Malawi or Bust


My G Adventures Overland Truck group left our campsite in Zambia at 7am (for a 10 hour drive) and thirty minutes later we arrived to the border of Malawi.  I was told that all five of the border crossings that our group went through were relatively quick and easy as far as border crossings go (usually 20-45 minutes).  Sometimes the Tour Director would gather all of our passports and our filled out forms and handle it and other times we had to do it on our own.  Tourists are usually given some type of preferential treatment because we represent money.

Once in Malawi, we stopped first at a stand selling coal and firewood and loaded up.  Here are the people selling it…

Next stop was a local market and as I was wandering around taking a few photos, a man approached me and seemed a little angry.  He said, “You need to ask before you take a photo”.  (Most people I encountered throughout six countries in Africa could speak English)  At that moment I was going to take a photo of some rice and sugar or something like that and said to him, “Even of this rice”?  He said “Yes.  People want money for the photos”.  I encountered this quite a bit on the trip and would not give money for photos.  Some people were very nice about it when I would ask to take their photo.

I wondered what these leather strips were used for…

This woman was so cute…she agreed to have the photo taken and every time she would move her baby away from her for the photo, he would cry.  That’s why she was laughing.  She has a stalk of cane sugar in her hand.  I tried it somewhere else on the trip.  After chewing on it, you spit it out.  It’s a nice little sweet treat.

These boys were fighting each other to get in the photo…

One boy rode up to me on his bicycle and said “Give me money”.  I said “No, you give me money.”

The landscape was becoming more tropical the farther East we went.  We stopped in the capital of Malawi, Lilongwe (population 1M) for snacks, ATM, etc.  I cut my toe on a wire that was hidden in the grass.  We finally arrived at Kande Beach on Lake Malawi around 5:30pm.  We set up our tents, took photographs (wait until you see the Lake), had dinner and were in bed by 9pm.

30 thoughts on “Malawi or Bust

  1. Pingback: Kande Beach, Lake Malawi | Fabulous 50's

  2. Ive been waiting for your photos of Malawi. I hope you post many of the landscape and people. Malawi is the country of my birth, and I hold a special place in my heart for it. Sadly, the people are very poor, but Malawi was also voted the happiest nation on earth a couple of years back. And I haven’t been there for around 40 years 😦 but planning to make a trip next year… Thanks for sharing your trip 🙂

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    • I have a lot of photos of Lake Malawi. That’s where we spent four days. Other than that, the overland truck wouldn’t pull over if we wanted to take photos…so I don’t have many of the countryside, etc.

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  3. Hi,
    Great photos, I love the photo of the Mum with her child, you certainly made her day by that wonderful huge smile you captured on your camera, looks like she did have a good laugh. 🙂
    I also like the last photo as well, shows the people going about their everyday life a very nice shot. 😀

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  4. A lot of street life here …. love the photo with the mum and her baby – also the 3 boys. I totally agree that we should ask if we can take a photo, doesn’t matter where we are – and if it’s going to be a portrait even more so … a long distance shot – but if it’s close up front. I always ask and never got a no. Really love your “real” life photos – sunsets are wonderful and oceans .. but this tells a story. Wonderful shots again, Sherry. Thank for sharing. Fare away from my bags and shoes. *smile

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  5. Taking oics of the Locals can always be a bit of a judgement call. A lot depends on their culture and of course money. If it is obvious to the local I am going to take their pic, I usually point at the camera , then back at them with a smile and say “okay.”

    So far I have never been turned down.

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  6. I had that happen in Mexico. I had bought a woman’s handiwork and asked if I could take her picture with the tablecloth she had embroidered. She said, “If you pay me.” I said, “No, thanks,” and now I can’t look at that cloth with any pleasure. She took the joy right out of it. I know these people are needy, but money for photos? But maybe it would bother me too if people were constantly taking pictures of me as I go about my daily life. What a world. Not everything is wonderful.

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    • As a tourist, you’re already being overcharged for most things. I know what you mean though, I’ve tried putting myself in their shoes. It depends on how often they’re approached and other factors like their mood that day, etc.

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  7. It sounds like some of them have learned to work the system. I imagine a lot of people would just give them the money for the photos or when asked. Just like everywhere else, if you are in a tourist area there will be people working the system and those that just appreciate that you are there.

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