Zomba Plateau, local women
Favorite thing: At the Zomba Plateau we walked to the forestry campsite and the trout ponds.
On the road near the trout ponds a group of local women beckoned us and yelled at us and then they started to run in our direction.
They were really anxious to meet us.
So we waited and walked in their direction.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Zomba Plateau, meeting with the local women
Fondest memory: It was really nice to meet these women. When they had reached us they started to sing and to dance.
So I danced together with them and they did appreciate it.
We enjoyed both to dance that way and laughed a lot.
A was a really nice encounter and experience.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Arts and Culture
Zomba Plateau, look at my baby
Favorite thing: After the singing and the dancing the women asked me to take more pictures of them.
Especially the mothers carrying their child on their back liked it to be photographed with their child.
Fondest memory: Everywhere in Malawi the people are very friendly and was it rather easy to meet them.
But the spontaneous meeting with the local women at the Zomba Plateau was the best.
Villages near Lengwe NP
Favorite thing: On our way back from the Lengwe National Park to Blantyre we saw a lot of small villages scattered between the trees along the road.
In the villages we saw a mix of round huts with thatched roofs and square concrete buildings.
The children in the villages were always curious to see us, when we passed. They mostly waved and beckoned.
Shire River near Lengwe NP
Favorite thing: On our way from the Lengwe National Park in the south back to Blantyre we drove along the Shire River.
It was a very scenic route. We saw also 5 crocodiles and 40 hippos on a island and in the water of the river.
So not only in the park, but also outside you have to watch out to see the animals.Related to:
- National/State Park
Beers in Malawi
Favorite thing: Beer drinking in Malawi can be an experience if you try the traditional homebrew!
Fondest memory: The Danish Carlsberg Beer is nearly every where available in Malawi. The most common types are so called Carlsberg “green” or “brown” named after the labels of the bottles. The quality is quite ok although it is not so strong than European beer.
Since a few years there was a new Carlsberg beer called ´Kuch Kuche´. Its sold only in half liter bottles and the cheapest Carlberg beer. Its not that strong then the others beers.
Beside the Carlberg beers there is also a home-brew beer. The name of this drink is ´wamasese´. It is produced by the women in the villages and made out of fermented maize. The most common drink is ´Chibuku´, a commercialised variant of ´wamasese´, ´but somehow the villagers´ Recipe had been altered to make it virtually undrinkable. I think that the Chibuku formula calls for sawdust, stale beer, rat's vomit and vinegar, but I may be mistaken about the vinegar. Another name for Chibuku is "Shake Shake"; so-called because the drinker is supposed to shake the container to mix the sediment in with the liquid before consumption.´ (Chibuku description by a traveller on internet)
A stick near the road with an empty Chibuku carton on it, is indicating a near ´bottle shop´ or a ´bush bar´. Lots of empty cartons near the road mean that there had been a pay day.
Highlights Of Malawi
Favorite thing: - Lake Malawi is the main attraction. Enjoy the amazing sunsets, beautiful beaches, go diving or snorkelling and don`t miss to visit the Islands!
- National Parks: Lengwe NP, Nyika NP and Liwonde NP are certainly the nicest and most visited Malawian National Parks.
- Hiking is another highlight. Mount Mulanje offers many different hiking possibilities with over night stay in huts. Zomba Plateau and a three days walk from Nyika Plateau to Livingstonia shouldn´t be missed if possible.
- Visit a `Witch Doctor` and hear about traditional healing methods.
- Listen to the amazing singing during a service in one of the plenty churches.
- Simply enjoy the friendly Malawians
Malawian border and visa
Favorite thing: I arrived at Mchinji border at 11 PM with the bus from Zambia. Be awake when you are approaching the border, and be one of the first passengers out of the bus. The handling at the Zambian side can take some time. It is wise to have a pen ready because you need to fill out an exit application form to get the exit stamp in your passport. When you have done that you can walk the 300 meters to the Malawian border.
It was very dark when I walked to the Malawian side. I could hardly see the ground. Just walk straight towards the buildings with lights on the other side. Fill out an entry application form and deliver it with your passport to the officer. A 30 days permit will be stamped in your passport (see photo). Stand outside the house and wait for the bus.
