The Best Accommodations in Zomba
Zomba is a military and university town, located 65km north of Blantyre.
It was the capital of first British Central African Protectorate from 1891 and then Nyasaland Protectorate before the establishment of Malawi in 1964.
It was also the first capital of Malawi and remained so until Hastings Kamuzu Banda, the first President, moved the capital to Lilongwe in 1974.
The Parliament remained even longer, until 1994 in Zomba.
The city is best known for its British colonial architecture including the Governor General’s residence and the old parliament buildings and the gateway to several of the country’s most striking natural features.
There is also the Zomba Plateau which is an isolated igneous massif that rises to an altitude of 2,085m.
To the West of town, is, the low-lying Lake Chilwa which is a vast expanse of marsh and open water listed as the only Ramsar wetland site in Malawi.
Zomba is also the home of Chancellor College of the University of Malawi.
Zomba offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels with great security and service, to clean, affordable guesthouses.
Here is a selection of lodges in Zomba by budget.
Luxury Accommodations Above USD100
1. Sunbird Ku Chawe
|Name||Sunbird Ku Chawe|
|Location||Zomba Plateau, Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 1 514 211|
Located on the edge of the Zomba Plateau at an altitude of 2,087m, Sunbird Ku Chawe is Malawi’s premier mountain resort, offering stunning panoramic views of the valley below.
Zomba was Malawi’s first capital until 1974, when the first president Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda moved the capital to Lilongwe.
The Zomba Plateau is ideal for hiking and the view of Zomba from the summit is so spectacular that during the colonial era it was described as ‘the best in the British Empire’.
Birdwatching is also a popular activity since the area is home to many colourful and vibrant bird species.
The Zomba Plateau can be visited on foot, by 4WD vehicle or mountain bike with guided tours.
Enjoy cascading waterfalls, fascinating giant butterflies and a variety of birds and animals.
All 37 en-suite rooms have modern facilities, including twin or king-size beds, air-conditioning, Wi-fi and satellite TV.
The hotel has a restaurant and bar that serves delicious a la carte dishes.
There is also a wonderful buffet dinner available in the evening.
For meetings and conferences, there are a total of 3 meeting rooms with abundant natural light and a maximum capacity of 250 people.
Sunbird Ku Chawe is a 20-minute drive from the town of Zomba, which has many historical attractions such as the Governor’s Palace and the Old Parliament House.
Malawi’s finest mountain resort awaits you.
2. Zomba Forest Lodge
|Name||Zomba Forest Lodge|
|Location||Zomba Forest, Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 888 573 325
+265 (0) 884 901 709
Zomba Forest Lodge is a 30-year-old lodge situated on 20 acres of woodland in the heart of the Zomba Mountain.
The lodge has four en-suite bedrooms: two double rooms, one twin room and one additional room that can be converted into a double or twin room according to guests’ preferences.
There is no modern electricity in the rooms and traditional lighting fixtures such as paraffin lamps, candles and solar lanterns are used.
The lodge serves traditional and international cuisine, including mushroom soup, chicken thermidor and lemon tart.
Located on the Zomba Plateau, the lodge offers a range of activities, including birdwatching and hiking, as well as the chance to observe Malawi’s animals.
Zomba Forest Lodge is a place to relax and make memories with nature.
Due to the limited number of bedding items available, reservations must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Popular Accommodations for USD30-100
3. Casa Rossa
|Location||Along Kaduya Road, Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 991 184 211
+265 (0) 881 366 126
Casa Rossa is a beautiful lodge in a natural environment at the foot of the Zomba Plateau in Zomba.
Opened in 2012, the lodge has four clean, comfortable rooms, three of which are en suite.
Casa Rossa also offers affordable camping sites with power outlets and hot showers close to the tents.
The on-site restaurant serving Italian cuisine is very popular with expats, with some saying it is one of the best Italian restaurants in Malawi.
You can also relax at the bar while admiring the beautifully landscaped gardens.
Casa Rossa is a popular lodge for travellers wishing to explore the Zomba Plateau and nearby attractions such as the National Archives of Malawi, Public Archives and Historical Manuscripts and King’s African Rifles (KAR) War Memorial.
4. Annie’s Lodge Zomba
|Name||Annie’s Lodge Zomba|
|Location||Near Botanical Garden, Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 999 957 608|
Annie’s Lodge in Zomba is conveniently located at the foot of the Zomba Plateau, close to the Old Parliament building and the Botanical Gardens.
The lodge opened in 2005 in a renovated 1920s building that served as a member’s bar for the neighbouring parliament prior to its relocation to Lilongwe.
Clean and cozy, all 50 rooms are en-suite with DSTV, free Wi-Fi, and four room types are available to suit different budgets.
Some rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Zomba Plateau and Lake Chilwa.
The lodge also has conference facilities with a capacity of 40 people, ideal for business meetings, trainings and workshops.
The on-site restaurant and bar serves delicious international and local cuisine.
5. Villa Kupa
|Location||Mountain Road, Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 996 208 459|
Villa Kupa is conveniently located on the outer slopes of Zomba Mountain in a quiet location overlooking Zomba City, Mulanje Mountain and Lake Chilwa.
With all inclusive accommodation, a multi-cuisine restaurant and a garden for events, this venue is ideal for all kinds of events.
Villa Kupa has one conference room with a maximum capacity of 35 people.
There is an additional boardroom with seating capacity of 20 which is also available along with meal packages.
It also comprises six bedrooms and offers a quiet, calm, cosy and private home with a wonderful unspoilt garden.
Surrounded by stunning nature, you can escape the fast-paced pace of life and enjoy the peace and tranquillity.
6. Wadonda Suites
|Location||Old Naisi, Bypass road Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 882 206 666|
Located in Zomba, 7km from Kings African Rifles Momentum, Wadonda Suites provides accommodation with a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.
Conference facilities include one executive board room with a capacity of 40 people.
Cheap Accommodations Under USD30
7. Pakachere & Creative Centre
|Name||Pakachere & Creative Centre|
|Location||Zomba Golf Course, Zomba|
|Phone||+265 (0) 882 858 089, +265 (0) 994 685 934|
Pakachere Lodge & Creative Centre is a backpackers’ hostel situated very close to Zomba Golf Course.
It is very conveniently located 2.6km from the King’s African Rifles Monument and 400m from the University of Malawi.
The lodge is safe and clean and provides a relaxed meeting place for international volunteers, locals, tourists and backpackers.
There are 18 dormitory beds, 2 private rooms with en-suite bathrooms, 2 private rooms with shared facilities, camping and luxury tents in the dry season, to suit all budgets and purposes.
The bar and restaurant offer a wide range of local and international cuisine.
They cater for vegetarians, gluten-free and lactose-intolerant diets, and all meals are made fresh from scratch using local produce.
Popular menu items include pancakes with fruit, bean wraps, burgers and pizzas made with mozzarella from local farmers and basil from the garden.
Pacachere offers a wide range of tours and workshops.
Local tour guides will take you hiking on the plateau or to the Liwonde National Park.
Other events include quiz nights, yoga, garden parties with DJs, karaoke and much more.
Most days are spent in a quiet and relaxing environment, so you can relax, have a good night’s sleep, play bawo or just enjoy the garden.