I’ve been in Africa over six months now and i think it’s time for another post. Since I last wrote I’ve moved from the southern part of Africa, through Mosambique and Malawi and in to Tanzania in East Africa.
I managed in the end to leave the comfortable expat dream of Tofo and I went to Vilankulos where a trip to the Bazaruto Archipelago filled my head and my phone with images of white sand and aqua blue water.
I couldn’t stay there long because I had to go to Beira to try to get a visa extension before my cousin, Ida, arrived to travel with me for a while. Unfortunately the guys at the immigration office didn’t want to do their job that day and with the uncertainty of Christmas coming up we couldn’t risk going up the east coast as planned and had to make a quickish run for Malawi through the west instead.
Many long, tiring, hot mini bus rides and rather unexciting places later we arrived in Malawi. At the border we got lucky and made it through without paying bribes (he did try of course). This was on the 23rd of December and we decided to stay in Blantyre over Christmas. Blantyre isn’t a very interesting place but it’s got some good food and the hostel was nice so spending Christmas there was alright. For new years we went to Liwonde national park and entered the new year without fireworks, but with a splendid view of the African nature.
Then it was time to properly hit the lake. We also spent a couple of days at Lake Malawi before Liwonde and had a run in with the police, but it all ended fine and we were happy to go back. Monkey bay and Cape Maclear are popular holiday destinations and we had some nice days kayaking, snorkeling and sunbathing. Lake Malawi has a lot of pretty fish, mainly cichlids, so it’s a bit like snorkelling in an aquarium.
Later we bordered the Ilala ferry to go to Likoma Island. The ferry ride took about 24 hrs so we had plenty of time to read books and look at life around the harbours. At night we slept on the deck under the stars. Likoma had a Mediterranean feel to it and when we didn’t spend our time at the beach we enjoyed a few walks and a trip to the village to watch a local football match.
A very fish stinking ferry took us back to the mainland and Nkhata bay, one of the main tourist places in Malawi. The northern part of Malawi is a bit calmer than the south and I wish I could stay in the area a bit longer. But we got on a (only 3 hrs delayed) bus to Lilongwe to spend a couple of nights there. Lilongwe doesn’t have a great reputation because most travelers find it a boring place, but we had a good time and got to do some last preparations before it was time for Ida to go home and for me to head north and in to Tanzania.