Departing from Blantyre, riders diverge through the scenic landscapes of Malawi’s southern highlights from mountain forestry, wildlife wilderness and crystal lakeside freshwaters. Explore the winding woodland trails of Zomba’s Plateau rising 1800m above sea level. Immerse in the dramatic wildlife contrasts of wet grassy marshlands Liwonde’s National Park where abundant wildlife and birding can be discovered laying in the flatlands, meander along the tranquil shire river into the Cape Maclear Nature reserve and discover the gateway to Lake Malawi’s deserted islands for a refreshing visit on pristine & unpopulated islands. Longer route intervals offering comfortable long distance riding through the upper shire river valley escarpment. Spans around the Zomba Plateau descending down into Liwonde across the dipping lowlands of the southern lake shore. Scenic views of mountains capering the horizon and beautiful stretches of countryside ending to lakeside sunsets and freshwater deserted islands.
Elevation 1366 m 1955 m
Climate: COOL DRY SEASON
Be collected from the airport and driven to Blantyre where you will check into your lodge and receive your welcome start pack of goodies (Maps, route information, sim card & airtime). Pump & prepare your bicycles then enjoy sun downers and a delicious dinner overlooking the hills of Blantyre. Here you will overnight at Leslie Lodge.
Leslie Lodge – Located in a quiet street. Newly refurbished with soft touches of wood, charming décor and quaint architecture. Guest’s are surrounded by a luscious courtyard and garden , home to a pair of beautiful duiker. Set amongst an outdoor pool the dinning area inter leading to an honesty bar and cosy lounge serves fine dining dishes alongside the comfort of friendly warm hospitality . En-suite fully furnished rooms with your very own private patio and garden, a fully stocked minibar, WIFI Internet access and DSTV satellite channels and self catering options.
Room: Standard en-Suite (Breakfast)
Begin your cycle today via the M3 for 70km to the lower escarpment of Zomba Plateau. Here you will overnight at Zomba Forest Lodge.
Zomba Forest Lodge – is a small colonial cottage nestled on the escarpment of Zomba Mountain, just within the Forest Reserve. It lies in 20 acres of mixed woodland, home to samango and vervet monkeys, a number of antelope and a host of birds, butterflies and flowers. Situated on the slopes of Zomba Plateau the lodge is ideal for walking, hiking, mountain biking & relaxing.
Room: Standard Room en-Suite (Full Board)
Today you can enjoy various activities on the plateau such as walking, hiking and mountain biking trails. Horse-riding is also available at the Plateau stables. Visit the Sunbird Kuchawe inn and have cappuccino overlooking Zomba and explore the indigenous forest woodlands trails passing river streams, waterfalls and panoramic viewpoints of the Plateau.
Zomba Plateau offers a pleasant variety of trails through forest woodlands beside streams and open grasslands amidst vistas’ of breath taking mountain scenery. Due to the high altitude the Plateau often feels pleasantly cool compared to other parts of the country. With dense vegetation and high soaring indigenous trees the Plateau offers a wonderful immersion of natural beauty and peaceful sightseeing. Enjoy a day of woodland trails, scenic viewpoints alongside river streams, indigenous pine trees and waterfalls.
Time permitting – Go horse-riding at the Plateau stables or mountain biking to panoramic viewpoints, hiking and walking trails can be also done during the day.
Room: Standard Room En Suite (Full Board)
Cycle further out and descend towards Liwonde using the M3 for 68km passing views of mountains until reaching the outlying areas of the Liwonde National Park. Here you will overnight at Bushman’s Baobab
Bushman’s Baobab – Regular visits from elephants are common in this baobab covered lodge. Guests can enjoy authentic bush settings in thatched chalets and en-suite walk in tents shaded in dense savannah and baobab woodlands. Enjoy the splash pool and sunset overlooking Liwonde as the sun sets from there raised hide game viewing deck.
Room: En-Suite Luxury Tent (Full Board)
Continue cycling down the M3 for 50km. A relatively flat stretch of road towards the gravel turn off into Liwonde National Park until reaching the boat crossing over the Shire River to your overnight stop at Mvuu Camp. Enjoy lunch and refresh, Afterwards. Take a game drive through the park & relax on the waters over a game viewing sunset boat safari.
Mvuu Camp – is situated on the banks of the Shire river and has wide range of wildlife to see including rare black rhino and newly introduced lions. An oasis of unique vegetation, wildlife and a range of habitats enhanced by the Shire river which flows through the park. Wildlife includes large numbers of elephants and the river attracts countless hippos and crocodiles. Antelope include kudu, sable and bushbucks there are also lions, leopards, rhino and varied birdlife.
Room: En-Suite Chalet (Full Board)
Have an early start and cycle via the M3 and M10 for 84km to the palm fringed shores of Southern Lake Malawi. Here you will overnight at The Makokola Retreat
The Makokola Retreat – Brilliantly green gardens reveal spacious beach villas and rooms perched along the shores of Southern Lake Malawi. Gracious service in an unmatched experience in Malawi. This showpiece property captures the essence of African design, culture and tradition
Room: En-Suite Lakeview (Full Board)
Cycle onwards via the M10 for 51km. Small bulging hills filled with forest vegetation and dense bush begin to submerge along the way as you cycle into the sandy shores of Lake Malawi, Cape Maclear. Here you will catch a boat (25min) or Kayak Transfer (1 hour) to Domwe island from Kayak Africa. Boat departs (10h00/15h30)
Domwe Island – is ideal for active guests and those that love observing nature. The island’s size and height permit extensive and challenging nature trails, and kayaking it’s lengthy shoreline will delight those with a penchant for exploration. In between all the activity guests can relax in tranquil surroundings with shady and secluded hammocks and shimmering waters as the sun sets behind the distant mountains that make up the far side of the lake.
Room: En-Suite Furnished Canvas Tent (Full Board)
Hop aboard a ferry boat transfer in the morning to neighbouring island, Mumbo or kayak across. Enjoy the rest of the day with water sporting activities such as snorkelling, swimming and kayaking or simply relax on the lake beach watching the still life of distant boats, blue skies and beautiful sunsets.
Mumbo Island – is a pristine and deserted tropical island, and the undisputed jewel of the Lake Malawi National Park with clean and calm waters around. The Island has never been populated, and is still in its natural state with a thick covering of Miombo woodland and ancient fig and baobab trees.
Room: En-Suite Furnished Canvas Tent (Full Board)
Hop aboard a wooden ferry boat departing at 10h30/ 15h00 from the island for a 25 minute sail across the Lake, or choose to Kayak for 1 hour over to Cape Maclear. Here you will overnight at Thumbi View Lodge
Thumbi View Lodge – Excellent food and service with a pool and an undisturbed beach to enjoy the lake and views of Thumbi, Domwe and Mumbo islands. Kayak rentals and boat trips around Cape Maclear can also be arranged. Comfortable rooms, hot showers and sunset views overlooking the horizon.
Room: Lakeview En-suite Room (Breakfast)
Enjoy a leisurely morning sunrise and breakfast in Cape Maclear. Here you will be met by your driver, pack your bikes, gear & take a scenic drive to Lilongwe International Airport for departing flight (3-4 hours)
End of tour