Zomba is a spectacular table-top mountain overshadowing Zomba Town, which nestles 2,500 feet below, at the bottom of a steep face.
There are actually two plateaux here, Zomba and Malosa, which are split by the Domasi River but it is the southern section of Zomba that draws the visitors.
The plateau has a slight depression in the middle with peaks and higher ground surrounding it.
There are scarp-like edges on three sides and there are lots of streams running through the trees over small waterfalls and rapids.
This is a lovely area but its ‘drive-by’ beauty is limited, to really appreciate it and get a proper feel for your surroundings, you need to head off and explore.
You can do this by car and on foot, or better still, a combination of both. There are some delightful walks to suit a range of energy levels.
Zomba is covered in forest and is one of Malawi’s Forest Reserves. There are beautiful Cypress trees, Mexican pines and splendid Mulanje cedars. Lining the steep slopes are pretty wild flowers, ferns and orchids.
There are many crystal clear pools and small waterfalls, sun-dappled glades and verdant river channels. Colourful butterflies are bountiful as they flutter and hover near the waters edge and birdlife on the plateau is abundant.
There are two main viewpoints on the plateau: Queen’s View (named after the Queen Mother on her visit to the area in 1957) and Emperor’s View (named after Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia). Here, you can look out over the vast Phalombe Plains south of Zomba. On a clear day, Lake Chilwa and Mount Mulanje are also visible.
Fly into Livingstone and see the Falls then drive to the Lower Zambezi National Park and camp on the banks of the river. Cross country to South Luangwa Park for more superb game viewing and on to Malawi with optional stays at the stunning Mombo Island on the Lake.