Livingstonia - 28th February 2011 - 1st March 2011
Given that Livingstonia is actually at the edge of Nyika Plateau where we lived for a year, it had always seemed ridiculous that we had never managed to visit. We decided to put this right on our way out of Malawi.
I had heard nightmare tales about the road up there. I had also heard it had been "fixed". I can't imagine what it was like before. We crawled up a rocky road with an enormous drop off the side down into the valley below and prayed there was nothing coming the other way. I got the impression that the Dutch couple currently running the place were doing so because they couldn't face the trip back down!
Once up there it was beautiful spot and we relaxed and enjoyed the view. jerry walked up to the Mission at the top of the hill and I contented myself with a stroll round the permaculture gardens.
However, the drama wasn't over and we had one particularly tempestuous night when a storm blew in and the tarpaulin door on our little hut perched on the hillside was no match for the howling wind and horizontal rain.
Mzuzu to Vwaza Game Reserve and Nyika Plateau and back to Mzuzu - 12th February 2011 - 27th February 2011
As we headed north up the lake road we started to recognise familiar landmarks and views.
Not long after arriving back in Mzuzu, we saw a familiar vehicle go by. It was the Nyika Vwaza Trust Land Cruiser and though the new managers hadn't spotted us, Lameck, the Trust's mechanic who was riding in the back, had. We ended up spending a few days together at Rosewood.
They had to go back up to Nyika and we were keen to follow them and see all our old friends up there. But first we had to get some diesel. Malawi is in the midst of a fuel crisis so this was easier said than done. In the end Jerry queued for a total of 18 hours over two days before we could finally fill our tank.
We stopped off at Vwaza on the way up to Nyika and spent a lovely couple of days camping by Lake Kazuni. We had the park to ourselves.
Next stop was Nyika. We had a fabulous time visiting some of our old haunts up there. The flora and fauna were in great form and we saw great herds of eland and lots of roan and zebra as well as lots of birdlife. Goeff and Patsy were great hosts and we really enjoyed catching up with our friends and colleagues from our stint as Trust managers.
Lilongwe to Makusi Beach- 11th February 2011 - 15th February 2011
It was good to be back in Malawi. Some things have changed (a new Game in Lilongwe!) but some things haven't (no fuel!!).
We stayed overnight at the Sanctuary which is a posh lodge inside the Lilongwe Wildlife Sanctuary. Hoping to lulled to sleep by the sound of hyena what we actually got was a call to prayer from the local mosque every four hours and a 5.30am wake up call from the rather over-enthusiastic security guards who wanted us to know they were changing shifts (ie they wanted a tip). At that hour in the morning they didn't get it.
After a fruitless search for fuel, we headed for the lake and spent four blissful days at Makusi Beach, in a beautiful little bay on the lake shore. It was rainy but the garden was lush and the beach practically deserted.
Next stop Mzuzu, Nyika and Vwaza, our old stamping ground.