Covering grounds: Thyolo Tea Estates (Malawi)

“Nothing but breathing the air of Africa, and actually walking through it, can communicate the indescribable sensations.”  ~ William Burchell

   As always, I try to put in a quote that I can resonate with when I write, and the one above is one that I can associate well with. Recently my brother has gone on a short visit home, and so courtesy of him I’ve been seeing pictures, as well as various other posts that come up about Africa, and naturally as I tend to I’m going through a bit of nostalgia and in my heart I ache as I think of Malawi. This small country, nestled between Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania, is home to me, as many of my friends now know and are possible tired of hearing. 🙂 Beyond my sentimentality though, there is a true sense of ethereal beauty that lies within that lands scoped across this nation. And the waters too. I’ve already covered Lake Malawi; the famous Lake of Stars that is so popular amongst the people and travellers who visit. Many may dispute this, but for a real relaxing experience, there is no doubt in my mind that Malawi is a place to visit. Hence I will continue to write for as long as I can and cover as much as I can about my Home.

   Before describing to you the beauty of the tea estates and the surrounding spaces, I would like to note that its unfortunate that there is a perception of Africa existing as one country, when in fact, the diversity in each country truly does offer so much. Travel Pulse has covered the same about this large underestimated continent as a travel destination and states 4 reasons why you should visit Africa and you should visit now – do check it out; if you’ve even got the slightest interest about Africa this article could be appealing to you!

   Naturally after having spent 18 years in the Warm Heart of Africa, I have done my fair share of travels across the country. The Lake (as it is often so simply termed) is always a popular destination spot, for its uncrowded beaches and serene sights. However Malawi has more to offer than its lake alone – oh yes, there’s no doubt that the resorts spread across the lake regions and small islands are appealing; in fact I am yet to visit the famous Likoma Island, Mumbo Island and Domwe Island. Yet I’m about to bring to you the wonder that is in Thyolo Tea Estates.

dsc_0046
View from the picnic spot

      There’s something about reaching up to the peak of the Thyolo Tea Estates at the picnic spot and feeling yourself truly alone with nature. This place thankfully has no reception and is the perfect place to escape the technology that now takes over our lives. I can still remember sitting in front of the fire with a book at Huntington Lodge on one trip, the crackle of the fire as company being the sort of thing you read about in books – or also on another visit playing charades with my family and friends at Chawani Bungalow up till late night. Although a good 5 hours from Lilongwe, my hometown, its worth any long trip I have to take down to these estates, with the smell of fresh air as you explore this tranquil land.

dsc_0041
Exploring the Huntington House space and loving this stretch of botanical beauty

   Added to that is the warmth that exists within the people of Thyolo, where as you cycle along the dirt trails the children start jumping up and down and wave in excitement at the newcomers that they have not seen in the area before. You can’t go anywhere then again in Malawi without seeing one smile somewhere; there is a reason its called the Warm Heart of Africa. 🙂

   I’m straying off topic. As always. Don’t close your eyes to imagine this, but nonetheless let your imagination capture the following: long roads winding across the rustic landscapes, before turning off onto a dirt path to the entrance of the tea estates. And then the acres of forest looming over you as you drive on, before hitting upon the open and vast greenery of just tea and coffee leaves, gleaming against the blue skies. That’s the view I’ve always been fortunate enough to see anyways. 🙂 It could truly draw temptation for an artist. And there are hiking and biking opportunities, quad-biking and horse-riding options, where I’ve tried everything except the latter and achieved some truly memorable experiences. 🙂

  To get to the point, whether you’re looking for a little adventure to curb the reckless soul or for a relaxing weekend away from work, Thyolo Tea Estates is a lovely drive away and worthwhile the time spent there. You can check out this link for more information, if you need more convincing. 🙂