Alright, where do we start? We arrived in Zomba about two weeks ago with the intention of having a sneakpeek at the plateau that is overlooking the small town. Our travelguide recommended to camp on top at one of the two available camping spots. Well, that didn’t work out. Turn out that the nicer one of the two (Chitinji) was closed quite some time ago and the other one (Trout Farm) is even more run down than five years ago when our guidebook was released. Really creepy place unless you travel in a big group – its just a bit too sketchy up there. Shame!
While we were looking around for alternatives we found this little place half way down the mountain, the Casa Rossa. Immediately at home we parked our car and basically didn’t move for about a week. Oops. During that week we made some changes to the interior of the car and completely reworked the blog – as some of you might have noticed. Hope you like it, by the way.
But, long story short. The Plateau. After a week or so in Zomba we finally made it up there. Having read about armed robberies on top we didn’t take much with us and left the camera at home. From the car park at the Trout Farm the plateau immediately spoiled us with a small hiking trail that quickly went from thick bushes to a small stream that we followed for a little while. Alongside the stream (almost all around the plateau to be fully honest), you can pick a variety of really tasty wild berries that come as a real treat in the otherwise so dry and ‘african’ Malawi. One thing is for sure, you don’t feel like you are still in africa. It’s almost as if you are back in europe. At least until you reach one of the viewpoints. As soon as you reach the edge of the plateau you are simply blown away by the sheer drop and the view of Lake and the Mount Mulanje in the far back. There are a couple of “official” viewpoints scattered around the plateau, many of them are occupied by vendors that try to sell you semi-precious stones or other things, but we found one that is really remote with no one bothering you. After hiking around for close to 8 hours (thanks to the deliberate but secret detours that Lukas had everyone do) we finally made it around to the car, cutting directly through a pine forest for the last few kilometers! All in all a really cool experience, the one thing that was really missing though was the camera.
So two days later, while we were still at the Casa Rossa (Careful, you might just end up staying there for your whole holiday) we made good on the failure to bring a camera. This time we just took the Landy and drove up. There is a small network of dirtroads all around the plateau, so we made our way to the beautiful viewpoint that we visited the last time. Rough roads, but definitely worth it (just make sure you bring spare tires). You can drive around the whole plateau, which is what we ended up doing, with almost all the way being in good condition. Until we reached the last 7 kilometers of the round trip that is. After that the road got really bad, and that is not an understatement, it got REALLY REALLY bad! Definitely an adventure, driving alongside huge drops to the left and smoldering wildfires to the right. If you think of coming here, you will definitely need a 4×4 with high ground clearance. Harry made it through like a charm of course, purring along happily.
All in all, really successful days. Blog is up and running, we had some really nice food, stunning plateau to explore. Couldn’t be better we guess. We’ll be gone for the weekend, heading over to mount mulanje for a few days of hiking. That’s the place that supposedly inspired Tolkien to the setting of the shire in Lord of the Rings. Really exited to find out what that is all about.
So, until then, see ya Dudes and Dudeens.