Malawi -The Warm Heart of Africa

Hundreds of miles of tropical golden sand beaches line this tideless inland sea. Relax in the sun on an uncrowded beach with long stretches of totally uninhabited golden sand lakeshore

Malawi's vast variety, overwhelming friendliness  great lake, wildlife, landscape and culture makes it an ideal getaway for families.

Formally known as Nyasaland, it's surrounded by Mozambique,Zambia, and Tanzania.

Malawi Flag

 


The initial western inception was when David Livingstone entered the shores in 1859. A British wiped out  slave trade in 1891.

For such a small country it has an unrivalled combination of Lake, Landscape and Wildlife. From rugged highlands to lowland plains, Malawi has an incredible variety of stunning landscapes.

The unique rolling hills of orchid-clad Nyika; the cool forested plateau of Zomba; the 10000 ft climbers’ paradise of Mulanje Massif; the broad and fertile Shire Valley.

Malawi means the “glitter of the sun rising across the lake”.  And this vast inland sea is what we think about when we think about Malawi.

Lake Malawi is the third-largest lake in Africa, the 10th largest in the world and covers 1/5th of Malawi. It’s sometimes called the Calendar Lake because it’s 365 miles long and 52 miles wide.

 

Or find out more about the country. Karonga has an interesting but turbulent history as a centre for the notorious nineteenth-century slave trade.

 

 

Now the town is the site of a new museum focused on both its cultural history and the recent archaeological finds of dinosaur and hominid bones.

At the top of the northerly point of the lake, you will find Nkhata Bay, that was reached by  David Livingstone. Its small sheltered harbour is a focus for the Lake’s fishing industry but it is also becoming increasingly important as a tourist centre.

Bandawe Mission was the place that Dr Robert Laws made the second attempt to establish a Livingstonia Mission. Like Cape Maclear, malaria took its toll and the missionaries moved further north to the present site on the Kondowe Plateau. The banked seating and  lateral sided pulpit of the church and missionary graves remain

 

Off the eastern shore of the Lake is Likoma Island: a small piece of Malawi in Mozambican waters. This is where the headquarters of Livingstone’s mission to Central Africa in the 1880s.  That’s why Malawi kept it when the Lake was divided politically after World War II. Likoma’s claim to fame is its cathedral (the size of Winchester’s) started in 1903. This vast building is a small piece of England in Africa, including stained glass and carved soapstone.

That’s why Malawi kept it when the Lake was divided politically after World War II. Likoma’s claim to fame is its cathedral (the size of Winchester’s) started in 1903. This vast building is a small piece of England in Africa, including stained glass and carved soapstone.

Visit the world’s first freshwater national park. Lake Malawi National Park, close to Monkey Bay, lies towards the southern extremity of the lake. The park includes a land area around the cape and bay as well as the Lake and islands up to 100 metres offshore. It’s also a world heritage site.

Snorkelling and scuba-diving are increasingly popular here because of the attraction of seeing the brilliantly coloured fish, the mbuna.

Lake Malawi contains more fish than any other lake in the world. Some of the rarest tropical fish in the world are unique to this vast lake. it has about 1000 species of fish. It’s is a true kaleidoscopic aquarium.

The countless thousands of freshwater fish, the mbuna, are more abundant and varied than anywhere else in the world and will feed directly from the hand.

Marine animals include two species of otter and occasional crocodiles.

Away from the lake, the park has baboons, klipspringer, bushbuck and vervet monkeys, antelope and hyrax, and, of course, there is a great variety of birdlife including fish eagles, kingfishers, cormorants and hamerkops. In the North the

In the North the lake is quite extraordinarily deep: 700m, plunging well below sea level. This reflects the enormity of the natural faulting of the Great Rift Valley which is the origin of the Lake itself.

Try out the range of watersports available along the length of Lake Malawi. Swimming, waterskiing, sailing and kayaking are all available along the extraordinarily clear lakeshore.

Because of its rich harvest of fish, the Lake plays an important part in the country’s economy. Fishing villages are scattered along the length of the lakeshore and you’re welcome to visit the traditional industry. Go fishing on the southern lakeshore north of Mangochi and at Senga Bay. There are opportunities to fish for yellow fish, lake salmon and lake tiger. Trout angling is easily arranged at Nyika Plateau or  Chelinda as well as Zomba Plateau.

Go fishing on the southern lakeshore north of Mangochi and at Senga Bay. There are opportunities to fish for yellow fish, lake salmon and lake tiger. Trout angling is easily arranged at Nyika Plateau or  Chelinda as well as Zomba Plateau.

Mumbo Island and Domwe Island camps offer idyllic island getaways. Malawi is an ideal destination not to be missed in Africa. #ExploreMotherlandAfrica

#ExploreMotherlandAfrica

In Memory of Willian G Robertson. Special Thanks to the Freeway Tours Team, Julie Hall,Thandi Brewer,Leslie Fong,Jerry Mofokeng,Momo Matsunyane

Exploring the Magnificent Madagascar

Ringed by golden beaches and palm trees Madagascar - the 8th continent- is the fourth-largest island in the world.

Madagascar promises lush rainforests and rugged, ravine-riven mountains teeming with lemurs and other unique species found nowhere else in the world.


Madagascar promises crystal-clear seas with beautiful, untouched palm-fringed beaches. It promises culturally exotic people with laid-back island-style friendliness. It promises the freshest most sumptuous seafood spreads and deliciously strong local rum cocktails.


Resplendent with grassy plateaus, to volcanoes. Seething with opaque forests and natural reserves, Madagascar dazzles with its rich wildlife. Many of its unique species are found nowhere else on earth. biodiversity wise. Madagascar is one of a kind.

Madagascar isn’t just a country.  It is a state of mind, and you got to get yourself into it. Travelers need to feel the heat, taste the buzz. It’s not just marketing and monkeys.

Local legend says that the Vazimba, a race of white pygmies were the first Malagasy. But it was the Malay-Polynesians, who crossed the Indian Ocean, along with their rice, in the sixth century.

In the ninth century, Marco Polo pulled into Madagascar and found that the East African slaves, Arab, Indian, Dutch, British traders, and French colonists had turned Mad into THE major trading power in the western Indian Ocean.

So much so, that when the European governments were just saying no to piracy in the Caribbean, more than 1000 English, French, Portuguese, Dutch, American and other pirates contributed booty, buried treasure, and genes to the island’s population. It was a fantastic base to attack ships rounding the Cape of Good Hope.

Madagascar Tour Quiz
  • How many animal species?
250 000.
  • How many endemic species of butterfly?
3000
  • Native plants?
10 000 - 90% are found nowhere else in the world.
  • Bird life?
More than 100 kinds of tropical birds that exist nowhere else in the world.
  • And the biggest bird was?
10-foot tall ostrich, weighing 1,000 pounds which laid 20-pound eggs.

Whether you are into wildlife or nightlife, magical, malodorous Madagascar is the land that time forgot.

 

Larger than California and the size of France Madagascar is home to some seriously unique, sometimes downright bizarre, evolutionary oddities.  It’s the planet’s most biologically diverse island. From dancing lemurs to absurdly colourful chameleons,

From dancing lemurs to absurdly colourful chameleons, geckos, and lizards; tenrecs, spiny hedgehog-like creatures that communicate with its young by vibrating its spines.

Flightlessness, fearlessness, gigantism, dwarfism, and survival of ancient species all happened here in this evolutionary laboratory.  160 million years ago, Africa, Australia, New Zealand and South America were united in the supercontinent Gondwana, until it split up.

Left alone – with no carnivores or omnivores to deal with, Madagascar went it’s own unique way.  Like

Like Lemur’s, which are found nowhere else on the planet!  If Some 45 species of lemurs live here from the world’s smallest primate, weighing about 1 ounce, to a lemur the size of a Gorilla.

The thing is, humans quickly went to work on the island’s lemurs, reducing the number of species by at least 15. So you need to get there soon.

Madagascar is also the world’s leading example of conservation. In spite of extraordinary pressures from a poor population that relies heavily on forest burning for basic subsistence.

Special thank you to  Freeway  Tours SADC Team: Thandi Brewer, Julie Hall, Jerry  Mofokeng (Freeway), Leslie Fong,( SPY) Lalah Raindimby, and MoMo Matsunyane (PADKOS),  Neo Matsunyane , Sonto Nhlapo, Alex Mamacos, Makgomotho Ngwasheng, Babalo Mpoyiya In Memory of W.G Robertson

 

Strolls and sightings in Africa – Travel Adventures in Zimbabwe and Zambia

Motherland Africa –  Zambia and Zimbabwe

The majestical journey to Zimbabwe is engraved in a superb tradition where hospitality reigns supreme.

