By Amina Tepani Daudi

At least seven hikers, comprising five males and two females from various hiking clubs, recently took part in an event called the Grand Mountain Hike and Adventure. Organized by the Hike 4 Fitness Club, the event aimed to commemorate Malawi’s 59th Independence Anniversary.

Led by Tango Ngalawa, the chairperson of the group, the hikers identified as David Juma, Amor Kandoje, Feston Jones, Mc Donald Usuman, lsmail Makawa and Elizabeth Chilimampunga embarked on their journey on July 6, 2023, starting in Ntcheu and traversing Ntcheu mountain, Sesedzi, Dedza, Chingoni, Nkhoma, Ngala ya pakamwa, Bunda, Dzalanyama forest, and concluding in Blantyre. The entire journey spanned four days.

Ngalawa highlighted the challenges of hiking, acknowledging its difficulty while emphasizing the rewards of breathtaking views, improved fitness, and overwhelmingly positive experiences.

The group, with aspirations to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro, has successfully hiked numerous mountains within Malawi, including Zomba, Michiru, Malabvi, Mikolongwe, and the seven hills of Senga-Bay in the Salima District.

“Our journey became particularly strenuous while ascending Ngala ya pakamwa mountain. It’s disheartening that the Malawi government does not actively promote hiking, leaving us to face challenges such as robbery and navigation difficulties due to the lack of well trained tour guides,” Ngalawa explained.

However, Ngalawa expressed optimism for the future of hiking, citing the growing interest from individuals and the emergence of several groups pushing for recognition.

Hiking, an activity of moderate difficulty that involves traversing long distances in wilderness areas, trails, and paths, offers tourists an opportunity to engage with local communities, nature, and culture. It also enables travelers to pursue physical and healthy activities while on their journeys.

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