Viva Fitness & Gym
Wide range of equipment, quality customer orientated service, operating long hours, open on weekends and holidays, friendly staff, flexibility
– morning aerobics ( Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 7.45am)
– evening aerobics ( Mondays – Fridays @ 6pm)
– X fit on Wednesdays @ 5pm
– Boot Camp on Saturdays @ 6am
– Karate (Wushu) for kids on Mondays @ 2pm.
– Cardio exercises
– power lifting
We also offer professional massages (book in advance)
Mondays – Saturdays from 5.30am – 8pm
Sundays 3pm – 7pm
*We are open during most public holidays
Tel. 0995361999 | 0887254303
Hike the Mountain
Zomba Plateau is 1,800m high with a peak of just over 2,000m. On the mountain you find cedar, pine, and mountain berries. You can drive up (taxi approx K6,000) or hike up (2 hours)
There are nice spots for picnics; one at Mulunguzi Dam (K200 per person) with a beautiful view on the dam and Mandala Falls. Another one is at Trout Farm (also K200 per person). There used to be trout, but nowadays there are no fish to be found. Both places are easily reachable by car.
Of course you can go further on foot to one of the view points (2 hours walking from KuchaWe) or Chingwe’s Hole (3 hours walking).
The shortest hike is to William’s Fall’s (45 minutes) where you can jump in the water to cool down.
We recommend to take a guide with a photo ID (see Zomba Tour Guide Association).
On the mountain you will see the results of deforestation; both legal (plantations) and illegal (locals and big companies). Please do not approach these people.
HISTORY OF ZOMBA
Did you know Zomba was first the place to have electricity? Many more facts about Zomba can be learned during the historical city tour.
Zomba used to be the capital of Malawi and it has historical buildings from around the 1900’s. The botanical gardens were started in 1910 and used to be the gardens of the first governour’s house. Opposite the gardens you find the former parliament buildings. The government press and the first hospital are not far.
The town is also home to the University of Malawi, which is worth a visit. The mix of old and new architecture makes the campus an interesting place to walk around. You can find some good places for lunch around campus, and if you are lucky the students of Fine & Performing Arts have a play or concert planned while you are in town.
On your way to Blantyre you will find the KAR memorial, Kobbe barracks, the prison, and the Central hospital.
You can book a guide at African Heritage or Pakachere, or just explore on your own.
Shopping & the Market
Zomba is the fourth city in Malawi; much smaller (and much less traffic) than Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu, but big enough to have some supermarkets, some good shops and a big market.
In Zomba you find a small Shoprite Usave opposite the bus station with a good selection of products you cannot find in villages, People’s Trading Centre and Chipiku PLUS opened its doors in October 2021. You can now find almost everything you want in Zomba! There is a nice DAPP for secondhand clothes and PEP for South African clothes and (some) kitchenware.
The market is big and you can walk around without any hassle. Occasionally someone might be a bit pushy, but in general you can shop like the locals – no need to be aggressive, haggle or refusing to pay the price they are asking, as usually you will pay the same as the locals do.
At the market, outside People’s and on the mountain you will find fruits and veg that you cannot find elsewhere in the country. From macadamia nuts to Himalayan raspberries, gooseberries, rhubarb and strawberries.
A Malawian Made (crafts/farmer’s) Market will be organised again as soon as a new location has been found.
Come and try delicious artisanal Belgian Chocolates, made in Zomba. For sale at Pakachere.
Tour Guide Association
OUR ZOMBA TOUR GUIDES
The Zomba Tour Guides know the plateau very well. We recommend everyone to take a guide, as not only do they provide local knowledge, but you also support local families and Zomba’s conservation efforts.
The Zomba Tour Guide Association helps with fire prevention, patrol to stop illegal logging, and they keep the paths free.
Before you agree your trip with a guide, always ask for their photo ID! Prices for a hike (not per person) range on average between $5 for 2 hours and $20 for a full day (8+ hours) – the final price is what you negotiate with the guide and will be payable in Malawian kwacha.
You can either drive up the mountain and find a guide there, or book via your lodge.
Jonas (chair man) tel. +265(0) 994733305 / 0993804060
Find trees and open spaces in Mulunguzi in the stunning Zomba National Botanic Gardens (Mk 300). Next to ESCOM and the Old Parliament (historical buildings), the botanic gardens are a great place to walk, enjoy trees and relax.
Easy to visit, just of the main road (M3), with free parking. An important tribute for the King’s African Rifles. The King African Rifles Monument is a sobering insight into the contributions of British colonies to global efforts of the empire. The names of hundreds of Malawian soldiers killed in WW I are engraved in the plaques positioned around the monument. Worth a short stop!
Mandevu Integrated Farm, Aquaculture and Ecotourism Centre (MIFAEC) also popularly referred to as Mandevu Farm, is an innovative integrated enterprise which was established in 2005. It is located at Mirala village, TA Nkula in the Eastern District of Machinga in Malawi (Africa). The name ‘integrated farming concept’ is seen through interlinkages of the various components of the enterprise.
