Malawi

Trip Start Nov 14, 2010
1
53
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Trip End Aug 18, 2011


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Flag of Malawi  , Northern Region,
Monday, June 13, 2011

As we entered Malawi on our way ultimately North to Egypt, we Stopped off at the capital, Lilongwe for a night stop. The campsite itself was fairly basic but nice enough, with a bar and showers (surely all you need!). Unfortunately however there were also a few thousand other unwanted additions in the shape of very hungry ants. After attempting to sleep in the tent, and finding myself covered and being bitten I decided to abandon ship and slept on the truck. This wasn't the most comfortable or rest full of nights therefore, with the combination of sleeping on the seats and with no protection from the other annoyance - the mosquitoes...

Oh well with slightly bleary eyes we had breakfast and headed off. Along the way we stopped off for a bit of time to explore the city itself and stock up on some supplies. On the whole Lilongwe is fairly devoid of interest for the visitor and so after a couple of hours and a bite to eat we headed off after lunch.

Upon heading back to the truck we were greeted by an unexpected familiar face, Garry - who had previously left in Cape town for a few weeks back home in New Zealand.  We weren't expecting him to rejoin us until Dar Es Salaam, but as we were running later, due to posting our passports home for our Ethiopian visas in Zimbabwe, he joined the truck earlier - its always good to have another familiar face on the truck. After this we made the long drive into the early evening for our next destination of Kande Beach, located on the shores of the beautiful Lake Malawi. The trip there did take a little longer than it might have what with several additional toilet stops - which had much to do with the celebrations (and beers) on the back of the truck to celebrate Gary's arrival.

Kande Beach was lovely spot located on the vast freshwater lake and it seemed rude to not use the opportunity to go for a dip. About 1k our there was a small island and on the second day myself and Lindi decided to swim out to see it close up. After wards we had a walk around spotting a few lizards and birds (plus a few local fishermen) and swam back.  It was hard work, but well worth it.  We planned on swimming out there on the second day as well but the lake was a bit rough, as the wind had picked up over night, so we just lazed around, played some cricket and football, followed by a swim to cool down. This was officially the first time I have ever body surfed in a freshwater lake before - as the wind picked up the waves were quite fun!

Our next beach, as we headed North along the lake, was Chitimba. Chitimba is really an overlander's stop off, and as such there was little to do but relax. There was an option which some people took, to walk up a mountain, however I decided to opt out as it was a 6am start and an 8 hour hike so didn't appeal too much to me. Instead we just walked around the village of Chitimba, along the way I made my first souvenir purchase of the trip - as we had a necklace and bracelet made for each us by a local boy - in the local tribal style... where else in the world can 2 bracelets and necklaces cost $10ish.

After leaving Chitimba it was the long drive north to enter into Tanzania, crossing through the Songwe border.

Looking back Malawi was a beautiful place, with lush, green hills and mountains lapping the shores of the epic Lake and will surely go down as one of my favorite places visited on this adventure.
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