Lake Malawi

Trip Start Mar 24, 2005
Trip End Jun 23, 2005

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Flag of Malawi  ,
Monday, May 16, 2005

The backpackers here is called Mango drift, and consists of lovely stonebuilt huts with thatched roofs and a lovely bar built around a tree. The huts were great until exposed to prolonged rain, when a few fairly major leaks were established (and involved moving the bed in the early hours of the morning to stop me from being dripped on!). Bit rough & ready (although there was a flush toilet), but we were just washing in the lake or underneath a baobab tree where they had a lovely open shower.

The place was exactly what we were after, which was somewhere we could do absolutely nothing at all. I didn't even leave that beach for about 2/3 days (apart from maybe a brief walk around the coast)! That was partly because I'd also used the Kande beach book swap before leaving so had War and Peace to read (I figured a bit of light Tolstoy might be a good idea - learn about the Nepoleonic wars & pre revolutionary Russia while on the beach!?), so that kept me fairly well occupied for much of the time.

We did head into the island one day though and went right over to the village. It is a really cool place, the kids were just pleased to see & speak to people without asking for money & there was generally a nice vibe about it.

We also had an interesting conversation with a bloke who was doing a marine biology research project in Lake Malawi through Hull Uni (he'd trained in Southampton). We happened to get particularly pissed with him (I was helped to bed after almost falling asleep into my dinner!), but before that he was saying that there's absolutely tonnes of fish in the lake, but the fisherman aren't interested (or capable) of upscaling their fishing, but carry on in dug out boats a maximum of one mile max from the coast as they have for generations... The govt are also aware but haven't kicked a project off to try & utilise it either... and Malawi is an incredibly poverty stricken country too. I guess its another example of another African country with amazing natural resources just underutilising it, leaving the general population without the benefits of improved education and training etc... (class sizes of over 100 & no books are the norm here).
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