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Published: October 24th 2008
Nicola Ghaui, who owns and runs this wonderful campsite at Kisolanza Farm, came and introduced herself to us as we finished our breakfast. In discussing our route south she pointed out that , Malawi would be very wet on our return trip and it would probably be better to go south via Malawi and return through Zambia.
So, after sucking a lot of back teeth, we changed our plans. Malawi would be next. We packed up and set off down the Mbeya road which, by and large, was pretty good. It was a nice, fast road, cut through undulating bush country until we climbed up towards our turn off, some 10 kms short of Mbeya. We refueled here, I was getting particularly short and took on 80 Litres!
The road then wound even higher until we reached 7500 ft at the summit before starting our decent towards Lake Malawi
. Until now, the countryside was dry and arid, desperate for the rains that are due in a month or two’s time. But as soon as we started our decent, the vegetation became lush and green with plentiful crops being grown. A marked, dramatic and unexpected change.
Lake Malawi was about 50 miles ahead and some 6000 ft lower and, to our surprise, we saw tea being grown plentifully down to about 3000 ft thereafter the vegetation turned once again to scrubby bush. We were seduced towards a lake-side campsite on the northern shores, some 24 miles to the East of the road to the border.
It was a dirty, dust road, with some very nasty rough patches, but we finally arrived at this sort of ”resort”. The lake shore site was very indifferent so we decided to look elsewhere, finally electing to camp in the grounds of the Lutheran Mission
complex, where we were made so welcome. There were showers and loos which were more than adequate. The lake shore was some 50 metres away, all rough, gravelly sand, the lake water being crystal clear and nicely warm. We all swam. The odd mosquito and a pack of hopeful dogs noisily following a bitch on heat in the nearby domestic area were the few of the disturbances that marked our night’s sleep.
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