Malawi
Nkhata Bay District

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    • Day86

      Makuzi Beach Lodge

      October 2, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      Wir haben schon wieder den richtigen Riecher gehabt. Traumhafter war eigentlich noch keine Campsite gelegen. Ein krönender Abschluss für den Malawiaee. Morgen geht's erstmal nach Mzuzu. Wir müssen unbedingt unsere Vorräte wieder auffüllen.Read more

      Traveler

      Wie cool das ihr baden könnt👋

      10/2/19Reply
      Traveler

      Mensch schwimmt nicht so weit raus.

      10/3/19Reply
      Traveler

      Ohh mannn, wie geil !

      10/5/19Reply
      Traveler

      Sehe ich richtig 🤔 ein weißer Hai ... Vorsicht

      10/5/19Reply
       
    • Day134

      MV Ilala

      January 27, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 28 °C

      Today we are boarding the MV Ilala, a ferry that has been cruising Lake Malawi since 1951, for what promises to be one of the great African boat adventures.

      In the morning, we head down to the ferry terminal in Nhkata Bay to try and secure a cabin. Upon enquiring, we’re told that the only cabin left is the “Owner’s Cabin”, the most exclusive room on the boat- for £28. We take it, with the justification that we’ll probably never be able to get the most exclusive room on a boat anywhere else.

      The ferry arrives just after 2pm, but we are told that it won’t leave until around 9pm. We wait around, and head down to the ferry around 8.30pm. We settle in with a few beers on the upper deck, swapping travel stories with the other passengers. The ferry leaves at around 11.30pm, and heads off into a curtain of darkness, towards Likoma Island near Mozambique. The upper deck is First Class, but there are no beds. Instead, people find spaces in any nook or cranny, or bring big mattresses to sleep on. Around midnight, a small rain storm forces everyone to huddle under the small amount of covered space. Although it’s fun being up there, drinking beers under the night sky, I’m glad we have our little cabin.

      Not that our cabin especially lives up to the hype. It is next to the engine, so the air is filled with the fumes, and there are small roaches that scurry around the beds. Still, given that that we are a few beers “deep” (first nautical pun), we “drift” (second nautical pun!) off to sleep easily.
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    • Day127

      Living with Phillip & his family

      January 20, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 32 °C

      Morning starts off early and rushed with breakfast at 7am and set off from Mayoka Village at 7:15. Today, we are headed to Chimbota Secondary School, a private high school in the village of Chimbota which is about 15 minute drive away from the centre of Nhkata Bay. We’ll be staying here for two nights and quickly learn that driving there isn’t all that easy since the road keeps washing away with the daily rainfall.

      Phillip, one of the founders of the school and member of staff at Mayoka Village is going to be hosting us for the next couple of days while we help out at the school and live with his family.

      Chimbota Secondary School opened its doors in 2016 and currently has over 100 students enrolled. Before, the nearest secondary school was in Nhkata Bay which meant that students previously had to walk over 2 hours to get to school. During rainy season this means it was near to impossible for many eager students to get to school as their method of transportation is by foot.

      With a vision to expand, Phillip hopes enrolment will continue to grow in the coming years as demand for education is growing. However, many families face difficulties in meeting the school fees which are set at 29,000 kwacha (about $35 USD) per term. With today being the deadline for students to pay, the class sizes seem to be dwindling and many students are seen walking away from the school.

      As the school day comes to an end, we pack our things and head home to Phillips house. It’s about a 30 minute walk which is either blazingly hot or torrentially wet. We’re greeted warmly by everyone in the street. The local butcher passes by and shows us his bucket full of pig. We pass on purchasing any as we don’t have anywhere to cook, it but thank him for his generosity. We also meet a guy who calls himself Honeyman, a local bee keeper and nephew of Phillip. We don’t believe his name until we hear some others shouting out for him. He seems to be a popular fella.

      Lunch and dinner is cooked by Phillip’s family as we sit and watch the village life go by. As seems to be standard in Africa, we have an early night, and turn off the lights (by disconnecting the bare ends of wire draped across our door).
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      Traveler

      It's so incredible to read about and see all these intricacies of your journey throughout Africa :) Love to you both, and keep posting! - Mom

      1/23/20Reply
       
    • Day126

      Nkhata Bay

      January 19, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 30 °C

      Mayoka Village, perched on the edge of Lake Malawi, has to be one of the best places we have stayed so far. A series of little houses and bungalows seem to tumble down the hill, threatening to spill into the lake.

