March 2005


Where are we: Livingstone, Zambia

Date: 1st – 6th March 2005

Weather: Hot and sunny

Camping: Jollyboys Backpackers

So I chickened out of the bungi, I woosed out of the canyon swing and a day out with Bob the twitcher was just too extreme, but we did have a great stay in Livingstone. Our time here was made all the better thanks to the hospitality, warmth and friendship of Sue who owns and runs Jollyboys. The good times were marred only by Englands dismal performance in the rugby.

Today, the town of Livingstone, the former capital of Zambia, has a buzz about it. Mugabe’s self destruction of the Zimbabwe economy has left the town of Vic Falls on the Zim side literally a ghost town,  tourists are thin on the ground and with the tourists gone so are the dollars. The demise of Vic Falls has however injected new energy and vigour into Livingstone and I truly wish them well, they are pumping a lot of time and effort into the town and making it very tourist friendly. The town has a good vibe and there is plenty to keep you occupied even after you have exhausted yourself with the high octane adrenalin sports. Livingstone is celebrating its 150th anniversary since the infamous Dr Livingstone first saw the falls and named them after Queen Victoria, although locally they are known as Mosi-au-Tunya, Smoke that Thunders. Looking at the town from the high street it doesn’t strike you as a particularly pretty town, but get into the back streets and a whole other place opens up. The town was effectively put on the map back in 1910 when the land was auctioned and a mad flurry of sand and mortar were thrown down. The back streets are classic architecture of the period and refelect the grandness of the time. Today the buildings still stand, many are in need of some TLC but they are still working buildings from which the new town of Livingstone goes about its daily business. We went on a historic town tour with Charli (ask at Jollyboys), a local news correspondent who in his spare time brings the stories of Livingstone past and present to life with his “Walkabouts”. We got the low down on Livingstone history and the way of life in the town today, Charli providing many an amusing story of the goings on both in the town and the neighbouring villages and markets. This is a great day out and we highly recommend it as it will get you off the beaten track and into those places you may otherwise not go to, to see day-to-day life of the people that are Livingstone. 

Livingstone entertained us well for 5 days; sundowners on the deck at the Royal Livingstone with the Larny brigade, tribal song and dance festivals, local school performing arts festival, town tour, visit to the orphanage, adventure sports (enough to make you insolvent), visits to the falls and craft markets (enough to bankrupt you) and good conversations over a Mosi larger. Thanks to all in Livingstone. A message to fellow overlanders, Jollyboys is the place to stay!!! If you do pass by give Yoda the cat a cuddle and stroke for us and have a good tug of war with that mischievous little rasckal Mole. Another word of warning, fill up with fuel before going to Zam, diesel cost nearly 0.90$US per litre and goes up to 1.20$US per litre the further north you go………..


Wir sind hier ein paar Tage geblieben, haben Mole, den Hund und Yoda, die Katze adoptiert, die jeden Morgen ins Zelt zum Kuscheln kam. Ausserdem sind wir noch mit dem Microlight gelfogen und haben mit einem jungen Journalisten, Chali, eine historische Stadttour als Versuchskaninchen unternommen. Er wollte von uns feedback haben wie er sich verbessern kann, was er noch anbieten koennte und wieviel Geld er nehmen kann. Das war sehr interessant; David hat die Videokamera mitgenommen und ihn gefilmt. Spaeter haben wir das zusammengeschnitten und Sue von Jollyboys eine Kopie gegeben so dass sie sich das mit Chali angucken kann. Ausserdem sind wir mit Beck zu einem Waisenheim gegangen, die schuechternen Kinder sind schnell aufgetaut und haben mit uns gespielt. Wir haben Kugelschreiber und Papier dagelassen und Jollyboys hat von anderen Reisenden gesammelt.

Dann waren wir nochmal bei den Vic Falls um diese bei Sonnenuntergang zu photographieren aber leider haben die Faelle so gesprueht dass alles ganz neblig war. Bei den Kunsstaenden haben wir uns total belabern lassen und Souveniers gekauft….

Ausserdem sind wir noch zu einem traditionellen “drum and dance” festival gegangen. Das war ziemlich cool, ausser dass ab und zu die herkoemmlichen Kopftuecher mit modernen Baseball caps ersetzt wurden. Ich hab Freundschaft mit einem 9-jaehrigen Jungen, Thomas, geschlossen und ihm gezeigt wie die Kamera funktionierte. Das war’s dann, er hat alle moeglichen Leute photographiert und fand sich ganz cool vor seinen Freunden, sues! Leider war dann irgendwann die Batterie leer.

Wir hatten eine schoene Zeit hier in Livingstone aber trotzdem wurde es Zeit weiterzufahren….


Where are we: Sinazongwe, Lake Kariba, Zambia

Date: 7th March 2005 

End GPS: S17 16.242 E27 27.861

Total Kilometres: 50,326 km

Weather: Very humid and no wind

Camping: Lakeview

We finally drew ourselves away from Jollyboys and Livingstone at 15:30………..we are heading north to have a few days at lake Kariba. This is the largest man made lake in Africa, forming the boundary between Zim and Zam. At the head of the water lies the main gateway with Zimbabwe and the massive Kariba hydro electric dam. The lake or reservoir is 280 km long, at its widest point it is 32 km wide, has an average depth of 418 metres and can hold 180 600 000 000 cubic metres of water. I’m such a geek!!!! We shall work our way up the lake over the next couple of days to take in some of its relaxing sights and sounds.

First stop is the small settlement at Sinazongwe on the south western shores of the lake. The road leads north from Livingstone, to Batoka it is good fast tar and we made speedy progress. Afer driving through Batoka there is a turning to the right that takes you over the railway line and then east toward the lake. The road is again good tar and easy driving. The only thing to be wary of are the local bicycle riders.

African’s can ride bicycles and they can go extraordinarily fast downhill; they have however, yet to master the art of looking over their shoulder when they hear an approaching car. When they do try this they either swerve uncontrollably into the middle of the road and into your path, requiring emergency braking and yourself to swerve to avoid them, or they disappear into the thick undergrowth by the side of the road never to be seen again. We give them a honk on the horn when we are still far away to get the chaos over before we catch them up, but for some strange reason as we approach they still insist on another quick glance over their shoulder and further chaos ensues. We came upon a group of 5 riders who were doing their impression of the Tour De Africa. It was a straight downhill section and the guys where all hunched over the bars of their sit up and beg push bikes. With the force of gravity behind them and a fair tale wind the bikes where exceeding the design speed parameters of the African racing bike. That said they were holding pretty good formation with the lead rider closely slip streamed by the main pelaton. We admired the style and grace of such honed, refined riders at one with their machines……that was until they heard the rumble of a 200tdi Landrover cruising up behind them. We were still some 200 metres from the group; however the sound of our engine struck fear into them, like a lion roaring out from the bush. We saw it coming before it happened…………..”Noooooooooooooooo” we shouted………..time started to slow down and everything went slow mo………………As if a mini explosion had occurred in the midst of the pelaton a shockwave exploded outward from the group. The lead rider was grabbed by the sudden extreme gravity surge, his bike was picked up from under him and he was whisked off down the hill, a mere passenger on an out of control machine, the G- force stretched his face into a contorted expression of terror, he disappeared out of sight but not out of earshot as we heard his “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” growing fainter the deeper into the void he went. The pelaton didn’t suffer as well. The shockwave had started when one rider had dared to look backward over his shoulder, as he had done so he had clipped his mate who then for some reason also decided to look back……this then had a rubberneck effect with the other riders all turning to looked back. The next few seconds were comical - and hurtful for two of the poor guys.

