Malawi! Today is colder than we expected and certainly colder than we hoped for, but we made it! Ten days ago, we left Hartbeespoort in South Africa and 3356 km later we’re now in Lilongwe, Malawi. It was a beautiful road trip through Botswana and Zambia with ups and downs as always, but we never experienced any vehicle break downs or medical issues, so we are extremely grateful.
This morning we didn’t have any troubles when leaving Zambia and also entering Malawi was no problem, it just took forever. Especially sorting out paperwork for the vehicle delayed us a lot and when we finally wanted to drive through the last gate, we had to share our breakfast biscuits with the officials. This is Africa and we love it! The drive to Malawi’s capital city was stunning. It just felt like the goats here were walking even more annoyingly in the middle of the road than in Zambia, but it didn’t bring down our happy vibe.
It’s not always easy to find dog friendly places to spend the night, but two days ago we had booked a cute cottage on the quiet side of town. Unfortunately we never got hold of the people there and the location on their website didn’t correspond with Google Maps. This morning -we were still in Zambia- we got they news that they couldn’t accommodate us after all (aaarrgghh!). They refunded us, but we still needed a place to stay. We found another option online, but they also never answered the phone so we had no choice but to take a chance and drive there. The gate was open, but everything else locked and no one around. So much for their name ‘’Smile Lodge’’… On Sundays you’re also unable to buy a local SIM card and WiFi wasn’t available anywhere, so we decided to drive back toward the border, as we had seen motels and campsites along that road.
Barefoot Safaris Campsites sounded the friendliest and we received a very warm welcome at the reception. However, when we asked him about the dogs, he had to think really hard. Because they’re always on leash, he thought it would be ok, but it was the first time anyone had this request, so he wanted to make sure with the owner. That turned out to be a welcoming South African who took over the place six months ago. He loves dogs, so not only were they allowed, he also arranged for them to enjoy some running around off their leash in a fenced off piece of the garden!
Howard also finally made it back into his home country and we’ll probably see him tomorrow. And then? Well, we don’t know yet. We’re going to try and meet all the contacts we made previously and we definitely want to explore some more of this interesting country. At least it already feels great in this ‘’Warm Heart of Africa’’!