Distance: 222km (Cumulative: 19 791km)
Moving time: 5:26
Average speed: 41km/h
Road surface: 25% Gravel, 75% Tar (some parts under construction and others potholed)
Sunga Moyo - R130 p.p
Beautiful campsites on grass below trees right in front of beach.
We got up leisurely, packed up and went to the Mushroom Farm next door for breakfast. Despite the name, it is not actually a farm and they don’t even have mushrooms on their menu. It is a backpackers paradise with equally amazing views. Seeing all the young people there, we were glad about our decision to stay at Lukwe instead.
We ordered an open breakfast sandwich and a plate of potato wedges. The bread was homemade and both dishes were delicious. We couldn’t help feeling that things are improving as we’re getting closer to South Africa again.
After breakfast, we drove to Livingstonia, but everything was closed as it was Sunday. We took some photos and then took the other route down to Rhumpi as it was a graded road.
In hindsight, it would have been much faster to just go down the steep pass again. Even though long gravel road was much easier and faster to drive on the 52km took us two hours.
From the section where we joined the M1 at Phwedzi to Mzuzu was a very good tar road where our average speed was above 60km/h. In Mzuzu we saw a big shoprite, but it was also closed. We also withdrew some more money.
From Mzuzu we took the M5 which was under construction for the first section and then it became a very narrow road with crumbling sides.
We drove passed Nkhata Bay as we heard unpleasant things about both Butterfly space and Moyaka village. In hindsight, we should have probably at least went to have a look at the town/lake, but we were rather tired from the long day’s driving.
We continued to Chinteche, passing the Vizara rubber estate with lots of people selling bouncing balls next to the road.
Six kilometers passed Chinteche we turned into Sunga Moyo where we decided to stay for the night.
Some people on iOverland described it as the best campsite in Malawi and it was indeed very beautiful, but also the most expensive so far. $10 per person per night. Compared to campsites in Zambia and Tanzania it is very good value for money. The campsites had grass, trees, electricity, water, braai stations and everything one might need. There is also a small kitchen with sinks for campers and the bathrooms had hot showers with proper water flow.
There were two other campers at Sunga Moyo so we camped in an area far from the electricity and water tap. The wind was also blowing over the lake again. Hugo made plain spaghetti for dinner and then we got into bed before 21:00.
The next morning we moved into the spot where one of the campers left. The wind was still blowing, so after a failed attempt to make french toast (the gas stove had a temporary problem) we went to the restaurant area and worked a bit.
In the afternoon the wind calmed down so we went snorkeling. The water was however very murky close to shore. We swam more than a hundred meters to a rocky outcrop where the water was a bit clearer and we could see some fish. Nothing compared to Lake Tanganyika, but hopefully, Lake Malawi will deliver at some future destination.
For dinner, we had mashed potatoes with onions. Three young German guys arrived in a double cab with a rooftop tent on the load bin (not on a canopy). They were very strange and had like 10 pangas which they kept throwing in the air to try and get it to stick into the ground upon landing.
We sat under the tent and worked until 23:00 while the Germans were still playing music and making a noise. Caro eventually told them to turn off the music, but we could still hear them till past midnight.
(“I hate, hate, hate people not being considerate of others at a campsite. It frustrates me even more that managers can’t enforce rule better. Like now music after 10, not at the bar and not made by other campers. If you need to hear noise till past 12 use your earphones.” – Caro)