As the pelatons aerodynamics broke up, the turbulence started. It hit one rider and his machine started to wobble, then the next rider and the next. Before long the harmonized group was all a wobble as if the ground beneath them had turned to jelly. Then Mother Nature stepped in, her gravity sucked them up and then spat them out. They went flying off in all directions. Two managed to maintain control and brought their machines to rest at the road side. However the other two where beyond help, even if they had had brakes that is. The first wobbled, then tilted, then high sided his machine. He flew through the air head first still holding the handle bars of the bike which was now also upside down and following close behind him. Only upon hitting the tarmac did man and machine separate. He continued down the road doing somersaults and cartwheels. Meanwhile his friend had got his wobble under control, but only just in time to see the undergrowth envelope him as he careered off the road and disappeared from sight.  We pulled up at the carnage about 10 seconds later. The one man was emerging from the thick bush, bike in hand and a big grin on his face, whether this was from shock or from the ecstasy of having escaped without a scratch we don’t know. The other poor chap had not fared so well. He had cut his head and knee and was bleeding. He looked totally bemused and we felt so sorry for him. Now this is one of those times when I personally know not what to do. We are trained in first aid and always want to help if someone is unwell. However when someone is bleeding so much and when you are told how rife HIV is in Africa it makes me scared and paranoid. I am not a doctor and we carry only basic sterile and barrier equipment such as rubber gloves etc. Had the guy had major wounds and or been unconscious we would definetly have gotten out and helped however the guy was standing and was compos mentis, he also had his mates there and the incident had not been caused by us, but by their reaction to us. We gave him lots of tissue to stem the flow of blood and his friends took him under arm to help him to his home where his wife would tend to his wounds and dented pride.  I did feel bad just leaving him but the combination of factors and the dwindling light made me decide that we needed to push on. He would live another day albeit with a headache and aching knee, but if we weren’t careful we could run ourselves into danger by driving in the dark on an unfamiliar road.

As it turned out we ran out of light just 10km from our destination. We had seen signs for Lakeview Lodge and opted to drive the last 10 km on a dirt track in the dark. Not something we like doing and not recommended. It was our own fault though as again we had set off too late in the day. These are the two mistakes you can make in Africa, leaving too late and trying to cover too much ground. As it turned out we arrived safely at Lakeview an hour after sunset. To our relief there was somewhere to camp. Dion and his wife made us very welcome and even invited us to a free dinner of cottage pie and veggies. A very unexpected but welcome end to the day as we relaxed and watched the bright white lights of the fishermen who fish for Kapenta, a small whitebait like fish. It is drawn to the bright lights that they shine into the water. As the fish swarm to the light like insects to a flame, the fisherman haul up the net and land them on the boat. All very interesting but boy these fish stink when they dry them in the sun.

Lake view is very tranquil and in a lovely setting right on the lakeshore. It is small with about 4 chalets and simple outdoor dinning area and a cool pool. We enjoyed a very relaxed evening and lazy morning. This is worth a visit if you want to just take time out and do nothing but walk, read and watch the birds fly by as the day goes on.


Wir haben es erst geschafft uns um 15:24 Uhr von Livingstone loszureissen und sind dann ganz gut auf guter Teerstrasse zum Lake Kariba gefahren. Unterwegs ist uns ein Monitor Lizard vors Auto gerannt und die Leute auf den Fahrraedern erschrecken sich immer so sehr, drehen sich um, verlieren Balance und fallen vom Rad!! Unglaublich!  Es ging weiter einen Sandweg entlang und es wurde schon wieder dunkel. Das Licht hier ist wunderschoen, wie in Angola, ich glaube das ist so weil wir in der gleichen Longitude stecken. Um 18:55 Uhr sind wir bei einer lodge, Lakeview, direkt am Karibasee angekommen und konnten die ganzen Kapentafischer auf dem See sehen. Hier wird ein kleiner Fisch, Kapenta, gefischt (so gross wie eine Anchovie und wird mit Kopf und allem drum und dran gegessen) nachts mit kuenstlichem Licht angelockt und gefischt, getrocknet und mit scharfer Sosse gegessen. Die Lichter auf dem See sehen aus wie eine Landungsbahn oder eine grosse Bruecke. Wir haben von den Besitzern umsonst leckeres Abendessen (Cottage Pie, yum!) bekommen und sind frueh ins Bett gegangen.

Where are we: Lake Kariba, Zambia

Date: 8th – 9th March 2005 

End GPS: S17 27.014 E27 22.953

Total Kilometres: 50,402 km

Weather: Mega hot and humid

Camping: The Clubhouse

We wanted to drive an old piste that runs the length of the shoreline north to Kariba and the dam, however Dion advised us that the track is in very poor shape and currently many bridges are down hence the route is impassable due to some deep river crossings. We elected therefore to head back to Batoka and the tar road. We got as far as the end of the dirt track and then changed our mind. That is the great thing about being in control of your own time and not having an itinary. Instead of heading north we decided to go south for a little bit and visit another part of Lake Kariba at a place called The Clubhouse. This is about 70 km down the way and is set on a crocodile farm. It’s a fantastic place that caters for independent travellers and as such is very relaxed. The place has excellent facilities and we had a wonderful time relaxing here and swimming with the resident dogs in the pool. Set high on a lush green grassy hill overlooking the lake, The Clubhouse is gifted with fine vistas and romantic sunsets that can be watched whilsts sipping a drink at the outside bar or in the pool. It has the setting and peacefulness of a very expensive lodge yet we paid a mere $3 for camping making it one of the bargains of Southern Africa. Theres plenty to do here as well as the guys that run it can take you on safaris to the nearby islands which are frequented by elephant and many other animals, a tour of the croc farm, or sundowner cruises.

As the Clubhouse is on the croc farm they naturally sell croc meat for cooking. Kat and I tried this one evening…….well that’s enough said about that…..obviously an aquired taste……


Ich bin frueh aufgewacht und habe ein absolutes Naturschauspiel gesehen als die Sonne aufging und knallrot ueber dem See aufstieg, unglaublich! Leider war ich zu muede um aus dem Dachzelt zu klettern und die Kamera zu holen….Wir sind dann spaeter zum See gegangen und haben Fruehstueck gemacht und sind dann weitergefahren. Eigentlich wollten wir total gerne eine Hausboottour auf dem Karibasee machen aber das Boot war fuer ein paar Tage weg und wir wollten nicht warten – wir wollen aber hier irgendwann wieder herkommen!

Gegen Mittag sind wir an einem anderen Dorf am See angekommen und haben beim “Clubhouse” was auf einer Krokodilfarm liegt gecampt. Hier war es echt schoen und relaxed und ausserdem gab es einen riesen swimming pool. Hier sind wir 2 Tage geblieben, waren mit den Hunden schwimmen und haben unsere Route geplant und die umwerfenden Sonnenuntergaenge auf dem Zambezi beobachtet. Ausserdem haben wir Crocodile Stir fry gekocht und ich muss sagen, es schmeckte am Anfang gut, wurde aber etwas gummimaessig und ziemlich fischig, also war nicht so wirklich unser liebstes Essen aber wenigstens haben wir jetzt auch mal Krokodil probiert.

Where are we: Siavonga, Lake Kariba, Zambia

Date: 10th March 2005

End GPS: S16 29.152 E28 39.861

Total Kilometres: 50,829 km

Weather: 36.3 C Hot and sunny

Camping: Sandy Beach

To go north we needed to double back to the tar road at Batoka. The cruise north is good tar and relaxed. A few checkpoints but all straight forward although we did get stopped and asked to step out of the vehicles at one. As we did so they pulled out a …………………………….spray gun!!!? And began frantically spraying our hands? Foot and Mouth they explained…………oh? OK? They didn’t spray our feet only our hands and the tyres?????. Maybe it was an African variant………..Hand and Tyre disease. With clean hands at the wheel and sterile tyres on the road we felt refreshed and cleansed. Hallelujah Brother, we drove north born again. The road to Siavonga at the dam, leads you down an escarpment. The road deteriorates in places due to the constant pounding it gets from the massive lorries that ply the trade between Zim and Zam. It’s fine although you do have to be careful of the trucks as they tend to freewheel down the hill to save fuel!!!! They also have a tendancy when going up the escarpment to stop in awkward places, not because they break down or overheat, but because the Zimbabwean driver stop and sell the fuel out of their tanks……………………..We stayed at Sandy beach on the lake shore. A quiet lodge where we camped and had a room for toilet and shower. It is run by Herman the German, a large man both in stature and stories. Originally from Munich he has lived in Zam for over 30 years. He is a nice man and we enjoyed our time here. The lodge has simply bungalows and a nice pool and sandy beach upon which the hippos laze and swim. This is a fine place to replenish the batteries before hitting Lusaka or heading into Zim. We have decided to miss out Zim due to the ongoing problems in the country. We have been told by others who have come through that many tourist places are closed down due to lack of business, fuel is scarce, food is limited and expensive, they want over $50 US for a visa, it takes us the wrong direction, they are due to have election which when held the last time degenerated into a bloodbath and I personally think Mugabe couldn’t give a hoot about his people, only his cronies. As such I certainly do not want to line his or their pockets with my money. Phew I feel better for that little rant!


