Day 206 Malawi : Lilongwe - Liwonde

Day 206 Malawi

Trip Distance 275 km (177 m) Total Distance 22705 km (14111 m)
Road Condition 75% tar 25% dirt  
Time to travel 4.5 hrs 2 hrs (game drive)  
Cost of diesel MK199.30 (£0.90)    
Stopover
Liwonde National Park
Mvuu Safari Camp S14 51.095 E35 17.675 MK4200 (US$30) - Campsite dry & dusty but lovely shade.  Clean hot showers and toilet, swimming pool, internet (Skyband) but bull baboon terrorising camp. Highly recommended.

Having had enough of ants (in Africa we always seem to be battling some sort of enemy! But onward and upward! T.I.A. - This Is Africa) we packed Sully up, kissed and hugged Ben and Kate goodbye (this is getting to be a bit Groundhog Day-ish :o)) and set off wishing them good luck at finding some fuel.  We drove out of Lilongwe and on the way stopped at the Land Rover dealership to pick up the rear brake dust covers - all welded up and hopefully reinforced enough to get us to SA.  We really must speak to Land Rover about this, because they are so flimsy and really not up to the job.  On the off chance we stopped at 3 garages - no diesel to be seen anywhere - didn't we know there was a national shortage, we were asked each time?

Our path to Liwonde took us through some lovely terrain and the drive was uneventful.  As we passed a small town called Balaka (just before Liwonde) I noticed that a BP garage at the side of the road had a queue of matatus and trucks.  "Aren't they vehicles that use diesel?" I asked Trevor.  So we stopped for a bit of a nosy.  Turns out that they were.  The station had been holding onto some diesel in their tanks and were just releasing it for sale now.  We joined the queue and 1 hour later had our tanks bulging.  We sms'd Ben and Kate to let them know but they had already managed to get fuel in Lilongwe - after a 4hr wait in a queue the previous evening after they'd been tipped off by someone at the hotel. 

We went and drew some more money having now depleted our stock of Kwachas and carried on towards Liwonde.  We arrived at the park gates, paid our US$5 entry fee each per day and US$1 for the car (this is a one-off fee and not per day) and, as it was now coming to the end of the day, had our first game drive through the park.  There are no major predators in the park although there are hyenas so the antelope (Sable, Kudu, Waterbuck, Impala, Bushbuck, Duiker & Sunni) and warthog population is prolific.  There are also elephant and an incredible array of bird life - Trevor was like a dog with 2 tails! Not to forget, of course, baboons and monkeys.

We drove the 30kms to the camp very slowly and just before we arrived at the camp came across a herd of elephant partying around a fallen baobab.

a_SG107649 a_SG107652

We finally left them to watched the sun set as we entered the camp a_SG107660 a_SG107661.  We registered and made our way to our pitch to set up for the night.

All was quiet and we slept peacefully.