Page 2 of rrruss Travel Blog Posts

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

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe January 26th 2019

Arriving in Dedza by private taxi was great. If you are ever in Malawi and need a long distance taxi, give Ashraf a call.You won't regret it. We felt relaxed and comfortable, but our poor driver was bemoaning the state of the track from the main road to the pottery gates. You really would have thought that someone would try to improve the infrastructure to such a great, and popular place. Our room at Dedza Pottery and Lodge was kind of ready when we arrived. We've become quite used to arguing to get a second towel and then having to dry them out because they were still damp. It seems to be the norm in Malawi. The rooms are lovely with terrific views over the countryside from private verandas. The pottery itself produces some lovely pieces ... read more
Heading Home

Africa » Malawi » Central » Lilongwe January 24th 2019

Getting to Lilongwe took a little longer than we had anticipated. First, once the minibus was full, it headed down to Salima where it dropped off all but three passengers. Those three (ourselves included) were then herded onto another minibus which waited by the side of the road and drove around filling up for what seemed like hours. Eventually it was full to the point of suffocation with baskets hanging off the back and fish tied to the windscreen wipers at the front. Well, at least they were not inside. A painful journey of incredibly fast driving, brake being slammed on, and passengers both getting off and getting on then ensued. It was raining as we reached the edge of the capital and that was when we were made to change bus again. So much for ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi January 20th 2019

Ah, it all started off so well. Within minutes of getting on a minibus to Nkhotokota we were on our way. Hooray! Unfortunately our joy only lasted a few minutes. On the edge of Nkhata Bay the minibus stopped and we were trafficked onto another one. This rickety old thing was only going as far as Dwangwa which we had never heard of. Luckily there were no fish or chickens on board but it was a slow and painful journey. We didn’t even get to Dwangwa. A few kilometres we pulled up at the side of the road and the driver seemed to disappear into a bar. That had us worried. No need to fear drink driving though as we were unceremoniously transferred into yet another minibus. This one stopped and started dropping off and picking ... read more

Africa » Malawi » Lake Malawi January 18th 2019

Nkhata Bay wasn’t quite the backpacker haven we had expected to find. Maybe once upon a time it was, but nowadays everyone heads to one of two waterfront places a few kilometres across the bay. A shared taxi from Mzuzu was an easy 45 minute ride on good roads and we were deposited in the heart of the bustling town centre alongside the cheerful fishmongers who seemed surprised that we didn’t want to buy their catch and drag it along with our luggage. We opted to stay in the town to see what it still had to offer, and the Ilala Bay hotelwas cheap and cheerful so we stayed there. Life in Malawi usually stops a couple of hours after the sun sets at 6pm. Sadly for us, that wasn’t the case at Nkhata Bay as ... read more

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