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Ntchisi Forest Reserve

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Earth : Africa : Southern Africa : Malawi : Central Malawi : Ntchisi Forest Reserve
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Ntchisi Forest Reserve

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Ntchisi Forest Reserve is in the Central Region of Malawi.




The Reserve sits on the escarpment of the East African Rift Valley, on Ntchisi Mountain, and has stunning views of the valley, Lake Malawi and even across the lake to the mountains in Mozambique.

Flora and fauna[edit]

One of the last remaining patches of tropical rainforest in southern Africa, Ntchisi Forest Reserve is a haven for rare birds, several species of monkeys, hyena, small antelopes, civet, serval cat and many other small species. The rainforest flora, however, is the real highlight of this area of outstanding natural beauty.


At 1500-1700 metres, the climate in Ntchisi Forest Reserve is cooler than the surrounding low-lying areas, making it a welcome escape from the heat. It is also mosquito-free.

Get in[edit]

One of the most beautiful dirt roads in the country lies between Mponela and Ntchisi Forest Reserve, the most direct route from Lilongwe. The Reserve is around 2 hours drive from Lilongwe, or 1.5 hours from the airport, making it an easy first destination on arrival in the country. A four-wheel drive car is required in the rainy season.


Entry to the Forest Reserve is free.

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

There are numerous hiking trails of varying length covering Ntchisi Mountain and surrounding slopes. A guide can be hired at Ntchisi Forest Lodge, who can also arrange village tours or walks in the forest with the local traditional healer.

Ntchisi Forest Lodge can also arrange tours of their community projects in surrounding villages.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Eat[edit][add listing]

  • Ntchisi Forest Lodge, Ntchisi Forest Reserve (2 hrs north of Lilongwe), +265 (0)999 971 748, [1]. The lodge has a restaurant famous for its fresh home-cooking. Only open to guests at the lodge or with previous reservation.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Ntchisi Forest Lodge, Ntchisi Forest Reserve, +265(0)999 971 748, [2]. The lodge has a beautiful 'rainforest bar' open to guests at the lodge.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Ntchisi Forest Lodge, Ntchisi Forest Reserve (2 hrs north of Lilongwe), +265 (0)999 971 748 (), [3]. Cosy, owner-run lodge with five rooms in one of the oldest buildings in Malawi, two luxury 'Safari style' tents and a Forest Cabin with two rooms. Located in one of southern Africa's last remaining patches of tropical rainforest. This is a great destination for nature-lovers seeking peace and quiet and a taste of the real Africa. The lodge terrace has stunning views of the Rift Valley and hiking trails start right from the doorstep. Other activities include guided rainforest hikes, walks with the traditional healer and cultural village activities. Camping is also available. Reservation necessary.  edit



Stay safe[edit]

Get out[edit]

Various excursions are possible if you are based in Ntchisi Forest Reserve:

  • Local markets in Ntchisi town
  • Village visits to remote parts of Malawi
  • Nkhotakota, with access to Lake Malawi and Nkhotakota Pottery (working pottery with restaurant and beach), is 1.5 hrs drive east.

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