Black and Green Mambas
Malawi is home to many of Africa's poisonous snakes. In fact the fastest poisonous snakes on earth, the Mambas, inhabit Malawi. Mambas are deadly snakes which can speed up to 7 miles/hr. I found one in my clothes dryer one time !
Driving With Caution
According to the folks I talked with, who own cars in Malawi, it is best not to stop immediately if you accidentally hit anyone or a goat, it's said that it's much safer to head to nearest police station and report the accident.Related to:
CHECk IT OUT
BEfore going into the park check out if the roads are open.
Most of the times the National park guards let you in. You have to pay the admission fee (about 5 US a person) but you are stopped a few miles donw the road. And even these few miles you have to do by a 4x4xfar.Related to:
- Budget Travel
MALARIA and BILHARZIA
When you decide to make a trip to Malawi, make sure to take anti- malaria drugs. Your doctor will advise you what is best for you.
During the rainy season, being at the shores of the lake Malawi, almost a sealevel, you definitely need to protect yourself.
Whatever the locals say, lake Malawi water is contaminated with BILHARZIA. This disease is spread by minute worms. The worms enter through your skin and infect your intestines or bladder.
There is a simple cure of a single dose of tablets. If in doubt go to a doctor when you get
back home.Related to:
- Budget Travel
INSECTS WHERE ?? ? EVERYWHERE !!!!
Part of visiting Africa and so also Malawi, are the insects and all kind of creatures great and small.
It is very interesting to watch the gecco. It sits for hours, waiting for a little insect to pass by.Related to:
- Budget Travel
It is very usual, and also in Malawi, to have sevral power cuts a day.
Most of the times it happens in the evenings, when most of the people turn on the electricity.
So make sure to have some candles around in case of.
Cooking can be done over a fire, so nothing stops you from eating.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Diseases, Precaution & Prevention!
When in Africa, there are many illnesses one may have the mishap of contracting. For starters, there is the disease called malaria. Now malaria can be quite rampant in some areas, and is contracted through a mosquito carrying the malaria (but maybe less harmful the the West Nile Virus) then biting you. Once you have malaria, it will stay in your system for at least 7 years, I believe. Within that time span, you will feel ill and go through malaria symptoms (feverish, nauseous, etc.) whenever your immune system gets weak. Yes, terrible, isn't it? Prevention? Use bug spray and get a malaria shot (kinda like a flu shot)! Then, there is the bilharzia disease. I am not sure of the symptoms but you can catch this through contact with microorganisms in water, even by stepping barefooted in a puddle of water. One of our friends caught it while dipping their foot in a dam. I believe the organisms thrive in still water. Stick to moving water, folks. Then, there is the sleeping fever (odd, huh?). If you are bit by the tsetse fly, you become very sleepy (kinda like a narcleptic!) and can be rather dangerous especially if you're doing something like driving. Also, in some areas, there are leper colonies, but probably not as bad as in India. In addition to this, Malawi (and Africa, in general), has a high rate of AIDS. They are still making a strong effort to educate people about the disease, but for those of you who know better...take the necessary prevention because it is quite prevalent in the country. Aside from these different illnesses, it is possible for one to enjoy their stay! My family was fortunate to escape these diseases by God's grace, and we lived there for 3 years!
P.S. One more tip...if you come across a wild animal when hiking / walking around...DO NOT PET IT!!!!!! Heheh...
Calling somebody a thief?
Be careful before calling someone a thief in public. An incensed crowd can execute justice (or injustice) quickly and sometimes fatally! Malawians can`t stand theft! If a thief is caught it can happen that a whole crowd is beating him up while the police officer is bringing hin to the police station. There are reports were thiefs were set on fire and killed.
What you should know about health
Malawi is a 3rd world country and before travelling there you should be aware about the medical situation and what you should do. There are a few hospitals but its better to avoid them. Probably the best is `Likuni Privat Hospital` near Lilongwe but of course it can?t be compared with western style hospitals.
To minimize risks consult a doctor in your home country who is familiar with tropical diseases.
