Moody Lake Malawi

Having arrived at Lake Malawi two days previously to a campsite called Kande Beach, my Overland Truck group itinerary required us to drive about five hours farther North up the shore of the lake to Chitimba Campground, where we arrived by 1pm.  They offered a small room for $6 a night and since we were staying two evenings, the thought of not putting my tent up won me over!

The remainder of my day was quite typical for my trip–internet time–lunch–nap–take photos.  As I was gazing at the beautiful lake water, I noticed what appeared to be a few clouds of smoke far out on the water, and asked an employee what they were.  He said they were swarms of flies (millions) that gather to reproduce, lay eggs and die shortly thereafter.  This happens approximately once a month.  The locals like to catch them and make them into a cake or deep fry them!  That’s one of the things I like about travel…there’s always something new and unexpected!

After dinner we had a bonfire on the beach.  I read in bed and was asleep by 9:45pm.  It poured down rain for the first time on the trip in the middle of the night.  My roof was made from tin and it was so loud!  Snug as a bug in my bed, I was glad I decided to splurge for the room, rather than worrying if my tent would leak!

Here are a few of my photos from the day.  I like this photo because of the distinct strips of color…

The owner of the facility saw me taking photos and asked if I’d like to see something really special.  I said of course, so he took me to meet his pet deer…

It was a windy day and I kept trying to get a decent photo of this amazing flower that was swaying violently in the wind!

One of the employees at the campground/resort…

I awoke before sunrise again the following morning and the lighting was divine…

The water looks like a sea (well…lake) of diamonds…large diamonds…

I’ll say it again…Lake Malawi is amazing!

Kande Beach, Lake Malawi

Having driven through Malawi, the day before, which you can read about here, my G Adventures Overland Truck group was excited to have arrived to our first campsite as night fell at Lake Malawi…Kande Beach.  We were staying here for two nights.  The next morning, I was up before sunrise, so I walked the short distance to the lake and was pleased to have “Sid”, the campground owners’ dog accompany me and be my protector!  Lake Malawi is nicknamed the calendar lake because it is approximately 365 miles long by 52 miles wide.  You feel as though you’re at the ocean!  It is the third largest lake in Africa and the eighth largest in the world.  You’ll find the most species of fish of any body of fresh water on Earth here at Lake Malawi!  It’s also the second deepest lake in Africa…almost 2300 feet (almost a half mile) deep!

The colors were spectacular!  As I was taking photos I was reminding myself to soak it all in and experience the moments!  It almost seemed surreal!  The sky was bursting with gold and seemed ready to explode!

The day was perfect…not too hot, a nice breeze!  I had read that the Lake may have Bilharzia (a parasite) and could be risky to swim in.  We were assured that the two places we were staying at had no risk because it was moving water.  I did take a dip later that day!

My day consisted of laying on the beach reading a book for a while, some internet time, and a nap after lunch.  That evening we had a party.  We drew names from a hat and had to buy or use something we already had to dress that person up.  I drew our driver’s name–James.  I had a sheet with me so I wrapped it around him like a Toga!

Michael drew my name and dressed me as a Fem bot from the Austin Powers movie.  They have pictures and I hope they don’t blackmail me with them!  We had a Pig Roast and Rum Punch!

Lake Malawi is amazing!

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.