Driving Directions to our Little Bit of Paradise...
One of the many great things about Zomba is its location. It is only an hour and a bit from Blantyre, 2 from Mulanje, 1 and a bit from Liwonde, 2 and a half from the southern lakeshore, and only 4 and something from Lilongwe so nowhere is very far... And what a great stop-off Zomba is! Here is how to get here:
GOOGLE MAPS: Please do NOT follow their directions! They will send you all over the mountain!!!
The following directions are from Zomba:
At the junction by Peoples/Chipiku/ City Council, take a left (from Blantyre)/right (from Liwonde) and follow the road up to the barrier which is roughly 5km from the turn-off.
Just after the barrier, go straight on (not right on the tar road and not left on the dirt road!). The road here gets worse so please drive slowly (we know it is terrible, sorry.) The road continues to twist and turn for 1.5km; there is a sign post for ‘Carr’: DON’T TAKE IT! Continue around the next bend, you will come to a collection of terraced brick houses. They are all rectangular with 4 windows)
The road here bends to the right and our turn-off is just on the left after the last house. There is a sign on the only tree standing in the area pointing you in to the dirt track. Take this dirt track which starts off running parallel to the tar. (DON’T CONTINUE ON THE TAR - It will run out and you won’t be able to turn around - We have put a ‘ Danger, NO CARS’ sign up to avoid people taking this road in an attempt to kill themselves... but children have partially destroyed it, sorry!!)
Stay on the main dirt track - it will bend sharply to the left after 50m or so. After rounding the bend, there is a concrete sign painted (but needs repainting) with our ZFL logo (don't take the right fork onto an old track) and continue on this road for roughly 3.5k. Again, it twists and turns but eventually you will reach a wooden fence and you are practically there. After 400m or so, you will see the entrance. Beware that the road feels a lot longer than 3.5km as you are driving slowly!
PRINT DIRECTIONS: Here
BE CAREFUL: Please be sure to reach us before dark as our road is quite tricky at night.
A little note: Please take the dirt track slowly as it is bumpy and sometimes a little slippery when it has rained. During the dry season saloon cars can, and do, make it up here. Ground clearance is more important than 4 wheel drive. However, during the rains, a 4x4 is needed.
In the rainy season, we clear channels all the way along the road so that the track never floods and cars are able to pass easily ; however, if you are driving up in a rain storm, we recommend that you stop and wait for the rain to abate :)
If you have a GPS:
Don't blindly trust it!! It thinks it knows better than us humans, and sometimes it does but in this case it does not. It may take you in unwanted directions but you will get there in the end. Having said that, if you want an idea of where we are, our co-ordinates are the following:
If you are using a GPS, make sure that the directions it gives you correspond to those we have given above. There is no real alternative to reaching us so if the GPS shows a different route, please ignore it and use our directions.
Google Maps: DON'T USE IT! Google for some reason does not know the right way up the mountain so please disregard their directions and take the advice of people who really know (Us) :)
If you are adventurous, then the Google directions will reach us ... but it is VERY bumpy and not for the faint hearted - we advise not to and to follow our directions instead.
If you haven’t got your own car: Don’t worry, where there is a will, there is a way!
There are minibuses and buses running to Zomba from both Blantyre and Lilongwe but be aware that minibuses especially, tend to leave when they are full. Also, if you chose the minibus option, it may take you considerably longer as they are constantly stopping and dropping off /picking up people.
Buses are more reliable generally and if you are lucky, you may even have a seat to yourself!!
Once in Zomba, taxis will take you up here for between $15 and $20 one way (not per person). They sometimes know us as Kachere House as this was the original name of the house so ask for Zomba Forest Lodge and if they look blank, try asking for Kachere House - Do specify that it is on the mountain :)
The Map below shows the tricky bits (in case our directions are not clear enough)
- After the barrier, take the Old Up Road - The Down Road goes up to Ku Chawe
- Follow the Old up road until the ZFL turn off - take the turn off, then follow the dirt track until you reach us :)