Malawi August 2020





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  1. #1
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    Question Malawi August 2020

    Hey there,

    I am mostly used to reading, less to asking for advice.
    But this year I decided to directly leverage on the power of this kind of forum.
    Hoping to read your answers with the best experiences, to confirm or not our scenarios
    Before writing this post, I have been reading different forums, and almost the whole Bradt about Malawi.

    So we finally decided to head to Malawi in August 2020.
    Since we booked our plane tickets, I am working on two main aspects :

    - Finding a car with a rooftop tent
    And it is not easy (as expected...)
    I am checking with :
    • Land & Lake safaris
    • Bushlore from SA
    • Hemingways confirmed they do not deliver to Malawi
    • And I am waiting for Avis and SS Rent a Car to confirm they do not provide equipped vehicles
    • If anyone knows any other companies, I thank him in advance for his precious input !


    - Confirming what should be the "best" itirenary

    Regarding the itinerary, I attach the latest version - feel free to comment - for which I still have open points.

    1. if you should pick only one thing between Mulanje and Zomba, which one would you pick and why ? Considering we think about hiking.
    2. I read many recent bad reviews about Liwonde and the troubles caused by elephants to local villages, does anyone from here experienced such situation ?
    3. Regarding the lake, and activities such as Snorkelling and Kayaking, we are not fond of the crowd, does someone has some "secret spot" to recommand ? maybe less breathtaking but much more "quiet" if you get what I mean..
    4. Regarding the northern part, we think about doing Vwaza, Nyika, Livingstonia.
      We finally don't think about heading to South Luangwa. We don't want to run and are not convinced it could be our cup of tea.


    Thank you in advance to all readers
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Manuela 🇮🇹 & Kevin 🇫🇷

    👉 www.mudtrotters.com our little contribution to the ocean of travel communities 🗺️

    Owning a J100 Terios (it's better than nothing !)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by mudtrotters View Post
    Hey there,

    I am mostly used to reading, less to asking for advice.
    But this year I decided to directly leverage on the power of this kind of forum.
    Hoping to read your answers with the best experiences, to confirm or not our scenarios
    Before writing this post, I have been reading different forums, and almost the whole Bradt about Malawi.

    So we finally decided to head to Malawi in August 2020.
    Since we booked our plane tickets, I am working on two main aspects :
    - Finding a car with a rooftop tent
    And it is not easy (as expected...)
    I am checking with :

    • Land & Lake safaris
    • Bushlore from SA
    • Hemingways confirmed they do not deliver to Malawi
    • And I am waiting for Avis and SS Rent a Car to confirm they do not provide equipped vehicles
    • If anyone knows any other companies, I thank him in advance for his precious input !

    - Confirming what should be the "best" itirenary
    Regarding the itinerary, I attach the latest version - feel free to comment - for which I still have open points.

    1. if you should pick only one thing between Mulanje and Zomba, which one would you pick and why ? Considering we think about hiking.
    2. I read many recent bad reviews about Liwonde and the troubles caused by elephants to local villages, does anyone from here experienced such situation ?
    3. Regarding the lake, and activities such as Snorkelling and Kayaking, we are not fond of the crowd, does someone has some "secret spot" to recommand ? maybe less breathtaking but much more "quiet" if you get what I mean..
    4. Regarding the northern part, we think about doing Vwaza, Nyika, Livingstonia.
      We finally don't think about heading to South Luangwa. We don't want to run and are not convinced it could be our cup of tea.


    Thank you in advance to all readers
    Ciao, send me a pm!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Regarding 4x4 hire, you can give a try to these guys: https://www.thewildlifeafrica.com/

    I don't know them and have never used their services (yet), but as they are based in Lusaka, they might be able to deliver the car into Malawi. Or even better yet, you can start your trip in Zambia and visit South Luangwa NP on your way to Malawi.
    24 hours in a day.... 24 beer in a case.... Coincidence?
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Hi Ortelius,

    Thank you for your feedback, I'll contact them and will confirm if they provide this can of service or not.

    K.
    Manuela 🇮🇹 & Kevin 🇫🇷

    👉 www.mudtrotters.com our little contribution to the ocean of travel communities 🗺️

    Owning a J100 Terios (it's better than nothing !)

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by mudtrotters View Post
    Hi Ortelius,

    Thank you for your feedback, I'll contact them and will confirm if they provide this can of service or not.

    K.
    Ciao;

    For those who might be interested in the future, they did answer me and I do confirm they provide this kind of service.
    I can share rates and delivery cost to Malawi in PM

    Decision still pending on our side are we are waiting for additional quotes from other contacts/rental companies.

    K.
    Manuela 🇮🇹 & Kevin 🇫🇷

    👉 www.mudtrotters.com our little contribution to the ocean of travel communities 🗺️

    Owning a J100 Terios (it's better than nothing !)

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Hi mudtrotters,

    we spent a month in Malawi between mid-November and mid-December 2019, so here are our inputs, for what it's worth

    1. if you should pick only one thing between Mulanje and Zomba, which one would you pick and why ? Considering we think about hiking.

    Hard one. We did not like Zomba, but this is very personal. We skipped Mulanje because we were running out of time but this is on our list for a next trip.



    1. I read many recent bad reviews about Liwonde and the troubles caused by elephants to local villages, does anyone from here experienced such situation ?

