Day 208 Malawi : Liwonde National park

Dawn came in slowly as we managed to drag ourselves out of bed at 4:45am for our walking safari.  We made our way over to the lodge reception to meet up with Matthews who was taking us out again.  After a few cups of freshly brewed coffee and some shortbread biscuits, we had woken up and were on our way with Lawrence, our armed guard, picking up the rear a_SG107832 .  The morning walk brought us loads of bird sightings including the rare Lillian's Lovebird that had Trevor all aflutter a_SG107814 .  We found the reason why we had heard the hyenas serenading us last night - a young elephant calf had died a couple of days ago and they had been feasting on the carcass.

2 hours later we were back at camp in time for a quick breakfast and a quick walk back to the lodge reception for another cup of coffee (it's really goo and comes free with the safaris) and then onto the boat.  Graham and Sue joined us along with their friends Bernadette (also from UK) and Ronald who owns a lodge at Zomba Plateau.

The safari was turning out to be really pleasant with loads of animal and bird sightings, lots of chatting and friendly bantering about the types and names of birds spotted.    

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Crocodiles lazing on the bank of the lake Spurwing Lapwings and a croc basking in the sun Sacred Ibis, Open-billed Stork feeding with Warthog and Impala
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Goliath Heron Goliath Heron Hippo (yawn!)
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Burchell's Coucal Pied Kingfisher gobbling fish Great White Egret staring down a fish (out of screen!)

And then we spotted him hidden behind some reeds on the banks of the lake - a beautiful big bull elephant.

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Matthews switched off the boat engine and we drifted slowly towards him as he made his way out from behind the reeds to bathe and cool off in the lake.  The encounter left us quiet and reflective and I cried.

 

Video coming soon

 

We spent the afternoon lazing in the pool and a couple of hours swapping information with Graham and Sue.  That night I used up the last of the goat that we slaughtered at Lake Tana and made a goat and butternut bredie.  We kept half of it back for lunch on the road the next day.