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Malawi – Lake of stars

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From Chitimba, all the way down the lake to Cape Maclear we read, ate, slept, swam, snorkeled… all the way down.

The best place we stayed at in Malawi was by far Makuzi beach. The couple that run the place are great. The camp site is great and you have the most amazing bay all to yourself with fresh water, waves and the most relaxing place in Malawi for sure.

We said goodbye to The Kuipers at Makuzi after venturing through The Nyika Plateau which in season would be a beautiful landscape to explore. We saw Roan antelope, Klipspringers and a penant winged nightjar.

We met up with two interesting characters, Tom from England and Phillip from New Zealand. We met Tom first because he was dropped off at Makuzi late one evening and camped really close to us. He had decided to take some time out of the English scene to acquaint himself with the continent he was born in. He had just graduated from Uni and bought himself a flight to Zambia. From Zambia he made his way to Malawi catching rides with people along the way and this is when we met him.

One evening Tom joined us for dinner and while we were chatting away looking over the amazing bay that sat right in front of us, Phillip arrived. Now Phillip has been cycling through Africa along our very same route… some people are insane but as long as they enjoy it. He has not seen Mazungus (Western folk) for an awful long time and although he had cyled all day, pushed his bike all the way to Makuzi over a very sandy road and was clearly knackered he still managed to get about 1000 words out per minute. He was so excited to be around people.

Phillip joined us for dinner and we chatted away about the crazy adventures we had all embarked on.

In the morning we heard that Phillip had managed to convince Tom to buy a bike (Now in Africa these bikes are everywhere and they have a rack on the back which is used for a passenger to sit on, this way they can give lifts to people headed in the same direction as them, and they charge for it) and strap his kit to the rack on the back and off they were mission together until they got to Lilongwe or wherever.

We gave Tom a ride into the next biggest town, strapped him up with a brand new bike which they assembled while we waited and ate ICE CREAM a rare treat.

The next morning Tom and Phillip started their journey together and unfortunately we did not meet up with them again, but we were glad to have met two very different people along the way. We hope they are well and trust Tom will enjoy meeting up with his South African family in December when he finally makes his way to Cape Town. Good luck guys!

In Cape Maclear we spent a day out on a local fisherman’s boat snorkeling with an Austrian couple we met and had the most magic day out on Lake Malawi surrounded by such beauty, fish eagles, beautiful tropical fish and treated to a local lunch of Chambo (lake fish), rice and an awesome tomato and onion sauce – it was delish! This was truly a Malawian highlight.

Once we had the car serviced in Lilongwe (If you can avoid Toyota in Lilongwe, do!) Not much holds you to this capital city at all. We went to a Spar supermarket expecting some great grub purchasing and we  left really disappointed with the products that were available. Rows and rows of the same stuff down each aisle as if they were trying to use up the space they had in the store.

Malawi is the poorest country in Africa and that speaks volumes, since the times of their “great” leader Hastings Banda who declared himself president for life, clearly not realizing he was a mere mortal, the country has been run into disrepair. Ethiopia was on a better standing than Malawi and at the start of my trip I would never have said so. The people however like everywhere in Africa are insanely kind and friendly so that alwa

IMG 0705 Malawi – Lake of stars

Makuzi beach, view from our roof top tent – aint it neat?

IMG 0760 Malawi – Lake of stars

The new owner of an African bike

IMG 0767 Malawi – Lake of stars

Mike hooking up to Airtel to say hello to all you cronies

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Snorkelling in Aquarium bay – Tropical fish abound

IMG 82521 Malawi – Lake of stars

Lake of stars

 

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