Malawi - Kande Beach and Nkhotakota

July 23, 2011 - Livingstonia, Malawi

We pulled into Steps campsite at Senga Bay, this was a lovely spot with a long clean beach. We ran in the area and on the beach and enjoyed many swims in the ‘surf!’ It really was just like being at the coast, a red flag flew warning... ‘Please don’t swim!’ There were dangerous cross currents within 10m from the beach and the sign warned that one should not swim more than 1.5m deep. I got dumped a few times and swept in deep water quickly.

After 3 nights of wind and waves we decided it was time to move on towards Nkhotakota stopping on route for shopping and a one and a half hour petrol queue in Salima. Steve and I made our way through the maze of stalls in the local market until finally we arrived at the veggie section. We normally have to ask several locals where the market is as directions usually involve some vague waving of hands in a suggestion of direction. We struck it lucky that day – carrots, beans, potatoes and some green peppers which were exceptionally large (for Malawi!), I felt victorious!

The journey to Nkhotakota was difficult; the roads were narrow and busy with quite a few heavy duty vehicles. Most of the truck drivers indicate and assist you in passing but one mattress truck gave us all a hard time. George began to overtake and was level with the truck when he began to push us off the road. With much hooting we got past, this time the driver had reason to pull into the road as there was a truck on his side some way ahead which we had not seen. Later when the road was clear Steve attempted to overtake the same mattress truck. Steve hooted at the driver to warn him they were coming through and once they were almost level the lorry pushed them right off the road! Steve ended up having to bundu bash down a steep embankment on the side and into a field. Being a skilful driver he kept his feet off the pedals to avoid rolling and then had to engage low range to get back up the embankment and onto the road again. We were a bit puzzled when we saw all the long grass coming out of his bull bar later! Our two parties arrived safely with no damages at the Dedza Pottery Camp, this place was full of character with it’s ceramic work and friendly staff.

The waves have been even better in Nkhotakota and we have really enjoyed body surfing. The locals go out in their little bwotas bobbing up and down in the swells almost disappearing at times. Unlike the mokoros of Namibia (which you can sit in) the bwota has a narrow slit and the fishermen sit on top of them. From the camp we could often see them baling the water out. We enjoyed good food in the restaurant, beach walks and several beautiful moon lit beach fires. Here the full moon came up right in front of us over the water. Our two caravans just about took up the entire campsite but there was a corner left for Fanny and Rupert the desperate for petrol bikers! Fanny was almost running on fumes but lucky for them we gave them some from our precious supply.

Fanny is famous athlete in China and has a following of 700 000 and growing on her blog! They are travelling from Cape Town to Shanghai via Ireland, something a Chinese woman has not done so everyone is watching with great interest. She was the Shanghai boxing champion 2010, is the captain of the Gaelic football team there and used to play professional volleyball!

We were hardly 500m into our jog through the village on the last day when we had already purchased butter fish for dinner!  Soon we had a following of children something like the pied piper. They mimicked my every move and noise so I took full advantage of it and soon had them squawking and flapping around as we moved along down the road! Even on the beach we were attacked by 4 little ninja’s (see pics), of course seeing themselves on camera made their day and they were all the more determined to pursue us!

Our fish braai on the last moonlit night was magic; needless to say Fanny and Rupert (who don’t cook) were suitably impressed. We left them to enjoy Dedza Pottery Camp on their own and made our way to Kande Beach.



Senga Bay, the island just off the Steps campsite beach
George giving lessons on windsurfing to British troops training in Senga Bay
George giving wind surfing demo
Shopping in Salima


July 23, 2011
Love the sunset photos!!! Awesome... Hope the riots haven't affected you up there (probably only in the cities - hey?!) Stewart is leaving Uganda today and en route to Nairobi... Lots of love to you both xx
Rhona & Carlos:
July 23, 2011
Hi guys, seems like you've been having a brilliant time & you'll soon be in Tanzania! Take care & keep on enjoying! xx
July 23, 2011
Looks awesome - glad you didn't get swept away. The ninjas made me laugh. XXXX
Sharon Johnson:
July 24, 2011
Sounds adventurous and awesome - real character building stuff and lots of memories! Stay happy and connected.
x Sha
July 26, 2011
Hi. You missed out on those awesome cabbages! Saw them on your photo! Matrress truck apisode sounds scary! Hope you don't meet up with it on your travels again. We just had an awesome weekend in Arniston. Sandboarded, surfed, ran & celebtrated Christmas-in-July. Take care & travel safely. Ellie
Alice & George:
July 26, 2011
Yes we are celebrating Christmas in July tomorrow night the 27th too - a wee bit late but we had a not so good camp last night and the night before so delayed it. We don't normally do it but Steve and Paula do and have even packed a Christmas pudding wo why not!
July 28, 2011
Clear that you are still enjoying your trip. I realy admire you.
July 30, 2011
Hi Alice and George. Great photos & I love the beach & waves - my kind of waves. Fascinating about the superfit chinese athlete biker !
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