      We take advantage of the low season and switch rooms every few days. We decide our favourite is room number four, a log cabin perched directly on top of the lake allowing you to hear the suprisingly big waves crash underneath you.

      Today, the head chef of the lodge has offered to cook for us at his house, so it’s an opportunity for us to peel away from the tourist places and experience the “real” Malawi. We are treated to Cassava Nsima- the national dish here, which is ground cassava, cooked into a solid mashed potato. It is eaten with your hands, by ripping off a small piece, rolling it into a ball and dipping it into sauce. It’s an acquired taste, but we’re now fond of the maize nsima (which is slightly lighter).
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      Traveler

      Three great photos but not a beer in sight. What’s going on?

      1/22/20Reply
       
    • Day122

      Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay

      January 15, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ 🌧 27 °C

      The latest in a series of sketchy African coach journeys, this one from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay, a small tourist town on Lake Malawi.

      The coach, due to set off at 11pm, doesn’t arrive until past midnight, and the seats are in a state of disrepair. At around 4 in the morning, the coach stops for around an hour, alarms blaring, until the driver and conductor can get it running again. We arrive into the nearest big city (Mzuzu) at 6.30 in the morning, and get off the bus into a giant rain storm. We’ve been fortunate so far to have avoided getting caught in downpours, but not this time. We need to get across town to the bus station to get a minibus to Nkhata Bay, so we’re forced to brave the deluge. Soaked, we arrive at the bus station and are mobbed by touts telling us that there are no busses to Nkhata Bay. I politely try to inform them that we’ve heard otherwise, whilst Katie straight up calls them liars. Sure enough, there is a bus to Nkhata Bay.

      It is worth the journey though. Our accommodation, Mayoka Village, is perched in and around a small bay on the lake, affording views over nearby headlands, and across the lake to the shoreline of Mozambique (where the lake is called Lago Niassa). The lake is home to an array of different coloured tropical fish darting around the rocks and GIANT LIZARDS!

      We rest for most of the day, with Katie feeling slightly under the weather, but we look forward to getting out on the lake and snorkelling in this real-life dentist’s aquarium.
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    • Day39

      Kande to Mabuya near Lilongwe, Milawi

      January 2, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ 🌧 23 °C

      The night was long, hot and disturbed - I woke up in the early hours with my mind turning over and with a tangle of thoughts and experiences preventing any further sleep. I therefore got up early, had some light breakfast and walked out onto the beach, where the troubled skies with dark storms and emerging clouds of lake flies seemed to match my mood.
      Some people say that travelling is an escape from the problems in your life. However, my experience on this journey has been the opposite - that the multifarious experiences of travel are more like a reflective lens that focusses a light as intense and unforgiving as the African sun on the issues in your life. Without the shade of rest and sleep you can easily get burned. All your feelings and emotions are magnified and expanded like the great African plains where your thoughts wander like herds of wildebeest and zebra, often falling prey to loneliness, exhilaration, hope, pain, loss, wonder, happiness, misery. All your emotions reach a high pitch, resonating in rhythm with the epic scenery, which can be intoxicating but also unbearable.
      We boarded the truck once again and headed back along the tree lined track up to the main road with the branches of trees crashing through the open windows of the truck and causing us all to duck down to avoid a swipe from a tree branch. Insects and even a small tree frog were momentarily stranded on the truck and had to be returned to their natural habitat.
      We headed out into the green and lush countryside with tree filled, misty mountains rising up above the road. We followed the lake again, up into highlands with expansive views up to the mountains that lined the road for many miles. At certain points the landscape opened out into huge plains leading all the way to dark, distant mountains.
      We arrived in Malawi's capital city, Lilongwe, around mid-afternoon and were shopping for food for our evening dinner when a huge thunderstorm hit the city and torrential rain came down flooding the streets. Suffice to say, we got drenched running back to the truck and then got caught in the Lilongwe rush hour. Once again, the weather reflected my own mood and I began to wonder if I was sickening for something.
      We finally arrived at a very wet campsite, Mabuya Camp, in pouring rain and there was little choice but to upgrade to a room as the campsite was flooded. I continued to feel tired and miserable, and after dinner I retired to bed for an early night with the rain still bearing down. I managed to go to sleep quickly, but had many, now forgotten, dreams of Africa as if the large African raindrops were somehow seeping into my soul.
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    • Day38

