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Pakachere Backpackers

Zomba Malawi
Update from hotel: This property has indicated that they are taking safety precautions against COVID-19.Read more
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Prices above are provided by partners for one room, with variable occupancy rules as provided by the property, and do not include all taxes and fees. Please see our partners for full details.
Traveler (27)
Room & Suite (12)
Dining (10)
Travel safe during COVID-19
A note from Pakachere Backpackers
Updated 06/25/20


#2 of 13 Specialty lodging in Zomba
We are open again! Please make sure you book in advance! We only open half the lodge, because we want to guarantee that your bed has not been slept in for at least 3 days. We keep a room or a bed closed for at least 72 hours before we accept new guests. Of course we sanitise and clean the rooms after every visitor. We only accept a small amount of visitors, to keep physical distancing easy. Our Backpackers & Creative Centre is a laidback meeting point for international volunteers, locals, tourists and backpackers. We invite you to come and have dinner or a drink, spend the night in a tent, our dorm or a private room. In our common areas and our garden you will meet Malawians and people from all over the world traveling through Zomba! We offer Paka Tours; from guided walks up Zomba Plateau to airport transfers and trips to Mulanje, Liwonde, Cape Maclear or even as far as Nkhata Bay. Our local guide Isaac is a gem. He knows the area very well and can tell you all about nature on the mountain and the culture of Malawian people. The owners are happy to share their extensive knowledge of the country. If you are just arriving in Malawi, we offer a landing package with an airport transfer, information about the country (money/ATMs, transport, places to visit, dos & don'ts), a local SIM card & a Malawian G&T, soft drink or cold 'green' (beer) on arrival at our lodge.
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Full view
Property amenities
Free parking
Yoga classes
Bar / lounge
Bicycle rental
Golf course
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Airport transportation
Secured parking
Breakfast available
Outdoor dining area
Special diet menus
Table tennis
Tennis court offsite
Board games / puzzles
Meeting rooms
24-hour security
BBQ facilities
Baggage storage
Mosquito net
Outdoor fireplace
Outdoor furniture
Picnic area
Shared bathroom
Shared kitchen
First aid kit
Laundry service
Self-serve laundry
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Room features
Room types
Mountain view
Non-smoking rooms
Family rooms
Good to know
Languages Spoken
English, French, Dutch, German
89Reviews0Q+A4Room tips
Traveler rating
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  • 27
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Popular mentions
JennaClaire4 wrote a review Apr 2020
2 contributions
Where to even begin… it would be impossible to overstate that Pakachere literally feels like heaven on earth. From the staff to the scenery to the food, everything is perfect. And this is coming from someone who had a long-term stay at the lodge — a total of 3 weeks. I stayed at Paka (as thy and guests call it) while in Zomba to work with an NGO as part of my studies at the Harvard School of Public Health. While I thoroughly enjoyed my work and many aspects of my time in Malawi, staying at Pakachere was undoubtedly a highlight, and helped make my time in Malawi truly unforgettable. When you arrive, you can’t help but be overwhelmed by an immediate feeling of serenity — the land is lush, birds are chirping, monkeys can often be spotted on the surrounding walls, and there is always a kind staff member waiting to greet you in the entryway. Not to mention that there are almost always guests (both international and locals alike) working or just hanging out having a beer. The setting, in that sense, caters to a range of personalities and backgrounds — if you’re a traveler looking to meet people and have a good time, this is the place for you; if you’re a couple looking traveling through looking for a private room in a beautiful space with activity, this is the place for you; and if you’re someone like me who’s a student or working and you want a peaceful place to post up, this is also the place for you. In fact, there’s an entire massive room with outlets and books, as well as desks in the rooms and on the porches along with strong wifi across the entire lodge. Even when it was a busy night, I could still always find a quiet, peaceful, work-conducive spot to plug in. The best part, though, was that if and when I wanted to be social, I could just go downstairs where ex-pats, locals, and travelers were all convened eating dinner, talking, and at times doing activities like trivia, art night, or even attending a live concert. The food, by the way, is unreal. Vegan and gluten free options, but also themed nights, traditional Malawian food, the best pancakes I’ve ever had (big statement coming from an American!), and fresh juices and teas. The menu has something for everyone and I literally never got tired of it over the three weeks I was there. Another notable highlight of Paka is the wonderful accommodations. Everything is clean and tranquil with gorgeous local art, the beds are extremely comfortable, there’s really nice mosquito nets on every bed, and the bathrooms are well-kept with warm showers and strong water pressure. I couldn’t (and still can’t) believe how lucky I had it, and by the end of the third day or so, it already started to feel like a home — a feeling that continued all the way until the end. When I was not feeling well at one point, FIVE different people, including the owner, staff, and other guests, checked in on and helped take care of me, including by taking me to the nurse; and when I went any day trips, it felt like I was leaving my family. Anybody would be lucky to feel the warmth and love that emanates from Paka, it’s a very special feeling. Finally, Zomba itself is an absolutely breathtaking city that any travel lover must visit at some point. Paka sits just at the base of stunning Zomba plateau, which is idyllic with hike paths, rolling waterfalls, and wide variety of flora and fauna; it’s also a 10 minute walk from the Zomba botanical gardens where rivers flow and monkeys roam (can’t be missed — I think I went three times). The lodge is also conveniently located a 10/15 minute walk from town, a 10-minute walk from the town’s chocolate factory and cafe, a 1.5 hour drive from the major city Blantyre, and an approximately 5 hour drive from the stunning beaches of Lake Malawi. I cannot recommend staying at Paka enough, and can’t wait for the day that I can return. It is a super special place not to be missed, and that I recommend adding to your travel itineraries now. My deepest thanks go to Anneliese, Jonah, and the whole staff for making my time in Malawi one of the most memorable of my life. I miss you all every day and am jealous of all the lucky guests traveling through!!
