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South of Lake Malawi and Liwonde National Park lies a great upland plateau, called Zomba, and a very different face of Malawi. This is mountainous, forested country where monkeys, birds and butterflies enliven the forest with calls and colour. You pass scattered villages as you make your way up onto the plateau and to one of Malawi’s most unique accommodations, Zomba Forest Lodge, which is tucked away under trees at 1400 / 4 600 feet metres above sea level.

A long-serving rest house, Zomba Forest Lodge is a charming cottage has been lovingly remodelled and has four rooms for guests, each simple and elegant in design with an en suite bathroom and a wonderfully cosy and romantic atmosphere. Candles, lanterns and solar lamps provide the night-time illumination and the lack of Internet connectivity adds to the intimate and away-from-it-all atmosphere. Managed and lived in by its welcoming owners, the lodge lies in a fabulous garden and takes its food seriously: expect well-crafted dishes with plenty of local produce.

Less than an hour’s drive from the city of Blantyre, the regional capital, Zomba Forest Lodge offers a long list of activities. You can go hiking with a guide and learn about the landscape, visit local food markets and churches, go horse-riding or even search for orchids in the indigenous forests. Your hosts will be happy to arrange excursions and guides, and it is a short journey from Zomba to Malawi’s premier destinations: Lake Malawi, and the Majete and Liwonde National Parks.


  • Unique mountain destination and a great combination with Lake Malawi
  • Stay as part of the family – wonderful, welcoming feel and personal service
  • Only four rooms, ensuring peace, relaxation and privacy
  • Hiking, horse-riding, community visits, birding and easy walks
  • Excellent, consistently highly-rated cuisine


  • Bird watching
  • Day tours
  • Hiking
  • Local village visits
  • Biking
  • Fishing
  • Horse riding
  • Jogging trails


En-suite Room

There are four rooms at Zomba Forest Lodge, each with a private en suite bathroom and decorated in earthy, African colours and provisioned with art pieces. There are two double rooms, a twin room and a fourth room that can be made into either a double or a twin; each room has a desk and chairs and plenty of storage space for clothes and luggage.


A stay at Zomba Forest Lodge puts you in the home of your hosts: you can relax in the lounge, learn a culinary trick or two in the kitchen, or simply sit outside in the garden with a book and tall drink. The atmosphere is unhurried and simple – there is no electricity at the lodge and cell-phone reception is unreliable: this is time for a complete ‘digital detox’. A mix of lanterns, solar-powered lights and candles provide the lighting at night, as does a roaring log fire in the lounge. Your hosts will arrange any excursions you would like to do in the area.


As one of the owners of the lodge says, ‘People have come to expect some of the best food in Malawi at Zomba Forest Lodge and we aim to keep it up’. For a kitchen that operates without electricity, it delivers amazing food that is consistently highly-rated by travellers. Ingredients are sourced locally as much as possible and with an eye on the seasons; dishes are creative and delicious.

Sitting at individual tables, you enjoy three meals a day, starting with fresh bread, homemade jams and a cooked breakfast before a set-menu lunch and 3-course dinner – you may sit down to fresh cream of mushroom or sweet potato soup, followed by coconut-stuffed chicken with lemon, sushi ginger and coriander. Dietary requirements (and indeed personal tastes) can be catered for with advance notice.

General facilities

  • Private garden
  • Solar power

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