Adventure Blogs

Mountains, mist and rest in Livingtsonia, Malawi

Malawi travel blog – the Lamani

Malawi travel blog – the Lamani. The cloud cover disappeared and the journey became very uncomfortable. The boat filled up at Chizimulu Island with every inch of available space and even the inches that didn’t exist being taken up by people, dried fish or charcoal. After 9 hours of sun, dehydration, seriously unhygienic visits to the loo and long time damage to our hearing by the incessant, high volume radio that never stoped and changed from the initial mellow reggae tunes to Malawian radio soccer commentary, we finally disembarked. It has taken us a good 2 days to properly recover.

Posted by Bad Rabbit Studio on Friday, 15 December 2017

The Lamani boat trip across the lake is not something you can simply sleep off.  The smell of dried fish and perspiration lingers on your clothes, in your hair and in your nostrils reminding you of how the cloud cover disappeared and the journey became very uncomfortable. The boat filled up at Chizimulu Island with every inch of available space and even the inches that didn’t exist being taken up by people, dried fish or charcoal. After 9 hours of sun, dehydration, seriously unhygienic visits to the loo and long time damage to our hearing by the incessant, high volume radio that never stoped and changed from the initial mellow reggae tunes to Malawian radio soccer commentary, we finally disembarked. It has taken us a good 2 days to properly recover.

A drastic change of environment was required; the mountains was where there would be fewer people and some quiet was just what we needed. Off to the mountains we go!

The drive to Livingstonia is very beautiful but very dangerous. Google maps had wanted to take us via Rhumpi, which we did check out but the road was a rutted, dirt road from the word go and so, it was the lake shore road we took. Tar all the way, the road snakes in uncountable S-bends up and along the escarpment with the odd lorry carcasses making the going very slow. The road drops down at Chiweta before you head left and up towards the Nyika Plateau – a vehicle with a high clearance and 4×4 is absolutely vital if you are to make it to the top as the 15km of dirt road up to Livingstonia is very ruggered and technical.

We arrived at Lukwe Lodge and Gardens with just enough time to put up our enormous 6 man tent before the heavens opened. It continued to rain all through the night and right through the next day with the occasional half an hour of dryness. A little frustrating at the time as the hikes are supposed to be stuff of legends, in hindsight the rest (thanks to all the rain), reading, Samango Monkey spotting and the delicious home grown food just what we needed.

Traveling in style on the Lamani
The weather cleared for just enough time to quickly snap a picture of the Manchewe and Kazichi Waterfalls.
Storm clouds rolling in over Chiweta.
90% of the time this was our view