      New Year's Day in Kande

      January 1, 2020 in Malawi ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      I woke up early at 6am and decided to go out onto the beach to watch the sun rising before my hangover began in earnest. It was a beautiful view of the beach with a bright yellow sun slowly inching its way into a hazy morning sky. I retired to the veranda of the cabin to do some more writing. I then walked over to the Oasis Overland truck to get some light breakfast and returned to my cabin to sleep off some of my hangover and woke up 4 hours later at mid-day. I skipped lunch and spent the afternoon trying to keep as cool as possible away from the blistering heat of the day by sitting in the shade. I did go down to the beach to take some photos of the huge lake fly plumes rising above the lake looking like an insect tornado, but I didn't last very long and retreated to the shade again. Later in the day the weather began to cool and thousands of local people filled the beach and many started to take boats out to the nearby island. There was a big party atmosphere for New Year's day and local bars were pumping out heavy beats across the beach. The sun set behind the far hills and a blue-gray dusk settled across the beach contrasting with the pale yellow sands retaining the last of the light. The sky turned shades of pink and orange before darkness descended on the revellers.Read more

    • Day37

      Chitimba to Kande Beach - New Year's Eve

      December 31, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

      I had a slow build up of tiredness through the longterm camping experience that started causing me to do clumsy things like flood my tent by tipping over a water bottle. I also woke up with my tent filled with tiny insects again and had to brush them out before I packed up my tent. The insect populations are very dense by lake Malawi with dozens of bees buzzing around the honey on my breakfast pancakes, ants everywhere and large moths of all possible varieties sheltering on available surfaces. As we left the campsite, waving goodbye to the children who ran after the truck, we headed up into the hills and saw the huge plumes of lake flies rising like living smoke, in their billions, above the sunlit lake.
      We had fantastic views across the forested hills as we climbed. We passed small villages and towns with vibrant markets which are always a riot of colour and activity. We stopped by a shopping mall in a local town to buy lunch and some fancy dress clothes for the New Year's celebrations that evening. The clothes were arrayed on nearby stalls and sold by funny and characterful young men which made it a fun experience. We headed on through more green hills and a large rubber plantation where young boys were selling large balls made of rubber bands. We arrived on the shores of Lake Malawi who's extensive coastline we had been following for the entire journey, and found ourselves in a beautiful campsite, Kande Beach Resort, on a long golden beach with a small island just off shore. Lake Malawi has the 4th largest volume of any fresh water lake in the world and is over 700 metres deep at its deepest. It is fed by many rivers and over spills at one end to help form the great Zambezi river that we will witness spectacularly at Victoria falls. I booked a single cabin at the campsite with a view onto the beach which would be a welcome relief from the miserable camping experience the previous night. As I settled in to my bamboo wood and tin rooved cabin, a large rainstorm passed over beating a heavy and persistent rhythm with large rain drops on the roof. After the storm, I walked out onto the beach to take in a lovely golden sunset over the deep blue far hills with the stormy clouds providing an impressive backdrop.
      Next it was time to begin the New Year's Eve celebrations with my fellow travellers and welcome in a new decade. We had a nice meal, involving a hog roast, which I passed on in favour of some vegetarian sausages, roasted cabbage, vegetables garlic bread. Punch was made and everyone got drunk very quickly on that. Drunken games were played with much hilarity, until we walked over to the campsite bar to wait and see in the New Year. As midnight struck, fireworks were set off into the dark skies from the sand as distant pink lightning lit up the horizon, reflecting in Lake Malawi's calm waters. As is usual, everyone hugged everyone including local people who had joined the party. I had some funny banter with local young men who follow Premier League football. The celebrations continued until the early hours until I retired to bed to face the inevitable hangover the following day.
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    • Day325

      Tag 35 - 37: Lake Malawi

      June 24, 2019 in Malawi ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C

      Mer händ drü nächt uf ehmene Campingplatz am See verbrocht und händ chönne mache was mer wänd.

      Ich bi am erste Tag uf ehn Tour dors Dorf wos üs viel über s Läbe und Kultur vo de Lüüt do verzellt händ. Mer händ de Brunne, d Schuel unds "Spital" ahgluegt. De Fakt, dass sowohl s Spital als au d Schuel werklich um jedi Form vo Spänd bitte händ, (also au Stifte, Moslitonetz oder übrig bliibnigi Malariapille) hed üs no meh zeigt wie fest sie tatsächlich uf Hilf ahgwiese sind.

