Mushroom Farm Eco-Lodge , Livingstonia Mission
Set amongst seven hectares of native woodland and perched high, atop of cliffs overlooking Lake Malawi, 650 meters below, The Mushroom Farm Eco-Lodge really is “life on the edge”. The grandeur of the Great Rift Valley is a huge spectacle here. From the sandy curve of Chitimba Bay, across the broad, blue expanse of Lake Malawi to the Livingstone Mountains of Tanzania, the views are seemingly endless. Why not while away some time peacefully in a hammock, cocktail in hand, while you take in all the life hundreds of meters below you?
The lodge has been carefully designed to blend unobtrusively into the surrounding beauty that the north of Malawi is famous for. It offers a tranquil and comfortable stay in an inspiring area of rugged escarpments , plunging waterfalls and heavily forested slopes. There are four individually styled rooms at the lodge; three doubles and one twin, all opening out onto large private balconies or terrace to take in the best of the views and the beauty of the surrounding forest. They are comfortably furnished and solar powered, as is the entire lodge. Campers and overlanders are well catered for too, with shady campsites and dedicated cliff top campsites for overlanders, all with picnic tables, taps, BBQs and toilets nearby. Tent hire with bedding supplied is available. Composting toilets are used throughout the lodge and steaming hot, open air showers give you the feeling of showering in the forest. Cell phones, computers etc can be charged during the day and free internet is available for guests. A room with private bathroom is available in a Tolkeinesque inspired room built from cob with an open-air shower built “over the abyss”” which makes for a dramatic bath time.
The elevation (1100m) offers cool relief from the lakeshore temperatures and makes the area an ideal place to get active. Abseiling and rock climbing are offered on the lodge’s 80 metre cliffs and with its well stocked bar sat right on top, it gives climbers something worthwhile to aim for. The area offers excellent hiking too. Day walks to Malawi’s highest waterfalls, Manchewe Falls, and the quaint, historic, misson town of Livingstonia are all within easy reach. Slightly longer walks to Chombe Plateau (1350m) and the Mission’s water source are also favourites and the lodge can provide guides if required. The Mushroom Farm also arranges two extended hikes for the more adventurous. Three day hikes to Nyika National Park or a southern coastal walk to the village of Ruarwe can begin at the lodge or can be combined, making the Mushroom Farm the perfect place to rest for few days along the way.
Driving tours of the fascinating mission town of Livingstonia are also offered from the lodge. Follow in the footsteps of the pioneering early settlers, visit the museum and climb the church’s bell tower to gain a unique perspective of this visionary town. Excellent curios can be purchased at a number of shops in the town, with the proceeds going to assist the orphan care programs run by the mission.
The Mushroom Farm Eco-Lodge has been operating for over ten years and has gained a strong reputation for its friendly and informal atmosphere and for providing a peaceful retreat in such a uniquely beautiful location. It is Lonely Planet’s “choice pick” and has been receiving very positive reviews on traveler’s blogs. Food is a passion of the owner manager and the lodge’s restaurant has a varied international menu offering flavours from around the world. The chefs proudly offer daily specials ranging from steaks and burgers to Vietnamese rice paper rolls and also has an extensive vegetarian menu. At the end of the day a roaring fire is lit, cocktails are enjoyed and stories shared while the fisherman’s lights on Lake Malawi create a starry night’s sky hundreds of metres below.
Transport to the lodge can be arranged for those in need. Pick ups and drop offs from Mzuzu, the Tanzanian border and Chitimba on the lakeshore can be arranged by contacting the lodge.