From City to Bush: Lilongwe Chipata Mfuwe

Trip Start Jul 30, 2013
Trip End Nov 19, 2013

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Flag of Zambia  ,
Sunday, August 25, 2013

Had set the alarm so we were up at 5:30 doing the final pack.  Went over to the kitchen to make coffee to clear our heads.  Got everything loaded and went over to dining room for breakfast.  There was no electricity and the cook was doing everything by candlelight!  We had omelettes that were delicious and headed back to the room.  The driver was there waiting for us and we got loaded and were on our way by about 7:20.

The landscape got more dramatic as we approached the border.  It is in a mountainous area and then levels out again.   Going through customs on the Malawi side was easy and the same for customs in Zambia.  Moment of confusion about which visa we wanted but got that settled and Morphy was there to pick us up on the other side and off we headed for Chipata.

The landscape looked quite dry and there seemed to be a great deal of brick making in the villages we passed through.  Arrived in Chipata around 10:00 a.m. and Morphy asked if we would mind waiting for a group arriving from Lusaka around  noon also going to Wildlife Camp.  Said no problem and had a great time conversing with Moses his friend that is very informed on world issues.

The Teacher Teaches
Moses was a great help to us with the technology issues we had.  We were never able to find a 3G sim card while we were in Llongwe and we were counting on Morphy finding us one in Chipata.  When we got to Chipata Morphy had a sim for us but it was not a 3G.  Moses took the sim from his phone and put it in our pocket wifi and saw that we got a connection so we knew connections were possible with our wife. 

Moses then consulted with us about the amount of data we should purchase.  We finally agreed on an amount and they went and bought it for us.  Patiently he showed us how to load the data bundles to our wifi and then went through where and how we could purchase more
time if we needed to.
Time goes on forever...............
Twelve o'clock came and went, seems they got on slow bus, on and on we wait. Finally they have arrived at 4:30!  We had our things loaded in vehicle we all were going to be in (12 of them and the two of us).  Morphy hired another vehicle to carry their luggage and one of them because the seats were too small for four to sit comfortably.  Finally at 6:00 p.m. we were off to Mfuwe in the dark.  The road has improved greatly since our first visit.  There were several people selling illegal charcoal along the roadside. 

Got to Wildlife Camp around 8:30.  Unfortunately communication breakdown and the large group were staying in Barefoot Camp which is the pre-erected tents and we were staying in the campsite.  We were told to go to reception, leader of the group wants to go to Barefoot Camp but we finally got things sorted out and went to reception and told to drive to campsite and bartender would tell us where to camp. 

How fast can you set up your tent?
Got ourselves set up in an area near the bar and ablutions block.  Only problem was it was a little muddy there because they had watered there fairly recently.  After getting set up went to the bar and had a much deserved drink.  Visited with some of the people camping nearby and then off to bed.

We had our first wildlife experience that very night.  A very large elephant woke Robert up as it was tearing a branch from a tree near our tent.  He woke to the sounds and saw the legs before the night watchman came and chased it away.  Meanwhile,  Laura slept on.............  Right now, it is very cool in the morning and hard to tear yourself out of the covers!

Robert's notes:

 Transfer Operator For Lilongwe/Chipata/Mfuwe

Just FYI ....

can now state that there is one reliable company that does the
transfers, and though we had  to negotiate the price,  we did achieve a
smooth transfer with them.  And the great thing for us was that we made
our reservation a month in advance and   everything was negotiated long
distance via email   !!!!!

This is the third time we have used
Moffat to travel to South Luangwa: two transfers from Chipata, and this
time an International transfer from Lilongwe.

Moffat had a
Malawian colleague pick us up at Mabuya Camp right on time.  This person
helped us with our luggage handoff to  Moffat at the border and we
could not have done it without this.

 The only blip in the process was when Moffat asked us in Chipata if we would mind waiting for
some other clients who were coming in from Lusaka by bus and also going
to Wildlife Camp.  We agreed, and as we waited he and his colleague
Moses were able to get a sim, purchase and load air time and bundles
into our dongle, get us some currency   help, and take us to the Spar
to get some more supplies to bring to Wildlife Camp.  All this on a
Sunday when everything was closed !!!!

We had agreed to wait for
the Belgian group who ended up staying in your Barefoot camp and ended
up waiting in his vehicle at the Mall in Chipata for six hours because
their Zambian/Malawi bus   broke down.  We arrived later than we would
have liked but had a great time visiting with Moffat and Moses and
discussing Zambian life, business and international relations.  

So we would recommend to anyone  who needs  Lilongwe / Chipata to Mfuwe transfers to use
Mophy's budget safari tours and Travel
Click on the links below to see the various safari tour and transfer options.

Tel: +260 979 392721

or: +260 977 193991

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mophys budget safari tours on

It was indeed a great moment working with the marone travel and looking forward working with you again

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