Hill Springs Lodge a place to be for local tourism in Zomba; Offers stately accommodation rooms and sumptuous meals

* The first reaction of Hill Spring’s facade leaves visitors completely bamboozled over in astonishment

* The stunning garden and landscape make Hill Springs the perfect filming and photoshoot location for one’s memorable occasion

* It has 13 deluxe self-contained rooms of various sizes to suit one’s pocket

* All rooms have shower with others having bath tubs complemented by air conditioning, mini fridge, tea & coffee facilities

* Hill Springs chefs prepare a variety of high quality, delicious dishes covering local and international cuisine

* Five rooms available to hire for conferences or meetings — 2 conference halls and 3 boardrooms

By Duncan Mlanjira

Situated just 5.5 miles from central business district of Zomba City, and just less than a kilometre from Mbwana trading centre in the direction from Blantyre, Hill Springs is hardly noticed for passing motorists because of its perimeter fence as well as hidden by elaborate and beautiful landscape trees up the hill.


But upon driving over, or walking in, one is welcomed with a wonderful and dazzling architectural piece of infrastructure — home to a lodge that offers stately accommodation rooms; spacious conference halls and boardrooms; sumptuous meals; a bar with a spacious terrace and an ambient atmosphere — that leaves visitors completely bamboozled over in astonishment.

The first reaction of Hill Spring Lodge’s facade is only ‘the wow!’ — that is complemented by the elaborate and beautiful landscape trees; pristine lawns; hedges and ornamental flowers that gives the visitor the confidence that they are breathing environmentally clean air.

The warm welcome starts right at its two gates, where the security personnel on duty appear from their sentry box with an infectious smile; stand at attention and heartily offer their greeting as they wave you through.

The front desk is manned by equally customer-care-conscious personnel, who proceed to assist visitors with the services they need.


On a tour of the facility conducted by the front desk personnel — on a quiet hour of business — this reporter was astounded that every room taken to was exquisite and that while some were rated as deluxe, even the special budget are just as executive.

Hill Springs has 13 deluxe self-contained rooms of various sizes to suit one’s pocket — single and double deluxe with the difference between double and single deluxe being on space and size of bed.

They all have shower while others have bath tubs as well complemented by air conditioning; mini fridge for refreshments; tea & coffee facilities; work desk for business guests; flat screen TVs with satellite entertainment channels.

All rooms are in a different colour for visitors’ tastes and are allocated not in numbers but after the country’s landmark names such as Viphya; Livingstonia; Rukuru; Bua; Shire; Likoma; Domasi among others.

The cherry look with the view of the front garden, car park and the beautiful steps to the main entrance, gets one to a view of the beautiful hills of Zomba and at night the guest gets the magnificent view of garden lights and twinkling stars in the sky.

The royal look has purple colours and perfect for a couple and business executives — the best choice for a trip for two, whether for a city break, to have fresh air, a well-deserved rest or for business.


The cream and white colours of a room and the space is just perfect for executives, who want to work or reward themselves for their hard work and it’s also best room for those on honeymoon as it has a double shower and a jacuzzi-styled bath to relax in with a glass of wine on the side. It has 2 entrances and a veranda plus a beautiful garden.

Hill Springs kitchen cooks a variety of high quality, delicious dishes covering local and international cuisine — available throughout the day for any guests — while in the morning, its varied and plentiful breakfast buffet is available for in-house guests to enjoy.

The Lodge’s manager, Joe Kapito said the facility opened its doors in 2016 and has enjoyed quite some good patronage especially from NGOs, who prefer it for conferences and accommodation for their external participants until when CoVID-19 hit the country.

He owned up that the global CoVID-19 pandemic affected the rest of the country’s economy and the tourism industry was not spared at all “but business is picking up and we have learnt to be resilient in the face of such a calamity by being innovative”.

“One innovation is offering outside catering services which we seriously marketed at our first engagement with a client and our chefs have gone an extra mile to continue with the innovation through creation of own food styles.

“Outside catering is a fast-growing part of our business catering for people’s required needs — from graduation ceremonies, weddings, birthday and dinner parties, conferences, and any corporate or private events — we will bring the food to them and their guests won’t have to go elsewhere.


“Now that CoVID-19 is easing up, we are winning back some of our former clients who are appreciating that our high standards have been maintained ever since and even improved.

“The number of walk-in customers (first time visitors) is increasing, with some looking for accommodation and others just to chill by the bar — sitting at the patio and marveling at our landscape.”

He stressed that security is at the core of their business whose personnel is also trained on customer care and discretion, saying “every staff member knows that the customer helps the owners of the facility to pay their salaries, thus they need to be given excellent hospitality”.

The facility is well fortified with a security fence and is guarded by qualified security personnel backed by G4S and other security agents. From the M1 road, visitors pass through 2 security gates and the street is paved.

The facility provides secure parking space for more than 30 cars within the inner gates and many more vehicles behind the first gate where there are other facilities under construction.

Kapito also encouraged the general public to promote local tourism, saying one learns so much when they travel and that they earn more friends who translate into more business opportunities “while at the same time empowering owners of lodges and resorts to economically maintain their staff”.

Hill Springs has five rooms available to hire for conferences or meetings — two conference halls and 3 boardrooms with all having air conditioning and if requested, Kapito said “a PA system and projector can be hired at additional cost. On request, lunch and refreshments can be included within conference packages”.

Going forward, one of Hill Spring Lodge’s directors, Waida Lakudzala — a nurse by profession based in United Kingdom — said the success of this modest hospitality facility has so far inspired her to expand the accommodation units by including 7 two-roomed chalets; a swimming pool complemented with kids entertainment facilities and other amenities.

“As you noticed, there isn’t much to fully entertain kids and we want to attract more family visits for the kids to be inculcated with the culture of appreciating local tourism,” she said.

“As you know, east or west but home is best — we plan to come and settle back home and we intend to build our own home that will be as big as the main structure of Hill Springs, whose other rooms would be lent out to the lodge in case they are fully booked.

Waida Lakudzala proudly with her mother

“My dream has always been to contribute towards the economic development of my country and the hospitality industry came to mind when we acquired that land, which initially was planned to build our own home.”

She said she bought a bare land that was used as an agricultural field and that there were no other neighbouring infrastructure as is the case today. The place was put together for four years before opening its doors to the public in 2016 and she engaged skilled labour from the sorrounding members of the community to economically empower them.

“We did not involve professional contractors because we realised that there are a lot of skilled Malawians whom we engaged such as builders, plumbers, electricians, manual handymen — whom we still have till today from 2012 when we started building Hill Springs.

“They assist in maintenance works and we now need them more than ever for our expansion plans. We are like family now since they have owned the place which earns them their daily livelihood.”


On its website, management assures of quality hospitality services in delivering outstanding lodging, conference, bar and restaurant facilities to their guests, saying their focus is on individual business and leisure travel, as well as travel associated with groups.

“High standards are emphasized among all of our services and divisions and our well trained and enthusiastic employees will create a platform for an entertaining, exciting and enjoyable experience.

“Our stunning garden and landscape make Hill Springs the perfect filming and photoshoot location for your memorable occasion throughout the year. There’s always something in bloom somewhere in the garden — the thing is, there’s always seasonal variety and opportunity.”