Ich bin zu dem Geraeusch von Schritten und Laufen aufgewacht – neben uns im Baum haben die Vervet-Affen wie die bekloppten gespielt und getobt; das war so suess zu beobachten! Wie Menschen haben die Teenager die Kleineren fast verpruegelt bis die Mama kam und sie verteidigt hat. Echt cool wie die gespielt haben und sich uns Menschen ueberhaupt nicht bewusst waren wie in all den Safari Parks. Die Krokodilfarm hat gestunken und wir haben bezahlt und sind weiter Richtung Damm gefahren. Am Strassenrand wollte uns jemand einen lebenden Geier verkaufen – igitt! Die Strasse war gut und wurde nur unterbrochen von einem Stueck Stroh auf der Fahrbahn neben einer Huette, wo wir angehalten wurden. Ein strahlender Zambier hat mich freundlich gebeten bitte auszusteigen und meine Haende zu waschen?! – Foot and Mouth (MaulundFuss Seuche!) aber unsere Fuesse und Schuhe mussten nicht bespritzt werden…..

Die Strasse fuehrte durch ein Escarpement und hier verkaufen die ganzen LKW-Fahrer Diesel an die armen Menschen am Strassenrand und lassen sich dann die Berge runterollen wie die Verrueckten, beaengstigend!! Somit verdienen sie sich extra cash…..

Wir sind dann in Siavonga bei Sandy Beach, direkt am See angekommen und wurden freundlich von Hermann begruesst. Hermann kommt aus Muenchen und lebt hier schon seit ueber 30 Jahren und war frueher Musiker hat u.a. auch auf dem Kiez gespielt, und somit haben wir schoen gekloent…

Where are we: Lusaka, Zambia

Date: 11th March 2005

End GPS: S15 24.705 E028 17.541

Total Kilometres: 51,032 km

Weather: 38.1 C

Camping: Cha Cha Cha Backpackers

We made a visit to the dam at Kariba. A mighty structure, here are the fast facts:

Design: Double curvature concrete arch

Height: 128 metres

Crest length: 617 metres

Vol of concrete: 1082000 cubic metres

Floodgates: 6 (remember this for the story in a mo)

Flow through 1 floodgate at max retention level in reservoir: 1534 per second

Flow through 1 floodgate at max  per day: 136 000 000 000 litres

Time for an interesting story about the dam. When they decided to build the dam it meant that many of the local Tonga tribes had to be resettled as their villages would be submerged by the reservoir waters. The Tonga had however a belief that the Zambezi river was ruled over by a serpent creature called the NyamiNyami. When they started to build the dam the Tonga swore that the Nyaminyuami would not allow his river to be dammed and cut him off from his wife who lived above the dam wall. The Tonga said he would rip down the dam and sure enough in 1957 / 58 the Zambezi received the worst floods in its history. So much so, that the temporary dam was swept away. The contarctor thereafter increased the spill gates from 4 to 6 to cater for NyamiNyami attempts to destroy their dam. Today he is said to have made piece with the dam, time shall tell.

So here we are going Cha Cha Cha is Lu sa Ka Ka Ka …………..the journey here was fine with tar all the way but would you “adam and eve it” we got stopped again for speeding. This was great however as we were doing 52kph in a 50kph. I tried the “But I drive in MPH” however the guy was switched on and had heard it before, he duely showed me the KPH markings on my speedo…”well, I’ll be”, I exclaimed. So to the next…..”What you’ve stopped me for 2kph over the limit?” “But that is illegal in the UK as our speedos are only calibrated to an accuracy of 5% of the reading. That means I was within the error parameters and you cannot therefore charge me”. “Nice try sir, but you are in Zambia and anything over the sign posted limit is deemed as speeding”. So to the next “well, I’m not paying any fine, I’ll go to court….where is it and when”. “The Central Courthouse, Mugalwi Road 24, Lusaka at 14:00 on the 15th March… sir”……….”Bugger”……..So to the next……”I won’t be in Lusaka or Zambia then as I am driving to Tanzania right now, oh and I’m still not paying”…….”That’s OK sir we’ll radio ahead to the border to let them know you are coming and to double the fine….sir”……..Heck I was getting nowhere………last try “Mind if I sit down”……”Not at all sir”……..”Right this is a sit in and I’m not moving from here, I shall bore you too death all day with all our stories of travelling”. “I take it you are still not paying then….sir”   “ No”…. “OK Sir, heres your license have a nice day and enjoy Lusaka”………………………………………I was quite offended…..maybe I should have offered to pay to recount our stories.

Lusaka is like most other African cities, a fusion of old and new, white, black and asian. Home to many different tribes, VSOs, NGOs, Oxfam, UNICEF, STC, WWF……………the list goes on. The old part of town is bustling with local traders and guys plying their trade in the queues of traffic. It’s got a hip edge to it and some interesting hangouts. There are two main roads that lead through the city….the Great North road that goes…………..North, and the Great East road that……well…..goes where it says it does. Head on the Great East road and you will enter little South Africa……….a 5 km stretch of dual carriageway lined with those modern bastions of security and safety…….”The Shopping Mall”. Africa is left behind and you are transported to the never never land of Steers, Nandos, Cinemas, Spar, high speed internet, pharmacists, butchers selling Boer Wors and Braai packs and much much more.  I’m not knocking it, indeed we spent a whole day in the mall interneting, shopping and window dreaming of a previous life back home.

We stayed at Cha Cha Cha backpackers which is about 2 km from the old part of town and 2 km from the never never land. It is called Cha Cha Cha as this was the name given to the period just after independence was granted to Zambia, the country formerly known as Northern Rhodesia. Unlike Southern Rhodesia, Zambia gained its independence with relative ease and little or no blood shed. Zambia was originally administered by the British South African Company under Cecil John Rhodes who had been given royal charter, later in 1953 it becamse part of the Federation with what was then Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Zim and Malawi. In 1963 this federation was dissolved and Northern Rhodesia was given independence and renamed Zambia. Southern Rhodesia had to wait until the 1980s for its blood stained independence.

 Cha Cha Cha is like any backpacker, a bit jaded at the edges, full of bored, depressed looking backpackers and the usual gaggle of dogs. It’s got a car park large enough to set up our camp and it has a pool and serves cold beers. We met another couple in a red landy who had come down the east coast and so we spent an evening exchanging information on routes as they shall return to the UK via the west coast. 


Ich bin schon wieder frueh aufgewacht und habe das schoene Licht auf dem roten Sand bewundert, mir die Kamera geschnappt und Photos geschossen und auch glatt zwei Hippos gesehen. Dann hab ich schiss bekommen und bin zurueck zum Landy gegangen wo David Café Latte gemacht hat. Nachdem wir gefruehstueckt haben sind wir zum Kariba Damm gefahren. Hier mussten wir unsere Paesse lassen und durften durch die Grenzkontrolle mit Zimbabwe um uns den Damm anzugucken.

Danach haben wir uns auf dem Weg nach Lusaka gemacht und wurden schon wieder wegen zu schnelles Fahren angehalten. Die uebliche Story hat uns wieder rausgeredet und der Chief hat David seine “sympathy” gegeben wie er sich ausgedrueckt hat. In Lusaka mussten wir erstmal tanken – Diesel hier ist am teuersten in ganz Afrika! Im Backpackers Chachacha haben wir Leute getroffen die auch ueberland fahren wollen und ihren Landy nach Kapstadt geschifft haben und ueber die Westkueste zurueck fahren wollten, also haben wir bei ein paar Bier Informationen ausgetauscht.


