Mulanje Huts

The Mountain Club works with MMCT and the Forestry Department to maintain nine of the ten huts on the Mulanje Massif – Chambe, Chinzama, Chisepo, France’s Cottage, Lichenya, Madzeka, Minunu, Sombani and Thuchila. The tenth hut – Hope Rest Cottage – is privately operated by the CCAP.

Hut Map

Each hut contains a locked MCM storeroom with mattresses, cooking and eating utensils and other useful items. A major benefit of MCM membership is that there is no need to carry cooking and camping kit and other basic equipment up Mulanje.

The following descriptions contain links (.kml files) to the hut locations and access routes for use in the free Google Earth application. As time goes on, we hope to include more detailed routes and times for Mulanje and other areas in GPS-compatible format, with links to Google Earth. Contributions are welcome. Email the MCM webmaster.

Chambe Hut


Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0772284 8239501, Lat/Long: S15.90875° E35.54304°
Altitude: 1,860m, Google Earth waypoint: Download

Chambe is one of the most popular huts on Mt Mulanje as it is very accessible. However, the plateau pines are being eradicated so the surrounding forest is in a degraded state at present. The hut has a spectacular view of the south-east face of Chambe Peak (2,557m). The round trip climb to the peak can be done from the hut in 5–7 hours. Chambe can accommodate up to 16 people in two large rooms (one with cooking fireplace) and an outdoor covered veranda. Drinking water is piped to a nearby tap and there are two pit latrine toilets.

Access: 3 hours up the Likhubula Paths (Skyline or Chapaluka); 5 hours from Thuchila Hut; 4 hours from Lichenya Hut; 3 hours from Chisepo Hut

Chinzama Hut

Chinzama Hut

Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0784123 8240570
Lat/Long: S15.89776° E35.65341°
Altitude: 2,139m
Google Earth waypoint: Download

Chinzama Hut is beautifully situated within the heart of the mountain, close to the source of the Ruo River with stunning views. There are two rooms, basically furnished, both with cooking fireplaces. The hut can sleep up to 12 people. A fairly large verandah has more space outside for sleeping in good weather conditions. There are two long-drop toilets. There are pools within 5 minutes of the hut which are ideal for cooling off.

Access: 4-5 hours from Tinyade Estate via Jungle Route,
3 hours from Sombani Hut,
1 ½ hours from Minunu Hut,
2 – 3 hours from Thuchila Hut

Chisepo Hut

Chisepo Hut

Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0776502 8236694, Lat/Long: S15.93363° E35.58273°
Altitude: 2,219m, Google Earth waypoint: Download

Chisepo Hut is the newest hut on the mountain, perfectly situated for an ascent of Sapitwa, Mulanje’s highest peak (3,002m). This is a 5 – 6 hour return trip from Chisepo. There is one large room with a double-sided cooking fireplace and a large outdoor veranda. Chisepo can sleep up to 15 people. Male and female pit-latrine toilets are provided.

5-6 hours from Likhubula
5-6 hours from Otto’s
6-7 hours from Tinyade Estate
2-3 hours from Thuchila Hut
3 hours from Chambe Hut

France’s Cottage



Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0771438 8239525
Lat/Long: S15.90863° E35.53514°
Altitude: 1,843m
Google Earth waypoint – Download

Access: 3–4 hours up Likhubula paths (Skyline or Chapaluka)
4 hours from Lichenya Hut, 3 hours from Chisepo Hut

France’s Cottage is an old forestry cottage renovated in 2005. The last residents were the France’s in the late 1940s, and Laurens van der Post (author of the book on Mulanje, Venture into the Interior) stayed here on his visit. Forester Freddie France accompanied him further and was washed away attempting to lead the crossing of a flooded Ruo River. Tragically, his body was never found.
The cottage has two small bedrooms, one with two single beds and one with two sets of bunk beds. There is a small living room with an open cooking fireplace. It faces the east face of Chambe Peak and is situated within 200 metres of the Chambe mountain hut. The cottage accommodates 6 people in comfortable conditions as it is better furnished and equipped than the standard mountain huts. There is piped water to a back garden tap and one pit-latrine toilet. The cottage can be used by special arrangement.

