By Duncan Mlanjira
As part of its brand expansion, Sunbird Tourism plc, Malawi’s leading hospitality provider, has partnered with Mulanje-based Kara O’ Mula Country Lodge, the eco-tourism lodge located at the foot of Mulanje Mountain and surrounded by beautiful forestry, on management contract.
A press release from Sunbird Tourism says this is partnership deal with the owners of the facility in which Sunbird will now be responsible for the management of day to day operations of one of Malawi’s most revered mountain resorts.
“Kara O’ Mula offers a relaxing adventure experience that will now be complimented by Sunbird’s unique, excellent and personalized service,” said the press release.
“As part of our brand expansion, Sunbird Tourism plc also offers hospitality management services to hotel investors and owners on management contract.
“This model is a common and valued practice among the leading hotel brands worldwide where Sunbird Tourism plc does not own brick and mortar but rather offers expertise, experience and thorough knowledge of the market and industry through management contract.”
The hospitality will now be known as Sunbird Kara O’ Mula and will have the distinct advantage of leveraging Sunbird Tourism plc’s significant investment in people, products, processes and marketing in order to expand and grow the business.
“Currently, Sunbird Kara O’ Mula is undergoing an extensive product upgrade to enhance its product and guest experience. The product and service improvement will in turn elevate the demand for the destination which for a long time has had significant potential that is yet to be realized considering that Mulanje Mountain is one of the major tourist attraction within the region.
“Sunbird Kara O’ Mula becomes the second property after Thawale Game Lodge which was signed under management contract in 2017, currently known as Sunbird Thawale and owned by African Parks Limited in Majete Game Reserve.
“We are thrilled and excited to welcome Sunbird Kara O’ Mula to the Sunbird Hotels & Resorts family and we look forward to creating wonderful and memorable experiences through our diverse Resorts powered by excellent and personalized service, as we continue to grow the Sunbird footprint.”
Sunbird Hotels and Resorts is Malawi’s leading hotel chain with eight properties including four city hotels in all three regions of Malawi, two popular beach resorts along Lake Malawi, the game lodge in the popular big 5 wild life reserve, Majete and the iconic mountain resort in the former capital city, Zomba.
Kara O’Mula Country Lodge is located at the pristine site at the foot of Mulanje Mountain, about 65 kilometres from Blantyre City. The main building is a 1905 renovated former colonial house of the District Commissioner, where wonderful summer sunsets can be captured from the long veranda.
Facilities include 27 accommodation units, 20 of which are scattered around the lower mountain forest, and have breath-taking views of the great Mulanje Mountain, the surrounding tea estates, the Thyolo Highlands and mountains across the border in Mozambique.
Its busy restaurant is in an old building, next to the main bar. The bar itself has large windows so guests can enjoy the view around.
There is also an open sky forest swimming pool with its own poolside bar and braai hut. Close by, kids can occupy themselves in their own playground.
Close by are a number of beautiful walking trails, crossing the nearby Namichira River with its picturesque mini waterfalls which take you to the edge of the Chitakale Tea Estates and the Mulanje Mountain Forest Reserve.
For business, there are two conference halls sitting 50 and 30 respectively, both located in very quiet natural settings.
Mulanje Golf Club is also a mere few kilometres down the slope on the road toward Mozambique border.