Twenty years ago Zimbabwe was the richest country in Africa with tourism as a major industry.

Zimbabwe’s political stature led to it become one of the poorest, with an inflation rate that is the highest in the world. People used to call it the breadbasket of the continent, but after a while, no food was available even for those that had mountains of money.

Once upon a time, it was the continent’s breadbasket but eventually there was no food available, even for those stacked with mountains of money.

Nowadays many may be reluctant to consider exploring Zimbabwe. No worries if the feeling of uncertainty is there, Zambia shares many of the same attractions.

The tourists’ attraction focus is the great Zambezi River. It forms a natural boundary between Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Zambezi River

The Zambezi  River is a river system that is the fourth largest in Africa. It runs through six countries. All starts off with a  little spring in the Mwinilunga District in the northwest part of Zambia.

This is close to the  Zambian,  Zaire and Angola borders. This spring bubbles between roots of trees and eventually becomes a mighty river that carves the magnificent Victoria Falls.

The  Zambezi is a calm flow forward, then it builds speed racing headlong in a tumble downwards in hundreds of feet becoming a  natural world wonder then it zig-zags through  Batoka Gorge.  Energy is then captured and it is converted into a hydroelectric form of power by the Kariba Dam, and further down into the  Mozambique CaboraBassa dam.

The Zambezi river flows into  Kariba Dam for 281 kilometers. It is 40 kilometers wide at one point. It heads north from the dam wall,  then back east until it is flanked by Lower Zambezi National Park, located in Zambia, and the  Mana Pools National Park located in Zimbabwe. This zone supports one of the most important wilderness areas in Africa.

 

After the confluence of Luangwa, Zambezi River flows into Mozambique to the  Indian Ocean. The best family holiday to venture on anyhow and anywhere is a  houseboat located on Kariba.  If you prefer game viewing or fishing or even just chilling with drinks on the deck it is one magical experience that is unforgettable.

In 1960 after the building of the largest dam, Kariba, it evolved into a popular visiting place with activities like swimming,  fishing, boating, and game viewing.

Eventually, all the experiences were combined into the houseboat introduction.

A perfect way to appreciate vast water, islands, distinct trees that are half submerged and islands from a comfortable houseboat!

It takes you to

  • Matusodona Game Park,
  • Charra Bay
  • Spurwing Island
  • Gache Gache Communal Land
  • Fothergill Island

Kariba, the name originates from ‘Kariva’,  a  term that means ‘trap’. This refers a rock that jutted out from the wild, swirling entrance gorge waters!

That rock is currently a hundred meters below water. Legends name the rock the great river god, Nyaminyami’s home. Anyone that came a bit too close got sucked into the river depths!

On a search for adventure? There is an upstream cruise to  Victoria Falls, an adventure to last a lifetime.

Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders), only became known to the Western world as Victoria Falls after David Livingstone discovered it in 1855. It took many thousands of years for erosion to create the magnificent natural wonder. The falls are much taller and longer than Niagara Falls.

Many assume that Zimbabwe is a better view of the Victoria Falls, however, keep in mind that  David Livingstone, the well-known explorer discovered the Victoria Falls from Zambia.

He had heard about the sacred site for tribes like the Batoka. Finally, Livingstone, paddled by the  Chief Sekeletu of the Makololo to an island in the center of the Zambezi,  called the  Livingstone Island currently. The water was low but there was a tremor of fear as he approached the wall spray.

If the choice is Zambia you get to stay in a charming town, Livingstone, a popular base for travelers on a venture to experience the Victoria Falls.

There is bungee jumping,  high adrenaline adventures.  Then there is white water rafting in the Zambezi and even riverboarding, where you get to surf upstream.

If you stay in Livingstone on the Zambia side, the Upper Zambezi Canoe Safari is a great way to experience the river and see the scenery along the shores.

The Victoria Falls stay should include an unforgettable flight over the 7th Natural Wonder of the World. Soar high up with eagles and experience the sight from above!

Great Zimbabwe has many ancient ruins built in the 13th and 14th centuries, a UNESCO World Heritage site since the year 1986.

Great Zimbabwe Ruins- Unesco World Heritage site

The Zambian flag features the national bird of Zambia, the Fish Eagle. red, black, orange and a green background

Welcome to motherland Africa!