Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Malawi

January 25 - February 2, 2019

Malawi was very green with lush vegetation. Most days we encountered a passing rain storm. We were told that later in the year it is very day.

We entered the country near Majete Game Reserve. Lonely Planet said the park was very good. We were disappointed. The road to the park was horrible. The roads in the park were overgrown and most required 4-wheel drive. We saw very few animals. Plus we got stuck exiting the camp site. Due to recent heavy rains, the road was deeply rutted, steep, and covered in deep sand. Maintenance and repair is not a priority in Africa. Finally we made it out with the help of park employees and Chad's sand rails.

The rest of the time spent in Malawi we traveled along Lake Malawi. It is 580 km long, the third largest in Eastern Africa. It is located along the eastern border of the country. The lake is usually clear blue, but for us it was mostly muddy because of the heavy rains.

Even though the rains cased some problems, we still enjoyed Malawi. The people are very friendly and helpful. The countryside is beautiful. We are very glad that we visited.

Working of getting us out of the camp site in Majete GR. We were going for an afternoon game drive. When we returned, we refused to drive back down into the camp site. Since Chad, Champa, Bill and I were the only people in the park, they let us get by with parking at reception for the night. The park's 4-wheel vehicle could barely get up the road after they claimed to have repaired it.

Savanna Baboon

Impala

Nyala - male

Nyala - female

Giraffe

Elephant

We saw a lot of rainbows in Malawi. This one was in Majete GR.

Countryside in southern Malawi.

The roads in Malawi are very busy with animals and people. 

This is a typical village scene. People buy and sell everyday. Vehicles driving through is disruptive.

Palm Springs Rest Camp on Lake Malawi.

View out our window from our parking spot. 

These boys were having a good time posing for a photo.

Road to Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi.

View of countryside near Cape Maclear.

Only one vehicle at a time on this bridge. The hole in the middle of the tire track went clear through the bridge deck. It was a little worrisome, but it was smaller then the tires.

FloJo Foundation camp site near Ngara.

Our view of the lake at FloJo Foundation. There was a preschool and after school classes on the grounds. Champa and I had a tour. We were very impressed.

Roads were always busier with people and bicycles near a town or village.

Bicycles were definitely the most popular transportation with wheels.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Mozambique

January 18 - 24, 2019

We encountered bad roads and bad weather in Mozambique. The coast should have been beautiful, instead we had a tropical storm system that lasted our entire stay.

Our atlas labeled sections of the paved national highway as bad, but that was an understatement. The good sections were bad. The bad sections were horrible. Many areas our top speed was 20 km. There was not much pavement and huge potholes. We saw lots of broken down trucks blocking the road, no shoulders for them to pull off the "highway".

Near the Malawi border the roads improved, but we encountered pouring rain. The roads turned into rivers, so it was still hazardous driving. At least the rain washed all the mud caked on the tires and wheels.


Welcome to Mozambique. This is the N1, the main route along the coast. This is actually a pretty goood section of the road.

Bags of charcoal for sale. Everything is for sale along the side of the road.

There were stretches of the road that were good. You could enjoy the scenery when you weren't bouncing out of your seat.

Bicycles are used to haul very large loads.

You see a lot more people walking on the roads then vehicles.

But when you do see vehicles driving on the road, they are really loaded with people.
City street in Tete.

Our camp site in Tete.

View along the N7, the highway we took to enter Malawi. You can see the dark clouds we are heading toward.

Another view on the highway to the border.
We are heading into pouring down rain just in time to cross the border. At border crossing you have to get out of your vehicle to go through immigration. We were soaked.