Malawi

I went to Malawi in Central Southern Africa in December 2000. I had wanted to go there for several years after seeing a documentary about the country. It featured a journey thorugh the country by the old liner that is used as a ferry on the lake which covers 1/2 the country. The boat sails the length of the country in about a week, stopping off at various villages and towns by the lakeshore on the way. It looked a great way to see a country, and I had set my mind to go there. This was strengthened in the mid 1990s when a Calrsberg advert was filmed there, featuring Angus Deaton getting off the ferry in a small fishing boat and attempting to bribe his way into a hotel using a crate of Calsberg. Malawi has the largest Carlsberg brewery in Africa, and it is literally the only beer you can get to drink there. It comes in two flavours, Green and Brown, which is the colour of the bottle labels. The brown is a litle richer than the green, which is their standard export lager. The price in the country ranged from 15p a bottle to nearly 40p!

Anyway, in 2000 I needed to go travelling again, and arranged for all my leave to be taken at Christmas so I could spend a month abroad, and booked a ticket to Malawi, via Zimbabwe. It was well worth it, and I recommend the country to any adventurous traveller.

Here are some of my pictures from the trip.

Myself and 3 other British people who endured the 10 wait for a connection in Harare, got a taxi from the airport to Lilongwe. It broke down after 10 minutes, and we had to wait for an hour. got there in the end! The head is not MINE!
Kiboko Camp in the centre of Lilongwe, the capital. The place I stayed on the first night.
The main office of Kiboko Camp. The camp was used by lots of overlanders as a base in lilongwe.
The A frame room I stayed in on my first and last nights in the country.
This was taken on the coach between Lilongwe and Mzuzu in the North
A small Village, also taken from the coach.
Another Coach photo!
A large hill just outside Kasungu in the central area, near the border to Zambia.
Another small village.
A forest in the North, just outside Mzuzu.
After one night in Mzuzu, a pleasant town in the North of the country, I moved onto Nkata Bay. It is by the Northern end of the lake, and a popular place for backpackers. The Ferry illala has just come into dock.
The beach at Nkata Bay. Behind it was a busy market town, which operated in daylight hours 7 days a week.
A panarama of Nkata Bay.
Two guys playing Baul in Africa bay backpackers, closely watched by Mango the monkey! Baul is
On board the Illala
This is me next to the first class sleeping quarters, on the deck of the boat. There is an old bar behind!
Chizumulu Island from the boat. A small island just off Mozambique in Lake Malawi. there is one place to stay here.
The Eastern side of Chizumulu. This was just after a huge thunder storm. The boat had to wait here for 5 hours as it couldn't get any boats in the water (too rough), to get supplies over to the island. 
Other Small islands on the eastern side of lake Malawi.
Likoma Island from the boat. The largest of the two islands on the eastern side of the lake. This is nearer Mozambique, and about 6Km by 3Km.
The boat trip took nearly 3 days to get to Monkey bay. this led onto Cape McLear at the southern end of the lake.
The Beach at Cape Mclear. This is the week before Christmas, not a snowflake to be seen!
The western end of the beach. the fences are to keep the locals out of the lodges and guesthouses on the beach.
Back on the boat, after a trip from the second city Blantyre right up the country to Nkata bay, I was heading to Likoma island (in the picture) to spend a few days in the most relaxing atmosphere in the country.
The main town on Likoma Island. Very unusual for Africa, nice stone buildings and cobbled streets, with a central market.
The Cathedral on Likoma. This is bigger than Westminister Abbey, and was built by the British at the start of the 20th Century. Likoma Island is only 6Km by 3Km, with a population of 6,000, so it's a bizarre place to see such a building.
The roof was built in the UK, sailed down to Mozambique, and then dragged hundreds of miles across land to lake Malawi. not the sort of thing that would happen today!
Mango drift beach on Likoma. One of two places to stay.Tghis is the backpackers, the other is the more upmarket Kayo Mawa. Both are owned and built by two english guys who came to the island in 1995 with a tent, and nothing else. they built up both places from scratch, and Kayo Mawa is very impressive to look at. Unfortunately I have no photos of it! 
The huts on Mango drift, very clean, cheap and cosy, and right on the beach!
The view from the hut! those are fruit trees they have planted at the top of the beach.
Backpackers connection in Nkata Bay. the main bar and decking area, which has the best views of the bay. i returned here after 3 days on Likoma.
Christmas day, everyone sat around eating and drinking all day, just like back home, with in shorts!
Boxing Day and everyone is watching the football!

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