|GPS:||-13.582, 33.926 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||John Bradford on Jun 30, 2013|
DescriptionNot exactly a climbing destination, but there is a small climbing community mostly located in and around Zomba and Mt Mulanje. Mike Dalious, who operated an NGO in Zomba for several years developed several small crags in the area, and though he has departed, it is possible to find local expats who are familiar with the area. There are also small climbing pockets around Dedza, and Ntcheu. The best option is to locate the ex pat community and ask about climbers.
There is no sport climbing..the rock is mostly granite and is very hard and weathered. The lack of temperature extremes does not permit any cracking, and the rock is covered with lichens and exfoliation. That said, Mulanje Massif and the Zomba Plateau are two of the most impressive formations in East Africa, if not all of Africa. There are numerous, run out mountaineering routes on Mulanje, and several very old guidebooks are out there. The best is Frank Eastwood's Guide o the Mulanje Massif, still available through Amazon (used copies) Zomba Plateau is a great setting, with a few good places to climb. This is adventure climbing...no doubt about it.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, with one of the densest populations per square mile. Transportation is challenging, accomadations as well. Food and fuel shortages are common. But the people are some of the friendliest in Africa, and though petty crime is common, Malawi is much safer than most African countries. It is still prudent to take all the usual precautions, but this is not Kenya, or West Africa, or South Africa. Travelers in general will fare better here in this regard.
Most land in malawi is privately owned, and you will not go anywhere without attracting a huge crowd of people, except possibly Mulanje and more remote sections of the Zomba Plateau. A few hundred kwacha (about a dollar) will usually buy you all the access you need. Just ask anyone....and the right person to pay will magically appear.
Getting ThereIs not easy. there are two airports with international flights: Lilongwe (LLW) and Blantyre(BLT) LLW has flights from Nairobi, Addis Ababa and johannesburg. BLT from Joburg. Car rentals are possible, either in the major cities or at the airports....but fuel is an on again off again problem, with shortages and long queues common. Public transport includes the ubiquitous mini buses (I wouldn't go there for long distances) and several long haul buses services of varying quality. Blantyre is a more progressive city, but both it and lilongwe have all the usual African services and prices. Zomba is a smaller community in the shadow of the plateau, with a larger ex pat community. It is a shade cooler, and a quieter refuge from the rest of Malawi.
Trips to the lake, and safaris to Liwonde or Luangwa in Zambia are easily arranged as well.
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