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Date of stay: January 2020
Trip type: Traveled on business
RJE78 wrote a review Apr 2020
Lilongwe, Malawi12 contributions10 helpful votes
I have stayed at Pakachere several times, including with friends, family and school trips. It's a fantastic spot, that has friendly staff, fantastic owners and good food at very reasonable prices. The rooms are kept spotless and the owners work hard to continually maintain and improve the place. One of the biggest plus points of Pakachere is the guiding options they provide. Not only do they offer guided walks up Zomba Plateau but also trips to the beautiful Lake Chilwa, Chikhala Pillars and other nearby attractions that you would otherwise have real trouble getting to. These places really are worth the effort and that Pakachere can provide these options is something visitors to Zomba might want to seriously consider when organising accomodation and travel plans. Pakachere is also know to hold arts events of all kinds, in order to promote local talent. It is definitely worth asking ahead about such events, as they can really add something to your trip. I you haven't figured it out already, I couldn't recommend Pakachere highly enough.
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Date of stay: December 2019Trip type: Traveled with family
Raf around the world wrote a review Nov 2019
London, United Kingdom42 contributions10 helpful votes
A nice lodge although it is really busy and run down. They can organise hikes and other sports activities. The restaurant is nice and it has beautiful gardens that me and the rest of the family spent most of our time in.
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Date of stay: October 2019Trip type: Traveled with family
Response from PakaZomba, Owner at Pakachere Backpackers
Responded Dec 6, 2019
Hello, dear raf_around_the world, Thank you very much for your review. We are always happy to receive feedback so we can improve. Pakachere can be busy sometimes; usually on Tuesday evenings and in weekends. For people looking for a quiet time, we recommend to come the other days. You might even have the place to your yourself. When you were staying at Pakachere, you might have seen the notices that we are doing big maintenance work. It is true that the lodge needed some freshening up, which is why we decided to start inside with the shared bathroom, the small dorms and private rooms . The next step is painting all public areas. After the rainy season we will work on maintenance of the summerhuts in the garden and the outside furniture. Then finally towards the end of 2020, we hope to run on solar energy. Thank you for staying with us and we hope we can welcome you again after the renovations Zikomo!
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Tim wrote a review Nov 2019
Amsterdam, The Netherlands7 contributions1 helpful vote
This is one of those places where you plan to stay for two days and end up staying for two weeks. The atmosphere is great, you can meet a lot of travelers and locals. All of staff members are really friendly and open which I have not seen this in Africa yet. We did two tours with Isaac and so far he is the best tour guide we have experienced. If you are visiting you shouldn’t miss out on a tour with Isaac. The food was also very good and their are a lot of vegetarian options available.
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Date of stay: November 2019Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Elisabeth wrote a review Oct 2019
61 contributions5 helpful votes
Had an amazing stay here. Staff is very friendly. Rooms were tidy and clean. It was great to have a proper shower and bathroom here. In the evening it was great to sit outside in one of the relaxing areas. Food was very good! We enjoyed breakfast, especially the pancake with fresh fruit!! Dinner was great too. Definitely recommend this place whe travelling to Zomba, Malawi.
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Date of stay: October 2019Trip type: Traveled on business
$24 - $47 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
MalawiSouthern RegionZomba
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Frequently Asked Questions about Pakachere Backpackers
What are some of the property amenities at Pakachere Backpackers?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and free parking.
What food & drink options are available at Pakachere Backpackers?
Guests can enjoy an on-site restaurant, a lounge, and breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at Pakachere Backpackers?
Yes, free parking and secured parking are available to guests.
What are some restaurants close to Pakachere Backpackers?
Conveniently located restaurants include Casa Rossa, African Heritage - Luso Lathu, and Pakachere.
Are there opportunities to exercise at Pakachere Backpackers?
Yes, guests have access to yoga classes during their stay.
Does Pakachere Backpackers have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Pakachere Backpackers offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Are any cleaning services offered at Pakachere Backpackers?
Yes, laundry service and self serve laundry are offered to guests.
Are pets allowed at Pakachere Backpackers?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.
Which languages are spoken by the staff at Pakachere Backpackers?
The staff speaks multiple languages, including English, French, German, and Dutch.