The opening of Hapuwani Village Lodge in Mulanje early last year has elevated the face of the tea-growing mountainous district, located in southern Malawi.
Mulanje is a key district in Malawi as it is home of Mulanje Mountain, the highest mountain in south-central Africa, which makes the area a tourist destination.
Hapuwani Lodge, which is wholly owned by a Malawian national Ken Chilewe, opened on 11th January, 2013, is an amazing structure in the district and this Saturday will be celebrating one year in business.
Christina Chirwa the lodge’s Manager is thrilled to share the success story of the facility 12 months after opening. She also tells how the Hapuwani has helped in transforming the lives of the surrounding community.
“I am proud to say that business has been good since we started operations and is growing each passing day,” Chirwa told Nyasa Times in an interview.
She disclosed that during the festive month of December, Hapuwani Lodge recorded 90 percent business growth, attributing this to both local and foreign tourists frequenting the area.
“Our customer base comprise of both Malawians and foreigners, but an interesting thing we have seen is that since the opening of this facility, a lot of Malawians are now touring this area, just for a visit, workshops, weddings and other engagements,” said Chirwa.
Besides helping to promote Mulanje as a tourist destination, Hapuwani Lodge has also assisted in empowering the community surrounding economically as it offers them a ready market for their commodities.
“Hapuwani is helping the natives here in terms of business because people have a ready market for their products,” said one woman who only identified herself as Mrs. Limitedi.
A mother of three, Limitedi, who stays close to the facility, she told Nyasa Times that the lodge buys locally produced commodities such as fresh vegetables, fruits, rice, charcoal as well as chickens from the locals.
Another woman, namely Mrs. Mwiwe, speaking in a separate interview, said her family has benefited a lot since the opening of Hapuwani Village Lodge.
“I order farm produce such as pineapples and bananas which I resell to Hapuwani. We are happy with the coming of this facility which has been of great assistance to the people here,” she said.
Mwiwe also disclosed that bicycle taxi operators are benefitting a lot as they provide transportation to customers visiting the place especially weekends.
Speaking further, the manager, Chirwa, hailed the “good” relationship that exist between the lodge and surrounding inhabitants.
Currently, Hapuwani Village Lodge offers employment to 50 people who are all Malawian nationals.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :