Blogs from Monkey Bay, Southern, Malawi, Africa


Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay October 17th 2019

We travel from Lilongwe to Monkey Bay on Mother's Day, a Tuesday this year. As it is a festival day, there are spirit dancers celebrating on the village roadsides. Dressed in grotesque masks and wigs, these dancers are incarnations of spirits and they perform at funerals and festivals. And for 500 kwatcha, 50p, a group happily dance for us. The dancing is not great but the costumes are amazing and quite scary. As well as ancestors, the sprits include a pink faced “white man” and wild and domesticated animals. The long haired elephant is amazing. No drive In Malawi is complete without stops for the driver: “Excuse me but I just have to ...” They've shopped for beef, water, electric plugs and, on every trip, petrol – all bought after getting our fare up front. They ... read more
Local wildlife
Our room
Three school girl to guide us

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay February 10th 2019

The drive to Monkey Bay was remarkably easy. We actually had a road most of the way! That was until we actually got there, and then it deteriorated badly. We were staying at the Monkey Bay Beach Lodge which is actually located through a Malawi Navy base checkpoint. The guys were only doing their job but they could have been a little friendlier. There was a stop sign and we stopped, but not right in front of the sign. It's not like we were blocking the traffic or anything. Later, when we walked through the gate we were told off for not using the pedestrian gate! That aside, what a great location. The lodge has nice, comfortable rooms with very friendly dogs and not-too-curious monkeys. The dogs often occupied the sofa outside our room, but the ... read more
The Ilala sails every Friday morning.
We had the room on the right.
A little companion

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay February 10th 2011

The next day I chatted to Mike for a bit before he set off back to Salima. Turns out in the storm I had broken my phone - it got wet. I sat at the breakfast table for a few hours and ended up having a really good conversation with Edward about politics, South Africa, USA, China, the future, investments etc. It was an interesting and in depth conversation. It was Grant's birthday so after wishing him happy birthday, I set off with them into town to try get my phone fixed. We waited in a tiny 'African Mobile Service' shop for about an hour while this guy took my phone apart and used chemicals to displace the water and then used a box and a light bulb to dry it - amazing, and after all ... read more
Birthday Dinner
Monkey Bay Town
Monkey Bay Bay

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay May 4th 2010

The next leg of my rather meandering Malawian travel is dominated by a ferry down the length of Lake Malawi, from the northern town/gaggle of huts, Chilumba all the way to Monkey Bay close to the southern tip of the lake. The Ilala Ferry is about sixty years old and like all nautical colonial relics it was actually built back in Britain first (in this case Glasgow in 1949) before being taken apart, shipped to Africa, carried a few hundred kilometres overland piece by piece and finally reassembled. Since then the boat has barely changed at all - the state of the toilets certainly suggests so - but it’s in fairly good nick compared to some other elements of Africa's colonial heritage that I've encountered (i.e. it still floats). Cost being of greater importance than comfort ... read more
The island

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay June 24th 2009

Moni!!! Muli bwanji?? (that’ll be ‘Hello! How are you’? in chechewa... ) Greetings from Monkey bay, Malawi! Hope you guys are all well, apologies to James for the length of the last blog, I’ll try to keep this one down to a lunch hour, snack size! So! It’s been a while again! I left you guys with the cliff-hanger of Zimbabwe... Fortunately, I lived to tell the tale, I’ll begin.... Saying goodbye to George and Naomi was a bit of a killer. I’d lived with them for pretty much every waking hour of that month. I felt a little empty waving them off, finding myself stood staring at the back of the gate they’d departed through. That, along with the ten tonne hangover sat on my face was a pretty miserable start to any day. There ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay January 13th 2009

Lieve koulijers op het noordelijk halfrond! Ik zit hier nu al voor de derde dag niet van het zweet te druipen en dat is wel even lekker! Het leek allemaal heel mooi in Mangochi - wekelijkse updates vanaf gratis internet - maar dat ging dus even niet door. Nu schrijf ik jullie vanuit Zomba mijn volgende verhaal. En er is heel wat in te halen… Safari in Liwonde NP Na een weekje Mangochi ging ik met de drie andere Nederlandse meisjes - Anne Marie, Anna, Suzanne - op safari in Liwonde National Park. Het regenseizoen is niet het beste seizoen voor safari, omdat de dieren niet gedwongen naar een waterbron toe moeten als er overal plassen liggen. We hebben dan ook erg ons best zitten doen, maar geen olifant gezien. Wel waren er een hoop hippo’s ... read more
Boot safari
Mr. Hassa uit Nkhotakhota

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay September 13th 2008

Sorry to all about lack of entries, but the closest internet connection is 10 miles from where we're staying. I'm going to have to condense 2 weeks quite quickly as i'm in a bar with 3 of the other volunteers from our group waiting to use this laptop. Life here is very different from swaziland because it's a very much poorer country. In swaziland you could escape to a western style shopping mall with coffee shop and internet cafe, but not here. We drove for 3 1/2 hrs from lilongwe in a dicrepit open top landrover to get to the lake, dropping down through the hills that form the western edge of the rift valley. The lodge we stay in has no hot water, the electricity goes off every other evening for half hour and the ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay July 20th 2008

After a good night of sleep it was the last time to get up early to catch a bus in Mozambique. Apparently the buses in Malawi leave later. I like Malawi already. To complete the list of vehicles used in my trip the Mozambican decided to build the border 4km away from the closest Mozambican town (but strangely enough just at the outskirts of a Malawi town). to cross these last few km you have either the choice of using your own transport which we didn’t have, to walk which is no fun or to pick one of the very very persistent guys with a Chinese push bike which has a padded piece of wood attached to the back and some foot rests welded on. Lazy as I am I chose to let someone else sweat ... read more
local restaurant
Breakfast: Tea and Scones
chillout area

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay February 26th 2008

On Monday February 18th, I was beginning my last week of work at Monkey Bay Community Hospital and preparing to leave Malawi. That same day, I found out that a few days earlier, another Joanna arrived. Deborah, who I worked with in the Pharmacy department, had given birth to a baby girl and named her after me. I feel pretty honoured! I now have a great excuse to go back to Malawi - i'll have to see how my Malawian counterpart is getting on! For now, she is happy and healthy. I arrived back in bonnie Scotland today. I am absolutely freezing! I have just been looking at some of my videos, and texting friends back there to say that I arrived ok, and it already feels like Malawi is a million miles away. I apologize ... read more
Outside Monkey Bay Community Hospital
Maternity Ward at Monkey Bay Community Hospital
The dressings clinic

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Monkey Bay February 7th 2008

Lots has happened in the past week. I have had good times (that have been extremely good) and bad times (that have been extremely bad). I first had my birthday. My 29th in Malawi. I had a wonderful day. It started with a soda on the Chancy Maples floating bar, watching baboons that were fighting on the rocks. I had a great Malawian lunch at a local pub next to the hospital, I swam and snorkeled in the lake & I even had homemade chocolate birthday cake. On Friday afternoon we went to an MTO attackers football game. They lost 5-3 (which was debated as much as usual) but we had a great time anyway. We taught the local kids how to do the Mexican wave. Saturday we headed to Cape Maclear with 5 new volunteers, ... read more
Sarah, Kaye, James, Me, Neale & Jake
Deborah and Macdonald, in the pharmacy
Nelson (head nurse) and me

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