Blogs from Cape Maclear, Southern, Malawi, Africa

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Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear November 1st 2012

I knew that life in rural Malawi would be difficult, but I don't think I fully understood the extent of the challenges and difficulties involved until I actually arrived and experienced it first-hand. Living in rural Malawi is definitely not for the faint of heart. Electricity is sporadic, running water is rare, and the insects are about 3-5 times larger than they are back in the states. In light of these lifestyle changes, three co-workers and I decided to take a weekend away from Neno to "live it up" in Malawi's most popular tourist destination, Cape Maclear. Cape Maclear is a rare oasis in Malawi, providing tourists with an impressive array of beach 'resorts,' bars, and tourist activities. The town is located on the southern tip of Lake Malawi (the third largest lake in Africa), a ... read more
Snorkeling with cichlids...
Tyler found a friend!
Malambe Camp...

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear August 10th 2012

Cape Maclear was the original location for the mission of Livingstonia. But, it turned out to be malarial, and andthus Livingstonia was relocated further north on Lake Nyassa (Lake Malawi). It's now a backpacker heaven with the usual banana pancakes for breakfast, myriad water activities, souvenir shopping and hammocks at most guest houses with a vibe to match. Oh yes .. Bob Marley and Reggae everywhere too. Tomorrow, we plan to head to Mozambique and head towards the Indian Ocean at Mozambique Island. It's going to be at least 2 days of travel.... read more
Cape Maclear Beach
Baobob Tree
Fishers

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear August 9th 2012

Since the travel to Senga Bay was tough, we splurged and paid for a speed boat direct to Cape Maclear. The speed boat was an adventure in itself. Much better than paying for a zip line across Batoka Gorge at Victoria Falls. Longer than the 3 minute zip line too. When we first inquired about the speed boat, we were told it takes about 25 minutes from Senga Bay to Cape Maclear. Then someone else said it's more like 40 minutes. When we asked Captain Magic (Yes, that's his name, and the name of his boat was "Bad News"), he said it would be about an hour. We thought the lake was calm and the ride would be quite smoothe. Guess again! the beach areas were relatively calm, but the middle of the lake was windy ... read more
N.. and W.. Speeding
E.. and 1st Mate
Guest House Reception

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear June 29th 2012

I got quite lucky, when I got back to Salima after leaving Senga Bay, as there was an Axa bus, which had come from Lilongwe going to Monkey Bay, at the station, waiting to pick up passengers. Even though I had to stand for the first part of the journey, this was a much better option, than the minibuses I had to take the previous day. We got to Monkey Bay just over 3 hours after leaving Salima and I was hopeful of spending the afternoon by the beach at Cape MacLear. I should know by now not to get my hopes up like this when relying on transport in Africa. Between waiting for a pick up to fill up, then go driving back and forth through the town looking for more passengers, getting all their ... read more
Cape MacLear Beach
Kids on Main Street
Another Sunset Shot

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear August 30th 2011

Food diesel and soft drink shortages, riots and political unrest, Water issues and power cuts. Every day is a challenge; every problem is met with a smile. This is Malawi. Nothing surprises Malawians anymore, they battle on each day. Described as Africa for beginners, Malawi truly is the warm heart of Africa. Arriving at a chaotic bus station and waiting 3 hours for a 4 hour bus journey will test anyone’s patients, but witnessing Africans singing together during an uncomfortable bus journey provides a rollercoaster of emotion. Being the only white face in town attracts a lot of attention. Walking less than 10 minutes between inquisitive conversations is overwhelming, dealing with bus passengers taking it in turn to sit with you and chat is both monotonous and tiring. One minute you find yourself laughing with the ... read more
Children Outside Their Home
The Old Post Office
Kids Posing For A Photo

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Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear August 28th 2011

It’s the village cup final and MK60,000 is at stake. Everyone is excited as hundreds arrive in Cape McClear. It’s the biggest event of the year, and a real honor to be invited by the local village chief. The referee draws a line in the dust representing the half-way point while the entire village descends on the dusty landscape forming the human sideline of a football pitch. While the goal posts are made of bamboo, the lines men are armed with sticks to beat back the crowd in an effort to maintain the lines as the drama unfolds. As the start whistle is blown, supporters from both sides begin to sing and dance. During each tackle plumes of dust are thrown into the atmosphere while a fast game of football and skill unfolds. Neither side takes ... read more
No Foul Given!
Celebration Madness
Away Team Goal

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear July 24th 2011

Dear All Greetings from Lake Malawi! What a beautiful place, and a far cry from either the blandness or chaotic riots of the capital. Apologies for taking time since my last entry – this has not been down to any social movements getting out of hand, but rather the lack of Internet places along the route to where I am now. But what a relief- since my last entry, things seem to have calmed down hugely on the Malawian city streets, and I’m in pretty much rural areas where most people don’t really know what’s going on in the urbanised world anyway. Currently writing from a beautiful bay on the southern shore of Lake Malawi, called Cape MacClear –absolutely stunning, like a snapshot of the Caribbean but with fresh water and not salt. I believe I ... read more
Local Beach Boys
Sunset
Chembe Village

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear July 11th 2011

At long last, I have a decent travel story. This one involves a hostel that Megan, Dave and I chose on our own, public transportation, modified hitchhiking, and good bars within a safe walking distance. The tale begins in Lilongwe, where I woke up at 5:30am Friday. We walked to catch a minibus at 6:45am, which, combined with a short walk, got us to the bus depot around 7:15am. The bus depot is a mess. As you scan the lower windshields for a sign that includes your stop, guys approach and ask you where you are going. They then direct you to their company’s bus. This approach helped us to quickly find the right bus, except that bus was clearly full. When we asked the money collector if our ticket was good for a different bus, ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear July 11th 2011

After checking in for our 3 beds in the dorm, we entered the room and were greeted by 3 girls who go to Michigan State. One is even from Livonia (I realize the wonder of this moment will only be appreciated by a few of you)! They’re here, along with 2 guys from New Brunswick (Canada, not New Jersey), for summer internships. Desperately hungry, as it was now approaching 2pm, Dave, Megan and I walked along the beach in search of food. We passed women doing laundry in the water, kids splashing around, but very few tourists. We saw a few as we passed Gecko Lounge, but for the most part, we only saw Malawians. We decided on Mgoza for lunch. They had an open area above the bar, kind of like the tree house where ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Cape Maclear February 11th 2011

Day 2 Snorkelling We negotiated with some of the local guys on the beach to hire a boat for 9 of us to take us to the little Momba island to go snorkelling (MK780 each) and then another MK400 per person for food which was a lot of rice, tomatoes and braai-grilled fish - it was really good. The snorkelling was so different to anything I have seen before - lots and lots of tiny fish - blues, yellow, black. It was so nice to be in the water and with fins and mask. After snorkelling they took us around to look at the Kingfishers. The locals throw fish into the water and call the birds - they then swoop down and catch the fish out the water - its incredible to watch. Party on the ... read more
Snorkelling Expedition
Lunch
Our family




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