Mabuya Camp, Malawi Preparing for Safari

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April 27th 2016
Published: June 24th 2017
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Geo: -13.9808, 33.7721

Finished up our packing and were ready to head out. Called Uber to take us to the airport and were able to get to the airport in under 30 minutes!!

United has a new check in procedure there. You self check in, get your boarding passes and luggage tags and then you go to the check in counter where they weigh your luggage and then you are checked in and ready to go through security.

Right before we went to sleep on Monday, Robert checked the news and Lufthansa airlines was having to cancel flights because of a ground employees strike. On Monday they had cancelled 900 flights but our flights from San Francisco to Frankfurt and Frankfurt to Johannesburg were still flying. Then to further complicate matters, there had been a security issue with the Llongwe, Malawi airport and South African Airline had cancelled their flights to Llongwe. They were the airline we were going to be flying from Johannesburg to Llongwe. The good news for us was that all airlines flights we had scheduled did fly and on time!!!
Flight from San Francisco to Frankfurt was not full and so we had all three of the seats in our row
scenes around Llongwescenes around Llongwescenes around Llongwe

ride back from the market in a tuktuk
to ourselves. We were even able to get some sleep on the flight and arrived in Frankfurt in the early afternoon fairly refreshed.

Spent our time in the airport doing some walking around to work out the kinks, a short nap and some time in the McDonald's using their wifi and then a shared meal at the Lucullus Nero Restaurant where we could watch planes landing and taking off and then was time to load up and head to Africa!

The flight to Johannesburg was even emptier than the flight from San Francisco and we enjoyed a nice meal and watched movies until it was time to get some sleep.
Land in Johannesburg and have to hoof it over to where our flight to Llongwe was. Fortunately our big bags were checked all the way to Llongwe and we can only hope they made it as well! Had to take the bus out to the plane and as we got ready to get on the plane, the South African attendant told us we could only have one bag each. The rules say one bag 9x14x22 and another purse, camera, computer bag. We were finally able to convince them to let us on because Robert had the big camera bag and his daypack--computer bag. Had to show them the camera and then for Laura, had to show the medicines and camera in her larger bag. Let us on, and it was a short trip and we were finally going to be in Africa on the ground for the next month!!!

Malawi has joined with a host of other countries in beginning to charge a visa fee to enter the country. They have three different levels of visa and Robert had the bright idea to make copies of the visa application so we would already have them filled out when we arrived. Worked great but still did take some time to go through the process and were glad to see all of our bags had made it to Llongwe and the driver arranged by Mabuya camp was there to greet us and get us to Mabuya Camp.

Got our tent set up and rested for awhile before cleaning up and heading for dinner. Visited with the bartender and some of the other guests before calling it an evening. Were awakened at 1:00 a.m. by a ruckus at the security gate at the front of the property. Found out the night time security had called the Rapid Response Security team and they came out on the call and maybe there were some people hiding nearby. Not sure but things settled down and we were able to get some more sleep!

The next day we walked to the local shopping mall and bought some supplies we did not think we could find in Chipata on our way to Wildlife camp. Managed to keep our buying under control because we did not want to have another bag to have to transfer at the border.
Took a tuktuk back to the camp. It was very busy weekend shopping and so the store had been busy and the traffic was heavy as well so it was nice to have a ride back! Worked on our stories in the afternoon and had a nice dinner and way to much fun at the bar with an early morning departure to head out to Wildlife Camp!

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


scenes around Llongwescenes around Llongwe
scenes around Llongwe

lovely grounds for camping
scenes around Llongwescenes around Llongwe
scenes around Llongwe

our tent at Mabuya Camp

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