I get an early start from Chipata, Zambia and get to the border around 8:30. The border crossing is fairly organized and quick to check out of Zambia and check in to Malawi, which is nice as I was afraid it was going to be like Kazangula again.
After crossing the border I went through numerous police checkpoints on my way in to Lilongwe where I was looking for the Kawasaki dealership to see about some parts that were damaged in Botswana. There I meet Zihar who owns the dealership. He invites me in to show me his shop. He has only started the business a year and a half ago and as such does not have KLR parts as Kawasaki stopped importing KLR’s in 2013 so Malawi doesn’t even have old ones.
That night I ended up staying in a non-luxurious expensive hotel as I decided I would rather pay than ride around in the thunderstorm.
On Sunday I rode up the coast of Lake Malawi to Nkhata Bay where I spent the next week snorkelling, canoeing, kayaking, and learning to scuba dive.
Sunday night I met Aaron, Nick, and Yuri, three American’s travelling from Malawi to Tanzania and was to play Settlers of Catan, which is one of my favourite board games, so I was excited.
On Monday I met Liz who is volunteering with the Peace Corps in Zambia and visiting Malawi for a few days R&R on a snorkelling trip. When we get back from snorkelling we discover her friend Margo has become severely dehydrated and needs to go to the clinic in Mzuzu. Just as they are leaving the third member of the group Erin arrives so I am left to entertain Erin for the next day. Tuesday morning we had a massive rainstorm.
On Wednesday I started my scuba diving lessons and passed my PADI Open Water Dive course and completed a deep (30 m) dive and a night time dive. The night dive was very cool as we ‘guided’ dolphin fish to the cichlids with our dive lights.
I tried to take pictures of the fish with my action camera but have subsequently learned you need the special dive case (not available on this continent) otherwise it will not focus underwater. As I do not have any pictures, you will have to trust me that the cichlids that can be seen are amazing. To back up my statement BBC filmed Planet Earth here.
After leaving Nkhata Bay I rode north to Karonga and met a Hungarian riding a Royal Enfield from Egypt to Cape Town over twenty five days along the way so we had a quick chat on the road side about road conditions, police checkpoints, and border crossings.