Malawi

We left Tanzania and began heading south. We crossed the border close to nightfall and began looking for a campsite. Malawi like Ethiopia has its population concentrated around the major routes. This meant it was going to be difficult to find a wild camp without upsetting a local farmer. We kept heading south until we came across a sign saying “campsite” attached to what we thought was a dolphin, we pulled in and found ourselves in the middle of a clutch of beach huts. We were met by the hostess who battled again the gale coming of the lake to show us around. She prepared some Ugali for us and we set the tent up. The gale died down and we got our heads down. The next morning in the light of day we suddenly realised how lucky we were. Mr Mdokera’s campsite was right on Lake Malawi, it was a scene straight out of a travel magazine. Locals were out on the lake fishing in dug out canoes, a crowd had gathered around one returning boat to buy their catch. We then met Mr. Franco Salima, he was the manager of the campsite but in his former career had lectured about African politics. He gave us the run down on Malawi’s politics and why there had been violence against the government lately. Mr. Salima blamed the culture of African sham democracy were you can fill all the government posts with friends and family. He is hoping things will change in the near future.

We spent the morning jumping in and out of Lake Malawi and watched the comings and goings on the water. Then Jack shocked us all “Guys I need to get to a hospital”. Jack had been suffering from stomach pain for around a week at this stage, he said it had gotten worse and wanted to see a doctor. We packed ourselves up and said our goodbyes to Mr Mdokera and his family who had been excellent hosts. It was a 590km drive to Lilongwe and we knew we couldn’t get there that night but we had to get as close as possible. The next morning we got into Lilongwe and found a hospital for Jack. The doctor diagnosed his pain as a stomach ulcer and prescribed a course of antibiotics to clear it up. We headed into Lilongwe which we found to be the strangest capital city we have visited on the trip. There are no high rise buildings, lots of green spaces and everything is very spread out. We did our weekly shop and found a place to camp for the evening. The Sanctuary Lodge had an awesome campsite with great facilities. We went there to meet a contact who was interested in buying Doris. Sadly this turned out to be a dead end and we went on to the Zambian border and our appointment with Dr. Dave McKinney.

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