Malawi: Mountain Climbing
The warm heart of Africa
Rising up to 3,000 metres, Mount Mulanje is one of Malawi's most spectacular sights, with its highest peak being Sapitwa at 3,002 metres. The mountain covers an area of more than 1,000 sq km. On its slopes grow the Mulanje cedars, some of them over 200 years old. Deep gorges, impressive waterfall and trout streams cut their paths from its heights, while in the lush foothills are tea plantations. The Chambe, west face direct, is claimed to be one of the longest rock climbs in Africa, offering 1675mtrs of roped climbing. There are a couple of regular routes climbed, starting at Likhubula Forestry Station these are the Skyline Path to Chambe Basis and the Lichenya Path to Lichenya Plateau.
Organising a hike up Mulanje is straightforward and is best organised from the base at Likhubula Forestry Station where you can book mountain huts and arrange porters and guides, who offer their services for a very reasonable price. There is no entrance fee and huts are very cheap at about US$2 per night. Camping is not allowed on the mountain, you will need to have with you a good sleeping bag or thick black and warm clothing as the nights can get quite cold.
A Guide to the Mulanje Massif is widely available in Blantyre and the Map Sales office sells an excellent map of the Massif. Rock climbers and hikers planning to use unusual routes are advised to contact the Mountain Club of Malawi in Blantyre. Mulanje has adventure climbing and stunning trekking throughout the rarely visited massif.