From Livingstonia to Livingstone (Malawi part)





Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    50 km from Paris, France
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,257
    Thanked: 2

    Default From Livingstonia to Livingstone (Malawi part)

    Better late than never, I eventually finished the translation of this report. Apologise for my English.

    For once, this trip is not with my family. The first idea was only to drive the car myself alone from Lilongwe to Livingstone in few days to be ready for the next trip in Namibia. But my friend Franck joining me (thank's Franck, a lot more fun when we are two!), we will do that on some more time and more African kilometers.



    Thursday 4th April
    We meet together at Roissy Charles-de-Gaulle in the middle of the afternoon. As it's not cold enough in Paris (5°C), we fly first to Amsterdam where it's 3° and raining. It's really time to meet Africa again!
    For the first time it will be Kenya Airways through Nairobi: not that good. Uncomfortable seats, very small meals and not very good.

    Friday 5th April
    During the stopover in Nairobi, I send a sms to Stella in Lilongwe where my Cruiser is, just to confirm we are arriving on time. She must pick up us at the airport.
    When in Lilongwe, only few minutes are enough to get our luggages and clear the formalities.
    At first look, Stella is not there. After few minutes, we find a taxi driver with a very little sheet of paper with my name.
    When in the car, he gives me his phone. It's Stella! There is a misunderstanding, she was awaiting us only tomorrow, there nobody in their house in Lilongwe, they are on the lake!
    So we keep the taxi for the morning to go to the bank and shopping downtown while Fred is driving back from the lake.
    All ends well and finally we take our Cruiser in the begining of the afternoon, heading Ntchisi Lodge and it's primary forest.
    Time to refill and to get a fine for speeding («where are you rushing, sir?») and we leave the tar. It's been raining quite a lot the day before, the track is very muddy, but nothing the Cruiser can't do.
    We check-in at the lodge with Innocent the very kind manager and go have a look to this primary forest before the night. At the end of the track, a park with nice views on the lake.





    The forest is dark, it's late and we are tired by the journey. We give up climbing up to the point of view at the top of the mountain.
    It's the first time I see blue monkeys, blurred because of the lack of light.



    On the way back to the lodge, I hear a noise coming from the back axle. It's already time for a bit of mechanic...
    As soon as I'm under the car I understand. The nuts of the rear axle rods are getting loose. Annoying, but the nuts are still there. Let see tomorrow morning...

    While setting up the camp, a Dutch man comes to chat and admires our 4x4. No, no, we didn't have any problem to climb up to there. With his wife, they are the only other guests of the lodge. The came here yesterday with a rented Hyundai Tucson. The villagers take them uphill pulling, pushing and even almost carrying the car!

    First braii in the hearth of the donkey boiler! These first Tbones are really excellent. The whole bottle of South-African wine as well!

    Saturday 6th April

    After a good breakfast on the terrace, we have a little walk in the garden.







    We hit the track. The Dutch couple with the Tucson follows us just near in cas they would need our help (or help of the Cruiser). But they will have no problem at all, the mud has already dried up well.



    Silos for maize. Harvesting is imminent.



    Small plantations.



    All the transports are by bicycle...



    ... by foot...



    … or with a falling to pieces bakkie for these nuns.



    The M5 near the lake is very good. Only one «old fashioned» bridge.



    Village after village, a lot of people everywhere.



    The road snakes up and down with nice views on the lake.



    At a road block, a cop is getting on our nerves asking for the insurance sticker on the windscreen that we don't have. I have insurance though! But even when showing Forbes Namibia policy, stating that Malawi is covered, he doesn't change his mind, he wants a sticker! Or a fine... I don't remember the first figure, it was crazy, but eventually we pay 5,000 Kwacha again a receipt... and 5,000 Kwacha without receipt.
    I have a look on the receipt that is supposed to avoid more troubles with this insurance stickers with other cops: it mentions «missing yellow jacket and spare wheel»!
    How to be bribed in Malawi...

    We are in Sunga Moyo, Stella's new camp and future lodge around noon.



    I know this logo...



    We are the only campers.





    HDR First try...








    First birds, but Franck is a lot more motivated than me!



    Time to gather some wood... And the warden is coming with very hard scrap wood that is difficult to burn. But it's OK for the braii. And for the bottle of wine!

    Sunday 7th April



    We head up north. The road is not that wide, but in good condition.



