WHERE TO STAY IN MALAWI
Casa Rossa – Zomba
If you are planning on visiting Malawi, don’t miss out on the Casa Rossa. Nestled in halfway up the Zomba Plateau it is beautifully situated with a view over Zomba and the Valley, profiting of the milder climate of the shire highlands. The owners Mark and Sylvia, two Italians who decided that Europe was not cutting it anymore, opened the place about 5 years ago and worked hard to make it a must visit location. Promotion is mainly through word of mouth which gave them a good headstart with training their staff and making them act way above standard. They offer everything from camping with your own tent over their safari-tents to a dorm and private en-suite rooms all situated in and around a house in colonial style with a big well looked after garden. Both Mark and Sylvia have a good eye for details and we found nothing that we would have made differently (a first on our trip).
Accommodation is fairly priced starting at 5 US$ pp for camping and topping out at 50 US$ for one of the en-suite rooms (all including a simple breakfast and a pre-dinner snack).
In addition to the accommodation, the Casa Rossa is well known by locals for it’s italian restaurant as well. So if you can’t squeeze in a night definitely come around for lunch or dinner. The dishes include delicious pasta, tender steaks (or crocodile if you are feeling adventurous), a variety of wines, self-baked break and self made cheese as well. If you made it there, the Gnocchi Verdi (ricotta and spinach gnocchi served with a blue cheese sauce), the Culurgiones (filled with potato, cheese, garlic and mint served with chopped tomato and olive oil) and the Filetto all’aceto balsamico (bacon wrapped beef fillet cooked in balsamic vinegar served with chips and salad) are our favourites. Give them a try!
If you are keen to hike around the Zomba Plateau, Mark, Sylvia and their team will be happy to direct you to the most beautiful places or organize a guide for you. Hiking around you can easily spend two days on the plateau and what could be better than returning from a long days hike to lovingly made italian food and a bottle of wine?
We spent a lot of time just sitting on the veranda, working on the blog you are reading right now, taking in the view and messing around with their three dogs. You’ll have a hard time leaving, especially if you are on a longer trip because the food is really different to what you normally get around africa and everyone makes you feel right at home.