Where are we: 50km out of Lusaka, Zambia (we had a hard day OK!!!!)

Date: 12th March 2005

End GPS: S15 00.282 E28 09.517

Total Kilometres: 51,091 km

Weather: 31 C

Camping: Fringilla Farm

A long day behind the wheel…..all 50 km of it.  It was so late in the day by the time we had shopped and uploaded the web site we could only make it this far before the light started to fade. Fringilla farm actually turned out to be a good stop and I would recommend it for people coming to Lusaka from the North. We ended up talking with the son of the owner, the black dog of the family, all the others are all devote Christians, Andrew on the other hand had found his God in Brandy and beer. It wasn’t long before we where driving over the road to his neighbours who run a chicken farm (over the road in Africa means 30km up the road). There we found a party in full flow and we enjoyed a fun night around the fire pit sharing laughs with all the clan.


David hat uns ein riesiges Fruehstueck gemacht und danach sind wir zum Spar supermarket gefahren. Hier war das so modern sowas hab ich seit London nicht gesehen, noch nichtmal in Deutschland! Es gab hier absolut alles und am besten war, dass es ein Internetcafe gab, wo es Café Latte gab und wir mit dem Laptop anschliessen konnten so dass wir unsere Website hochladen konnten. Danach haben wir eine Kleinigkeit zu Mittag gegessen, waren noch in einer super Apotheke wo es alles gab und sind dann nur 50km ausserhalb von Lusaka gefahren, nur um aus der Stadt zu kommen und haben hier gecampt. Wir haben Andrew, den Sohn des Besitzers, kennengelernt. Dieser war gelangweilt und wollte alles von uns wissen und von sich erzaehlen und hat uns eingeladen mit ihm zu Freunden zu fahren um zu grillen und Bier zu trinken. Also sind wir in seinen Pickup wagen gestiegen und auf die andere Strassenseite auf eine Farm gefahren. Hier wurden wir ganz freundlich von 2 Hunden und einer Gruppe weisser Zambier begruesst, haben ums Feuer gesessen und uns unterhalten…


Where are we: Shiwa Ngandu, Zambia

Date: 13th – 15th March 2005 

End GPS: S11 10.185 E31 35.998

Total Kilometres: 51,849 km

Weather: Mixed bag

Camping: Kapishya

We drove over 760 km today which is an indication of how good the road north is. This is the main highway to Tanzania so is in top condition. We are in Jehovah country, literally every 10 km there is a Jehovas Witness hall. Bushcamping is thus out of the question as it would be by far too dangerous with these guys about. We could be talked and preched to death.

We kept going in the dark for the last 10 km to Shiwa Ngandu. This is a very large estate that was established at the turn of the century by a British Colnel in the British Army. He had been stationed in the area and had been instrumental in establishing the boundaries with the neighbouring Belguim Congo (DRC) and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia).

Whilst in Nysasland (Malawi) he had stumbled upon Shiwa Ngandu lake, which local tradition had was the place of the Royal crocodiles. He had been enchanted by the place and stayed on, proclaiming the land as his estate upon which he built the stately Shiwa Ngandu or Africa house. The house would look not out of place in the English countryside with its fine red bricks, high walls, entrance gates, driveways and ornamental gardens. It is difficult to believe that it is less then 100 years old. It has an Alice lost in Wonderland feel about it. The grandeur of an English stately home set amongst soaring Eucalyptus and other non indigenous plant varieties. I almost expected to see a game of crocket being played on the lawn, whilst ladies in Victorian dresses nibbled on cucumber sandwiches and men strolled in their pin stripe blazer, twiddling with their moustaches as they discussed commerce and their next bold adventure into the heart of darkness.

The place is an anomaly in the African landscape that surrounds it, yet it feels stragely familiar. I guess the grand scheme and design worked for that is what feeling it is intended to portray to an Englishman in this foreign land. I do not normally agree with such blatant symbols of the colonial grandeur of the past, yet Shiwa is different. It was never intended as the masters house from where he could survey his land and issue out his decrees to the local savages.

Shiwa has and still is more like a cooperative between the local indigenous people and the new generation of Malawian. Shiwa was in the 1980 a derelict shell of its former self. The daughter of the colnel had lived at Africa house with her husband and they had been actively involved in local rights, land reform and putting and end to the ivory trade. They were murdered it is assumed for their prominent activities in such areas. After their deaths Shiwa sat empty and over the years nature started to take here back to its roots. This was more then just a travesty of such a fine piece of architecture disintegrating, it was the disintegration of the cooperative which had supported 100s of families in their livelihood of farming. Thankfully in the 1990s two of the daughters sons elected to return to Shiwa from their own flourishing careers in Malawi and to invest in a major restoration program. Today Shiwa stands bold, lavishing in its former glory by supporting the local people through employment in agriculture and tourism. The house is lived in and run as a guest house by the elder brother Charlie a somewhat aloof man, whilst the younger and more outgoing brother Mark, has established a lodge on the estate next to geologiocal thermal baths. The lodge, named Kapishya, is very nice and it is is easy to forget you are in Africa when you walk through its English Cottage garden.. Indeed Mark admitted he has inherited his mothers green fingers. The setting is idyllic with a river flowing gracefully past the end of the gardens manicured lawns, a sun terrace offers sanctuary from the heat of the day, lush borders and pots of flowers and schrubs abound offering a spectacular array of local and foreign specimens. The house nestles amongst the green and colourful foliage, its higgledy piggledy contours almost comical yet reminiscent of a quaint Devon Cottage. Mark is working hard to develop Kapishya. As he put it “trying to find the balance between developing it but not to commercialise it”. It’s not just the lodge he is developing, they are working hard with the local people that live on the land on education, health, subsistence and commerce. Through a series of programs they are teaching the people skills they have long forgotten and stopped using.

As for the hot springs………..awwwwwwhhhhhhhhhh. Fantastic, image reclining in 40 C pure waters, there is no mineral content at all so no sulphurus smelling rotten eggs. The springs have been left natural and so you relax in the hot water amongst a backdrop of African bush, to the sounds of the wildlife about you and in the evening you can lay on your back and star gaze whilst the hot water gently massage and soothes your tired limbs and joints. Yes Kapishya is highly recommended. It is 10$US pppd but that does includes unlimited use of the hot springs……it is a trifle expensive but personally I rate it and think you would pay a lot more for such a pleasant setting and to visit other hot springs.


Nachdem wir alles zusammengepackt haben und los wollten kam George, der Besitzer und Vater von Andrew und hat uns eine Plastiktuete voller Rusk (hartbrot) mitgegeben um Charly und Joanna in Shiwa Ngandu zu geben. Die Strasse war sehr guter Asphalt und schoene Landschaft und so sind wir gluecklich Richtung Norden gefahren. Die vielen kleinen Kirchen wurden von “Kingdom Halls” Zeugen der Jehovas ersetzt und die Chongalollos durch haarige grosse braune Tausendfuessler. (Unglaublich wenn man sieht was wir Weissen hier in Afrika so angestellt haben mit den ganzen Gottesglaube etc. und das Schlimmste ist die Missionare sind alle immer noch hier und versuchen den einheimischen Glauben und Traditionen umzukrempeln!! Sorry, aber wir haben solche Missionare in Livingstone getroffen – soviel Scheiss kann man gar nicht in einem Satz reden wie die!)

Shiwa Ngandu wurde in 1930 von einem Britischen Colonel gebaut, der helfen wollte die Grenze zwischen Nordrhodesian (Zambia) und Belgischem Congo (DRC) zu etablieren. Es sollte das groesste und glamouroeste Haus Afrikas werden und ist noch heute Haus Afrika genannt. Seine Tochter die das Haus naach seinem Tod uebernommen hat, wurde mit ihrem Mann in den fruehen Neunziger Jahren unter misterioesen Umstaenden ermordet, da sie zuviel Einsicht in die Zambische Politik hatten.

