From Parasites to Elephants: Lake Malawi and Liwonde National Park

The last four days in Malawi were a blast. I traveled with the U of M students to Lake Malawi and Liwonde National Park where we went on a safari. 

Lake Malawi was absolutely gorgeous. It’s a total hidden gem. There should be SO many more resorts and tourists there. Maybe it was the area we were in, but if the lake and weather were located in the USA, I can tell you the property there would be worth a LOT. We stayed at Fat Monkeys Lodge at the southern end of Lake Malawi, about a 3 hour drive from Blantyre. We had a private bus which was incredible, the company picked us up Phalombe, took us to Lake Malawi as well as the national park. Lake Malawi is beautiful, it’s partially surrounded by mountains, there are wild baboons and a lot of eagles. The resort had a partnership with a guy who owned a boat, and we did a sunset cruise where we brought our own drinks. We paid for them and they put them in a cooler for us. We went around a large island where we stopped to feed fish and the boat driver threw some fish for an eagle who swooped down from a hillside to grab them. It was incredible. We also went kayaking during the day, which we we enjoyed because we could see the locals on the lake, who were bathing and doing laundry. Unfortunately, there is a parasite in the water and we all need to take the pills to get rid of it in six weeks since we got splashed while kayaking. Hopefully none of us got it! The food was also delicious. We had fresh fish as well as English style entrees including traditional English breakfast and goujons. Highly recommend Fat Monkeys!

Next we traveled to Liwonde National Park where we stayed at Mvuu Camp for safari adventures. Most of us were expecting one, possibly two safari outings. But the staff went above and beyond at Mvuu. Our guide, Dunkan, was a champ. He spoke English fluently, and worked incredibly hard to make sure we saw lots of animals. We went on two boat safaris where we saw hippos, crocodiles, lots of birds, mpala and other animals. The sunsets were to die for. 

(I’ll add more animal pictures once I upload my camera pics)

We went on an early morning land safari through a rhino sanctuary. We had been driving for a while and hadn’t seen much. I was starting to get a little disappointed, when we saw a zebra waking on the path. The zebra were nothing like I’ve seen in captivity. They were stunning. Then we were driving back to the camp when we saw a family of elephants walking on the road. They were like nothing I’ve ever seen. The elephants were so huge, plus they were calm and slow. While we did not see any rhinos, the sanctuary was still well worth the $5 extra dollars. 🙂 

Tip to the savvy traveler: if you want to keep your bag as a carry-on (like I did), check the airline’s weight requirements before you go on your trip. South African Airways’ weight limit was only 8 kilos, so I was rushed to check it all the way through. 

Next stop after Malawi: LONDON! 


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