02 Aug 2008
Senga Bay - Cape Maclear (Fat Monkeys Campsite S14 01.448 E34 50.473)
BRUCE: Well the reason that our split charge batter system does not work and we have no lights or fridge is poor workmanship by myself when I did the installation back in the UK. I repaired the loose connection and we were back in business in no time!! We spent the morning sharing info with Ester and Berry who were great and gave us loads of info on Zambia and Bots.
The drive to Cape Maclear was ok but we had not accounted for the last 100km or so being on bad dirt road so it was after dark when we pulled into Fat Monkeys. The 2 guys in the Cruiser that we had met in the Egyptian desert had recommended this place which is why we are here, but honestly I rekon this place is a hole!! The campsite is a small patch of sand right on the public beach in the village….which means it is where everyone comes to do their washing, bathing, etc etc. To top off what was becoming a pretty kak evening we had a horrendous egg curry for dinner that we had tried to cook up from a reciepe in Macduff's cook book. Now the only ingredient that we had from the receipe was egg so we cant really say that we followed it so Macduff you are not to blame…..but it was horrible!
Just when we thought it could not get worse the whole village had a party until about 3am and at 5 I was woken up by a woman giving birth about 5 doors down. Great spot!!
KAYAKING ON LAKE MALAWI
Cape Maclear (Chembe Eagles Nest Campsite S14 00.768 E34 51.029)
SARAH: We were kept up most of the night with the locals singing and going on on their Saturday night and at about 6am a loud unthoughtful German family decided to start packing up their tents and spoke at full volume! Cape Mclear is beautiful but Fat Monkeys is so close to the village all the beach boys lurk around hassling us tourists so we decided to leave quickly. Chembe Eagles Nest Campsite was a million times better, on a private stretch of quiet beach next to the reserve. It was very nice and just the place we'd hoped for.
We had such an awesome afternoon and hired a double kayak from Kayak Africa for $10 and kayaked out to the islands on the Lake. The water was still and flat and the snorkelling was great around the islands too with loads of brightly coloured fish. After our packed lunch on the island and some snorkelling we paddled around the whole island for some good exercise and back to the mainland. Back at our campsite the sunset was beautiful and we spend the rest of the evening entertaining our German neighbours with beer, wine and stories.
04 Aug 2008
Cape Maclear (Chembe Eagles Nest Campsite)
BRUCE: Had a great day today…..but not too much to write about!! Just relaxed around the campsite reading. I am reading a biography of Henry Morten Stanley the explorer which is really really good. Thanks Stof!! The evening was great too and Se made a kick ass lentil dhal which was just what we needed after 3 horrendous meals in a row. That was our day!
05 Aug 2008
Cape Maclear - Senga Bay (Cool Runnings Campsite S13 43.846 E34 37.155)
SARAH: We were on a mission today to do some souvenir shopping from the local's craft stalls as the Malawi crafts are fantastic. We left Cape Maclear at 10am and were back in Senga Bay in the early afternoon were we stopped for hours at a huge road side craft stall and did some serious damage to our wallets and are now landed with the problem of where to put all the souvenirs we have bought!Cool Runnings campsite had space for us this time around and it is a campsite in someone's garden with a bar and restaurant section overlooking the beach. Our big shop meant that we arrived there late so we decided to cook our own meal again tonight and eat out tomorrow night. I'm so desperate for a meat meal!
06 Aug 2008
Senga Bay (Cool Runnings)
BRUCE: Another relaxing day! Sorry guys! Just chilled all morning reading about Morten and listening to music which I have not done in ages. One really exciting thing did happen though…….in the evening we had dinner at the Cool Runnings restaurant! Definite highlight!! We have heard so much about the food here and had built it up quite a bit but we were definitely not disappointed!! I had a T-Bone steak and Se had fish and both were awesome. The steak deserves a steak club review! We spent what was left of the evening with some other travellers in the bar swapping stories and chilling. Great place this and one of the best we have been to in Malawi.
07 Aug 2008
Senga Bay - Lilongwe (Kiboko Camp S13 59.965 E33 45.543)
138Km SARAH: We said goodbye to all the camper friends we had made at Cool Runnings and then left the Lake for the capital, Lilongwe. We've been warned how expensive everything in Zambia is so we did a huge supplies shop at Shoprite and managed to spend a whopping £80 but that also included drinks! At the campsite we met up with the Kiwi bikers, Gareth and Helen, again and enjoyed the buzz of the backpackers place. We finished off the Lentil Dahl and I wrapped up some more souvenirs for packing. We're seriously pushing our Landy to capacity with space as we've bought so many things on the way…it's good to support the locals.
INTO ZAMBIA - BACK IN THE BUSH!
08 Aug 2008
Lilongwe - South Luangwa National Park, Mfuwe, Zambia! (Croc Valley Campsite - this place is AWESOME!!! S13 06.009 E31 47.645)
284Km BRUCE: We had heard that the price of diesel in Zambia is around $3per litre, more than double what it is in Malawi so we filled up every possible vessel with diesel this morning including the tank and all 4 jerry cans (I am so glad we picked the 2 up from Jungle Junction in Kenya, they have saved us some serious $$!). The idea is not to fill up in Zambia at all and make it to Botswana where the diesel is nearing affordable. The Malawi border was quick and easy and so was the Zambian side, although we had to pay $50 for carbon tax but otherwise it cost us nothing. It is incredible that poms have to pay $150 for a visa for Zambia now……not sure why!The road from Chipata to South Luangwa National Park was pretty rough and corregated and it took us about 3 hours to to the 120km or so. There are a few real overlander landmarks in Africa (the Blue Nile Sailing Club in Khartoum, Jungle Junction in Nairobi etc) and Flatdogs campsite in South Luangwa is one of these so we decided that we should stay there and went to check it out. It was only ok, not really on the river and we decided to break the mould and stay at Croc Valley campsite which is right on the river. As we drove in we were greeted by the sight of a magnificent bull elephant wading across the river to our campsite. Our camping spot is on the bank of the Luangwa and in the afternoon we saw loads of elephant, hippo, crocs, impala, giraffe, baboons and waterbuck. It is also $5 cheaper than Flatdogs. Overlanders, this is the spot!!The only draw back for us tonight was a South African knobhead (I could use stronger language) who is camping next to us. Fortunately he leaves tomorrow!
We went to sleep with the sounds of Hyena and Hippo all around us.
SUMMARY OF MALAWI
Diesel: 234.5 K/l
Exchange rate: 136 Kwacha = 1$
Beer: 80 K in shops, 150 K in bars
Border crossing:10 mins in:15mins out
HIGHLIGHTS OF MALAWI
- Kayakingin Cape Maclear
- Dinner at Cool Runnings
- Nkwhazi Campsite and beach (although later we heard there are some security issues here)
- Shopping for carvings
LOWLIGHTS OF MALAWI
1.Fat Monkeys Campsite2.Hassle from beach boys