Huntingdon House

Shire Highlands, Malawi

Huntingdon House

Situated in the Shire Highlands, one hour south of Blantyre and within easy reach of Lake Malawi's southern shore, Huntingdon House is a charming colonial-era country home dating back to 1928.

Huntingdon House, and Satemwa Estate to which it belongs, has been in the Cathcart Kay family for generations, whose fourth-generation descendants still manage the tea and coffee production of the estate to this day. The house was substantially refurbished in 2009 and converted into a 5-room guesthouse (accommodating up to 12), but still retains much of its original charm and style, with its wrap-around verandah, silver service dining room, and grand lounge with wooden fireplace redolent of an earlier era.

Huntingdon House is a wonderful place to relax, surrounded by verdant gardens with quiet patios and terraces. It's perfect for cooling off at the end of your holiday, the cool climate and beautiful highland scenery particularly refreshing after a hot and dusty safari!

There are lovely walks to be had around the estate and surrounding hills, and guests at Huntingdon have free use of bikes to explore. Guided tours of the tea and coffee estate can be arranged, including tastings.

The house offers dramatic views of Mount Mulanje and the Lower Shire Valley to the west.


Each of Huntingdon's five suites is uniquely styled and furnished, and all take after their function in the original house - the Nursery, for instance, has been converted into a family room with two single beds and one double, and French doors that open onto the patio. The old Chapel and priest’s quarters, a separate annex to the main house, have been converted into a superb honeymoon suite, with high beamed ceiling and private patio.

All rooms are furnished in a lavish fashion with dark wood furnishings and canopy beds. Bathrooms feature clawfoot bathtubs and separate showers.

Separate to Huntingdon House, Chawani Bungalow is a private villa converted from one of the old tea planters' cottages. It is situated on the Satemwa Estate about 3km from the main house, and surrounded by pretty gardens and pockets of rainforest. Chawani accommodates up to ten guests in its four bedrooms, and is equipped with full self-catering facilities (though guests here also have the option to dine at Huntingdon).


Huntingdon House is booked on a half-board basis. Start the day with a cooked to order breakfast, typically served outdoors on the verandah or on your private patio. Dinner is a three-course meal served around a shared table in the formal dining room or privately on the verandah. The menus change daily and incorporate lots of fresh produce grown on the estate. Expect some creative starters, such as green-tea infused dumplings!


Lounge and bar
Silver service dining
Thyolo Sports Club - swimming pool, golf course, tennis (there is a daily fee to use the sports club)


Mountain biking
Tea tasting
Coffee tour
Guided walks
Mount Mulanje treks (guided)

Child Policy

Children of all ages accommodated. Huntingdon House offers a single family room with space for two adults and two children. The nearby Chawani Bungalow is ideal for large families and groups, with space for up to ten.