Jetzt wird es von dem Enkel Charly und seiner Frau gefuehrt die auch gleichzeitig dort wohnen, 30 km weiter entfernt noch auf dem Gut, sind die Kapishya Hotsrpings, wo Mark Harvey, der andere Enkel eine sehr nette und urige Lodge gebaut hat. Hier haben wir gecampt und sind nachts zu den naturbelassenen Hotsprings zum schwimmen gegangen. Das war so cool, der Nebel stieg von den Quellen auf und rundherum ist Busch und wenn man nach oben guckt kann man den schoenen Sternenhimmerl sehen. Mark hat die Quellen total natuerlich gelassen, nur eine kleine Mauer gebaut damit das Wasser etwas hoeher ist. Die Quellen sind 40 C und haben keinen Schwefel oder Mineralien und sind durch die Erdbewegung der Rift Valley entstanden. Total cool und entspannend!

Das Haus haben wir uns nur von aussen angeguckt da es sonst 20 US$ pp kostet, wahnsinn! Der gute Charly konnte sich noch nicht mal dazu bringen seine Rusk persoenlich in Empfang zu nehmen….einige Leute finden sich einfach zu wichtig….

Where are we: Mpulunga, Lake Tanganyika, Zambia

Date: 16th – 17th March 2005

End GPS: S08 45.586 E31 06.892

Total Kilometres: 52 228 km

Weather: hot and humid, rain, storm

Camping: Nkupi Lodge

So after our relaxation in the hot springs we headed down the dirt track west toward the tar road that shall take us up to Lake Tanganyika, following in the footsteps of Dr Livingstone on his quest to find the African interior and the source of the Nile. Tanganyika is the longest lake in Africa and was originally thought by Dr Livingstone to be the source of the Nile. He and Stanley diagreed bitterly over this and it was only after Livingstones death in the African interior that proof finally came about that indeed Stanley was proved correct in his assumptions that the Nile rivers source was actually from another large inland lake, Lake Victroria. The waters of Tanganyika lap against the shoreline of four countries, DRC, Burundi, Tanzania and Malawi. The lake is still important today in sustaining a large fishing industry and for the steamships that still ply trade between the 4 countries.  We traveled to Mpulunga on the far sourthern shores of the lake. The town has grown up around the fishing industry and boasts of it importance in the commercial fishing industry. Like any such town built around marine life, it has a shabby, smelly air about it. The town itself is a ramshackle display of buildings and a large open air market. The shops sell all you can not need and it has all the appearance of any other fishing town in Africa. Yet as soon as the sun sets Mpulunga starts to rock. The high street is brightly illuminated and the shops that lay dormant in the daytime spring to life pumping out music whilst the bars do a good trade and the restaurants fill the stomachs of the people. There is money here both from the fishing and from the trade that comes in every Friday aboard the steamer as she moors up at the jetty after her voyage down from Tanzania.

We stayed at Nkupi lodge, named after the fish. It use to be a bit of a hippy trip but now it is owned by an Indian and run by a lovely lady, Charity. The place seemed to be undergoing renovation when we where there. It is simple but pleasant and is set just back from the shoreline of the lake. We ate a good meal prepared by Charities auntie, of Ngupi and rape (a green spinach like plant that is cooked with onion, ginger and chillies). A bit pricey but it did feed 3 of us till we were stuffed. You can swim in the lake but both Bilharzia and crocs can make it a bit concerning. We met an interesting German here. He has been coming to the lake for over 15 years to collect core samples and artifacts from its depths. It turned out he is a Evolutionologist? I had never heard of this, but he assured us that it is the science that studies and supports the theories put forward by Charles Darwin. Lake Tanganyika is important in the research as its sediments are hundreds of thousand years old and are as such a time capsule of information.


Nachdem wir uns noch mit Marc unterhalten haben und er uns ein paar Tips gegeben hat sind wir umj 11:55 Uhr endlich losgekommen. Es fing an zu regnen und wurde ein kurzes Gewitter. Die Strasse wurde immer schlechter und immer mehr Leute spazierten darauf, leider hat es ein Huhn nicht geschafft uns auszuweichen, obwohl wir mit quitschenden Reifen gebremst haben (vergisst nicht dies ist ein 3.5T schwerer Landy!)…..

Wir kamen dem Lake Tanganyka immer naeher und somit auch einem anderen 7. Weltwunder – der Great Rift Valley. Die Landschaft war traumhaft und es wurde wieder dunkel und das Licht so wunderschoen. Als wir in Mpulungu ankamen hat uns das kleine Fischerdorf mit dem einzigen Hafen in Zambia sofort gefallen. Ueberall waren kleine einheimische Bars, Musik kam von ueberall und lachende Leute auf der Strasse, einige Damen verkauften ihr Strassenessen…. Die Nkupi Lodge haben wir aber eine halbe Stunde lang nicht gefunden. Als wir dort ankamen haben wir Brote gemacht und uns mit zwei Deutschen Krankenschwestern, Peggy und Sina, die hier voluntarisch gearbeitet haben, unterhalten und sind wieder relative frueh ins Bett gegangen.

Am naechsten Tag haben wir es ruhig angehen lassen und sind mit den Maedels zum Markt spaziert. Es war herrlich, wieder so wie wir es kennen – man kann alles kaufen und die Damen finden es urkomisch wenn wir etwas von denen kaufen, besonders wenn David mit ihnen flirtet. Danach haben wir uns in eine Bar gesetzt Cola getrunken und die Leute beobachtet.

Am Nachmittag haben wir am Computer gearbeitet und uns vom Regen versteckt.


Where are we: On road to Malawi border along Tanzania, Zambia

Date: 18th March 2005

End GPS: S09 06.687 E031 43.246

Total Kilometres: 52 407 km

Weather: hot, sunny and rain again

Camping: bushcamp

We have headed just up the lakeshore to the east to visit the second highest waterfalls in Africa. Kalambo falls plummet over 200 metres vertical into the gorge below. The tranquil river above does little to betray the sheer terror that lies just over the lip of what looks a very inviting pool to swim in. The falls are a national heritage site however they have only built some concrete paths. There are no fences to stop you and if you are not looking it is quite possible to walk over the cliff edge where a 200 metres sheer drop awaits you. Now it isn’t the falling I worry about, it’s the sudden stop at the bottom that gets me. Naturally I was brave as ever and strayed no more then 10 metres from the edge whilst my intrepid wife hung over the edge taking photos. She even wanted to go and lay on the rock edge by the waterfall lip and peer over……………….yeh, right!!!! The falls are an awesome sight set amongst the green rolling hills that cascade down to the waters of Lake Tanganyika, the river separates Tanzania from Zambia. We are almost as far north as we were when at N’Zeto in Angola on the journey down. Almost half way home, but from here we shall instead head east and then south once again to take in the views and diving of Lake Malawi and then over to northern Mozambique.

On the road again heading this time for Malawi and another great lake of Africa. The road is dirt track as we are cutting across country. Sticky and slippy we are nevertheless making good progress. The road is nice and runs us through lots of villages and settlements. The people here take pride in their homes and many are adorned with flower gardens, fences and even hedges. The people are very friendly and excited to see Mzungu traveling through their land. We stopped often to take photos of the ladies as they walked along the track balancing all sorts on their heads.

We found ourselves a bushcamp of the track in a hidden clearing. We could hear a settlement nearby but the people seemed to not hear us as we arrived and we actually enjoyed a night of peace and quiet under the stars.


