While His Excellency President Bingu’s death dominated national news over the Easter weekend, the interns from Nature’s Gift Permaculture Centre were having an adventure of their own…
In order to take full advantage of the long holiday weekend, a group of us decided to head south to see a bit more of Malawi.
Our first stop was Liwonde National Park. While it doesn’t really compare to some of the parks in Zambia or South Africa in terms of big game, Liwonde is the largest park in Malawi and has a decent number of animals. Our first day there we took a canoe trip where we saw hippos, elephants, and an assortment of colorful birds.
On our way back to the lodge we passed right next to a herd of elephants hiding in the reeds. We knew it was something serious when our guides started speaking rapidly to each other in Chichewa and pushing our boats as fast as possible in the opposite direction!
The second day we did an early morning game drive. The weather was a bit wet and cold, but we saw lots of waterbuck, impala, kudu, warthogs, and elephants, to name a few.
Once we finished the drive we packed up our things and headed northeast to the lake. After a full day of traveling we made it to Cape Maclear just in time to catch the sunset. It was the perfect introduction to what might be the most beautiful spot on Lake Malawi – crystal clear waters, stretches of sandy beaches, hidden rocky coves, colorful fish, and picturesque islands just offshore.
The next morning we woke up with a waterfront view and the lake only meters from our tents. After relaxing and doing crosswords in the morning, we summoned the energy to do a bit of exploring, packed ourselves a picnic lunch, and headed down the beach.
About an hour of walking, meandering, and stopping to take pictures later, we arrived at Otter Point, yet another of Malawi’s national parks. While this one lacked big game (or any game at all), it made up for it in warm, turquoise waters, climbable rocks to jump off, and plenty of good napping spots. We spent the day swimming, snorkeling, jumping off rocks, and sleeping on the beach.
On Monday we said goodbye to our beach living and unsuccessfully tried to head back to Lilongwe. As usual, transportation in this region of the world proved an adventure and getting home took us a full day longer than expected. It wouldn’t be a proper Malawian trip without some transport headaches.
On Tuesday we finally made it back to Lilongwe, exhausted but content.