You need some vaccinations (Yellow Fever, Hepatitis, Rabies, Polio etc) Malawi is a high risk Malaria area were you should take precautions. If you want to take Doxycicline only get a few at home and buy the rest in the country . They are much cheaper here.
There is Bilharzias in all the lakes. Be careful in choosing were to swim. Stay away from reedy and well populated beaches! Don?t stay too long in the water and dry yourself carefully when leaving the water. The treatment is available in Malawi and cost about one $ per pill. One is good for 15 kg of bodyweight.
The generic name is `Praziquantel`! The brand name is Biltricide* a second cheaper one is called Metriophanate
The only place to get a blood test done to check on Bilharzias in at Seventh Day Adventist Hospital in Blantyre.
... and don?t forget II
- In the country side most restaurants only offer basic local food (nsima, rice, chips, chambo or chicken)
- Vegetables are depending on the season but it can happen that there is nothing else but cabbage (I think you can guess what you will find on your vegetarian pizza?)
- Cheese is very expensive and I?ve never seen a local eating cheese.
- Samosas and scons (donuts) are sold in the streets and ok to eat unless you have a sensitive stomach.
- In more expensive restaurants 10% VAT and 15% Service tax will be added!
- Be careful with the sun. Near the lakes the reflection on the water can cause a heavy sunburn (and that can happen quickly!)
- The weather at the lake can change quickly and waves up to 5 metres are not uncommon!
- Don`t support begging! Better make a donation to a decent organisation instead of giving something to the kids!
...and don´t forget
- Internet is available in most lager villages but its extremely expensive if you need a long distance phone line to get connected to a server.
- Cellular coverage is good throughout the country
- There are telephone bureaus everywhere
- PTC Supermarkets can be found throughout the country. They are opened every day but outside bigger cities they have only the basic things.
- Imported goods (i.e. wine, spirits) are very expensive!!!
- If you are desperate for chocolate try “Peaks” (29MKW) – delicious!!!
- If you want to buy a drink while on a bus ride you should carry an empty bottle otherwise you have to empty it quickly. Street vendors often don´t give the bottles away, even if you are willing to pay deposit
- Be careful in the cities at night time! Take a taxi instead of walking alone thru dark streets
- There are wild animals. Wild animals are dangerous! Hippos kill more people than crocs. Snakes can be lethal, so wear shoes when wandering around.
- There are roadblocks every few kilometres
- Driving at night should be avoided. If you are involved in an accident and the crowd is too upset, then don´t risk anything. Get into your car and drive to the next police station or road block and report there.
- Fuel is not too cheap 89MKW / litre
- There is a departure tax of 30 US $ on international flights. No TC or credit card is accepted.
ATMs & Banks
There are some ATMs in Malawi. They donýt work with Visa/ Master card but only with National Bank Cards.
The offices hours are usually from 8.00 am to 2 pm sometimes 3 pm. Forex bureaus are faster in doing transactions and offer often better rates.
For cash there are better rates than for TCs.
Western Union offers money transfers at all major Banks.
For more information :
Believe it or not: there is officially no alcohol limit for driving or flying in Malawi. Last year an accident happened when an Air Malawi Cessna crashed into a mini bus near the Mzuzu airstrip. The pilot had a surprisingly high alcohol level in his blood, but denied being drunk because: ?it?s not allowed flying when drunk!? Didn?t help very much the passenger of the mini bus who was killed. During the trial it was a problem that there are no regulations but at the end South African regulations were taken as a rule. So, remember there might be drunken drivers on the roads!
Theres bugs in the water.
Malaria exist here so prepare for that with tablets and repelent etc, theres also a worm bug thing that lives in the water called Schistosomiasis which can somehow gets in under your skin and mutates so becareful of that one and drink bottled water .Related to:
MALARIA - I don't know what the Center for Disease Control says about protection, but my son came down with cerebral malaria while taking the prescribed medical preventives at the time. The mosquitos were ever present so make sure to take what ever the current suggested medicine is...well in advance.Related to:
- Study Abroad
I had a wonderful stay at Madidi Lodge in April 2011. The manager/owners are very friendly and...more
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