Es hat in der Nacht geregnet und am Morgen immer noch! Also haben wir unser nasses Zelt weggepackt sind nochmal kurz zum Seeufer gegangen und dann losgefahren. Die Strasse zu den Kalambo Falls war ziemlich schlecht aber fuehrte an kleinen Siedlungen vorbei wo die Kinder alle geschrien und gewunken haben. Die Wasserfaelle sind die zweithoechsten einzelnen Faelle in Afrika und wunderschoen gelegen, allerdings gibt es keinen Zaun oder sonstige Absicherung und man kann direkt am Klippenende entlang gehen – das war natuerlich nicht wirklich was fuer David mit seiner Hoehenangst und hat sich fast in die Hose gemacht wenn ich Photos machen wollte. Somit hab ich mich dann doch nicht auf die trockenen Steine ganz oben wo der Fall runtersausst hingelegt um zu gucken wie das so aussieht und wie die Photos gewesen waeren….Auf der anderen Seite war Tanzania!

Als wir wieder beim Auto waren kamen die Beaufsichtiger und wollten natuerlich Eintrittsgeld fuer uns und Landy haben, so eine bescheuerte Regelung in Afrika kommt immer noch aus Suedafrika….

Wir sind dann weitergefahren und haben um 17:11 Uhr ein schoenes Buschcamp vom Weg ab gefunden. Hier haben wir das Zelt aufgebaut, eine Siedlung in der Ferne gehoert und wie in alten Zeiten Sardinen mit Spaghetti gekocht. Es wurde ziemlich nasskalt und alles war feucht, also haben wir uns schon um 20:30 Uhr ins Zelt verkrochen.


Where are we: Karonga, Malawi

Date: 19th March 2005

End GPS: S09 56.246 E33 56.681

Total Kilometres: 52 791 km

Weather: 23 C, humid and rainy

Camping: Mufwa Lodge, Lake Malawi

We rose early in order ot get a head start on the day. We have a fair way to go to get to Malawi today. We must first go north to the border town of Nakonde to get our paperwork signed out of Zambia, this is because there is no border control on the route into Malawi via Chitipa. As we rose from the tent bursting for the loo the local schoolkids discovered our secret camp. It’s always when you are busting for a pee that you get discovered. We made breakfast and packed up to the giggles and antics of the kids as they watched these strange Mzungu go about their business. We called them to come over but they were to shy and did not want to invade our space, so they just sat and stared. We finally were ready to go and waved and hooted goodbye and then merrily sank up to the axle in mud!!!!

Not quite the exit we had planned. So out we jumped, off with the sand ladders, a bit of digging (courtesy of one of the locals, I wasn’t allowed to dig) then with a back and forward momentum and 10 kids pushing and pulling we extracted the DuK from her mud bath. After cleaning off the ladders and shovel we packed up, gave a donantion to the sweety fund and set off, with one of the local guys who wanted a ride up the road.

We dropped him at his aunties house, spoke a little with the local ladies with their babies and then the Mzungu headed off down the road. We reached Nakonde early and I made a quick visit to Tanzania to enquire about visas to see if it would be cheaper for us to get a multi entry visa and go to Malawi via the tar road and Tanzania where diesel is cheaper. No luck as they don’t issue multi entry visas on the border so we shall indeed head south east to the border to Malawi via Chitipa. The paperwork was all done very quickly and with a smile. African borders can sometimes be quite easy and stress free. We headed back out of town and drove about 70 km south before taking a left turn onto a donkey track that would lead us to Malawi. The donkey track soon disappeared and we found ourselves bundi bashing through villages and then driving what appeared to be a river bed that was once a track. Our progress slowed to our usual off road 15kph. After another 70 km we finally picked up what was a much better dirt track that within minutes had us delivered into the outskirts of Chitipa. Here we did our entry paperwork with immigration and customs. Probably the most friendly immigration man we shall ever meet not just in Africa but the world. He was an ambassador of his country and immensely proud of his country. The customs guy tried to tell Kat she needed to pay for the carnet stamp so she just said “No” and that was that he duely signed and gave it back to her. All done in 10 minutes we drove through town and headed out on the dirt, potholed track toward Karonga. This is  about 100 km and has you running up and down as the road winds its way over the southern most part of the rift valley. It was reminiscent of the ring road that we took in Cameroun. We were running out of light and finding a bushcamp was proving difficult as the ground was steep at the road edge. We chose to continue to Karonga even though it would involve driving in the dark. We calculated a low risk as the road was quiet and dry. Cue the rain……..and the flat tyre and the steep downhills and the big potholes and the trucks coming up the hill………..As always we spoke to soon and sure enough the left rear punctured on a large pothole. We got out and the heavens opened, choked the wheels and jack the Duk up and changed the wheel in the dark. 20 minutes from start to end, not bad in such nice conditions. We eventually arrived in Karonga at about 19:00. We drove to the Marina club but they did not have any camping and so we where sent round the corner to another motel type place. Here we could camp, get a meal, drink a cold beer and have a shower. Cool we were sold and elected to stay. We did however have one last problem, the bloody handbrake got stuck on due to the water we had driven through on the way to the border. It was seized on, but it could wait till the morning. So we ate an African interpretation of the chicken curry, drank a couple of Kuche Kuche beers and fell into bed knackered. 


Wir konnten in der Nacht das Dorf hoeren und wilde Trommel- und Gesangsgeraeusche, als ob es ein Fest war. Also hat es auch nicht lange gedauert bis wir entdeckt wurden. Erst haben die Maenner heimlich durchs hohe Grass geschaut und dann auch ein paar Frauen. Wir haben gewunken und sie gelacht. Als ich mit dem Kelly Kettle unser Wasser kochen wollten haben sie sich natuerlich totgelacht und gefragt was ich koche. David hat gesagt sie sollen rueberkommen, haben sich aber nicht getraut. Ich bin dann auf sie zu gekommen und habe alle Haende geschuettelt und der kleine Junge hat sich aengstlich hinter seiner jungen Mama versteckt. Wir wollten gerade los da sind wir total im weichen Matsch eingesackt! Also haben wir die Jungs gebeten uns zu helfen, ich immer mit denen vorne den Landy geschaukelt und angeschoben und Kommando gegeben. Es war sehr lustig, wir mussten sogar unsere Sandbleche rausholen so dass David DuK rueckwaerts rausfahren konnte. Ich hab ausserdem versucht Photos zu machen, aber musste natuerlich mit anpacken. Die Dorfbewohner fanden das ganze Spektakel natuerlich ganz toll! Als wir endlich auf festen Boden waren haben wir uns bedankt und einem der Jungs ein bisschen Geld zum Verteilen gegeben. Dieser wollte mit uns mitfahren, da 3 km entfernt eine Beerdigung stattfand. Ein Baby ist gestorben, deswegen konnten wir auch Nachts das Getrommel und den Gesang hoeren….

Die Piste war ok und ueberall waren die Menschen in ihrem besten Kleid um zur Kirche zu gehen (obwohl es Samstag war). Wir mussten einen kleinen Umweg unternehmen da bei dem Grenzuebergang nach Malawi kein Posten auf Zambischer Seite ist, also mussten wir nach Nakonde zur Tanzanischen Grenze fahren um uns aus Zambia rausstempeln zu lassen. Wir waren froh hier nicht nach Tanzania ausreisen zu muessen – Afrikanisches Chaos herrschte hier. David hat die Erlaubnis bekommen kurz nach Tanzania zu spazieren um zu sehen wie die Dieselpreise dort sind, waehrend ich geduldig gewartet habe und von allen moeglichen Jungs angeschwatzt wurde….

Von hier sind wir eine geteerte Strasse gefahren bis wir zu dem Abzweig nach Malawi kamen. Und sofort haben wir gedacht das schaffen wir heute nie! Der Weg war ein typischer Eselweg mit riesen Steinen im Weg und grosse Pfitzen und was sonst noch auf der Route….Na-ja wir haben es natuerlich bewaeltigt und sind dann gegen 16:00 Uhr in Chitipa, Malawi, auf der Grenze angekommen. Hier wurden wir ganz freundlich empfangen und ueber Malawi und das Strassensystem informiert. Die Piste wurde dann auch etwas besser und die Landschaft sehr schoen, immer hoch und runter. Daemmerung kam und wir haben gerade ueberlegt ob wir ein buschcamp finden sollen oder 30 km bis zum Dorf am See weiterfahren sollen, als wir einen Platten hatten! Toll bis David das Ersatzrad runter hatte und ich den Wagenheber geholt habe war es schon dunkel! Trotzdem hat es nur 20 Minuten gedauert den Reifen (ja, wieder genau der gleiche der immer kaputt geht!!!) zu wechseln, aber David war dann so angenervt dass er zum Campingplatz wollte und ein Bier trinken wollte….Ausserdem haben wir keine Lichtungen gefunden wo wir haetten campen koennen…..