    We leave the lake shore in direction of Mzuzu.







    In Mzuzu we refill with petrol and look for an ATM. None seem to accept our Visa cards. Luckily, all the banks are closed to each other and eventually it's the last one (Standard Bank) where the ATM will give us some cash.

    The road crosses crude green mountains. Amazing!

    [IMG]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-3exrdazCujI/UXEV5nEl1FI/AAAAAAAAjUs/irS71Ge96Ew/s640/MalZam_04-2013_082.JPG[IMG]

    Stooop! I stop Franck who is driving. We are at the «famous» Kandewe Suspension Bridge.



    Why the helmet?... What a relief!



    Not so easy to walk on that thing...





    At one end, this tree looks like a plum tree. Is that good? One to taste? Horrendous! «It's for the baboons» our guide laughs!


    We visit the traditional bric-à-brac museum.



    A sorcellery demonstration. How scaring!





    And some music...



    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-3...4-2013_110.JPG

    Yes, yes it works! Spinning the disc with one finger. And 0 g C02.

    And it ends with a short visit to the tutelary figurs...





    It's time to get down again to the lake.









    We try a track to find a picnic spot near the water.



    But it doesn't get us closer to the lake. We have a quick lunch by the road side. We give some food to the kids who look at us.

    It's now time for the famous climb up to Livingstonia. Almost 1,000 m up in 15 km. A mecca for trekkers and mountain bikers, in the way up, of course! I widely prefer by car!



    100,000 miles. Happy birthday!





    Still climbing.



    And it's Livingstiona, an unexpected island of civilization at a crossing of two earth tracks almost as bad each other in this end of the rainy season. A mission was built there end of XIXè century, moved there in the heights to escape malaria that raged (ad still rages) on the Nyasa Lake shore.

    An hospital, a big church, victorian style houses, and even an university with thousends of students. One can cross very well dressed young men and dolled up young women. Very surprising.









    Matthew, 10 or 12 years old shows us the church. His English and manners are perfect. He's the pastor's son.





    He takes us to the top of the bell tower.







    But what are they doing with the matresses?



    Munificent trees and flowers...







    A young girl with her bundle of wood on the head smiles to us. Soon, all the kids of the area are coming. We give pencils and books.



    There were still the Manchewe Falls to see, but we choose rather to rest a bit at Mushroom Farm, just on the edge of the cliff where we take a basic chalet for the night. This will avoid us to fold the tents for an early departure. We have a long road tomorrow.



    We are lucky to find this free chalet, the camp is almost full. A meeting point for backpackers, trekkers. The managers are a young Dutch couple. She seems boring a bit in this remote place.

    In the «dining room», we enjoy the last sun's rays on Tanzania mountains.





    In my back...



    We go to bed early after this busy day.



    What a surprise one hour later to hear people above us! People will sleep upstairs in «our» chalet? Soundproofing is not that good! We take a revenge with snoring...

    Monday 8th April

    As expected, early departure. Too early for a breakfast at the bar.



    The road is longish, but beautiful.




    Hello, boss? I believe that I made a little driving mistake...





    In Jenda, we leave tar for a shortcut. It will save kilometers for sure, but will it save any time? Let see...





    The track is not bad.



    Apart from few mud pools from the last rains.



    In one of them, mud tyres and diff lockers will be very useful!

    And this is the border post of Mqocha.



    Malawi side, the officer is quite drunk. He asks for something to drink or for money to buy something to drink, not so clear. But he doesn't seem to incline to stamp our passports or anything else although my gesticulations.
    Luckily a more graded officer is coming and put things as they should. Passport and Carnet de passage stamped, we are out of Malawi.
    Zambian side, they are a lot more polite and easy. But the officer there doesn't have the stamp! He gives a call and says that somedy will come with the stamp in ¼ hour... But the quarter is quite longish there. Ambiance is relax, we chat with the guys there and have our picnic in front of the border post between both countries.
    A guy comes, he's the passports' stamper, but he can't do anything for the Carnet.
    Few minutes later, another guy is the right one. We must also pay the road tax to him. The normal validity is 3 months, but my car will stay 3.5 months in Zambia. Few minutes chatting later, I have 4 months on the tax certificate, but a banknote changed hands...

    Lundazi. What a strange castle in this remote little town. Madness of an English governor...



