A South African probably would have gone the route in 5 days. In Malawi, there was no faster progress possible and also in Mozambique, we drove the highest possible speed. One must not forget that in these countries people live always and everywhere on the street. We drove 5200 km in 11 days.
Day 111 – 25.7.2011 Kisolanza Old Farmhouse – Chitembe Beach Lodge – Malawi – km 528, 10 h, 29 °, 1400 MKW
The border crossing into Malawi goes smoothly, the Third Party Insurance, however, is expensive, about R 400. Then there is a roadblock every 10 km, but we are waved through everywhere. At Chitembe Beach Lodge is still no hot shower. We made the mistake to order food for 7 o’clock, we got it an hour later than expected, there is indeed one hour difference between Tanzania and Malawi. So we wait for 2 hours and the food is not very good and also too little.
Day 112 – 26.7.2011 Chitembe Beach Lodge – Nkhwazi Lodge – 222 km, 5 hrs, 12 ° – 29 °, fresh, 1300 MKW
A whole new experience in Malawi, we are almost the only car on the road, there is no fuel in the country. When we were two years ago at the Nkhwazi Lodge, the owner Jim wanted to sell the lodge, he’s still there. The driveway is a little bit overgrown, the last visitors were there two months ago. It’s a wonder that the staff is still working. The ablutions are clean and the shower is hot!
Day 113 – 27.7.2011 Nkhwazi Lodge – Lilongwe Golf Club – 360 km, 7 hrs, 34 °, hot, 10 U.S. $
Clean, quiet, were the only campers if only the night watch would not be annoying. Every half hour we went to the bushes behind our tent to get supplies for the fire. Tiring.
Day 114 – 28.7.2011 Lilongwe – Blantyre – Comfort Inn Hotel – 330 km, 6 hours, 24 ° 12 ° at night, rain, 10,000 MKW
Since we had to get visas for Mozambique at Blantyre (transit visas are not available at the border) we stay in Blantyre. Expansive, cold, bad mattresses.
Day 115 – 29.7.2011 Blantyre – Caia – Mozambique – Cua Cua Lodge – km 443, 10 h, 24 ° Partly cloudy, 600 Meticais
At 8, the Mozambican embassy opens on time. In less than an hour, we have the visas. The drive through the tea plantations is great. On the border to Mozambique, we need only 15 minutes. Until the turn to Murrumbala, we can only drive slow on the bad gravel road. After we turn right, the road is smaller but much better. A scenic delight. We take the side track, thus saving 50 km. Well on the way up that we had spied out the CuaCua Lodge, it is pitch dark when we arrive there.
Day 116 – 30.7.2011 Caia – Vilanculo – Baobab Beach Camp – 726 km cloudy, 11 h, 26 °, muggy, 400 Meticais
We already know Baobab Beach Camp very well. Nice as ever.
Day 117 – 31.7.2011 Vilanculo – XaiXai – Camp Paradise Magoo – 650 km, 8 hrs, 28 °, cloudy, 650 Meticais
You have to let the air out of the tires to come over the last dune. We are all alone in the camp and we are thinking about staying another night. The restaurant food is quite good.
Day 118 – 1.8.2011 XaiXai – Nelspruit RSA – Lake View Camp Site 463 km, 9 hrs, 25 °, rain, night, 5 °, 190 Rand
Nelspruit is completely booked out, its freezing cold and we stay at the campsite. 5°. We skip the shower.
Day 119 – 2.8.2011 Nelspruit – Johannesburg – Benoni – Airport en route – 323 km, 16 °, -5 ° at night (minus!), 350 Rand for a charming wooden cabin.
Marion and David are welcoming us as always. Normally we camp here. At night it is freezing cold, -5 °? We use the electric blankets. The car is white in the morning. First time since we are in Africa that we have minus degrees. Scary!
Day 120 – 3.8.2011 Benoni – Gariep Dam – Boschrand Guest Farm – km 634, 360 Rand for a double room
A beautiful Guest Farm, but not much heat. Well, we have our heater. Breakfast is good.
Day 121 – 4.8.2011 – Gariep Dam – Cape Town – km 837, 11 h, 17 ° It is cold! At Worcester is still snow on the summits of the mountains.