Hope Rest Cottage (CCAP)


Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0771349 8232767, Lat/Long: S15.96968° E35.53508°
Altitude: 1,981m, Google Earth waypoint: Download


4–5 hours up the Nessa path
4 hours up the Boma path, starting at Mulanje Boma/Kara O’Mula Lodge
4–5 hours up the Likhubula path
4 hours from Chambe Hut
1 hour from Lichenya Hut

This is the one mountain cottage that is privately owned, by the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), and bookings are made through Likhubula House (01 467 762) or infoMulanje. Constructed in 1899, the cottage is testament to the quality of Mulanje cedar timber. It has three bedrooms with a total of eight beds and is also equipped with basic kitchen utensils. There is an outside pit latrine toilet. The lovely Linje pools are a 15-minute walk away.

Lichenya Hut


Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0773084 8232301
Lat/Long: S15.97369° E35.55133°, Altitude: 1,840m
Google Earth waypoint: Download

4-5 hours from Nessa (Nessa or Bamboo path)
4 hours on the Boma path, starting at Mulanje Boma/Kara O’Mula Lodge
4-5 hours on Likhubula path
4 hours from Chambe Hut
1 hour from CCAP Hope Rest Cottage

Lichenya is the largest hut on the mountain and can sleep more than 20 people. This makes it the most suitable hut for large groups. The hut comprises three large rooms with a large outdoor veranda area. Two of the rooms have cooking fireplaces. There are pools located within 5 minutes of the hut. A bucket-shower house and ladies and gent’s pit latrine toilets are provided.

Madzeka Hut


Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0787746 8234147,
Lat/Long: S15.95535° E35.68799°
Altitude: 1,820m, Google Earth waypoint: Download

Madzeka is situated in the south-east of the Mulanje plateau and dates from 1966. It is built above a very attractive stream with waterfalls and pools for swimming. There are two rooms, one with a fire, and the sleeping capacity is 12 persons. It is well placed for climbing Manene (2,650m) and other nearby peaks.

3 hours on Little Ruo path starting at Lujeri Estate, Field Office 3
5–6 hours on Malosa Path starting at Malosa Forestry Station
1.5 hours from Chinzama hut

Minunu Hut


Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0782496 8237600
Lat/Long: S15.92478° E35.63857°
Altitude: 2,015m
Google Earth waypoint: Download

Minunu is the smallest of the Mulanje huts, but has recently been extended to include a second room to provide a good amount more sleeping space. Perched in grassy surroundings above an attractive stream with splendid bathing pools, it has views of Ruo Gorge to the south and good access to Nakodzwe Peak to the north-west (2,964m).

5–6 hours on Big Ruo path, starting at Lujeri Estate, Hydro Station
1.5 hours from Chinzama hut

Sombani Hut


Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0788908 8241039
Lat/Long: S15.89298° E35.69800°
Altitude: 2,070m, Google Earth waypoint: Download

Sombani was built in 1961 to replace an earlier hut which burnt down in 1956. It has two rooms and can sleep up to 10 people. It provides a very good base for ascents of the dramatic peak of Namasile (directly opposite the front of the hut, 2,687m), the more difficult and dramatic Matambale Peak (2,642m), and even Chinzama (2,666m) to the south.

Access: 3 hours on the Sombani path, starting at Fort Lister Forestry Office, 3 hours from Chinzama hut, 3 Hours from Madzeka hut

Thuchila Hut

Thuchila 2

Map Ref (UTM) 36 L: 0779432 8240865
Lat/Long: S15.89563° E35.60960°
Altitude: 2,303m
Google Earth waypoint: Download

Originally built in 1901, Thuchila is the oldest of all the Mulanje shelters. It is in a lovely setting looking out north east over Elephant’s Head, the shady veranda offering a superb view across to the bulk of the Zomba Plateau. There are four medium-sized rooms, two with fireplaces, plus a storeroom. Thuchila is an excellent base for scrambling routes on at least six of the Mulanje peaks, Nandalanda (2,585m) being the nearest. There are pools for swimming about 15 minutes away.

4 hours on the Lukulezi path, starting at Tinyade Estate
2.5 hours from Chinzama Hut
2-3 hours from Chisepo Hut