Kawandama Hills Plantation
Kawandama Hills Plantation (KHP) is situated amongst rolling hills and natural indigenous forest in the middle of the picturesque Viphya Forest Reserve, near Chikangawa, Mzimba District.
It is a 6,000-hectare essential oil plantation and plants around 600,000 trees annually. They produce lemon fragrant oil from the Corymbia citriodora known as lemon-scented gum. It is used in the natural insect repellents, cosmetic, perfume and pharmaceutical industries.
They also plant and tend other types of Eucalyptus and hardwoods as well as plants and herbs such as lavender, Rose Geranium and Lemongrass.
KHP began planting its core species in December 2009, and the distillation plant has been operational since 2012 and steam is pushed through the pots filled with leaves and twigs which extracts the essential oils.
KHP has been granted the Export Processing Zone (EPZ), and the first ever sustainable charcoal license in Malawi.
The forests support a variety of wild animals including wildpigs, hyena, leopard, small wild cats, honeybadgers and incredible birding.
A beautiful self-catering cottage situated amongst the forest is the perfect relaxing stop for self-drivers or those travelling up north to Chelinda. It is also the splendid spot for birding and hiking. The cottage has a chef on the premises and sleeps six people.
It is a 4-hour drive from Lilongwe.
Getting there and away
Kawandama Hills Plantation lies to the east of the M1. Turn east off on the clear signpost and a 15km drive on a dirt road.