Lower Shire Valley Malawi
South west of the town of Blantyre, river Shire makes its way into its last phase prior to leaving Malawi and connecting the great Zambezi within Mozambique. This is actually the Lower Shire Valley, which is an annex of the great Rift Valley and habitat to at least 3 national parks or wildlife reserves. This river flows down into the lower valley through a sequence of rapids plus waterfalls prior to widening out to wander along a broad floodplain used for large sugar plantations. Actually these are lowest areas within Malawi, at altitudes less than 50 meters above sea-level. Accessing the Lower Shire Valley is through the M1 south of -Blantyre and below the sheer Thyolo Escarpment, that offers magnificent sights into the valley. on reaching the valley, you can enjoy game vieiwng within Mwabvi Wildlife Reserve, Lengwe National Park as well as Majete Wildlife Reserve. Accommodation around the Thyolo Escarpment right at the start of the decline into the bottom Shire Valley is offered by Fisherman's Rest with sights that are very breath taking.
an additional significant aspect of the Lower Shire Valley is the great cultural heritage. The Jambo Africa, who manage the Nyala Lodge, are as well mixed up in the Lower Shire Heritage- Trust. The objective of this Trust is to safeguard and uphold the culture of the people in the Lower Shire Valley and as well the traditional lifestyle of the people within this place.
At the park’s gate is an impressive heritage centre – the Tisunge; which is actually the Chi Chewa for ‘Let us preserve!’ – the Lower Shire Heritage Centre that prides in a little museum, a library, an arts and craft shop, an open structured meeting area, an education area plus the manager’s office, and an ablution section. Plans are over head for a kid’s club, a weaving area as well as a repository area.
A number of ethnographic objects, ranging from the traditional to the modern culture, have all been collected from the villages with the help of many volunteers, personnel from the Department of National Parks as well as the Department of Culture. These different objects, jointly with archaeological findings plus the history as well as environment of this park, will form fraction of the exhibit that is in the course of being established. The Trust, via Tisunge! has additionally initiated a number projects linking to the conservation of the environment as well as culture.
prior to to the arrival of Livingstone, the Lower Shire Valley was well-known for its weaving industry that used locally cultivated cotton. During the colonial era the raw cotton was actually sold out to the English being freighted to England where cloth was actually made and for this reason the weaving industry within Malawi totally vanished. The cotton is up to date locally cultivated and the Trust, with the help of the National Museum of Malawi found in Blantyre, has re-introduced the culture weaving, dying as well as spinning within the villages around Lengwe National Park. These people have fortunately picked up this trade and yet still this locally processed, good-looking, cloth is today marketed at the Tisunge! arts plus craft shop.
In addition, this Trust strives to help in the conservation of the environment through planting indigenous species of trees down the length of river Nkhombedzi to reinforce its banks. the river runs through the national park and as well as the neighboring villages and it is vulnerable to flooding. Planting as well as care for these trees is the duty of the local netball plus football teams.