Mount Mulanje has an elevation of 3,002m at its highest point, Sapitwa Peak. Much of the Massif consists of rolling grassland at elevations of 1800-2200m, intersected by deep forested ravines, down which rivers with spectacular waterfalls tumble. It has many individual peaks reaching heights of over 2500m, including Chambe Peak, the West Face of which is the longest rock climb in Africa.
The mountain itself is part of a protected area supporting many endemic species of plant and animal life including the white-winged apalis, dwarf chameleon and the squeaker frog.
The Mulanje massif has several climbable peaks with routes that can be chosen to test both the experienced mountaineer and the hiker. There is a series of simple wooden huts dotted around the mountain making it possible to put together hikes of anything from 3 to 10 days. The scenery is breathtaking with plenty of clear mountain streams, huge rocky outcrops and montane forest. A particular feature of the mountain is the indigenous Mulanje cedar (widdringtonia whytei).
If you want to hike Mulanje you must be reasonably fit. There is no soft option for getting up Mulanje! All walking until you reach the plateau is steep and tiring.
There are eight mountain huts which are all very basic, with no beds, lighting or running water.
They have some basic furniture and a fireplace and guests do not get exclusive use of the huts.
All food and mattresses, sleeping bags etc. must be carried up the mountain. We can
organise a Mulanje hike (from 3 days plus) where all the
food, porters, equipment and guide are provided for you. All the cooking is done for the guests which allows you more time to explore the mountain.
Likabula village is the only place near the start of the hiking trails with some supplies. There is a small market and some shops here but you should make sure you bring everything you will need with you. At Likabula Forest Station there is a basic lodge with 4 bedrooms and shared bathroom facilities called Likabula Forest Lodge with a spacious balcony and dining area and great views of Chambe Peak.
There are about six routes up and down Mulanje and you will need to spend at least 3 nights on the massif to explore enough of it to take in one or two peaks. There are lots of paths linking the huts and peaks and normally it takes between 3 and 6 hours to get between them, so you arrive at a hut, leave your supplies and walk out to the peaks or valleys nearby in the afternoons.
Time: GMT +2 hours
International flights to Malawi are either with Kenya Airways (via Nairobi) or South African Airways (via Johannesburg) then to Lilongwe or Blantyre.
Language: English is the official language but not widely used in rural areas. Chichewa is commonly used.
Not needed for most nationalities but check with your embassy. You need a Mozambique visa for Nkwichi Lodge.
No vaccinations are compulsory but some are recommended. Yellow Fever certificate required for Nkwichi Lodge (Mozambique). See your GP for advice.