It was our last day at Mvuu in Liwonde National Park. We awoke again to the sounds of Africa! One can’t help hearing them as there are just so many and it is so loud, but so beautiful… Sometimes it feels as if you’re in some Hollywood movie with an unrealistic conglomeration of African noises in the background; there’s just too much to take in. Elephants, hippos, fish eagles, 100’s of birds, monkeys…It’s like a zoo LOL! WOW!
We got up and went looking for Livingstone’s Flycatcher again just as the sun was rising and we found them! There was a small group, very unlike other flycatchers but Wayne had mentioned that they do feed in groups. Shortly afterwards, Bohm’s Bee Eater, Collard Palm Thrush and Lillian’s Lovebird. All new birds for us and all specials in this area. What an awesome sighting to start the day. Another cup of Malawian tea with a tot of Amarula Cream (instead of milk) and then we’d managed to eat breakfast and pack up camp in 20 minutes flat. We were getting good at this now! Then we were off to Chembe Eagles Nest in Cape Maclear to see one of Africa’s mighty lakes; Lake Malawi!
We slowly wound our way back to the main gate passing through herds of elephants standing on the open plains among the hundreds of borasis palms and baobabs…the landscape is so vast and bare yet so beautiful in its simplicity. Wayne decided to take the road less traveled which sent the poor TomTom navigation lady into a flat panic and almost in tears begging us to find a road. But it was so worth the detour. Herds of waterbuck numbering in their hundreds, sable, hippos and elephants all congregating at the rivers flood plain as the temperature soared into the upper 30’s. Yellow baboons were on our bucket list too, and there were troops are everywhere. Seeing a new primate brings it home that you are very far from Southern Africa. East Africa rocks!!!
Out the gate we drove past many small villages where each family seemed to grow, sell or make their own sort of produce. The government had been running an agricultural diversification project here for the last 4 years and it seemed to be paying off. They sell veggies, fish, chickens, goats, fruit, baskets, mats and even honey amongst many other things. Very different to the long lines of tomatoes, onions, green peppers in the south and the Malawian people look happier and healthier for their diverse diet.
We got to Mangochi town which was teaming with people; mostly people on their bikes and walking as not many people have cars in Malawi. In fact, besides the taxis and trucks there are no other vehicles on the roads. No one drives there? Malawi gets a big tick for its public transport system and reducing carbon emissions!
In Mangochi, not knowing what lay ahead we stocked up with fuel, cash (yes the ATM’s only seem to hold about R2000 and we emptied another one. Oops), and a few groceries and Wayne found us strawberry soft serve! Well that went down like a homesick mole seeing as it was a steamy 38 degrees Celsius outside…
The road to the lake was through a local fishing village and we really didn’t expect to arrive at such an awesome place. We stayed at Chembe Eagles Nest which was right on the shores of the lake which was incredibly beautiful, calm and serene. The world is a very small place because as we arrived, we found people we’d been chatting to on Facebook about Africa travel for a few weeks before we’d left. Awesome! We got to set up camp next to them and all had dinner under the stars. Our Lake adventure starts tomorrow……..stay tuned!!!