Africa has been well known as a hub for tourist activities with its beautiful mountains and safaris in South Africa, Kenya, and other parts in of Africa. These activities have attracted a lot of investment opportunities into the continent which has greatly contributed to the growth of African Economies. Despite this boost, there are still a lot of these sites that have not being fully explored.
There is unexplored wonder of Africa that ought to be a destination for all who need eco-tourism experience. It is Located in Malawi a country that has been at peace since time immemorial, has known no civil strife, nor experienced any war. On Global Scale of peace Index, Malawi scores 45 according to 2016 data, which puts the country itself a very attractive destination with trouble free visits. The wonder is Mulanje Mountain.
Mulanje Mountain is rated as the third largest mountain in Africa and stands out as one of the largest inselbergs in the world. Rising sharply from the surrounding plains of Chiladzulu and the tea growing district Mulanje, the Mountain is only 65km east of Blantyre, the commercial city of Malawi. It measures approximately 13 times 16 miles (22 times 26 kilometers) and has a maximum elevation of 3,002 m at its highest point, sapitwa peak. Such topography provides various sporting activities such as hiking and parachuting among others. As such, the mountain hosts an annual competition called peak bagger which is the race to be the person to climb the most peaks in a day, or the most peaks over the year. Rising on the slopes of the mountain is the Ruo River that is the largest tributary of Shire River which eventually pours water into Indian Ocean through Zambezi River.
Mulanje Mountain provides vast business opportunities for both local and foreign investors. Driving in a good quality tarmac road from Blantyre, one is greeted by tea estates. The trading centers on this road are full of locals selling Macadamia nuts. The nuts are used in various market segments including ingredients for chocolates, biscuits and cakes, and ice cream among others. Mulanje district is a growing district of pineapple and bananas thus providing investment opportunities for food processing industries. This is due to the availability of the raw materials found in bulk and at a very low cost hence the potential of realizing high profits.
As one moves from beneath towards the mountain top, one can see the tea plantations that gives its green attribute throughout the year. The scenery and the quiet environment is conducive for leisure. Such nature is complemented by executive lodges that offer visitors best food and accommodation. Each one of these has tour guides that help to give visitors a great experience ever into the mountain. Groups of people can be seen pitching their tents as they camp beneath and in the mountain.
The mountain harbors unique species of animals that are not found anywhere else in the world. Herpetologist, Yankho Chapeta, stated that there are certain reptiles that are found only in Mulanje Mountain in the world. These include Mulanje Pygmy chameleon (Rhampholeon platyceps) and the Mulanje Chameleon ( Nadzikambia mlanjesis) , the king dwarf gecko and butterflies that are endemic to mount Mulanje in Malawi. Yankho also pointed out that the Mount is especially rich in endemic plants such as Mulanje cedar. With these treasures, it is logical to argue that the mountain doesn’t only provide a vast tourism experience of natural species but it also provides a conducive place for conducting research in different disciplines on planet earth.
As part of the warm heart of Africa, people that surround Mulanje Mountain are true carriers of the Malawi brand, the warm heart of Africa. This is due to their hospitality and warmth when dealing with visitors. With a strong religion background, the people know how to respect visitors and help them appreciate their history and culture. In this regard, Ministry of Tourism Principal secretary, Elsie Tembo was quick to point at the rich cultural heritage of the Mulanje people as a unique feature that every visitor enjoys. This ranges from their traditional dance, manganje that provides stunning customary entertainment in the world for both the dancer and spectator. Concurring with Tembo, Ministry of culture official, Isaac Chingota said the great tourism experience in Mulanje is not just limited to the mountain but also the people’s unique culture and festivals. The architecture of their traditional houses, Lomwe language, myths about the mountain that have transferred from one generation to another, combine to make Mulanje mountain the next destination for everyone, from an investor to a tourist.