      Am Nomittag hämmer es Ruederboot gmieted und sind zu de chline Insle diräkt vor ehm Campingplatz paddled. Det simmer im Lake Malawi (de See mit de wältwiit grösste population ah tropische Fisch ih Süesseasser) go schnorchle.

      De zwoiti Tag han ich nüt gmacht. Ich bi nor ih de Hängematte gläge, ha gläse bi chli go schwimme und ha mit de Lüüt gredt. Ich ha mer au no es Bild loh zeichne vo de Lüüt wo üs amVortag dors Dorf gfüehrt händ - das esch es tollsSä Souvenir und ged de Iheimische gliichziitig es Ihkomme.
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    • Day47

      Lazy days in Nkhata Bay

      October 28, 2018 in Malawi ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

      Auf dem Weg ins Dorf frühstücken wir bei Kelvin, der neben den „best banana pancakes” und “best chapati ever” auch Space Cookies und Happy Tea auf seiner Speisekarte stehen hat. Mit seinen Dreadlocks und Bob Marley-Accessoires tut er auf jeden Fall seinen Teil zum Ruf Malawis als das Jamaica Africas. Tatsächlich sehen wir hier in Nkhata Bay etliche gelb-rot-grüne Fahnen, hören an jeder Ecke Reggae-Musik und spüren den entschleunigten Rastafari-Vibe.

      Man hat einfach Zeit.

      So auch die Runde älterer Männer, die auf dem Marktplatz im Kreis sitzen und uns auf meine neugierige Blicke hin zu sich einladen.
      Es wird das Spiel Bao gezockt. Ohne auch nur eine einzige Spielregel zu kennen, kauft sich Felix risikofreudig in die nächste Runde ein. Trotz tatkräftiger Unterstützung des alten Weisen muss er eine Niederlage einstecken. Seine neuen Kumpels finden Freude daran, dem Mzungu abzuzocken und laden ihn direkt für den nächsten Tag wieder ein.

      Der ist jedoch dem Wasser gewidmet. Wir kayaken, schnorcheln und tauchen im Lake Malawi - dem drittgrößten See Afrikas. Es ist unser erster Tauchgang im Süßwasser. Ein Highlight für uns, trotz dass wir sehr verwöhnt vom Tauchen im Ozean sind.
      Der Lake Malawi ist berühmt für seine farbenprächtigen Zierfische, die in Massen exportiert werden und dann bei uns in den heimischen Aquarien landen.
      Am allermeisten beeindruckt mich der Mouthbreeder, den ich bereits aus etlichen Dokus kenne: Eine äußerst bemühte Mutter, die bei Gefahr ihren kompletten Babyfischschwarm in ihr Maul aufsaugt. Das sieht so lustig aus!

      Zum Totlachen sind auch die „upside-down-fish“, die unter Felsen wohnen, um die dortigen Algen zu fressen. Um dies zu bewerkstelligen, führen sie ihr ganzes Leben auf dem Kopf. Sie sehen aus wie die anderen Zierfische, nur halt falsch herum.

      Und dann gleich nochmal eine First-time-experience:
      Tauchen bei Nacht.
      Mir ist mulmig zumute, als wir uns bei kompletter Dunkelheit in dieses tiefe nasse Schwarz hinunterlassen und während der ersten Meter NICHTS sehen. Ziemlich gruslig. Der Grund weshalb wir dies machen: wir wollen die Dolphinfish beim Jagen sehen. Und kaum sind wir auf dem Grund angelangt und leuchten mit unseren Taschenlampen die Umgebung ab, sind sie schon da. Das Witzige ist, dass sie einem wie ein Rudel Hunde folgen. So schwimmen sie die komplette Stunde „bei Fuß“ und jagen im Licht unserer Taschenlampen andere Fische.
      Ein bisschen Leid tun mir jedoch die Catfish (welche aufgrund ihrer langen Barthaare sehr katzenartig aussehen), weil sie geblendet von unserem Licht ständig volle Karacho gegen die Steine schwimmen.

      Am Ende des Tauchgangs machen wir alle drei unsere Lampen aus und plötzlich ist es kohlrabenschwarz.

      Was für ein überwältigendes Gefühl.
      Mitten in Afrika, mitten in der Nacht schweben wir in 15 Meter Tiefe im Lake Malawi und wissen nicht wo oben, unten, rechts und links ist.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Nkhata Bay District

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