I was looking forward to arriving in the capital of Malawi as I wanted to have some good food and find somewhere with fast internet. I wasn’t expecting that a capital city might not have any petrol or electricity for almost the whole weekend!
I was told the mini-buses would still be running to the Zambian border as they would just buy black market fuel and put their prices up to cover it, but, still, I was glad to bump into a lovely English couple called Rory and Lucy who were going my way and offered to take me with them. Like most people I meet on this trip, Rory and Lucy are slightly mad (or sane, whichever way you look at it). Their kids have gone off to Uni so they’ve sold the family home, bought a Mercedez Sprinter van, decked it out nicely and gone on an adventure for a year or so. Why not? There’s nothing wrong with regressing back to your childhood, even if it did mean I had to put up with all their smutty campfire conversation…
They had managed to make it through Tunisia, Libya and Egypt a week or so before it all kicked off so I wasn’t surprised when they took our little misfortunes all in their stride. I was traveling in the back and at one point I heard Rory say “Oh dear…… that’s not good……. the gear stick has just snapped off in my hand”. After making do with a piece of brake pipe we finally arrived at Flat Dogs lodge in South Luangwa National Park.
Flat Dogs is amazing. I pictched my tent in a tree by the river and lay there at night listening to the hippos and elephants walking and munching their way through the camp and right under my tent.
The next day we drove into the park and saw a leopard in a tree with a kill, changed a flat tire and saw some massive 4m long crocs.
The animals are extraordinary. They’re like something out of a cartoon. There are big grey ones that feed themselves through a long nose that can touch the ground; Tall graceful ones with a neck as long as their legs; Horses painted black and white like something out of an Andy Warhol picture; Small human like creatures that spend all day scratching their bums; Ancient scaley animals that look like something from jurassic park (or flat dogs) and cuddly spotted bean bags that lie in trees with their legs dangling down. You couldnt make it up!
A couple of days ago me and a mate, James, moved on from Flat Dogs to Croc River Camp which is even closer to the action! My tent is pitched about 5m from the edge of the river bank and there were hippos and elephants all around last night. And they came a little closer today!! The connection speed isn’t fast enough to upload the pics on here but you should be able to see them via this link…