    One question was: how many time between Lundazi and Chipata? A whole new tar road starts 20 km only from Lundazi and 2 hours are enough for the 180 km.

    We set up the camp at Mama Rula. I'm wondering a bit why a such good reputation for this camp. It's clean and there are hot showers actually, but it is not so big, closed with big walls with view on nothing, and last but not least, it's full of overlander trucks. The bar is noisy and nobody really helpful.

    Zambia part there...
    Last edited by Pierre77N; 2013/09/15 at 06:40 PM.
    Pierre
    -------------------------------------------------------------

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    Thanks for posting Pierre. The pictures bring back so many memories of when we lived there. It's a truly stunning landscape up in the north.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    50 km from Paris, France
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,257
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Thanks Lisa!
    Yes the north is amazing. I hope to visit Nyika plateau one day...
    Pierre
    -------------------------------------------------------------

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Oslo
    Age
    54
    Posts
    185
    Thanked: 35

    Default

    Merci Pierre!
    great to read your trip reports.
    i was in some of the places you visit when i was staying in Malawi and other you make me discover!
    In Ntchisi there use to be a dog that when with you along the trails and there where rumours of a black leopard in the forest...
    Nyaka is definitely a great place and october a perfect time to visit it.
    when we went there once in desember, the weather was overclouded and cold

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    50 km from Paris, France
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,257
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Thanks Phili.
    We didn't hear from any leo when we were at Ntchisi.
    Nyika in October... Noted!
    Pierre
    -------------------------------------------------------------

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Chantilly, North of Paris France
    Age
    70
    Posts
    826
    Thanked: 1

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre77N View Post
    Thanks Phili.
    We didn't hear from any leo when we were at Ntchisi.
    Nyika in October... Noted!
    Hi,

    Will be there on September 29th/30th. Damned !!

    Cheers

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    Relax Eric, September is just as good. The landscape is just gorgeous with the grasses turning shades of yellow, orange and purple. Only downside is its wildfire season as everything is very dry.

    April and May are also glorious. After the rains the skies are clear and you can see not only Zambia but Tanzania too.

    June, July August are nice - blue skies - but damn can it get cold!! There's less game around as it heads lowers down the slopes where it's warmer.

    December to February I wouldn't recommend. The roads can be bad to impassable and you can get days of solid rain, not to mention hail. March/November it's luck of the draw.

    This is what the roads can be like in the wet ...


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Chantilly, North of Paris France
    Age
    70
    Posts
    826
    Thanked: 1

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by itchyfeet View Post
    Relax Eric, September is just as good. The landscape is just gorgeous with the grasses turning shades of yellow, orange and purple. Only downside is its wildfire season as everything is very dry.

    April and May are also glorious. After the rains the skies are clear and you can see not only Zambia but Tanzania too.

    June, July August are nice - blue skies - but damn can it get cold!! There's less game around as it heads lowers down the slopes where it's warmer.

    December to February I wouldn't recommend. The roads can be bad to impassable and you can get days of solid rain, not to mention hail. March/November it's luck of the draw.

    This is what the roads can be like in the wet ...

    Hi Lisa,

    I was only kidding, I am pretty sure it will be fine next week, and if the tracks might look like your pic, we have a joker: we are due do meet another forumite in Chilinda, he is travelling with an Unimog, i.e. can climb the trees (maximum speed on highways 60 kph), so we have a rescue vehicle already on the spot...

    But we cannot do it much later, next destination being North and South Luangwa in Zam, i.A. in order to see the bats !!

    Cheers..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Gordons Bay as a base - travelling Africa
    Posts
    2,740
    Thanked: 92

    Default

    But what are they doing with the matresses?
    The whole family sleeps there and cooks for the sick people in the hospital.

    The bamboo bridge in 2009:
    Last edited by Southerndreams; 2013/09/22 at 11:19 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    50 km from Paris, France
    Age
    58
    Posts
    1,257
    Thanked: 2

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southerndreams View Post
    The whole family sleeps there and cooks for the sick people in the hospital.
    Thanks!
    But they were walking to the other side. Maybe back home?

