Situated between Blantyre and Mount Mulanje, Thyolo (pronounced Cho’lo) is among Malawi’s most scenic regions, a patchwork landscape of undulating hills and immaculately kept tea and coffee estates.
Thyolo’s tea estates developed in the early 20th-century, when the region became one of the major tea-producing regions in Africa thanks to its fertile land and temperate climate. It is this cool, temperate climate that makes the region such a pleasure to explore, whether on foot, bike or by vehicle.
Gorgeous views, of distant Mount Mulanje and the Shire River Valley, are a highlight of the region, as are the excellent opportunities for birding.
In and around Thyolo Tea Plantations, Malawi
Many pass through Thyolo en route to regions further south, stopping perhaps only to visit one of the region’s famous tea plantations. This is enough to gain a feel for the region – and the drive is wonderfully scenic – but many will want to explore further.
Thyolo is a particularly good location for walks and treks, with Mt Mulanje very accessible and easier hikes in and among the tea plantations also possible. If time allows, a trip to Lake Chilwa and its surrounding wetlands and rice fields is also worth the time. Day trips to Zomba Plateau, just north of Blantyre, are possible, while birding tours are another highlight.
Those on longer itineraries will want to spend a few days here, as there is much to see and enjoy. Our recommended property is Huntingdon House, a charming country house set in beautiful gardens and with a delightfully relaxed atmosphere.