, one of the many scenic destinations in the country. The plateau sits on the Zomba and Malosa mountains, covering 130 square kilometres.

I set out on one wet January afternoon for an overnight stay at Ku Chawe Inn and to experience the tranquillity of the Zomba Plateau.

A view down on Zomba City from the plateau

The plateau rises 2,200 m above sea level and beckons with its cool breezes, lush forests and breathtaking panoramas. One can see Mulanje Mountain and Lake Chirwa on a clear day in the distance.

The entrace to Ku Chawe Inn on Zomba Plateau

Ku Chawe Inn

Ku Chawe Inn is a resort that sits at the top of Zomba Mountain overlooking the valleys and city below. The red-brick facade and dark wood blend in with the surrounding forest and mountains.

Zomba Plateau's Ku Chawe Inn red brick facade
Corridors inside Ku Chawe Inn
The facade of Ku Chawe Inn bathed in the evening sun

The rooms at Ku Chawe Inn are modern and comfortable and open onto a well-manicured lawn and look out over the Zomba Plateau’s edge.

As the day surrenders to night, the last rays of the sun create beautiful silhouettes of the trees outside

sunset at Ku Chawe Inn

Experience sunrise on Zomba Plateau

experience a lovely sunrise on zomba plateau

The first rays of dawn.  Stepping outside, the clean, cold air from the valleys below rushes up the mountain face.

The Mulunguzi Dam at daybreak

What would a visit to Zomba Plateau be without an early morning walk? Just outside the hotel, I glimpse the Mulunguzi Dam, a reservoir that serves as a vital water source for the city residents below.

On the walk down, the silence is broken but an occasional monkey swinging across the forest canopy above. As you get closer to the dam, you hear the sound of the nearby Mandala Falls. The only traffic on the road is a hotel vehicle ferrying staff up to work.

The swimming pool at Ku Chawi Inn on Zomba Plateau

From the restaurant veranda, the hotel’s swimming pool can be seen below. And in the distance, the thick forest.

Zomba city and distant hills can be seen form the plateau above

As my time to depart nears, the city of Zomba is bathed in the light of the new day.

While I drive down the Zomba Plateau, I can’t help but think about how this mountain, like many others in Malawi, is under the constant threat of deforestation. I take solace in the fact that there are efforts to arrest this. The Zomba Mountain Timber Plantation Office plans to plant pine trees covering 1250ha of bare land on Zomba Mountain by 2026. Such a commendable effort!

Zomba Plateau, a place of beauty and tranquillity, beckons us to return for another enchanting escape.

Zomba Plateau is a 90-minute drive from Blantyre and is a short detour off the road to Liwonde and Mangochi.

Several activities are available on the Zomba Plateau including tours to the trout farm, Williams Falls and the Emperor and Queen’s View. The mountain is also a popular destination for hikers and birders.

In Zomba itself, one can visit the Kings African Rifles Monument, Zomba market and the Botanical Gardens.

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