MIFAEC is a very nice place where one can learn, work and stay. The Farm offers various excellent services. On one hand, it is a simple but very innovative integrated farm. On the other hand, it is a very nice place where you can be drilled with several farming skills.
MIFAEC is a paradise for Conferences, Mouth Watering Farm Fresh Traditional Foods; Executive Accommodation; Traditional Music and Dances by the resident Mandevu Farm Band; Ecotourism; Camping; Nature Trailing; children’s activities and animal, poultry, fruit fish and seedling farming. Simply put, it is a place to be.
The farm has a lodge known as “The Village@Mandevu Farm” that provides, conferencing services at Mandevu Farm International Conference Centre (MFICC), accommodation services, a restaurant with high quality farm fresh traditional food and entertainment by the resident Mandevu Farm Band. In addition MIFAEC has maize and rice mills which apart from serving the surrounding communities, provide raw materials for animal and fish feed. This makes it a place where one can learn, work, be entertained and stay.
The farming component includes fish farming, vegetable farming, fruit farming, bee farming, animal farming, poultry farming, and plant seedling farming. Animal Manure from poultry and animal farming acts as an input for the fish ponds and tree nursery. Excess water
from the fish ponds is used for irrigating the tree/seedling nursery, vegetable gardens, and fruits.
GOLF, TENNIS, MOUNTAIN BIKING, CLIMBING
Sporty people can do many activities in Zomba. Of course you can hike the mountain or rent a mountain bike from Africycle at Pakachere, to ride on the mountain.
There are some nice loops in Mulunguzi/Old Naisi for runners and cyclists, stroll around the botanical gardens, or you can walk to Casa Rossa via the upper road.
There is a golf course where you can get a golf class including caddie and clubs for only K5,000. At Gymkhana you can play tennis or squash, and they have a gym. Another gym in town with great masseurs is Viva Gym, close to the market.
There are 4 pools open to the public for people who want to go for a swim (see below) .
Soon there will also be a possibility for rock climbing and bouldering in Zomba.
Every year in September Zomba Forest Lodge through their charity TREEZ, organises a run for reforestation. The Run4Reforestation is a sporting event aimed at raising awareness and funds for TREEZ and Zomba Plateau.
You run or walk 5, 10 or 21k to help TREEZ protecting the mountain. Costs are K10,000; there is a market, a raffle with great prices, and much more happening on the mountain that morning.
Check out the dates for 2022: visit the TREEZ website for more information.
Also look out for more events in town that weekend, as most tourism operators support the efforts of TREEZ and will organise smaller events for raising awareness and funds to protect trees on Zomba Plateau.
You can read more about TREEZ under ‘Zomba‘.
There are several swimming pools in Zomba.
Recently KuchaWe has opened a heated pool on the mountain with stunning views! It is a bit pricey (K5,000) but worth visiting. If you want lunch, we recommend to order in advance as it might take a while.
TnD has a lovely small pool for Mk 2,500. You find TnD close to the University of Malawi.
Tuta2 has a nice swimming with a bar where you can chill, have a drink and relax. It is close the mental hospital (K2,000).
Pajokola on the way to Malosa/Liwonde has a pool with a nice view. It can be busy on Sundays, and it has good vibe.
Mulunguzi Riverside Lodge opened its doors in 2019 and has a pool (Mk 2,000). Sometimes they have pool parties.
Thutchila Pools are great if you want to swim in natural water. It is 1hr15mins drive, but stunning and very refreshing! You find the pools just after Phalombe on your left handside (Thutchila Estate); cool down at the foot of Mount Mulanje 🙂
Malape (Chikala) Pillars & Chilema Tree (Malosa)
Malape Pillars (also known as Chikala Pillars) are magical. Natural sand castles made by wind & water. You can book a taxi and guide at Pakachere.
A place of natural beauty, Lake Chilwa dries up sometimes and there are not as many birds and fish as there used to be. Take a boat to Chisi Island where you can camp or stay with a family. Don’t forget a sun hat and sun lotion! You can book a trip with Isaac
Thutchila Pools (Mulanje)
COOL DOWN AT THE FOOT OF SAPITWA.
Only 1hr15mins from Zomba you find Thutchila, a gorgeous place for a walk, a swim and a picnic at the foot of the highest peak of Mulanje mountains. You can stay overnight in basic but decent accommodation, or just go for the day.
Enjoy lunch or go for a walk along the river. The pools are cold, so nice and refreshing in the hot season. The roads to Thutchila (via Matawale/Jali/Phalombe) are good with stunning views along the way.
Ask at your lodge or the tourism office for more information on how to get there. Taxi driver Austin can take you there within less than 1.5 hours. We recommend you bring drinks & food for a picnic. Pakachere offers day trips.
Cultural Village (Liwonde)
Malosa Forest Reserve
Great hikes but deforestation has affected this place. People are cutting trees and making charcoal, but it is still worth a visit.