Malawi 2019 part II - Lake Malawi, Dedza, Lilongwe, Blantyre


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April 21st 2019
Published: June 18th 2019
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Sunset in Cape MaclearSunset in Cape MaclearSunset in Cape Maclear

We experienced wonderful sunsets in Cape Maclear

Colourful fish, rock paintings and more





We continued our vacation in Malawi by going to Lake Malawi. Lake Malawi has clear water, lots of colourful fish and bilharzia. If you don't swim in the lake you miss out on a great experience, seeing thousands of Malawi cichlids in their right environment, and if you do swim you might get a nasty parasite infection. From what we understand, even if you swim in Lake Malawi the risk of catching bilharzia is actually quite small. Although it is a serious infection it can be treated and the treatment is safe and straightforward. So we decided to swim in the lake and make sure to take bilharzia pills afterwards just to be on the safe side.



Swimming in Lake Malawi was one of the highlights of this trip. Without a doubt it is worth the small risk of getting bilharzia. On top of that we experienced wonderful sunsets and got to see the fishing village Cape Maclear while we were at the lake. The days we spent there is one of those things we will remember for a long time.



From Lake Malawi we went inland
Cape MaclearCape MaclearCape Maclear

Kids playing volleyball in Cape Maclear
to the town Dedza. In central Malawi there are more than one hundred sites where they have found old rock or cave paintings. The oldest of these paintings are believed to be 2000 years or more. Many of them have been damaged by sun, wind and rainwater and it is hard to see what the paintings are supposed to show. But where the paintings have been protected from the environment it is easy to see what is depicted. Usually the paintings show animals such as lizards or giraffes, but some show spears and other tools.



The last days of our trip in Malawi we spent in first Lilongwe, the capital of and the largest city in Malawi, and then in Blantyre, Malawi's second largest city. To be honest, the cities are not very interesting. To go to Malawi and see only these cities, or any other town or city for that matter, would not be worth it. They are useful for practical purposes, such as getting to and from the country. But other than that there strictly isn't much to see. We have posted some photos at the end of this blog entry to give you an idea of what
Bird of prayBird of prayBird of pray

A bird of pray in flight. Possibly an osprey
we did see there.



As we said, the cities and towns are not very interesting. We of course ended up in them simply because that is where the accommodation, restaurants and other facilities are. But none of the main sights, at least none that we know of, can be found in any city. The highlights in Malawi are all in the countryside and in the national parks.



In the week we had in Malawi we managed to see pretty much everything we wanted to see. Well, there is one more thing that we would have liked to do. That is to take the ferry on Lake Malawi. It is slow, difficult to make reservations to and supposedly not the most reliable transport you can find. Having said that, if you have the time taking that ferry is probably both really fun and something of an adventure. We would have loved to try it so it is a pity that we didn't have the time. Other than that we feel that we saw what there is to see in Malawi. There are some more national parks and there are some places in the north of Malawi we didn't
Lake MalawiLake MalawiLake Malawi

Lake Malawi has clear water, lots of colourful fish and bilharzia. We decided to swim in the lake and make sure to take bilharzia pills afterwards
go to. But none of those places really appealed to us.



We had a great time in Malawi and we hope you have enjoyed reading about our adventures there.


Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 24


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Malawi cichlidsMalawi cichlids
Malawi cichlids

It is a great experience to see thousands of Malawi cichlids in their right environment
Malawi cichlidsMalawi cichlids
Malawi cichlids

Malawi cichlids are popular to have in aquariums
Emma swimming in Lake MalawiEmma swimming in Lake Malawi
Emma swimming in Lake Malawi

Swimming in Lake Malawi was one of the highlights of this trip.
Ake swimming in Lake MalawiAke swimming in Lake Malawi
Ake swimming in Lake Malawi

Without a doubt it is worth to take the small risk of getting bilharzia to have a swim in Lake Malawi when you are there.
The children found Ake interestingThe children found Ake interesting
The children found Ake interesting

Some children we met in the morning in Cape Maclear
Cape MaclearCape Maclear
Cape Maclear

The beach in Cape Maclear
Cave paintingCave painting
Cave painting

In Chongoni Rock Art Area there are more than one hundred known sites where old cave paintings can be viewed
Cave paintingCave painting
Cave painting

To the right, possibly a lizard. The oldest of these paintings are believed to be 2000 years or more.
Cave paintingsCave paintings
Cave paintings

Usually the paintings show animals such as lizards or giraffes, but some show spears and other tools. To the right is depicted a ladder
HandHand
Hand

This cave painting is of a hand
View over the surrounding landscapeView over the surrounding landscape
View over the surrounding landscape

The views from the area where some of the cave paintings can be found is simply spectacular
ChildrenChildren
Children

When two mzungus (westerners) arrive in the village the kids love it.
Typical small villageTypical small village
Typical small village

Just a photo taken from a car window of what a typical small village can look like
Parliament × 2Parliament × 2
Parliament × 2

The gate to the parliament is in the background. On the banknote is a picture of the same gate. Well, even if you can't see it. Trust us, it is there.
Thumbs upThumbs up
Thumbs up

Yes, Emma has both her thumbs up.
Malawi flagMalawi flag
Malawi flag

We thought we could add the Malawi flag in case someone would like to know what it looks like
Grave of Malawi's first presidentGrave of Malawi's first president
Grave of Malawi's first president

Grave of Hastings Banda, the first president of Malawi.
PorticoPortico
Portico

Yep, Ake managed to find a nice portico in Blantyre
The oldest house in MalawiThe oldest house in Malawi
The oldest house in Malawi

We were told that this house in Blantyre is the oldest house in entire Malawi.
Bilharzia pillsBilharzia pills
Bilharzia pills

Our bilhazia pills. Take them eight weeks after you had a swim in bilharzia infected water and supposedly it kills the parasites. Let us hope it works...
Partille CupPartille Cup
Partille Cup

This guy we met in Dedza. The t-shirt says "Partille Cup". It is a youth handball tournament in a suburb of Gothenburg in Sweden.


19th June 2019
Cape Maclear

Love this shot!
You've highlighted a country I knew nothing about - thanks for sharing your trip! You guys are brave swimming in the lake with a known bilharzia risk, but I suppose you have to do what you have to do to get those travel experiences we cherish so much :)
19th June 2019

Looks like friendly people
Cute fish pictures! Did you feel safe traveling around there? Public transport?
19th June 2019

Safety and public transport
We felt completely safe the entire trip. Malawi is probably one of the safest countries in Africa to travel in. Public transport was a bit of an adventure from time to time. Buses don't really run according any time table. Sometimes we took a taxi or a shared taxi to save time. /Åke
23rd June 2019

Malawi
You've captured a lot of beautiful sights.Glad to know it is safe as we would like to following in your footsteps.
4th September 2019

Wow, the lake looks much better than I thought. Did not expect the water the be that clear. Too bad about those parasites; I am very scared about that but if it's easy to treat like you say, then I'd risk it too and take pills in advance to prevent it.
4th September 2019

Local knowledge
We asked the locals and some westerners who live in Malawi. They told us what precautions to take and that it actually isn't dangerous. After that we weren't worried anymore. /Ake

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