Zomba Plateau is a lush mountain top dressed in forest, streams and waterfalls in Malawi’s Zomba District. Once the capital city of Malawi, (until 1975), Zomba has a rugged history seen today by the many colonial buildings dotted around the winding road up to the plateau. The natural beauty and accommodating temperatures of Zomba attracted a host of European visitors in the 19th Century when it was a British colony. These influences are still seen in the architecture of the town today.
The plateau rises up 1800m above sea level and it offers a good spot for hiking, walking, riding and birdwatching. Zomba Plateau has the oldest forest reserve in Malawi and now houses a large dam which was constructed as a water reservoir in 1999.
Wildlife includes leopard, baboon, giant butterflies, and birds such as long-crested eagle and augur buzzard. The views from the top, which can be reached by road, were once described as ‘the best in the British Empire’.
The plateau is also the perfect base from which to explore Zomba Town, which aside from its faded colonial splendour has a bustling market full of local produce.
Malawi’s president since independence, Dr Joyce Banda, hails from Zomba and has practised much of her reign in the town, which was historically the capital, as declared by the British rule.
Lake Chilwa, Malawi’s second-largest lake, is located in the eastern Zomba district on the Mozambican border. It supports a huge bird and fish population and is surrounded by protected wetlands.
There is a high number of small villages in the area that are near enough for guests staying in the Zomba district to visit. A cultural experience in Malawi is quite exceptional and visitors are welcome.