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Bunda Mountain Hike

 
 
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Bunda Mountain Hike

 

Bunda mountain is a little mountain right outside of Lilongwe town. It is approximately  25 minutes drive from Area 3 / Old Town.


Lilongwe is mostly flat land and like most hills or mountains within stand all alone in the middle of nowhere with no other hills attached.

 

 

Bunda mountain at a distance


Last weekend, Albert and I set out to try out the hike on the famous Bunda. The weather was just perfect, a bit cloudy but cleared a bit as we drove towards the mountain. This meant we would have a good easy hike with no direct sunlight over our heads as the mountain is bare with no cover at all.


Bunda mountain is within a small village called Mponda. The village has few houses and no electricity but very friendly locals as is in most parts of Malawi. Upon arrival we were greeted by ever smiling children that run after the car till we found some shed where we parked the car. They politely greeted us and straight away business started "Mukufuna kukwela phiri?" (Do you want to go hiking?) and another one shouts "Ndikhala pa galimoto" (I will stay by the car). Right away we knew, we were in business and division of labour had been done. However, after few minutes of laughing and joking with the group we decided to go with the older guy, Edson Malamulo as our guider and still left the car to be looked by the young man, Paulo Bestar who is doing his Standard 3.


We started off and this mountain gives you no room to breathe, just few meters from the village the steep hike starts, amatero? That's when we knew what we were up against. Most parts of the mountain are covered in smooth granite rock. We would not advise hiking here after some heavy rains, it would  be slippery.

 

 

The steep hike starts - Albert doing well.


As we hiked we could see the beautiful landscapes and colours from the gardens below, it was so refreshing that we even forgot what our legs were going through. The fresh breeze filled our lungs and we enjoyed every step we took.

 

 

We asked Edson so many questions regarding the village and the mountain. One of which was why all the trees had been cut down and the mountain looking so bare. He quickly went into defensive mode and said the trees were long cut down way before he was even born and nothing has been done ever since. Its only the few trees left here and there. We advised him to make effort and plant some trees when the rains starts. We would also see how best we could help.

 

 

Very few trees left on the mountain

 

During the first steep part of the hike we meet few other people coming down. They were coming from the summit where they were praying. That is one interesting part about Bunda mountain. Many people travel and spend days up there praying and singing. The summit even has stone houses that accommodate everybody staying overnight or two.  People cook, sleep and pray for days.


We also meet few youngsters running down these steep slopes like they are were running at Old Trafford while we were puffing and sweating with our backpacks and cameras, that just wasn't cool man. These boys were even barefoot..smh!

 

 

That smile eeeeh...awesome - Happy, smiling young man. He was one of those boys.


Soon we were at the summit after 48 minutes. Wow!! what we saw was amazing. Something that I have not seen in all the other bigger mountains I have hiked before including Mulanje Mountain.

 

 

A sign on one of the rocks at he summit

 

 

One of many we found praying - God bless Malawi and keep it a land of peace

 

The summit was full of people praying, singing and the atmosphere was amazing. We quietly walked past not to disturb them and hiked to the second part of the mountain that had less people.

 

 

Albert and I at the highest peak of Bunda mountain

 

 

Albert decided to check the stone houses out.

 

 

It was almost lunch time - time to get the mbaula ready

 

 

The two lovely and friendly kids - brother and sister up on the summit just hanging around while the parents pray.


Though the peak isn’t that high,  the serenity and quiet majestic view of the valley below was just breathe taking and beautiful. The flat land of fields ready and waiting for the rains for maize to be planted. We could see settlements around the valleys. The day was still not as clear but we could see other mountain ranges on both sides in the far distance. we could see Ngala ya pakamwa, Bunda college, Bunda dam, Malingunde dam and Lilongwe town from a distance.

 

 

Part of the beautitul view we enjoyed. Ngala ya pakamwa and Bunda dam in sight.


We had time to take photos both on the ground and aerial. Some of the young men and ladies on the summit also came to have a chat with us and ask how the drone works because they only see it in movies. Some even went ahead and took pictures with it. It was a very happy scene and we left with lots of energy for the long return trip.

 

 

Aerial view of one part of the mountain

 

 

The boys asking and seeing the drone for the first time.

 

 

Group photo with some of the members that also arrived the same morning at the summit for prayers.

 

 

Enjoying the beautiful views.


We had our snacks, rested a bit while admiring the peak and views for the last time before we started off. The weather had slightly changed and we could see a dark cloud getting closer, that was a sign for us to come down.

 

 

Snack time!


The return trip is always hectic, the toes and ankles work tirelessly. All in all we made it back to the car within an hour and the whole village came to welcome us back.

 

 

Edson on the return trip - Photo shows how steep and difficult it is when coming down.

 

We found lots of children, two elderly people and others by the car, full of life and smiles. We had a good few minutes with them all and started off.

 

 

Back to Mponda Village with the elders and children. They were all very excited and happy for us to visit both the village and the mountain.

 

 

Albert joined the happy family with a pose!!


We had such a wonderful time and we would encourage each one of you that has not experienced Bunda hike to try it. It was the first time for Albert and he loved it. He is already asking when and where the next hike is....You will also love it.

 

 

Yes! We had a good time...Fly Man!

 

 

I believe I can fly!! - Albert in the air.

 

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