In Karonga haben wir uns ein paar lodges angeguckt, konnten dort aber nicht campen. Dann haben wir Mufwe Lodge direkt am See gefunden, wo wir auf dem riesigen Rasen campen konnten. Es war wohl vor 15 Jahren mal eine gute Lodge und nun ziemlich heruntergekommen und kaum Security also wollten wir uns noch eine andere angucken und sind gerade 2km weit gekommen da war unsere Handbremse immer noch angezogen und wir konnten sie einfach nicht losbekommen- es hat furchtbar gestunken!! Also mussten wir umkehren, haben bei der Mufwe Lodge geparkt und sind ins einfache Restaurant gegangen, haben Curry bestellt und ein kaltes Malawische KucheKuche Bier getrunken. Was fuer ein Tag!


Where are we: Livingstonia, Malawi

Date: 20th March 2005

End GPS: S10 35.135 E034 07.676

Total Kilometres: 52 903 km

Weather: hot, overcast, 29.5 C

Camping: Lukwe Ecolodge, on edge of cliff overlooking Lake Malawi

First duties of the day, repair the cylinder on the handbrake. The shoes were well and truly seized on to the drum and I was glad of the muscle power of a couple of local guys who turned out to be mechanics. We stripped the handbrake, cleaned all of the components and reassembled it. Job done. Kat had packed away, changed money and we hit the road south along the lake shore. A really beautiful drive and even more awesome scenaery as we reached the escarpment where the town of Livinstonia is located. This is where Dr Livingstone clambered to view and chart parts of Lake Malawi. We had a spectacular view of the lake from the road and then stopped at an overlander lodge on the lake shore. Very nice but it had that typical attitude of an overland run establishment. They have this arrogance about them as if they are so special and cool……..all they do is drive a truck….to quote one overland driver who I pissed off because I dared to suggest they should be more educational to their guest and act as a guide… quote him “I drive the *****ing truck and that’s what I do”……OK so you’re a yorkie bar trucker….so stop acting as if you are an intrepid adventurer come famous explorer……….. it seems only the Dragoman drivers are down to earth…….Naturally we ate lunch and left. We drove 2 km down the road, took a right turn and heaed up the switch back track leading up the escarpment toward Livingstonia. We stopped at the Mushroom Farm, as Neil in the Young Ones would say “Yehh, cooool man”. It is actually really cool, run by a Mzungu who we did not see, but he was in the ether somewhere. The place is an eco lodge with two rooms,  sawdust drop loos and a neat charcoal fridge (the charcoal is dowsed in  water and the wind supercools as it dries the water in the coal thus causing a temp gradient that sucks the warmer air from within the fridge compartments). Sadly there was nowhere for us to park DuK and pitch up so we headed a few Km up the road to another eco lodge run by a Canadian couple and their teenage daughter. This is their retirement plan and the place is very nice. It has 5 basic but nice wood and reed chalets, an open lounge and kitchen area and very cool refreshing trees and gardens where they grow their own veggies and have their own farm animals. The views from the chalets and lodge are spectacular of Lake Malawi and it is a good setting for sunrise photos over the lake. It was a very relaxed evening and we enjoyed the company of Chawe who is the manager for Bruse and his wife.


David hat heute morgen erstmal die Handbremse repariert. Das ganze Auto hat gestunken und zwei einheimische Mechaniker kamen vorbei und haben geholfen. Ich hab mit einem Hollaender Geld getauscht und somit hatten wir endlich Malawi Kwacha. Um 11:00 Uhr sind wir losgekommen und haben erstmal getankt, ein wenig aber nicht viel billiger als Zambia! Die Leute hier waren sehr hilfsbereit und haben immer gelaechelt, sehr nett! Sobald wir jedoch am See entlang weiter suedlich gefahren sind kamen die ausgestreckten Haende, Hungerzeichen und “give me sweets” anstatt die Daumen hoch und ein nettes Winken…..Wir Touristen haben mal wieder eine nette Kultur zerstoert, wie so oft in Afrika….

In Chititembe haben wir auf einem Campingplatz angehalten und dort zu Mittag gegessen. Dann sind wir weiter nach Livingstonia gefahren. Das Missionarsdorf erreicht man ueber einen steilen Pass der sich den Berg entlang mit super Blick auf den See hochwindet. Livingstonia ist 1199 m hoch und hat fantastische Ausblicke auf den See.

Hier haben wir Lukwe Ecolodge gefunden und gecampt. Ein sehr netter Platz, der seit 5 Monaten von einem Amerikanischen Paar gefuehrt wird, die mit ihrer 12-jaehrigen Tochter aus Michigan hier hergezogen sind. Haley, die Tochter, geht jetzt hier zur Schule und lernt ganz schoen viel von den Einheimischen – sehr interssant!


Where are we: 10 km south of Chinteche, Malawi

Date: 21st March 2005

End GPS: S11 53.650 E34 10.032

Total Kilometres: 53 141 km

Weather: hot and sunny

Camping: Nkhawzi Camp

We ate breakfast with Chawe and Hayle the daughter of the owner Bruce. She is really quite a switched on teenager. Not missing life back home in the US, she is now integrated into the local school and community. The family has only been in Malawi for 5 months but already she is speaking the local language. She is proud of her schooling here, saying they push her and make her learn unlike at home in the US where she had been put in “Special” classes as she was a “slow” learner. Here in Malawi she had learnt what it was like to get up at 5:00 and to have to walk for an hour to school in the dark, to help friends with their chores at home before they could play. To view having a cold coke as a major treat. To understand that she was priveledged in the community in which she lived. Wow, lets hope that Hayle educates her friends back in the US as to how distorted our lives have become.

We made our way along the back roads that take you over the escarpment. This is a much prettier road then the main road and it leads you through green valleys, villages and tobacco plantations. We eventually came out on the main road heading towards Nkhata bay. This is described in various books as a pearl of Malawi and we looked forward to lazing under a palm tree on a deserted beach………Uhhhhh, no. Nkhata bay is a bustling town set on the shore of a small bay. It had a bad air about it. Too many tourists had past by this way and the place was more hassle then it was worth. We checked out a few places but found it all claustrophobic and we decided not to stay. We headed south down the tar road and eventually found Nkhawzi camp which was set on the lakeshore, was very peaceful, had lots of trees and shade to camp under and a beautiful sandy beach which we had all to ourselves. Much better. We enjoyed a restefull night in the company of Jim Davidson the owner and two fellow guests.


Heute morgen haben wir mit Chawe und den anderen Arbeitern gefruehstueckt und gekloent. Haley hat uns viele interessante Geschichten erzaehlt und Chawe hat mir dann seinen Grill geschenkt, den ich so gut fand. Suess, der ist zwar total verrostet aber sehr gut zu gebrauchen!

Heute war Livingstone Day, ein Feiertag, was in Afrika immer bedeutet, dass die glaubigen Leute sich schick machen und in die Kirche gehen und gut drauf sind und der Rest der maennlichen Bevoelkerung schon um 10 Uhr morgens voellig betrunken ist….

Wir wollten den Bergpass entlang nach Nkhata Bay fahren. Der Weg war gut und die Landschaft schoen und die Menschen warm und freundlich. Wir sind an vielen Tabakfeldern vorbeigekommen. Tabak ist Malawis Hauptexport und waechst ueberall im Hochland. Mittags sind wir in Mzuzu angekommen und waren endlich bei der Bank und einkaufen.