    Quote Originally Posted by Southerndreams
    The bamboo bridge in 2009
    It has not changed much...
    Pierre
    -------------------------------------------------------------

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eric60260 View Post
    Hi Lisa,

    I was only kidding, I am pretty sure it will be fine next week, and if the tracks might look like your pic, we have a joker: we are due do meet another forumite in Chilinda, he is travelling with an Unimog, i.e. can climb the trees (maximum speed on highways 60 kph), so we have a rescue vehicle already on the spot...

    But we cannot do it much later, next destination being North and South Luangwa in Zam, i.A. in order to see the bats !!

    Cheers..
    I know you were only joking Eric. It will be dry as a bone for the next month at least.

    If your traveling companions are interested in mogs tell them to look out for the NVT workshop. We used to have a couple of mogs parked up there and I doubt they have gone anywhere (or ever will!). The mechanics are Baxter and Yobe. Tell them Bwana Jerry from England says hello! Make sure you have enough fuel for there and back. Whatever T4A may say there is no fuel up there (Rumphi is nearest).

    Enjoy yourselves - it is a beautiful place. The game is concentrated around the plantation so don't expect to see much further afield but the scenery - especially up north towards Domwe and Jalawe - is wonderful. I'd recommend doing plenty of walking too - you really see the best of it that way.

    Oh I am jealous.

    Keep an eye out at the campsite too - there used to be the most fabulous male leopard who lived nearby (more often heard than seen by campers though). I hope you're lucky.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Gordons Bay as a base - travelling Africa
    Posts
    2,740
    Thanked: 92

    Default

    Hi lisa nice to hear from you.

    I'm jealous tooooo !

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Chantilly, North of Paris France
    Age
    70
    Posts
    826
    Thanked: 1

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by itchyfeet View Post
    I know you were only joking Eric. It will be dry as a bone for the next month at least.

    If your traveling companions are interested in mogs tell them to look out for the NVT workshop. We used to have a couple of mogs parked up there and I doubt they have gone anywhere (or ever will!). The mechanics are Baxter and Yobe. Tell them Bwana Jerry from England says hello! Make sure you have enough fuel for there and back. Whatever T4A may say there is no fuel up there (Rumphi is nearest).

    Enjoy yourselves - it is a beautiful place. The game is concentrated around the plantation so don't expect to see much further afield but the scenery - especially up north towards Domwe and Jalawe - is wonderful. I'd recommend doing plenty of walking too - you really see the best of it that way.

    Oh I am jealous.

    Keep an eye out at the campsite too - there used to be the most fabulous male leopard who lived nearby (more often heard than seen by campers though). I hope you're lucky.
    Hi Lisa,

    Where is your Mog Workshop ??

    We will top up at Rumphi, 140 l. for my 110 SW, 180 l. for my friend's 130.

    Cheers

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    When you are nearly at Chelinda there is a fork in the road. Right will direct you towards reception (the campsite will be on your right at this point). Take the right path down the hill and you'll see some buildings and a flagpole. Reception is off round the lake to the right but if you go left at the flagpole this will take you into an area with staff housing, a tiny shop (for staff really but by all means use it) and a vehicle workshop. The workshop isn't the best equipped but they are your best bet if you have car trouble.

    The mogs are parked up and probably long dead but NVT still has a tractor and a couple of cruisers to bang with big hammers. If you make it there then say hello to the guys from us Jerry and Lisa (we were the "bwana" and the "madam" in 2009/10 and still think of them fondly and often).

    I forgot to mention that they have apparently had a few confirmed sightings of wild dogs up there recently which is amazing as it is perfect territory for them. Lots of buck, no lion and an enormous amount of space. People are also getting excited about wattled crane breeding up there.

    Have fun!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    UK
    Age
    50
    Posts
    461
    Thanked: 19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southerndreams View Post
    Hi lisa nice to hear from you.

    I'm jealous tooooo !
    Good to hear from you too Beattie! Hope you're both well. I'll email you very soon.

Similar Threads

  1. Desember: Malawi of Namibie
    By Erik. in forum 4x4 Trails / Routes / Clubs
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2013/05/26, 05:29 PM
  2. Trip report : Zambia - Malawi (Zambia part)
    By Pierre77N in forum Zambia
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 2013/05/21, 10:34 AM
  3. Disco 2 Part needed
    By TwinDisco in forum Land Rover
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 2013/01/30, 08:51 AM
  4. Replies: 16
    Last Post: 2013/01/01, 02:17 PM
  5. Replies: 10
    Last Post: 2012/11/12, 03:31 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •