Zomba Plateau

Zomba Plateau at dusk
Zomba Plateau is a wonder, a one-off feature, it is an upland area of forest and farmland, it occupies a total area of about 130 square km. It rises from the surrounding plain and is an oasis of beauty and calm. Zomba Plateau is radically different from what surrounds it – it is cooler, it has rare varieties of plants, it offers some breath-taking views, and is a haven of seclusion and peace.

Zomba Plateau forms part of the Shire highlands that run from the southern end of Lake Malombe. At 2087 metres above sea level, it’s a wonder to see and visit.

Things to do in Zomba

There are lots of activities on the plateau as well as in the city. If you are active, you will not run out of things to do. Firstly, Zomba town, Zomba was the capital of first British Central Africa. The British colonial past is reflected in the architecture of its older buildings and homes. If you are in the town it is well worth wandering around and admiring the colonial architecture.

The main attraction is, of course, the plateau, here you can partake in a range of activities including walking & trekking, cycling & mountain biking, fishing, and horse riding. The plateau top is crisscrossed by streams and there are tumbling waterfalls and still lakes. The views from the top were described in colonial times as “the best in the British Empire” so it is well worth the hike to the top. If you don’t feel like hiking there are a number of driveable tracks to the peak.

Zomba plateau is home to a variety of wildlife including, leopard – although sightings are rare -, baboons, and giant butterflies. Birdlife includes the long-crested eagle and the augur buzzard.

Must do’s

  1. Horse riding on the plateau:
    Beginner or expert? It doesn’t matter, horse riding on the plateau is suitable for everyone and one thing everyone must do when visiting Zomba. If you have never ridden a horse before you will be led, leaving you to sit back and enjoy the views. If you are an experienced rider you do not need to be led and can have free reign! This activity is fun for all the family! If you are visiting Zomba it is a must.
  2. Stand under a waterfall:
    William’s waterfall to be exact. After an exhilarating hike or bike, there in nothing more refreshing than a dip in icy cold water. If you are feeling brave, swim (or paddle) over to the waterfall and embrace the invigorating cold.
  3. Hike to the summit:
    There are a number of walks you can do on Zomba plateau; we recommend the 6-hour route with a guide, you can go for shorter walks and choose to go without a guide. The 6-hour route includes Chingwe’s hole, the Potato path, William’s waterfall and the highest peak. The views from the top of the plateau across the Phalombe plains to Mulanje are awe-inspiring.

Who the destination is good for

If you like the great outdoors you will love Zomba plateau. With the vast range of activities, you will find lots to do and not get bored. Zomba is also ideal for families; due to there being a variety of walking routes suitable for all abilities, activities which can be adapted to suit people of all ages and a range of accommodation options, right for all budgets.

Tours including this destination