25 March: Mbeya, Tanzania to Karonga, Malawi

162 km with a steep climb starting at 16 km and finishing at 21 km, then rolling hills from 29 km to 115 km at the border, but at least there is tarmac.

There is a total of 1130 metres climbing and 2360 metres down.

There are beautiful views, lots of banana trees and tea plantations. There were markets on the side of the road with huge bunches of bananas. Not just what you get at a supermarket in a bunch but like what you would get from a whole tree.

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Tea Plantations

Malawi lake is much bigger than I expected, bigger than Lake Taupo. I will have to google about the lake and Malawi.

At 115 km we crossed in to Malawi. Getting out of Tanzania was pretty quick, getting into Malawi took over an hour. You had to go to one window, fill out one form, then your passport and money for the visa got passed along a line of three people. The third person wrote out all the information by hand then it got passed back along the three people. Not efficient, frequently only one person was doing anything whilst the others waited. Eventually my passport popped back out, and surprisingly enough in approximately the correct order.

47 km to go, by this time it was very hot and there was pretty much all up gradient, even though only slight, all the way to camp with a bit of a head wind.

The children instantly have changed, now some are not smiling and waving – they are demanding “give me my money” and even some of the adults. The children run alongside your bike demanding money.

We stopped about 20 km before camp to get a drink and were delighted to see it come out of the freezer. When we got into town we went to the phone shop to get our phones switched over, but as luck would have it the shop was shut for the day for stock taking.

It was a long hot afternoon that seemed to stretch on and on. It was a bit confusing getting to camp as our distance was off due to riding around the town. We were camping at a place called the Safari Lodge but there was one 2 km before the one where we were staying. Luckily Tallis came past us in the Ute so we followed him to camp.

There was a nice outside bar by the lake where we had a cold beer. Malawi has Carlsberg beer which is brewed here. We got a room which was very basic with a cold shower but it does have a rotating ceiling fan.

We have a change of time of one hour, but to make the day easier we stayed on Tanzania time until after dinner.

Dinner was vegetarian spaghetti bolognaise.

Straight to bed after dinner, hopefully the fan will cool the room down enough to sleep.

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On the road to Karonga. Last day in Tanzania.

Categories: Tour d'Afrique | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “25 March: Mbeya, Tanzania to Karonga, Malawi

  1. Pat

    Well Kaye you are not selling this ride to me. Clearly, I am way too soft for all this hard yaka. You are dogged and impressive.

    We are a week from Easter. I am hoping the bunny (or a look-alike) could hop over your way and bring something nice. Me, I have just poured a cold Jules. Torrential rain here today. Heater cranked up and waiting for the girlfriend.


    • kayehudson50

      Hi Pat certainly is a harder ride than I expected. Currently in Zambia in Livingston on a rest day going to a very nice place for dinner called the elephant cafe. Had a very nice G&T at the Victoria Falls Hotel with lunch

  2. Denise

    I’d completely forgotten about the “give me my money” until I read this! Was interested in the assumed names of the kids that wanted the money in Malawi like “Fish and chips” and “Physics”. More importantly, did you get your hair braided and how much wooden furniture did you buy?

    • kayehudson50

      Hi Denise how are you ? The question I am asked a zillion times a day. Thankfully hair to short for braiding and no room in bags for furniture. I have got a collection of wooden animals bought my people who had no money to feed their family

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