Updated: Jan 28
1. Leslie Lodge
Nestled in Blantyre's leafy neighbourhood of Mount Pleasant, Leslie Lodge is a lovely boutique lodge with lush gardens and tastefully decorated rooms. This is a family run business, and guests are welcomed by friendly and attentive staff. The lodge offers breakfast lunch and dinner, as well as self catering options for long stays.
Opt for a guided village walk in one of Blantyre city's peri-urban areas. The income earned from these ecotourism visits support the work of the community organisation managing home health care, clinics and food assistance to the villagers.
2. Blue Zebra Island Lodge
What better way to feel truly spoilt than to spend a few days on an island? With a few carefully designed tented rooms, you and your favourite people can have a spectacular private island experience. The entire team at Blue Zebra are exceptional, making you delicious meals (you must try the breakfast pancake with eggs), suggesting the perfect cocktail for sundowners by the pool, or letting you know the best spot on the island to catch a glimpse of birds like the Africa Pitta.
Visit a family of potters in Salima on your way to Blue Zebra. Learn about how the brothers create beautiful pots using clay collected from a nearby mountain and decorated with glittering brown, black and gold sand. Visits are up to three hours, from an introduction to the family and their craft, to creating your very own masterpiece. A local lunch prepared by the family is also available.
3. Zomba Forest Lodge
Owner managed by a British couple passionate about the environment, ZFL's Tom and Petal are dedicated to reforestation work on Zomba Mountain. The lodge sleeps up to 8 guests only, giving time spent at the lodge a very intimate feel. The water is piped into the house from the mountain, and each evening a team member brings in the solar lighting that you will use for the night. You will also be treated to dinner by candlelight, and as many guests point out, the food is as delicious as it is imaginative (look out for Tom's menu). Much of the artwork on the property is by Tom who is a talented painter and artist.
The couple will gladly share their stories of conservation through their main passion, Zomba Treez. You can donate directly to help rehabilitate the mountain's forest.
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