    We did not experience anything negative in Liwonde. Elephant bulls were a bit nervous maybe, the usual precautions apply. We liked this park very much, it's beautiful. The inner part of the park is dense forest and tse-tses. Just stick to the riverside tracks which border the plains. I'd say venture south from Mvuu, not north. North was not rewarding for us - but better ask local guide advice once you're there. Be optimistic - when we were there we were looking for cheetahs, but they had not been seen for a week or so. Still we found a beautiful male feeding on a freshly killed impala on our 3rd day


    1. Regarding the lake, and activities such as Snorkelling and Kayaking, we are not fond of the crowd, does someone has some "secret spot" to recommand ? maybe less breathtaking but much more "quiet" if you get what I mean..

    I've seen you booked Makuzi, stay there, it's great indeed and very quiet. We went to other places on the lake but Makuzi was the best. You can do some snorkelling around the rocks. Not as spectacular as at Cape McClear but Cape McClear is busy, noisy, dirty.



    1. Regarding the northern part, we think about doing Vwaza, Nyika, Livingstonia.
      We finally don't think about heading to South Luangwa. We don't want to run and are not convinced it could be our cup of tea.

    We skipped Vwaza and Livingstonia because we spent too much time in Nyika. Nyika was one of the highlight of this trip. We met the mountain elephants on our way, a couple of kms after the second gate. Fabulous herds of elands, zebras, reedbucks etc on the Chelinda plains... don't miss the walks there with a guide from the camp. There was a lion wandering around so we were not allowed walking without a guide.
    I know what you mean for South Luangwa, it's a busy place but, it's really nice. There are still ways to escape the crowds and have fabulous sightings just for you. We hate crowded places, but amongst the 15 national parks / wildlife reserves we visited, South Luangwa is our all time favorite. We've been there 3 times already, and we'll go back for sure.

    Enjoy !

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    The Nyika Plateau is one of my favourite places in Africa, but essential to have a guide (I think it is now compulsory) if hiking, because as mentioned there are both elephants and lions present, as well as leopards. As with Zomba and Mulanje, the weather can change very fast, so be careful.
    Re Zomba and Mulanje - Zomba is much "easier" hiking, as you essentially drive to the top of the plateau and then hike from there. Mulanje is a much tougher hike, and the weather changes can be very fast, and dangerous. The Chiperone wind should be over by then (it usually comes up until around mid to late July) but is possible in August, and if it does, it brings mist and rain very, very quickly. If that happens, it is essential to stay where you are and not attempt to move until it clears, as Mulanje can be very dangerous. In clear weather, it is an easy, if strenuous hike, but in bad weather, it is dangerous - use a guide.
    If you can fit South Luangwa into your itinerary, do it - it is one of the great game parks of Africa.
    Tony Weaver

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    Previously Land Rover 1968 SII, 1969 SIIA, 1973 SIII, 1983 Toyota HiLux 2litre, 2006 Land Rover Freelander TD4 HSE.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    To add to Tony re Nyika.

    You can wild camp in the park overnight but must take a ranger. I think we paid $20 per day for our group of 3 (last year). Ranger was very professional we had some good chats around the fire.

    Overall a fantastic (and very unique) experience. Catch some trout if you can. The lodge rents both fly and cast rods if memory serves.
    Last edited by worldofinflation; 2020/02/12 at 05:28 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Hi, when you drive the M1 up north from lilongwe Kasungu np is an interesting stop at least as as an overnating spot. The campsite at Lifupa has a great wilderness feeling.
    Also when you are traveling along the lake Nkotakota reserve is a nice place to break the journey in to with Bua river lodge located on an beautifull spot by the river.
    Driving in Malawi can be verry chalenging due to the high number of pedestrian and cyclist using the road as weel as a lot of trucks (on the m1), kamikaze minibus, etc.
    Be espesially carefull in early evening when people are rushing to go home before the night...
    A small comment on Liwonde, the parc has a few herds of sable antilopes and these are generally found in the woodlands north of Mvuu lodge.

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  11. #10
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by Phili View Post
    Driving in Malawi can be verry chalenging due to the high number of pedestrian and cyclist using the road as weel as a lot of trucks (on the m1), kamikaze minibus, etc.
    Be espesially carefull in early evening when people are rushing to go home before the night...
    A small comment on Liwonde, the parc has a few herds of sable antilopes and these are generally found in the woodlands north of Mvuu lodge.
    This is very good advice! Been there, done that.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Sorry Mr Viper I lived on the lake shore for many years and I can guarantee you bilharzia is found in the lake.

    Please do not give out wrong message.

    Bultracide is the cure.

    It is not a life threatening sickness and can easily be cured. If you leave it for too long you start peeing out blood clots and your kidneys take a hammering.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by viperover View Post
    ......There is NO bilharzia as you might hear from other wimp tourists
    Mr viperover, this is definitely bilharzia in Lake Malawi and I regard your statement as above as highly irresponsible.

    There is a pill for bilharzia...... but not for stupidity.
    Landcruiser 76SW.

    “Great journeys are memorable not so much for what you saw, but for where you camped”.

    At least "Once a year go someplace you have never been before" Delai Lama.

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  14. #13
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    Default Re: Malawi August 2020

    There is for sure, I have the IgMs in my blood to prove it...
    Last edited by tashtego9; 2020/04/24 at 02:14 PM.

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