Saturday 2nd September. Barefoot Safari’s and Camp close to Lilongwe – ‘Cool Runnings’ campsite, Senga, Lake Malawi. Start mileage 212490.

Another morning where we are up at 7am. This is getting a habit..:) After breakfasting, showering and packing up, we went and visited our Landy neighbours, Edith & Peter to say goodbye. They arrived back in Malawi only yesterday from Belgium after a break of 5 months, to be reunited with their Landy, Jack, and to continue their travels through Africa. There is something about chatting with Land Rover owners, specially ones with an identical car and philosophy to life. The sad part is we couldn’t spend more time with them.

Our Belgian camp mates. Peter & Edith.

A couple of days ago I made a comment about African leaders clinging to power. I had forgotten one particularly interesting leader and exception, Julius Nyerere of Tanzania. A former school teacher who believed by following the teachings of Chairman Mao, he could bring greater equality and prosperity to his people. Of course, he failed miserably, to the detriment of his people. However, when being voted out of office, he went without complaint and not having enriched himself at the states expense, while in office. Honourable. I remember our former Prime Minister, Norman Kirk being impressed by Nyerere’s manner and objectives.

Knowing what direction we were headed, Peter & Edith suggested we visit the campsite called ‘Cool Runnings’. So, that’s our objective. First we had to circumnavigate the capital, Lilongwe. Passing a shopping mall complex Jen made a visit to top up our ever diminishing food supply. I have no idea where it goes, but go, it does..:). The prime commodity is rolled oats, our favoured breakfast and difficult to obtain. Also, fruit and vegetables.

Lake Malawi.

The drive from Lilongwe to Lake Malawi is 170k’s and continually through small villages which makes progress slow. Arriving at ‘Cool Runnings’ at 3pm, we are set up in some shade on green green grass. The lake is 50m away and both massive and cooling. At an altitude of 470m above sea level the lake is the result of tectonic movement many millions of years ago. It is at the Eastern end of the Great Rift Valley, approx. 560km long and 75k’s at the widest point and approx. 700m at the deepest point. So deep that the water is stratified and holds the largest species of fish in the world.

The slogan we noticed when crossing the border yesterday, ‘Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa’. I have to say, our experiences so far have confirmed that. Malawi, formerly Nyasaland and part of the Federation of Rhodesia, is approximately 840km in length and between 8 and 24km wide. The population is approx 21 million and very friendly.

Another example of bicycle versatility.

There is a sizeable Ex Pat community in Malawi. As we tracked further north east the prevalence of Islam is becoming huge. Passing ten mosques in about 5km. There must have been serious religious activity in earlier days, as like Ghana, nearly every church on the planet is represented.

Arriving at Cool Runnings.

Thank you Peter and Edith for your camping recommendation. We have just been joined by a Dutch couple Rob & Lillian and their 110 Defender. They have similar travel plans and they love their Defender. How couldn’t you!!..:)

Dutch couple Rob & Lillian and their TD5.

I can feel a dip in the lake comping on..:) We may be here for a couple of days as our Mozambique visas will take 5 working days to process.

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  1. Sounds like an ideal spot to wait a few days. I am just crossing the Victoria coast at 30000 ft after a weekend in Ak for Shanes surprise 60th. It was a surprise too. Had a good time with Liz, Kirsty and Dan. Long night and early start, getting too old for this!

  2. Hi Bro, Shane 60!!! Where do the years go? Great to catch up with family. How is the mood in NZ? Are you advising the pilot?…:)

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