Hiking Mulanje, Africa
Hiking Mulanje, Africa. A trekking- hiking on Mulanje Mountain, Malawi. It is called magic mountain. Mulanje is a place of inspiration, where you can feel the uniqueness of this land. The hike starts from Africa Wild Truck base, at an altitude of 650 meters, where there are spectacularly huge and rolling hills covered by green tea mantle. Walking among the plantation areas we meet the workers of the tea. In front, majestic, massive Mulanje.
We hike up to the plateau, and spend a few days at an altitude of 2000 meters. Go down the opposite side of the mountain, after the crossing the Mountain from East to West. A hiking trek in Africa dedicated to mountain lovers and to all those who want to try a trip on foot, slowly. Exploring the island in the sky: a challenge between waterfalls, peaks and clouds to reach Sapitwa at 3,002 meters, on the summit of Southern Africa, in the heart of Malawi.
10 days. Possibility of extensions on the beautiful beaches of Lake Malawi.
TRAVEL: Hiking Mulanje, Africa.
MULANJE FOREST RESERVE
About sixty kilometers from the city of Blantyre, in the south of Malawi, the Mulanje Massif, called the island in the sky in Chichewa, stands solitary a large and spectacular granite mountain. The size is about 650km2. The average altitude on the plateau is of about 2,000 meters. At least a dozen peaks above 2,500 meters populate this giant who has the distinction of being on of the higher mountain in southern Africa, arriving, with the Sapitwa peak, to an altitude of 3,002m.
MULANJE MOUNTAIN FLORA
Mount Mulanje, protected within the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve, at its base is located at an average altitude of about 650m. It is an area completely covered with the mantle of green tea and bamboo forests or unique plants that are only found here (there are at least 500). The precious and vulnerable Mulanje cedar, Widdringtonia whytei is a famous endemic plants that ensures that here the highest biodiversity of flora throughout Malawi has been preserved. The diversity of ferns is incredible with over 100 species recorded in forest and new species that have yet to be classified.
MULANJE MOUNTAIN FAUNA
Among the 66 species of mammals, including baboons, monkeys and small antelopes, hyenas, leopards – although difficult to spot. Endemic is also the chameleon Chamaeleo mlanjensis, two species of gecko Lygodactylus rex and L. Bonsi and other frogs. Mount Mulanje is the only place in Malawi where the rodent Aethomys namaquensis has been found. Mount Mulanje is also important for butterflies with a presence no fewer than 233 species, with at least three endemism: Charaxes margaretae, Cymothoe melanjae and Baliochila nyasae. It is also included in IBA sites (Important Bird Areas). About 300 species of birds recorded. Some are vulnerable species such as the White-winged Apalis Apale chariessa or Alete of Tyholo Alethe choloensis and thrushes spotted Zoothera guttata, both threatened. 22 of the 56 species of birds living in the system formed from the Afro-montane archipelago Usambara mountain / Mount Mulanje breed on Mount Mulanje.
Let’s not forget that tea and tobacco are essential resources for Malawi, whose economy almost completely depends on the cultivation of these two products. The first tea plantations were introduced in Africa at the end of the XIX century right in Malawi. Landscapes open in a spectacular way in huge and mild hills covered with the unblemished green mantle of tea. Walking between the wide spaces in the plantations we will have the chance to meet the tea workers, who patiently pick up the young leaves on top of the plats, leaf after leaf.
The number of legends, myths with the presence of spirits around the perception of Mount Mulanje is not present in any other place in Malawi. Many of these are kept in secret in the oral tradition: there is still nowadays much to discover. One possible explanation for this is that the Batwa, the ancient inhabitants of the mountain, are remembered in the form of spirits. There are spirits in particular inside the trees, some of which are really their houses. While hiking Mulanje we will tell you some incredible legends!
HIKING MULANJE, 11 HUTS
From AfricaWildTruck base, at the foot of the mountain, between Lujeri and Muloza, there are some of the most incredible views on the falls of the head of the Ruo river. From here hiking Mulanje departs. Walking scenic routes to reach the 11 huts present on the plateau. They are well-connected to each other through many mountain paths with travel times ranging from two to six hours.
There is a possibility of being always on the move on the mountain for even a month: a full amount of oxygen and new energy. The difficulties for the excursions, ranging from moderate (T2) and possible for midlevel walkers being at a moderate altitude and still on good paths with a number of climbs and descents rather demanding (T3) for walkers with a little training and a bit rough.
MEANS OF TRANSPORT
The only distances covered by jeep will be those to reach Africa Wild Truck headquarters, from and to the airport of Blantyre. We will walk in contact with nature, on the highest mountain in southern Africa, passing through the huts of the plateau. A travel that still today is similar to the one made by David Livingstone.
Professional guides that works with AfricaWildTruck have been selected in the field during our trekking hiking expeditions on Mulanje Mountain. they stand out for their vey high preparation, experience and reliability. They are listed among the official guides from Malawi Tourism Board. They are local guides we have chosen with attention following an idea of travel sustainability and social commitment, to guarantee deeper experiences to the traveler giving benefits to the local communities. Africa Wild Truck use only services from guides and porters certified and authorized by malawi Government. A porter (advisable) can carry a maximum of 18 kg.
In Mulanje, at the base of the mountain, we’ll spend the nights in a pleasant setting of Africa Wild Truck base camp, in the area of the Ruo river. Camping or lodging is your choice. The nights on the mountain will be spent in simple and basic mountain huts, equipped with water and firewood, no electricity.
Equipped with mattresses on the floor and with a simple and traditional “bucket shower”, a hot shower with a bucket. A hiking trek as 100 years ago, when they were built. There is a magical atmosphere around the fire. The shelters, apart CCAP Hut, are managed by the Malawian Government with a watchman who provides the fire and hot shower. If you want something special, you can sleep in a tent. We will do everything to satisfy your requests when booking with us. The mountain equipment (mats, tents and field kitchen) will be always available for your requests (before departure, just inform us!)