HIKING

The southern half of the plateau is ideal for hiking. The network of tracks and paths can be confusing, though, so for more help with orientation, there's a 3-D map of the plateau in the Model Hut.

For detailed information on hiking routes on the southern half of the plateau, A Guide to Zomba Plateau (US$2) is a single-sheet map with information on the back, including several suggested hiking routes, produced by the Wildlife Society. It's available in Blantyre and at the Ku Chawe Inn (p212). For more information still, the Zomba Plateau is covered in Lonely Planet's Trekking in East Africa.

Keen hikers may find the northern half of the plateau more interesting. There are few tracks here, and no pine plantation - the landscape is similar to that of Mt Mulanje and Nyika Plateau. For advice on hiking on the northern plateau, contact Chitinji Campsite (opposite).

It's recommended either to walk in a group or to use a guide when hiking as there have been several robberies on the plateau in recent years. There are guides registered with the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs based at the Model Hut, who charge around US$20 per day, although the rate is open to negotiation as there's no set price. More expensive guides are also available from Ku Chawe Inn.

Potato Path

You can hike all the way from Zomba town to the plateau via a direct route called the Potato Path, signposted at a sharp bend

ZOMBA PLATEAU (SOUTHERN SECTION)

Walkiris Trail to Maloja (Northern Section \ of Zomba Flatraul

ZOMBA PLATEAU (SOUTHERN SECTION)

Walkiris Trail to Maloja (Northern Section \ of Zomba Flatraul

Potato Path Zomba

on the road up to the plateau about 2km from Zomba town. The path climbs steeply through woodland to reach the plateau near Ku Chawe Inn.

From near Ku Chawe Inn, the Potato Path then goes straight across the southern half of the plateau, sometimes using the park tracks, sometimes using narrow short cuts, and leads eventually to Old Ngondola Village, from where it descends quite steeply into the Domasi Valley.

The Domasi Valley is well known for its fertile soil, plentiful water and good farming conditions, so here the local people grow vegetables (especially potatoes) and take them along the Potato Path (hence the name) down to Zomba town to sell in the market.

Allow two to three hours for the ascent, and about IVi hours coming down.

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