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This town lies on the Shire River and has a market, shops and a busy happy atmosphere. The Lake Malawi museum is here. Mangochi was once an important slaving centre and later a colonial administrative town known as Fort Johnston. The tree lined streets and some remaining rather dilapidated buildings are evidence of this. There are places to stay for the passing traveller, a supermarket and banking facilities.
Places to visit in the area are the Mangochi Forest Reserve, where there is another rest house, and Ngopani Holiday Cottages on a private coffee estate high above the south eastern shore of the Lake.

The Lake Malawi shoreline between Mangochi and Monkey bay was the first favoured for tourism development. There are now many tourist orientated enterprises catering for all market levels along this 80km shoreline.
Excursion opportunities too are now many for in this glorious lakeside climate grow all manner of exotic plants. These include cashew nuts grown on an estate near Nkopola Lodge and tropical palms which are sold at Tropex near Club Makokola. There is also a thriving fish farm here.
Koma Croc is a crocodile farm which welcomes visitors. Boadzulu, a rocky island off Club Makokola, mentioned by David Livingstone in his Exploration of the Zambezi and its tributaries and the discovery of Lakes Nyasa and Chilwa (London 1865), is well worth the short cruise there, to see the giant monitor lizards which bask on the rocks. The population of fish eagles on this shoreline is said to be the densest in Africa and their haunting cries are heard everywhere, dawn till dusk.

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