First impressions of Malawi

We left Zambia early in the morning, and saw some more wildlife as we left our campsite, including the first giraffes of our trip. Zambia proved to be such a positive surprise and I knew it was a country I would love to return to in the future.


But Malawi was calling our name. It was one of the places I had been looking forward to the most. The visa for Malawi was a whopping $75. Apparently, it had been free for Europeans to travel to Malawi until the previous year, so this was a pretty big surprise, especially as we only stayed there for about four days. I would definitely recommend anyone to stay  longer in order to make the most of the visa, but also because the country really is worth it.

Malawi is a fairly small country (118,484 km2 according to wikipedia), with a population of over 16 million, and apparently the Lake alone already takes up a third of the area. So basically, there’s a lot of people in Malawi. What was also new was that most people own bikes, and you will see them cycling almost everywhere. I thought that was pretty awesome, as it is a much faster way of getting around than walking.

The first day again mainly consisted of driving, unfortunately. The landscape looked similar to that in Zambia, but hillier, and a lot of windy roads. In the evening, we saw the most amazing sunset from our truck. It was unbelievable and I am sad we weren’t able to stop in order to take pictures.

We made it to our campsite when it was already dark, so we could only guess how beautiful it really was. We were right on the southern shores of Lake Malawi, and witnessed another moonrise, with the moon casting a long reflection on the lake. Although the full moon made a lot of the stars disappear, this sight was still worth it.


The next morning, we then got to see the campsite in its full glory. Unfortunately, we had to again leave really early so we couldn’t make too much of it anymore…


This is the truck we had been travelling in for about three weeks. I took this picture while breakfast was being set up by our guides.

Our first full day on the road in Malawi consisted of a few spontaneous pit-stops to have a look at what was around us. We got to meet a man who made bricks out of a termite mount and were able to admire his work while it dried in the sun. These bricks were used to build houses all around the area, he explained to us.


Shortly after this, we stopped at a rubber plantation.


There was a man working at the plantation, but unfortunately, we weren’t able to talk to him as he didn’t speak English. Nevertheless, we still got to see him at work.


As we stopped for lunch, these wonderful ladies walked past us. I love their colourful clothes and the way they’re able to carry such heavy baskets on their head. It never ceases to amaze me.


In the afternoon, we stopped at shops along the road. There was definitely no way of being left alone and look at everything peacefully, but that’s just a part of it, I guess. I ended up getting a painting of Lake Malawi with a couple of Baobab trees at sunset. It was a pretty nice thing to get on such a trip, as it took almost no room in my bag.


That was it for the first couple of days in Malawi. The next few days, we will be spending at the northern shores of the lake.


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