Private persons are often waiting for the Zambia-Malawi bus to do some business with the passengers. I recommend to change some money with them. You need the local currency when you arrive in Lilongwe. I'm not sure about the inflation and currency rates. I was there in 2009 and got 30 MWK (Malawian Kwacha) for 1000 ZK (Zambia Kwacha). That was OK and gives an exchange rate of approx 15O MWK to 1 USD. (The official rate at the bank was 142 MWK and the black market in Lilongwe was 160 MWK). My advice is to change 30000 ZK, which is 900 MWK. That is enough for food and taxi when you arrive with the bus.
- Have a pen ready.
- Be one of the first passengers out of the bus.
- Have 20-30000 ZK ready, and try to change money with the locals.
- Walk towards the Malawian side, and get your passport stamped. You MUST have a stamp in your password. There are several road blocks by the Police, and they will check your passport later.
- Application for a visa extension for an additional 30-days (or less) is 5000 MWK.
Fondest memory: On entering to Malawi, citizens of most Commonwealth countries, most European countries (except Switzerland), and the US will be granted a 30 day visa. This can be extended. If you arrive by plane, a return ticket might be required. All borders in Malawi close at 6 PM, except Mchinji border which is open 24 hours.
The main border crossings are:
From Tanzania: Songwe Bridge.
From Zambia: Mchinji and Chitipa.
From Mozambique: Zóbuè - Mwanza, Dedza, Vila Nova da Fronteira, Milange - Mulanje, Entre Lagos - Nayuchi and Mandimba – Chiponde.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Adventure Travel
spend some time on the shores...
Favorite thing: spend some time on the shores of Lake Malawi.
Fondest memory: Baobabtrees n Malawi gold on the beach while watching the locals paddling past in their dugout canoes. Abundant supplies of fresh fruit, fish and wonderful flowers. Malawis people are probably the most warm and friendly to be encounterd despite poverty and hardship. A place we all could learn something for life.
It has to be Cape McClear on...
Favorite thing: It has to be Cape McClear on the Southern end of Lake Malawi. Have you ever heard the evocotive cry of the Fish Eagle.....it symbolises Africa. Here at Cape McClear you can not only hear the cry but also see the great bird ( 2 metre wingspan) take fish from the water only metres from your boat. Magnificent.
Fondest memory: Staying at Club Makakola just North of Mangoshi. Beautiful thatched rondavels to stay in right by the fresh water Lake Malawi.
Relax and play on the beach...
Favorite thing: Spend at least 3 nights relaxing/playing at one of the beach resorts, I think my favourite has to be Senga Bay, just for its variety of things to see and do.
Fondest memory: Being invited to a Malawian village for a traditional feast and dancing, and being swarmed by all of the children. (See my Village Life Travelogue for more photos)Related to:
visit one of the little...
Favorite thing: visit one of the little islands on Lake Malawi. You feel like Robinson Crusoe! The plants, trees and birds are amazing.
Fondest memory: going to sleep right by the lakeside, with the full moon out and the waves lapping gently at the shoreline.
Lake Malawi, peaceful and relaxing
Favorite thing: It's not really a must but it's possible to relax at Lake Malawi. On the lake you can have a boat trip and go to one of the islands in the lake. Another possibility is to watch hippo's during the boat trip.
Interesting is to have a look at the activity of the local people who live near the lake.
Money exchange in Malawi
Favorite thing: Ask if you think you see a business man on the street if he knows a bank you can change money. He will probably give you a better rate himself than the bank can do.
Fondest memory: During my time in Malawi (August 2009) the exchange rate at the bank was 142 MWK (Malawi Kwacha) to 1 USD. The exchange rate at the black marked was 160 MWK. Most of the shops and private business men did the change for you. But they said it was forbidden to change the money at the black marked.
One Kwacha is divided into 100 Tambala, an almost non-existing monetary unit.
Change as little money as possible in Malawi because it is hard to change back to dollars/euros.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Road Trip
The Malawian flag
Fondest memory: The Malawian flag is made up of 3 stripes of black, red and green, with a rising sun on top.
The black stripe represents the African people, the red represents the martyrs blood for African freedom, the green represents the green nature, and the rising sun represents the hope for Africa.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
I had a wonderful stay at Madidi Lodge in April 2011. The manager/owners are very friendly and...more
2 HANNOVER AVENUE, Blantyre, MA 1
Good for: Couples
We stopped here for lunch on a trip through the area. It was a beautiful setting on a patio...more
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