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Zomba Plateau

The Zomba Plateau is one of the highlands of Malawi, along with the Nyika Plateau. In contrast to the moorlands and grasslands of the Nyika, however, much of the Zomba Plateau is covered in pine plantations and indigenous riverine and montane forest, with a small number of a huge variety of mammals, and plenty of birds.

The large number of footpaths and trails that extend over the plateau make it a rambler or hikers dream, with several designated paths that take you past certain areas and make it more likely that you will see something of interest.

One of these includes a short nature trail past Mulunguzi Dam, which contains trout, moving along to the forested banks of the Mulunguzi River and the Mandala Falls. This is a good place to see mammals, specifically bushbuck and vervet monkey, although plenty others have been seen here. This is a hotspot for birds, with black saw-wing swallow, mountain wagtail, Bertram’s weaver and white-tailed crested flycatcher commonly seen.

Another attraction of the plateau is Chingwe’s Hole, which is a natural hole that is rumoured to reach the base of the Rift Valley. From here there is a trail that has several excellent viewpoints along it, giving good views of Lake Malombe, as well as leading you through a patch of montane forest in which blue monkeys are regularly seen, and birds including starred robin, bulbuls and warblers and the Thyolo alethe are present.