The Mountain is the third biggest in Africa and is something that the locals are very proud of and are very much aware of its significance to them. It provides for them financially and spiritually as well as being a magnificent back drop to their home.
Mount Mulanje dominates the Mulanje district of South West Malawi. Mulanje town is not far from Blantyre the second city and also not far from the Mozambique border. It’s a rural district which I visited whilst volunteering with FOMO Malawi (Friends of Mulanje Orphans) at a local senior school.
The lower slopes are a source of timber which is processed locally and is deeply forested with pine trees. The water which cascades down the side of the mountains feeds the tea plantations which provide work for the locals. The locals also collect firewood as most families cook over a fire.
It is home to a range of animals including snakes, antelope, hare, hyena and monkeys can often be seen in the mountain’s caves.
There are myths and legends surrounding the summit and many say if you try to climb to the highest peak you may not return and people hint of sightings of Sapitura a ghostly apparition! Locals also use it as a site for praying.
There are many trails leading up the mountain and most say it will take more than two hours to reach the top. Mount Mulanje attracts tourists which means they are spending money in the area on accommodation, transport, guides and food, this in turn provides local jobs and this foreign currency is an important aid to development of the region.
Brendan Rendall and Emma Timmis ran up one of the tracks as part of their training for #runMalawi. Brendan is about to complete 25 marathons in 25 days and close to raising 28,000 of the £35,000 he hopes to raise in order to build a science and art block at a local FOMO school. Emma is cycling alongside in support of this epic challenge.
It’s beautiful to see especially first thing in the morning as the mists swirl at its feet across the tea plants and as the sun gets warmer so the rich red orange of the granite sparkles as it appears to hug the district looking after its people. Please go and see for yourself, you will be warmly welcomed.
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