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.

DURATION

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.

TEA PLANTATIONS

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.

LEGENDS

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.

GUIDES

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.

ACCOMMODATIONS

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!)

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This is a route that should be considered as an example. You can change before departure or,  in case, also on the mountain with the guide itself.

1st DAY,  BLANTYRE, Malawi Arrive in Blantyre, Malawi, welcoming and hearty country: its people has a warm and welcoming heart that we have never felt in any other African country. Meeting with Africa Wild Truck staff and transfer to Mulanje, in one of the most ancient colonial houses, located in a pleasant and green garden. Dinner at Africa Wild Truck base camp.

2nd - 3rd DAY  MULANJE A couple of days for setting-in are necessary to undertake the climbing and plan some details in order to customize at best the trekking expedition. Mulanje offers incredible landscapes at the foot of the mountain of the same name, hills and tea hills like endless stretches and the bright green color gives space only to the red of the labyrinth paths that cross the plantations. The red color of the tea in cups of the Malawi black tea is unique. Night in old colonial house.

DAY 4 WILD AFRICA TRUCK BASE CAMP - MADZEKA HUT After breakfast briefing with our guide. Departure from the base camp (650m) to Madzeka hut which is situated at 2000 meters. Beginning of the journey, passing among tea plantations for about two hours, villages and then enter into the forest. Lunch. A steep staircase with some difficult passage of streams and fords. Arrival at Madzeka hut around 16:00. Dinner

DAY 5 MADZEKA HUT - THUCHILA HUT After breakfast we go on a different path. We reach a second hut at the same altitude on the plateau. Solitary landscapes and the silence of the mountain among us. Switching from Chinsama hut for lunch (packed). Arrival at Thuchila hut. Estimated total travel time: 5 hours and 30 min. Dinner.

DAY 6 THUCHILA HUT - CHISEPO HUT From the lovely Thuchila hut the path continues. Streams form wonderful swimming pools. The valley offers unique landscapes and finally reaches the Chisepo Juction. From here you reach Chisepo Hut. Estimated total travel time: 2 hours and 30 min. Dinner.

DAY 7 CHISEPO HUT - SAPITWA- CHISEPO HUT Today we will reach the summit of Sapitwa, 3002 meters, one of the higher peak in southern Africa. The journey is long, and at times the vegetation becomes dense. It takes about 5 hours to reach the summit. The panoramic view from the peak is on the entire plateau, in the clear days you can see the base of the mountain. Return simply Chisepo hut, where we will tell you some Mountain legends! Dinner.

DAY 8 CHISEPO HUT - CHAMBE HUT This walk of about four hours will take us to Chambe Hut. Spectacular scenery will open behind us and finally we get to Chambe hut, one of the largest, from which we can observe the south-east slope of Chambe peak, located at 2557 m altitude. Overnight in the hut. Dinner.

DAY 9 CHAMBE HUT - LIKHUBULA FOREST LODGE We descend from an altitude of 2500 to be roughly 700 meters, again at the base of the mountain. Estimated total travel time: 7-8 hours. Dinner.

DAY 10 LIKHUBULA - BLANTYRE We will move to Chileka International Airport in Blantyre, to connect with the international flight.

1680 euro

inclusive VAT 16,5%, Tourism Levy 1% tax 30%

 

 

DISCOUNTS

The following discounts are possible:

  • discounts for groups with at least 4 persons
  • family discounts: for children and young boys/girls under 12 years
  • 10% for travelers who already took part at least in a travel with AFRICA WILD TRUCK (minum base of 4 persons)

Discounts are subject to variations and can't be combined together.

 

THE FEE INCLUDES

  • Africa Wild Truck assistance 24 h
  • English speaking guides authorized by Forest Department (25 Usd per day)
  • 1 porter authorized by Forest Department (20 Usd per day)
  • all transports, to and from the airport, road taxes
  • all entry fees to the Mount Mulanje Forest Reserve
  • all overnights in lodge and basic huts as to program, see page 3
  • Kitchen basic camping material if booked
  • basic meals
  • mountain equipment (mattresses, tents and material for kitchen camp, if necessary)
  • 50 US dollars that AWT entirely donates to AROUND AWT (see page 11)
  • VAT (16.5%), TOURISM LEVY (1%) and government taxes (30%)

 

THE FEE DOES NOT INCLUDE

  • flights
  • Malawi Visa
  • Euroassistance/Globy or similar travel insurance (cancellation, luggage, health insurance highly advisable – it is possible to stipulate it with the above cited agency or online – write to us, we will help you to find the best solution!)
  • optional excursions not mentioned
  • drinks different from water
  • any possible personal expense
  • tips
  • anything not expressely specified under "The fee includes"

BOOK!

Contact info@africawildtruck.com to book or to ask informations.

No obligation to vaccination. Write to us to have more information! Note that on the mountain (above 2000 m) is malaria free.

We recommend these vaccines:

  • tetanus
  • typhoid fever
  • hepatitis A and B

Concerning malaria, disease transmitted by the bite of the female Anopheles mosquito, its prevention is accomplished, first of all, with a mechanic prevention i.e. avoiding getting stung, following these rules:

  • sleeping under mosquito tents
  • using insecticide to get rid of possible mosquitos
  • after sunset, when mosquitos are more active, avoiding leaving parts of the body uncovered, wearing light-colored long trousers and long-sleeve shirts, because dark colors attract mosquitos and spraying parts of the body uncovered with Autan Extreme

For the use of any possible antimalarial drugs we suggest that you consult your Public Health Service; health norms change very rapidly.

TRAVEL MEDICAL KIT

We suggest that you take with you a small supply of these medicines:

  • analgesics/fever reducers: acetylsalicylic acid and nimesulide
  • antibiotics like ciproxin or amoxicillin or clavulanic acid
  • antimalarials: anyway carry with you 2 packs of Lariam for emergency cases
  • antidiarrheals: loperamide or kaolin in case of symptoms (to use only if really necessary!)
  • rehydration salts: in case of fluid leaks
  • against car or air sickness: a pack of pills or chewing-gums
  • antihistamines: in case of allergic reactions
  • scissors, tweezers and thermometer
  • suntan cream
  • insecticides (like Autan Extreme)

Required documents and Visa

It is necessary to have a passport valid for at least 6 months after departure date with at least two free pages; for the entry in Malawi the Visa is obtainable under 75 USD payment. Write us for more informations.

 

CLOTHING

On the mountain, to maximize comfort, we suggest to dress with layers.

  • comfortable trekking/hiking shoes
  • technical sandals
  • easy to dry slippers for the shower
  • windbreaker
  • k-way
  • sweatshirt/pile
  • cotton/linen long trousers
  • cotton/linen long sleeve shirts
  • cotton T-shirts
  • bathing suit
  • panty
  • belly pack for passport
  • sunglasses
  • cap and hat

OTHER

  • sleeping bag that can withstand up to 5 degrees for who is always cold
  • technical towel
  • binoculars
  • head torch-light
  • penknife/water bottle
  • camera/videocamera/spare batteries or eventually a solar panel
  • passport photocopy and 2 passport photos
  • energy bars may be useful
  • telescopic poles
  • personal Karimat (or if you prefer we can reserve one for you)
  • any other mountain trekking that you might need
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