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Solwezi
Zambia

a photo record of our sailing and travel missions around the world - currently in africa.

blog

lilongwe drive home

kate brand

these are a few shots from our drive back home to Kitwe, Zambia. we took the southern route via Chipata. the Malawi border post was great (by African standards), efficient and clean with courteous officials. the Zambian side was... what we have come to expect from Zambia - crowded, run down, dirty and not quite as efficient as Malawi.

we were genuinely sad to leave Malawi but there were a lot of exciting new decisions waiting for us in Zambia so it was good to start 2014 with a season of change! 

cape maclear

kate brand

on Cape Maclear beach, just before our kayak mission around Thumbi Island

kids playing on the Cape Maclear beach

view of Thumbi Island from Fat Monkeys - it looks a LOT smaller from here...

our kayak route from Fat Monkeys, around Thumbi Island, and back - approx 9km

our first stop on Thumbi Island - in desperate need of a tan

snorking off Thumbi Island

relaxing in the shade after our snorkel mission

nap time...

enjoying the view of Cape Maclear from Thumbi Island

sunset view of Thumbi Island (Copyright 2006 Andrew Whalley)

Cape Maclear was our last stop on the road trip. the highlight for us was definitely kayaking around Thumbi Island, just off the coast.

this is one of our favourite activities to do together. usually we each have our own canoe or kayak. this time we used a double kayak which is great if one of you needs to take a rest (mostly me!) and the other can keep rowing.

we didn't do any research on the island before we decided to take on the kayak mission. so we had no idea how big the island actually was or how long the route would be. this was definitely to our advantage - we are both at the most unfit we have ever been in our 30yrs (6 day work week desk jobs do that to you) so if we had known in advance that we would have to row over 9km we probably wouldn't have done it!

we're really glad we did though. the water is clear and warm, and the abundance of colourful fish make for brilliant snorkeling. the fish eagles are everywhere and on the kayak you get perfect views of the birds fishing and nesting on the island cliffs.

fat monkeys

kate brand

Fat Monkeys beach bar

view towards the point

monkeys chilling at the entrance way to the restaurant & bar

super rad place to hang out

Christmas day at the beach bar

playing a Malawian board game

view across to Monkey Bay

our spot at Fat Monkeys campsite

new years eve campsite faces...

local fishermen rowing home at sunset

our last stop on the epic Malawi road trip was Cape Maclear. since we didn't originally plan to stay longer we didn't book any accommodation. it wasn't the smartest move, only just a few days before Christmas/New Years celebrations, when most lodges are filled with international tourists who have booked a year in advance...

Fat Monkeys was the first place we stopped at and could only offer us a room for one night. we went all the way up the Maclear coast and checked out most of the other places but they were either crazy expensive, under renovation, or were fully booked.

luckily for us the friendly people at Fat Monkeys offered us a tent and a mattress, with bedding, in their beachfront campsite at an extremely attractive rate (USD 6 p/night - we're always on a strict budget!)

their rooms and camping facilities are great - we would recommend this place to anyone.

fly burgers

kate brand

in an earlier post i included a photo of what looks like grey smoke coming out of the lake surface. the "smoke" is actually bajillions of lake flies, mating in mid air, during the rainy season. the BBC: Planet Earth video excerpt above explains this phenomenon a little better.

another interesting byproduct of this "cloud" is a local delicacy, known as "fly burgers". unfortunately i couldn't get a shot of them at the Nkhata Bay market but they are basically made up of a whole lot of tiny flies mushed together into a large black "burger patty".

the flies are normally caught alive, whizzing in the air, with nets but a lot of the time it's easier for the women who make them to sweep dead flies off the floor. hearing this we decided to skip the local culinary delight, juuuuust in case we got a floor fly burger...