Exploring the Pools on Mulanje Mountain

Oct 8

While others race up as many peaks as possible I like to have an easier day after the tough ascent to the plateau of Mount Mulanje. While there are many great things to do on that great island in the sky one of my favourites is exploring the numerous streams, waterfalls and pools on that beautiful mountain. 

Some of the pools are very well known and close to the mountain huts and paths. Others are probably almost completely unexplored. The largest pool (not pictured) on the mountain has a length well beyond an olympic pool with a sandy island we camped on. The early morning first light view of the high peaks surrounding is quite beautiful. While it's the only pool I know up there will an island suitable for camping, other pools have sandy beaches.

The most rewarding experience can be finding pools during the exploratation of a stream. A determined walk upstream under over-hanging trees led to the emergence of a pool at the bottom of a high waterfall with steep...

Read more

Tags: Travel

Nyala Park in the Lower Shire Valley

Oct 7

Nyala Park is a private wildlife area contained within the large sugar estates not far from Chikwawa in the lower Shire Valley. As you are driving south on the M1 between Chikwawa and in the direction of Nsanje, the turn off to Nyala Park is on the left not far from the turn-off towards Lengwe National Park.

Nyala Park has giraffe and some other wildlife not found in the main National Parks and Game Reserves in Malawi. For this reason it is worth a visit in combination with a visit to Lengwe National Park. It is also worth a stop if you have time when passing for other reasons on the M1.

It is NOT worth a trip from as far distant a location as Blantyre on it's own (unless you plan to camp and enjoy being in the natural environment there). The reason it's not worth a long journey on it's own is that it is too small and after you have driven around for about 50 mins you will likely have seen all you are going to see.

I do recommend it however in combination with...

Read more

A Guide to Malawi's Mammals

Aug 13

Shortly after returning to Malawi the voice on the end of the phone was that of Lindsay Macdonald. On my return it had not been difficult to decide whether to join The Environmental and Wildlife Society of Malawi (WESM). After Lindsay's welcome I was in and since then have followed the news concerning Malawi's wildife from the back row seats. Should I say 'The backbenches'?

Sometime later Lindsay has left Malawi but I am still here with a book that she put together, in between those times, for WESM. It is called 'The Sobo Guide to Malawi's Mammals'.

I have decided to make this valuable little book the theme of some forthcoming tweets on my twitter account.I have decided also to make a very modest return to the blogsphere so that I have a small blog post that I can put up to go hand in hand with these planned tweets.

At a later stage I fully intend to return to blogging in force and to build on this blog post over time. In the meantime please be patient and while...

Read more

Enjoy Bushman's Baobabs - How and When

May 2

The location of Bushman’s Baobabs was selected by a Liwonde expert. It is found at a quiet junction of the great Shire River and a seasonal tributary river at Liwonde National Park.

Wildlife Sightings or Relaxation or….both
To decide how best you will appreciate Bushman’s Baobabs decide first which of the following is your objective. Do you aim to maximize wildlife sightings and your enjoyment of the views over the landscapes and the river or instead must you retreat to the bush to unwind and relax? The answer to that question may depend upon whether you have many opportunities to go on safari or whether you have a short window of opportunity. Firstly, let us get some background.

Liwonde National Park – What’s so Special?
Elephants and hippos are regular visitors to Bushman’s and numerous other forms of wildlife are in close proximity or can be seen from the elevated viewing platform at Bushman’s Baobabs. Liwonde’s wildlife area is one of the top bird-watching hotspots...

Read more


Apr 28

A mixed group go on a trip trip to Frances Cottage, Chambe on Mulanje Mountain. I first published this blog post here in 2011. Does a small group of young adults and a young family work for a trip like this? Why not?

The first step, well the first step for me at least, is to find people to climb Mulanje with. One reason for that is the number one rule on Mulanje - don't climb alone. Also, the point of climbing Mulanje is to enjoy it, so therefore best to share the fun.

If you don't have anyone you know to climb Mulanje with and don't have time to wait for the right person to come along, then climb with a porter and / or guide. Mike Petzold in 'The Peaks of Mulanje Mountain' lists 59 peaks and tops. He says that he has been on the top of all but three of them, some of them several times, 'but NEVER alone.' If one of the most experienced Mulanje people is NEVER alone up there -...

Read more