25th and 26th - LiwondeNational park, Mvuu camp
We finally left Blantyre in the afternoon (not quite the 10.30 we were promised but then again it is Africa time which means several hours after) ? anyway ? The landy radiator was now fixed and we headed off happily to Liwonde National park.We stayed at the Mvuu camp which is to the north nearest the Shire river.The camp was right on the river and was not fenced which basically mean't the "locals" as in all the WILD animals could walk through if they chose!!!(this is the part that I'm thankful we sorted out another roof top tent!)The river houses several hundred hippo who weren't singing exactly more grunting! Which was very loud as they were very close!The hippos share the river with plenty of fish oh and another few hundred crocodiles!There are also plenty of thousand elephant in the park, black rhino, monkeys and baboons and warthogs and lots of different types of buck (dear to us English people!)So after a slightly nervous night on my part, J.P snored through no problem! (the camp had lots of evidence of the elephants taking a short cut through the day before!)We got up early to take a boat safari.This was fantastic.We saw loads of hippo with just their noses, eyes and ears out of the water, and a few shy ones on the bank.We also saw plenty of birds, we had a lady on the boat who had a paparazzi lens on her camera to take pictures of different kingfisher (we saw quite a few) and there were lots of fish eagles plus a variety of other local colourful birds which I can't remember the names of; (I'm a bit of a thickie when it comes to bird watching).However then we rounded the corner to encounter the elephants morning bath and breakfast!There were about 30 in the herd with all the women and children at the waters edge splashing around and all the men lurking in the bushes! (no change there then).It was really good to watch and we could get really close as we were in the water, oh apart from the territorial hippos near by!Down the river nearer the camp was crocodile island ? some of them were huge and they also didn't take to kindly to us getting close in the boat.As we arrived back at the camp we found a couple more crocks hiding in the rushes at the edge ? lets hope they stay there!We spent the afternoon in the pool and sitting in the sun chasing the baboons away from our stuff, one of them was easily half the size of me, not one to meet on a dark night!Later a family of warthogs wandered in and spent most of the evening with us, but luckily the elephants and rhino didn't turn up.On our way out the next morning we took a couple of hours to do a game drive.Another great experience.We saw plenty, large groups of springbok and nyala and warthogs, some as large as the springbok!After assisting some Canadian tourists who got stuck in the soft sand (J.P got his tow rope out again!) We headed for the river and just in the reeds we found a tableau of safari animals.There were elephants by the water and springbok and Nyala in the grass plus another type of buck with baboons and monkeys by the trees.They didn't seem that bothered by our bright orange landy!Hopefully the pictures will come up well.