• Kawandama Hills Plantations

    Pure African products
  • Kawandama Hills Plantations

    Where beauty, land, nature meet
  • Kawandama Hills Plantations

    Pure African products

About Kawandama Hills

Essential oil plantation

Kawandama Hills Plantations (KHP) is a 6,000 hectare essential oil plantation in the middle of the picturesque Viphya Forest Reserve in Northern Malawi. Created in 2009, we have achieved much in a short space of time including planting large tracts of land, establishing a fully functional distillation plant, and an operation that employs hundreds of Malawians. We boast beautiful scenery that many tourists and visitors love, with pockets of indigenous forest and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. We have a wealth of wild animals from wildpigs, hyena, leopard, small wild cats, honeybadgers and incredible birding.

Our business is tree planting and we feel passionately about trees; we plant around 600,000 trees annually to produce a fragrant lemon eucalyptus essential oil, which is exported, refined and used in the natural insect repellents, cosmetic, perfume and pharmaceutical industries. We also plant and tend other types of Eucalypts and hardwoods for timber and fuel, as well as plants and herbs, such as lavender, Rose Geranium and Lemongrass for local and export markets.

Our oils create valuable foreign exchange for Malawi as an export business which is important in a country like Malawi focusing on promoting its basic manufacturing and exporting sector.

We are committed to producing quality essential oils from Africa, where nature is at its best.


Kawandama and the surrounding area is largely grassland with numerous pockets of pristine indigenous forest which is all protected by us. KHP leases from the Department of Forestry and has a long-term lease so we are here for the long haul. Viphya was first set up by Dr Hastings Banda (Malawi’s first President after independence from the British) in the seventies and pine was planted to produce paper pulp. The project was abandoned and the pine was used for timber instead.

The Viphya Forest is the largest manmade forest in Malawi and a considerable number of indigenous and foreign species are planted in it. There are many Eucalypts planted across Malawi as it is excellent for timber and fuel in a country where the majority of the population rely on charcoal and firewood.

KHP began planting its core species in December 2009 and aims to plant a total of 1,500ha by 2018.

The distillation plant has been operational since 2012 and steam is pushed through the pots filled with leaves and twigs which extracts the essential oils. The oil-water mixture evaporates into the condenser, cools, and separates the oil and water. We prune or coppice the trees in the field to take the leaves, and the trees grow back. All parts of the trees are used in the process so it is very sustainable and one tree lifespan can reach up to twenty years.

KHP has started producing its core product and started exporting in 2012. Quality is of the upmost importance to us and is what makes KHP stand out above the rest. As a Malawian company, we are members of the Malawi Chambers of Commerce & Industry (MCCCI), Malawi Investment Trade Centre (MITC) and other key government organisations. Government has shown its commitment to us in turn by granting us the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) status that gives us numerable incentives and tax relief. We work with all of these bodies closely to ensure that our investment is secure and well utilised.

Sustainable Charcoal

We are proud that our company has been given the first ever sustainable charcoal licence from the Malawian government through the Department of Forestry. Many countries worldwide use charcoal as their principle source of fuel. If it can come from sustainable sources then many problems can be resolved, including deforestation, fuel shortages for local industry, and local Malawian’s energy needs. Charcoal can be produced in traditional bee- hive kilns or metal kilns now on the market which are extremely efficient.

The plantation will collaborate with many players in Malawi, from NGO’s, government and businesses to endeavor to grow fuel wood whilst producing oils from the leaves. We aim to apply for carbon credits for this process and timber is a by product of our essential oil processing.

We are open to partnerships in order to push our sustainable charcoal programme through planting more trees. Trees take time and investment to grow, and we have a head start at Kawandama Hills Plantation. We also have a commitment to helping and creating benefits all the way down the market chain.

Please contacts us at Charcoal Goodness for more information and orders

Speading the Love

We are very committed to our social programmes at Kawandama and the surrounding communities. We work closely with UK charity, Expand, (1137120) operating in the northern region of Malawi which focuses on improving and providing education through building infrastructure and organizing and facilitating trainings of all kinds.

The company Directors first came to Malawi in 2006 to build a full Primary School in Nkhata Bay District that was handed over to the community and government. The plantation came next and recent projects include building and setting up IT centres and libraries, donating hundreds of books and DVD’s, paying secondary school fees, and building nurseries and primary schools.


Our staff village was a disused government forestry station and we have renovated the houses, the school and installed a borehole. The village caters for around 500 men women and children, and many more to come as the plantations expands.

We welcome volunteers and offer opportunities spanning education and teaching, to forestry and environmental research. KHP has received many volunteers since its start up who have left with warm memories of their time there. We would like to offer more academic research opportunities to anyone looking for some adventure in the warm heart of Africa.


Tree planting to produce essential oils, sustainable timber and charcoal

Through planting trees we feel that we are contributing socially, environmentally, and economically to Malawi. With such large tracts of land we can plant, tend and ensure the safety of trees for many years to come. Our trees are ‘working’ trees and produce a number of different products as well as absorbing the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Investing into our business through tree planting and our expansion efforts would allow not only for the business to grow and for Malawians to be employed, but also make for an incredible lifestyle choice in the Warm heart of Africa.


There are few places that can encapsulate the genuine beauty and feeling of relaxation you could get at Kawandama. You would be amongst true nature and there is ample opportunity for tourism development. Staying at our simple guesthouse is just the beginning and the area offers many more opportunities. Please contact us for any possible collaborations and investment into our beautiful plantation.

Contact Us

Postal address:
Kawandama Hills Ltd,
P.O. Box 1317, Mzuzu, Malawi
P.O. Box 35, Chikangawa,
Phone: +265 997 1 059 89

Physical address:
Kawandama Hills,
Chikangawa, Viphya Forest,
Mzimba District,
Northern Malawi

Tanya Clarke - Director
Tanya Clarke
Nebson Chiloko - Forestry Director
Nebson Chiloko

Coming from Lilongwe, travel up the M1 (airport road) towards Mzuzu for 290km until you get to Raiply Timber company on left hand side. Travel 3km further and you'll see a signpost on the right side. Turn right and travel 15km into the Forest, passing Kalungulu Forestry Station which is our staff village, and you will reach KHP headquarters.

From Mzuzu, travel South 80km and pass through Chikangawa Forestry Village and then look for the sign on the left (before Raiply).