cave art zimbabwe
cave art zimbabwe
  • Malawi
    • 29/09/2017
After returning on the ferry from Zanzibar we had three very long drive days through largely nondescript countryside, to reach the border with Malawi. There was one bit passing through a national park with a few giraffes and elephants off in the distance, but they are old news now.
Other excitement was provided by our driver getting thrown in a jail cell for a few hours.
The police in Tanzania are notoriously underpaid and corrupt, frequently stopping trucks at roadblocks and demanding fines for spurious offences. Sometimes even photo shopping together fake speed camera pictures. Our driver is a bit fed up of this and asked to speak to the boss, but upon arriving at the police station had his shoes removed and was manhandled into a cell covered in faeces. Next time probably better to pay the $10 bribe with no arguments!

The nights between were spent bush camping, ie waiting till dark and then just pulling off the road down a dirt track. Thus meant zero light pollution so a great chance to admire the night sky and get some photos of the Milky Way.

Approaching the border the landscape became more hilly and tree covered, though as usual, mostly cultivated for farming. Entering Malawi brought another immediate change - initially very flat, with fields of tea, then views of the lake, appearing like a sea shore, with no obvious distinction of where the lake meets the sky at the horizon.
Everywhere these clay brick baking kilns pepper the villages.

The road also snakes up steep hills to avoid the crocodile infested river mouths, as the altitude increases, encountering troops of baboons.

We've had some days of relaxation at lakeside resort campsites with sandy beaches. Unfortunately I've had a bit of, shall we say "travellers tummy", so missed out on a hike up to Livingstone's mission, but recovered enough to try a first freshwater dive in the lake - quite different obviously for the lack of a colourful coral reef, but still some colourful fish, crab, catfish, and a few sunken boats, a jeep, and some interesting rocks to swim around. The lack of salt just meant no weights required (normally would have 3kg ballast to be able to sink).
Malawi is another very poor country, but you wouldn't guess it by the resort prices and the well stocked supermarket, where I was able to get a steak and kidney pie and roast potatos for lunch.
Last night we had a spit roasted pig for dinner, having earlier been invited to watch it's slaughter - the butchery process made to look quick and efficient by the practiced local villagers. Tasted good too, great crackling.

Arrived in the capital Lilongwe tonight, crossing the border into Mozambique tomorrow for single night, worst value for money visa on the trip!


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