About Fort Mangochi

Fort Mangochi is a fascinating piece of history for Malawi and the east African slave trade in general. Located within the mountains close to Namwera and Majuni in Mangochi District, a hike of only a few hours reveals a place that should be a tourist destination, yet instead sits forgotten while locals collect firewood from trees nearby and elephants occasionally roam the bush.

Online searches reveal “Zambesi Sunrise“, an interesting account that mentions the fort, while the most comprehensive work I know of revealing the history of the fort comes from P.A. Cole-King’s Mangochi: the Mountain, the People and the Fort, available from theĀ Society of Malawi in Blantyre.

I have hiked numerous times to the fort while living for 5 years close to the fort. Each time I learned a little something new, though never got the chance to explore caves nearby where I have heard artifacts from the era can still be unearthed. A shooting range nearby, shown to me by a local guide, was littered with metal shell casings.

If you plan to visit, I recommend driving to the village of Majuni a few KM from Namwera heading towards Mangochi. There is a road that heads down to the Balakasi Forest and an estate at the end known as Skull Rock. Parking is available and usually a local guide can be hired to show you the way.

Below, I include a few photos from previous visits:

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The old District Commissioner’s house

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within the fort walls, chimney of one home still visible

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entrance to the fort