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Malawi: Bicycle Tour Travel Guide




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by David Mozer

[An introduction and overview to travel in Africa is available by clicking here.  If you are look for a bicycle tour to this country, this link might help you.]

The information below may have been extracted from a more comprehensive "Country Supplement" to the book "Bicycling In Africa".  For information on these publications click on the links.

Malawi has a lot going for it and is worth slowing down and relaxing in. There are paved roads from one end of the country to the other, and a variety of interesting side roads to explore that offer a full range of challenge. For those who want to do more than bicycle there are wildlife and bird viewing safaris, hikes in the mountains (Nyika National Park, Zomba Plateau and Mount Mulanje), steamer trips along the lake and snorkeling at beach resorts.

The main road through the country goes from Blantyre to Ncheu, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, and Karonga. For bicycle touring purposes the country can be divided into the south and the north. The south is less hilly so has generally easier cycling. North of Ncheu there is very little that is flat ­­ be prepared to do hills like you have never done before. The hills vary from big roller, to dives and accents in and out of deep, steep river canyons, to crawl up the side of several thousand feet high escarpments.


In the north, if you are also not shy about dirt, there are some sections of the old road that are interesting alternatives to the highway. These can be roughly described as Mzimba to Rumphi and Rumphi to Livingstonia. The first bypasses the section between Chikangawa and Mzuzu which is very pretty, itself.

If you are looking for easier cycling a good area to consider is the southern circuit between Blantyre, Mulanje, Pholome Zomba and back to Blantyre. You could also continue north of Zomba to Mangoche and Monkey Bay. If you keep the pace leisurely enough you can also take advantage of walking opportunities on Mount Mulanje and the Zomba Plateau, and take a dip in Lake Malawi at Cape Maclear.

Links of Interest:


Regional Resources:





For current news on Africa and more web sites with country-by-country information go to the link section and click on "Africa: News, Background, Travel."

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