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Best Hiking Trails in Malawi

Overview

Malawi is a small, narrow country sandwiched between Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique in Africa.  There are various mountainous areas in the country; much of the country sits on a plateau. Some of the main areas for hiking include the Mulanje Massif, Nyika Plateau, Zomba Plateau, the Mafinga Hills and around Blantyre and Lilongwe. The best months to hike in Malawi are April to October.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in Malawi. 

Capital: Lilongwe

When To Hike in Malawi?

April – October
November: Some rain
December – March: Very rainy
Climate: Tropical or subtropical depending on altitude – dry and rainy seasons.  In the north, can be a little chilly in Jun/Jul and overall is cool.  In the south, much hotter, can be very hot in Oct.

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: There are some resources available to plan an independent hiking trip, but still advisable to go with a guide.  

Transportation required: Car; 4×4

Where to stay in Malawi for hiking:

  • Mulanje
  • Dedza
  • Zomba Town
  • Blantyre
  • Lilongwe

Most popular hikes in Malawi

The main areas for hiking are in the southern part of Malawi (Mulanje and Zomba) as well as in the north (Nyika Plateau/NP). There are also areas scattered throughout the country. Highest Mountain: Mulanje (3003 m).

Filter out hiking places of Malawi by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Around Lilongwe

  • Nkhoma Mountain
  • Bunda Mountain

Around Blantyre

  • Michiru Peak
  • Mount Soche
  • Ndirande Mountain

Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve

  • Mulanje Massif consists of numerous peaks, including up Mt Mulanje, highest peak
  • Town of Mulanje is a good base, Mulanje Infocentre is a good source of info

Chisi Island

  • Tiny island in Lake Chilwa looks hikeable, but not sure if there are trails

Zomba Plateau

  • Zomba Nature Reserve; hiking trails here including up Malombe Peak

Lake Malawi National Park

  • Nkhunguni Peak

Dedza-Salima Forest Reserve

Nyika National Park

  • Multiple trails here; can do 3 day trek from Rhumpi to Livingstonia

Mafinga Hills Forest Reserve

  • Bordering Zambia, can hike up Mafinga Central (in Zambia) from Chisenga in Malawi

Long Distance Trails of Malawi

  • Rhumpi to Livingstonia – 3 day hike

Malawi's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Malawi Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Hiking Guide to Mount Mulanje, by Drew Corbyn, 2017, Mountain Club of Malawi – https://amzn.to/3U1uumv
  • Malawi: Bradt Travel Guide, by Philip Briggs, 2019, Bradt Travel Guides – https://amzn.to/3J3SkZI
  • Lonely Planet Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, by Mary Fitzpatrick and James Bainbridge, 2017, Lonely Planet Publications – https://amzn.to/3xgHBbI

 

Malawi Hiking Associations/Clubs:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Malawi:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Mount Mulanje – Mulanje Massif
  • Nkhunguni Peak – Lake Malawi National Park
  • Mafinga Central
  • Rhumpi to Livingstonia – Nyika Plateau
  • Malombe Peak – Zomba Plateau
  • Dedza Mountain
  • Nkhoma Mounain – close to Lilongwe

Easy Hiking Trails in Malawi:

  • Bunda Mountain – Lilongwe

 

Malawi Hiking Websites:

 

Malawi Weather Website:

 

Malawi Official Tourism Site:  

 

Malawi Hiking Apps: 

 

Malawi Hiking Maps: 

What Else To Do

  • Lake Malawi

Other Important Points