Zomba town is the old colonial British capital of Malawi and has a fascinating market and several interesting historical sites. Zomba Plateau nearby is a wonderful area for hiking and birdwatching and has stunning views over the region.
A trip around the market in Zomba offers wonderful photographic opportunities - this being one of the busiest and most colourful in Malawi. Witchdoctors, tin smiths and second hand clothes stalls literally wedged in between the piles of freshly picked fruit and vegetables.
Zomba Plateau is divided into two halves by the Domasi Valley. The southern half having a road right to the top, where there is a stunningly situated hotel, the Ku Chawe Inn. Being so high, the weather is pleasantly cool in the hot months and can be chilly at night in the winter. There is a network of driving tracks and walking paths through pine forests and indigenous woodland. There are several viewpoints and some lakes where fishing is allowed. Zomba is also a good place for mountain biking. Bikes can be hired from the Zomba Forest Lodge.
Lake Chilwa sits about 30km east of the town and is a shallow lake surrounded by reeds and marshes. It is the second largest of Malawi's lakes and is excellent for birdwatching.
Zomba Mountain is in fact a large massif and offers spectacular scenery, forests of both plantation pine and indigenous woodland, clear running streams and excellent walking and birdwatching. Within easy walking of Ku Chawe Inn are the Mulunguzi Dam, and the Trout Farm and for those with a 4 wheel drive vehicle, or for very fit hikers we suggest visits to Chingwe's Hole, Emperor's View and Queen's View lookout point.
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.