Zomba Plateau: Malawi’s beautiful hidden treasure


 Ayanda Mdluli

Zomba – During the colonial period, around the 1800s, there were many expeditions where explorers mysteriously disappeared as they pushed the boundaries on search of fame, fortune and glory in Africa.

Some of these expeditions, led by German explorers such as Eduard Vogel in Central Africa, went through the harshest terrain, often resulting in the mysterious disappearance of adventurers and explorers who have never been found till this day.

One wonders if these explorers found the hidden treasures they sought which were often shrouded in mystery and mysticism.

In the city of Zomba, Malawi there is one such hidden treasure that is surrounded by mystery known as the Mulunguzi River in the Zomba Plateau.

Legend amongst the locals has it that the myth surrounding the source of Williams Falls, is a tale about where no man has been to determine the source of the waterfall that feeds the Mulunguzi dam, pumping about 1000 litres of water per minute to provide much needed resources in the former capital city.

Some believe that the true source of the waterfall has never been discovered, and those who were close enough to reach it have either disappeared or did not have the guts to proceed the closer and scarier it got.

Malawi, the heart of Africa is known for the beautiful Lake Malawi, which is one of the largest lakes in the world.

Beyond the lake, it is important to appreciate beautiful hidden treasures such as the Zomba Plateau. Malawi is beautiful!

The Williams Falls waterfall in Malawi. Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA).

Malawi is also home to a resort known as Sunbird Kuchawe. The resort, which is home to a hiking trail leading up to the Williams Fall, was first built in 1969 by the first post independence government after the nation’s colonial powers had seceded and moved back to Britain.

Zomba is an old colonial city situated in the Eastern Region of Malawi, a university town home to the country’s largest tertiary institution, the University of Malawi.

The area, which served as the nation’s first capital city during the colonial era, is surrounded by landscapes of forestry that is home to a wide range of bird species and lush greenery, making it a highly viable environment for agricultural production.

In the year 2000, the Mulunguzi Dam was opened, which serves as a water reservoir for the city of Zomba.

The dam, which is fed through the mystical Williams Falls has a length of 2.6 kilometres in diameter and is 3.4 million cubic metres in volume.

The Zomba Plateau gives you a breathtaking and panoramic of Zomba and is much to be admired. From the southern side of the plateau you can hike through some beautiful indigenous forest and past a trout farm to this impressive cascade.

A day trip takes you through to the most stunning view of the plateau towards the trout fish farm, home to rainbow trout fish and Williams Falls.

The area of Kuchawe is named after the ‘chawe’ grass which is indigenous to the mountain terrain. The grass is used to weave baskets and other garments which are sold to tourists for commercial purposes by the locals.

The Kuchawe area gives a scenic view of the area and is situated about 10 kilometres high from the base of Sunbird Kuchawe.

The Zomba Massif, a mountain of the Shire Highlands is largely made up of syenite and other minerals, according to information supplied, it also peaks is 2087 metres high.

It also occupies a total area of about 130 square km which is covered with pine and cedar trees.

The Zomba Plateau is the region’s major tourist attraction and is a definite hidden treasure worth a visit in your lifetime.