Hiking Mount Mulanje up to 3001 meters

Trip Start May 03, 2011
Trip End Jan 31, 2013

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Flag of Malawi  , Southern Region,
Monday, July 11, 2011

Together with Diana (Swiss couchsurfer I met at Gibran's place) I went to Mulanje to climb the highest mountain of Southern Africa apart from the Drakenberg region in Lesotho/ South-Africa. The highest peak is called Sapitwa and means 'don't go there'. Apparently several people got lost on the steep and misty road to the peak and a lot of Malawians didn't believe we did make it to the peak.

The first day we had a 5 hour hike with the first hour through tea fields and 4 hours of steep climbing together with our guide Simon. The climbing was really cool but my 12 kg backpack was giving me a hard time. It was that heavy since you have to carry your own food, water,
cooking gear, mattress and sleeping bag. Arrived at the first hut, CCAP Cottage, and met 2 German girls and their parents there. Cooked our own dinner on the fire which was very tasty.

Next day went to the Pools which was a 1 hour return trip. It was a very nice place and made a very cool jumping picture again, thanks Diana! The road to the next hut was about 4 hours trhough the mountains up and down. Very nice views and the area looks a bit like Scotland, at
least how I picture Scotland since I've never been there. When arriving at the Chisepo Hut we cooked some water and mixed it with cold water so we could have a shower. It is really cool that you have to arrange everything for yourself and live the basic life. Make your own fire, get water from the river, harvest some mint plants along the way to make tea and cook your own meal. Before dinner played some Yahtzee when 2 English girls entered the hut. They were also going to the peak the next day but would be leaving an hour later.

Next morning got up at 4 in the night and started climbing at 4.30 and climbed the first hour in the dark with only my head torch. Did a challenging but very cool 3 hour hike to the peak at 3001 meter. On our way down we met 1 of the English girls who couldn't make it to the top because it was too difficult. After the almost 2 hour way down we had some food and packed our stuff to go for another 5,5 hours down to the village of Likhubula. Again a challenging way down and up crossing rivers and slippery paths. Once down got ourselves a ride on the back of a truck full of bricks and had just enough money to pay our guide and get to Blantyre where we could spend the night.

If you go to Malawi and like hiking definitely go to Mulanje and hike the mountain. 3 days of hiking including everything costs us about 25 to 30 euro each so that's a way better deal than you get at Kilimanjaro.

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