Wir haben in einem kleinen Restaurant Samosas geholt und von einem Jungen hartgekochte Eier gekauft und uns auf unser Dach gesetzt und den Strassenkuenstlern bei ihrem Akrobatikakt zugeschaut. Es war sehr nett und wir haben ihnen Trinkgeld und Samosas gegeben und Applaus von der ganzen Stadt bekommen. Ausserdem habe ich von einem Rastamann 10 Armbaender fuer 2,50$ gekauft! Die sind gut zum Tauschen oder als Geschenk.

Als wir in Nkhata Bay ankamen wurden wir schon wieder nur bloed angelabert und fanden die Campingplaetze nicht sehr sicher, also haben wir uns wieder aus dem Staub gemacht.

Ca. 50 Km weiter suedlich haben wir das Nkhawzi Camp gefunden, direkt am See gelegen und schoen ruhig. Wir wurden von drei verrueckten Hunden begruesst und haben dann auf dem Deck Bier getrunken und Pizza bestellt! Lecker! Wir haben Jim, den netten aber abgefuckten und betrunkenen Besitzer kennengelernt, der vor ein paar Monaten in einer anderen Lodge vom Deck gefallen ist, schwere Operationen haben musste und nun ein kuerzeres Bein hat und mit einem Gehwagen durch die Gegend faehrt; und zwei Deutsche, Harry und Silke, kennengelernt, die mit einem Magius Deutz Truck von Namibia gekommen sind und dort arbeiten. Wir hatten einen netten Abend und viel Bier….


Where are we: Kande Beach, Malawi

Date: 22nd March 2005 – 28th March 2005

End GPS: S11 57.073 E34 07.359

Total Kilometres: 53 149 km

Weather: hot and sunny, very nice

Camping: Kande Beach Camp

We are just 10 km down the road at Kande Beach where we shall spend Easter weekend diving for our Advanced Diver certification. The diving is at altitude and fresh water so it adds a bit more experience to our dives to date. The diving is a little restricted but it is still good fun and relaxing. The dive school is run by Marcel and Corinna, a mad Swiss couple who checked in to Kande beach whilst overlanding and never checked out. They have built themselves a fabulous diving school and home. Standards are very high here and Marcel is a very good if slightly eccentric instructor who has an aptitude for teaching Japanese students who have a problem of reverting to the fetal position when they come into contact with water.  We dived the island with Marcels trusty side kick Stan and enjoyed seeing all of the cichlids (their those pretty fish you see in Grandmas fish tank back home), the wreck (an old VW car) and the other wreck (a sunken mokoro). Next day we dived by ourselves testing out our navigation skills by circumnavigating the island underwater and we also dived on a reef that Marcel is looking at opening up for diving, tha later is at a depth of 28 metres (altitude adjusted) and makes for a good dive as you see large cat fish and other specimens. Thankfully no crocs though.  We found Kande beach a good place and stayed for easter, it was quiet and no overland trucks appeared which made for a very relaxed atmosphere. The beach here is beautiful and the waters of the lake are 28C and Bilharzia free. There is plenty to do here as well from scuba, to sailing and horseriding including a swim in the lake with the horses afterward. The bar is relaxed and the people that run the place friendly. There is even a Soft Sands Café, a little overpriced but the food is very good. It just needs a little more friendly reception from its owners who may have been in Malawi to long and need a break. We highly recommend the place especially the horseriding and diving.


Heute sind wir viel gefahren – ganze 9 km!!! Wir hatten gehoert dass man hier tauchen kann und es einen schoenen Badestrand gibt. So war das auch und wir haben die Tage hier verbracht unseren PADI Open Water Advanced Kurs zu beenden, waren schwimmen und haben uns mit Marcel, unseren Tauchlehrer, und Corinna, seine Frau, angefreundet. Die beiden waren so nett, sehr ehrlich und lustig und wir hatten viel Spass und guten Kaffee – vielen Dank ihr beiden. Ausserdem haben wir uns mit anderen Leuten gut verstanden und uns gut unterhalten und versucht herauszufinden was wir eigentlich alle wollen vom Leben und in Afrika suchen….

Das Tauchen war cool und einen Tag sind David und ich ganz alleine mit einem Kompass um die Insel getaucht. Die Fische hier heissen Cichlids und es gibt tausende von verschiedenen Arten, bunte Aquariumfische. Die Mutter traegt ihre Jungen im Maul wenn sie sie beschuetzen will.

Malawi ist ziemlich guenstig fuer Wassersportarten und somit haben wir uns einen Tag einen Catamaran fuer eine Stunde fuer 6US$ gemietet und David hat mir Segeln beigebracht, das war auch sehr schoen und David war in seinem Element. Wir wollten immer fahren aber wurden immer wieder ueberredet zu bleiben und ausserdem waren wir tauchsuechtig und insbesondere David moechte am Liebsten seinen Divemaster machen und irgendwo in der Sonne als Tauchlehrer arbeiten…



Where are we: Lilongwe, Malawi

Date: 29th – 31st March 2005

End GPS: S13 59.951 E033 45.584

Total Kilometres: 53 563 km

Weather: hot in the day, rain at night

Camping: Kiboko Camp

We have driven south along the good tar road to Lilongwe where we shall arrange our Mosi and Tanzania visa. The Mosi one costs $16 for the two of us and the Tanzanian and whacking $100 for two visas. The Mosi embassy is very friendly and quick, they had our visas ready in half a day. The Tanzanian embassy is friendly but bureaucratic although after explaining that I could not leave our passports without  receipt we suddenly found we had our visas issued in 3 hours?

Lilongwe is a rapidly developing city with many new buildings, shops and restaurants going up. It has a large Lebanese contingent which means, yep, there is great food and supermarkets filled with all you need. There is also a fully stocked Shoprite, fast internet and even Nandos in town so its not really roughing it here. We stayed at Kikobo backpackers lodge just out from  the main centre of town. Its clean and has everything you need and is cheaper then the Golf club which has only basic facilities. 


Wir haben uns endlich losgerissen und verabschiedet und sind die Asphaltstrasse nach Lilongwe gefahren. Am Strassenrand wurden Rattanmoebel und Baobabfruechte verkauft. Ich bin leider etwas faul geworden, um Photos zu machen und habe keine geschossen; wahrscheinlich weil immer so lange an einem Platz geblieben sind…

Lilongwe ist die Hauptstadt Malawis und hat einige sehr moderne Gebaeude und Firmen, ist aber ziemlich klein und nichts besonderes. Die Lebanesen haben hier wieder Oberhand, was heisst man kann alles in den Supermaerkten bekommen, normalerweise zu guten Preisen.

Wir haben hier unser Mozambique Visa beantragt und problemlos fuer 16US$ pp am Nachmittag bekommen. Die Tanzanische Botschaft sah ganz anders aus – Korruption beginnt….Angeblich brauchen Deutsche kein Visa fuer Tanzania, so die Buecher. Aber wir beide brauchen eins, fuer 50US$ pp!! Es gibt keinen Beleg!!! Und wir brauchen eine Photokopie von unserem Reisepass…..Die Leute da waren so anstrengend, dass wir kein Bock mehr auf Afrika hatten. Wir sollten das ja alles gewohnt sein aber ich glaub wir sind ein wenig ausgelaugt…..

Na-ja, wir haben es dann bekommen und die Warterei ueber uns ergehen lassen, immer mit einem Laecheln aber zaehneknirschend!

Ausserdem waren wir im Internetcafe, das erste Mal seit Lusaka, und hatten ueber 30 Emails! Das war toll, vielen Dank an alle die geschrieben haben, wir haben uns total gefreut und auch geantwortet! Da das Internet langsam war und wir schreiben wollten, waren wir fast vier Stunden da. Ausserdem haben wir Neuigkeiten gehoert, dass die Faehre ueber den Ruvuma Fluss von Mozambique nach Tanzania nicht faehrt und wenn man eine Alternative findet, kostet das US$100! Also haben wir wild versucht mehr info zu bekommen und waren auf alle moeglichen Reiseforen – mal sehen was dabei rauskommt, wir fahren trotzdem erstmal nach Mozambique….






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