Tag Archive: Malawi

Well now that we leave Southern Africa soon Muni & Molly’s Southern African Oscars are now published.

The categories are : (drum roll please)…

1. Best Hotel : The Gecko Lounge, Malawi
2. Worst Hotel : Pensão Leeta, Mocimboa da Praia, Mozambique

3. Best Meal : La Colombe, Constainia, Cape Town – by far
4. Worst Meal : Hotel Palma, Palma, Mozambique

5. Best Transport : Zambia
6. Worst Transport : Namibia

7. Friendliest People : Malawi
8. Not so Friendly People : Namibia

9. Best Value : Mozambique
10. Worst Value : Malawi

And last but by no means least…

11. Best Beer : 1 Litre Frosted Glass Hansa Draught – Namibia with Maluti a very close second – Lesotho
12. Worst Beer : Laurentina Stout – dire!

And the most coveted award for biggest tosser goes to….

The fat, Afrikaner, make-up put on with a cement mixer, hair-do like a bulldog’s arse, manager of the Cat Nap Guest House in Springbok for her inability to take a booking 3 whole weeks in advance. Moan about the check in time, lie about her presence prior to us checking in and then only say that we had booked one night when two were requested. I hope you catch the clap from a toilet seat and you choke on some worm infested biltong.


We’ve come a Lilongwe

So, our time here in Malawi is almost up. It’s only now that it feels like we’ve been on the road a while as Morocco now seems an aeon ago. As we meet more and more like minded travellers it seems we have the same questions. Strangely, and inevitably, the answer always seems to arrive back at the same place. “That’s Africa!”. Some see it as an unacceptable excuse where as others see it as resignation to the inevitable. The latter leaves more room to roll with situations and generally makes life a bit easier.

Here are some of the questions:

  • How is it that such beautiful, intricate and detailed wood carvings can be made here but yet to see a square doorway or window would be something of a sensation?
  • Why do the minibus drivers rev and rev their engines prior to departure but yet turn the engine off going down hill?
  • How is it that some of the poorest countries we have visited, and in the world, are the most expensive places we have been?
  • Why is it that the duty free in Addis Ababa does not take the local currency (Birr)?
  • Why is it that some currency denominations don’t go over that value of a few Euros. Malawi for example. One 500 Euro note would cover the equivalent two hundred 500 Kwacha (largest denomination) notes?

We have mused for a long time how things here are made to work in such a way that they were never supposed to. Some may call it ingenuity, the designers may call it something very different. A prime example is a car I saw with 4 different size wheels with some of the air let out of the tyres to level the car. Did it work? Yes. In the way it was designed…NO! Is it safe. Certainly not. I suppose it’s just Africa’s way of recycling and reusing. But …“That’s Africa!”.

Another example is when Molly and I booked a car for drop off to a ferry port. The car was very late and I barked at the manager. His reply was that the ferry did not leave for an hour and that we would be dropped off when he was ready. I barked some more. “I am black and this is Africa!” he exclaimed. Both of us well knowing that the ferry company was run by Germans meaning that it would actually go on time. But …“That’s Africa!”.

Another example are the pictures below. This bar has been like this for years and getting worse on a daily basis. But after all …“That’s Africa!”.

1 The Wheelhouse2 The Wheelhouse

And just where would Africa be without bendy plumbing pipes, flip flops and plastic? I dread to think…!


Where Eagles Cry

“The Warm Heart of Africa”. And, yes, it really does feel like it. The people here, in Malawi, are truly friendly. Their reputation justified. It could be sensed immediately after crossing the border from Mozambique. So, after a bit of bouncing from town to town and a strange case of an imposter in Blantyre (another story), we have taken up residence on Lake Malawi. The idyllic sounding Gecko Lounge in Cape Maclear is home for a while.

Cape Maclear with Thumbi Island in the background

Cape Maclear with Thumbi Island in the background

Here we followed suit and became lounge room lizards. Slithering from bed to the bar, the restaurant, the lake and back. The cycle only broken by expending intermittent bouts of pent up energy. Such as kayaking, leisurely walks up the beach and all with picnics in tow. We rounded Thumbi Island, stopping at a small bay for some snorkelling, sun bathing and snoozing. To our complete amazement we were to find hundreds of Cichlid fish there. Most of which were quite small but all draped in the most vivid of colours and oddest of shapes. Electric blues, merlot reds, lime greens, lemon yellows and everything in between. Most of which would follow us when swimming and then we would double back to head into the oncoming traffic. It was like swimming in a tropical aquarium. There are supposed to be over 500 species of fish here with at least 350 of them endemic to Lake Malawi. All derived from a handful of “Adam & Eve” fish.

2 Cape Maclear4 Cape Maclear

Nesting Fish Eagles can be spotted in most any large tree with a view to the lake. Constantly they call out to each other, throwing their heads back sounding almost like a Seagull that means business. Akin to the American Bald Eagle except the white plumage continues onto the chest and patches of deep maroon on their breast and wings. They are as beautiful as they are formidable. With their massive wingspan it is here that they grace the skies at their highest concentration in Africa swooping down for a Cichlid feast.

Senga Bay is the destination tomorrow and we expect it will be more of the same. We just have to find the impetus to go there..!