Mount Mulanje, in southern Malawi, is a beast of a mountain: two metres over the 3,000m mark with one of the highest peaks in southern Africa. For beginners Mulanje is a treat of a mountain; you don’t need to be a rock climber to reach most summits and you can walk from one side to the other. It take five days to cross the Mulanje Massif. Day one is arduous: a four-hour ascent to the plateau. Any views to be had were covered in mist, drizzle dampened our spirits and clothes, and my feet hurt in my borrowed boots. But once on the plateau, the weather cleared, the sun came out and from then on we had perfect hiking weather: cool, clear and sunny. We visited in the middle of Malawi’s dry season when the country’s climate is kind to hikers.