Blogs from 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 » Liwonde NP April 20th 2019

Hippos, elephants, a lizard, a spider and more It has been on our minds for a couple of years to visit Malawi. It may be a bit of a forgotten corner of the world but it is a country people we have met have spoken well of. This year it fitted nicely in our schedule to go there and since we also managed to get flight tickets we decided to go. Malawi is shaped almost like a sausage, it is long and narrow. We arrived in Blantyre in the southern part of the country, almost at the end of the sausage. But we decided to leave straight away since we knew that it is in the central parts of the country, also known as mid-sausage, where the more interesting things are. Our first stop was therefore ... read more
Spider with catch

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre February 13th 2019

Driving back to Blantyre was a breeze as we took in most of Malawi's motorways in one journey! We travelled on the M10, the M5, the M8 and the M1. Motorways they are not though, and at times it was frustrating as we got stuck behind the occasional lorry. The M8 was a short diversion off the route to visit the Arthouse in Balaka. Way off the beaten track, it's a place we would wholeheartedly recommend if you have your own transport, but it would be a bit more difficult by bus. At the Arthouse we met Tamara who has been in Malawi for 17 years. After her peace corps work she just couldn't leave and she set up an art cafe in Balaka which has recently moved to new and improved premises. It's a beautiful ... read more
Amazing views from our Air B&B
Commonwealth War Graves are not being kept very well
An unexpected sight!

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 » Mangochi February 7th 2019

Mangochi was only a brief stop along the way but we felt the need to blog about it as it is a place that has so much wrong with it at the moment. There's a newly surfaced road running all the way from Liwonde to Mangochi. The first 20-odd kilometres were impressive. The final 20-odd kilometres are still under construction and we have to drive on dirt tracks at the side of the work in progress. Back on the road, you could tell we were getting closer as the potholes got bigger and bigger until at times there was pretty much no road left. Once we actually got to the town, incidentally in the pouring rain, there was indeed no road whatsoever for several sections. Our objectives in Mangochi were twofold. First, we wanted to pay ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Liwonde NP February 6th 2019

It was just a short drive from Zomba to the town of Liwonde. We had thought about staying there somewhere and just doing a river safari, but once we looked at the accommodation options there was no way that was going to happen. Instead we phoned Liwonde Safari Camp (as recommended by a woman we met at Zomba Plateau!) who told us where to park so they could come and pick us up. We felt a bit sorry for url= Camp on the bank of the river as we left our car in their care for a couple of days. They are undergoing a bit of a face-lift at the moment and they will be well worth checking out once it's finished. Getting to the camp was no mean feat. It soon became apparent why our ... read more
Liwonde National Park
Liwonde National Park
Liwonde National Park

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Zomba February 4th 2019

The drive up to Zomba was pretty straight forward but we missed a turn that would have avoided the painful process of crawling through Limbe. On our way we stopped off at the rather out-of-place url=,35.1070298,15.71z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x18d84e15bdfec1f9:0xf9d9aa412d14c66e!8m2!3d-15.7468079!4d35.1062617Dong Jing Fo Tang Buddhist temple.This was a mere dot on Google Maps and it was certainly off the beaten track as even when we were a mere 200m away on the dirt road, nobody we asked knew of it! The temple was naturally very reminiscent of our Asia travels, and it would appear to be a home for orphaned and abandoned children, although they have not been converted into novice monks. There was not a saffron robe in sight. It did make for an intriguing side trip along the way though. In Zomba the backpa... read more
Dong Jing Fo Tang - Buddhist Temple
Zomba Plateau
Zomba Plateau

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Mulanje Town February 2nd 2019

We drove past the impressive tea plantations of Thyolo on our way to the town of Mulanje which sits a the foot of the mountain with the same name. As we got closer the mountain became more and more impressive. Then it disappeared into the cloud and we never saw it again! Mulanje itself is nothing much to write home about. It is really just two ramshackle settlements divided by a huge tea plantation. At the southern end we looked at a couple of accommodation options before deciding to give Limbani Lodge a go for about $9 for the night. It was pretty basic and tatty, but that's what you expect for the price. Imagine what the options we turned down were like. If you have ever watched the horror film Hostel, you probably can. The ... read more
Cutting wood without health and safety considerations!

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre February 1st 2019

Game Have Lodge was absolute proof that every cloud has a silver lining. Thanks to the boss, Greg, everything was sorted out with the car and he alleviated our stress by giving us a free upgrade from a really nice room to a luxury cottage. That ensured we managed to relax pretty quickly. The accommodation is stunning and without a doubt the most comfortable we have had anywhere in Malawi. Even the standard room would have left us feeling the same. We ended up staying for three nights as there was uncertainty about when the car would be fixed. As it was, everything was done on our second day so we were able to relax even more! When you stay at the lodge, all of the activities are included. Day visitors can pay to do them. ... read more
Game Haven Lodge, Thyolo, Blantyre, Malawi
Game Haven Lodge, Thyolo, Blantyre, Malawi
Game Haven Lodge, Thyolo, Blantyre, Malawi

Africa » Malawi » Southern » Blantyre January 29th 2019

Where were we? Oh yes, arriving early for our bus from Dedza to Blantyre. Well, it's a good job we did as it turned up a good 40 minutes early and didn't hang around for any stray passengers! It was comfortable and almost empty so we had sooooooo much space. You know where you can stick your minibus rides after this!! We didn't even stop to pick up or drop off anywhere along the way. You might have guessed We were so early we had to wait for the guy from our B&B to come and pick us up. What a novelty. Bonifant Lodge is new. You can tell it's new because it still smells new. Despite being collected from the bus, our arrival seemed to be a surprise to them. We managed to get the ... read more

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