World Heritage status in sight for Malawi's Mount Mulanje

The Malawi Government has submitted to UNESCO Paris headquarters the dossier for Mount Mulanje to be considered as a World Heritage Site cultural landscape. This work was led by Eco-Africa Environmental Consultants, supported by the Malawi Government Department of Culture and the Mulanje Mountain Conservation Trust with Norwegian Government funding. UNESCO have confirmed that the extensive documentation meets their stringent requirements and that the review process will be started soon, with a response expected in about two years. Should this status be granted, it is hoped that Mt Mulanje’s attraction as a destination will be greatly diversified with an emphasis on the rich cultural heritage of the area.

The scale of this truly magnificent mountain has to be seen to be appreciated. Its bare rock flanks tower to almost 10000ft (3000m), dwarfing all that surrounds it. It lies to the east of Blantyre and is easily accessible. Visitors can drive round the foot of the massif in a day but even more attractive is to trek and camp on the mountains. There are choices between quite gentle walking and serious climbing.

Any move to list Mulanje as a World Heritage Site is sure to contribute to improved tourism for the area, raising awareness of both this natural wonder and the country as whole.