Hiking Mount Mulanje

This past Easter break I hiked Mount Mulanje in southern Malawi and it was AWESOME!.  Mulanje is a serious, rustic climb that makes you feel like a legit athlete when you're done - 4 days later.  It takes several hours just to get to the top of the plateau, never mind any of its peaks  The secret to my wonder woman feat:  porters.  Truthfully, I couldn't have done this hike without them, not with my bum knee (never mind my lack of physical strength). 

Heading south on a bus Dani (left) and Cara (right).  Optimistic and excited.

Classic "before the hike" pose.

To start the hike we needed to cross this stream river.  And no, I didn't gracefully hop along the rocks.  I fell in the river and needed a helping hand to climb back on the rocks.  I was fine, but my "I am an agile ballerina" ego was a bit bruised.

A view from the top of the plateau.

Often spotted along the trail:  me resting.

A common bridge, not too high off the ground.  Very slippery.

What I thought our "hut" accommodation was.

What our "hut" actually was. 

Rustic (or way better than any "hut" I imagined) interior.

Another view from the top.

Yet, another gorgeous sunset courtesy of Malawi.  We didn't hike that peak
And, we hiked alongside a double rainbow.  Seriously!

Took a proper photo, too.

Our guide and porters.

The never ending adventures of transport.  We took bike taxi's to get back to the main road after the hike.  It was a bit scary blazing down those dirt roads at warp speed.  I don't know how the ladies with babies on their backs sit side saddle.  I white knuckled the mini handle bars the entire twenty minute journey.  On the way to the base camp from the main road, I rode on the back of a matola (flatbed truck) wedged between bails of bananas and a live chicken.  I swear I don't make this stuff up.  Promise, I'm not that creative.

Sharing head space with a bag of who knows what in the back of a minibus.
View from the top of the plateau. 

If hiking Mulanje sounds like your forte, it can be done pretty inexpensively.  My recommendation is to get in touch with the Mountain Club of Malawi Key Keepers.  Most of them are expat avid hikers that have been in Malawi for years and are very knowledgeable.  If you're up for the hike, I highly recommend it.   Of course, feel free to contact me if you have questions.

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