Dzalanyama Forest Reserve boasts an excellent location just 60 kilometres from Lilongwe in Central Malawi and offers a wonderful experience. The Forest Reserve protects Lilongwe’s water resources and offers an array of outdoor recreation for any discerning nature enthusiast. The landscape is made up of miombo trees, which dominate the forest, and at the highest points, there are speckles of montane evergreen woodland. Dzalanyama Forest covers an impressive 240,000 acres of the mountain range between the border of Malawi and Mozambique. This expansive forest reserve is a hidden gem and one of Malawi’s prime Miombo birding destinations.
Rare species such as the olive-headed weaver, miombo pied barbet, Boulder Chat, White-Tailed Flycatcher, Black Eared Seedeater, and Stirling's Woodpecker can be found in the forest, which is a favourite among bird watchers. The flora is diverse, with some beautiful ferns and epiphytic orchids among them. The Dzalanyama Forest House is a great place to stay in the middle of the reserve. Natural pools and streams are around for a quick and refreshing dip, and there are also a variety of volunteer opportunities at Dzalanyama and in the surrounding towns.
The vervet monkey, chacma baboon, and bush duiker are the most visible animals, although there is also a small herd of sable antelope. Leopards still prowl the woods, and spotted hyenas can be heard howling late at night.
The best time to visit most places in Malawi is during the dry winter months between May and October. Winter is the cooler, brighter time of year and offers lush landscapes and fresh nights.
Dzalanyama Forest Reserve offers a plethora of outdoor recreation for any nature enthusiasts. Those who are intrepid at heart can explore the numerous trails by foot and bike, while some trails can be explored by car. The hiking, walking, and biking routes carve through dense forest trees and allow visitors to get back in touch with nature. The forest is also one of Malawi's top birdwatching spots, particularly for Miombo species. The birdlife is superb, and Dzalanyama is frequently visited by birding enthusiasts from around the world.
The Forest Lodge, which overlooks a creek, is modest but charming, with a wood-burning stove, solar lighting, and refrigeration. The main house has four lovely rooms, two of which are en-suite. There are also three thatched en-suite cabins constructed into the treeline, which may sleep up to 15 people. A well-placed, environmentally friendly campsite is set back from the main house. Individuals, parties, and families can choose from self-catering or fully-catered alternatives.
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