Distance: 104km (Cumulative: 20 833km)
Moving time: 1:53
Average speed: 48km/h
Road surface: 70% Tar, 30% Roadworks gravel
Likhubula Forest Lodge - R77 p.p
Good location with hot showers
We slept until we had to get up so as to not miss breakfast. We were told that breakfast is included in the price for camping so we went to the ‘Giraffe’ room. We helped ourselves to coffee and toast and then Hugo found the breakfast menu. At the top, it clearly said breakfast is included and that you can choose one item from each section. We ordered a cappuccino, two omelets, pancakes and a fruit salad.
After breakfast, we packed up and then came to settle the bill. To Hugo’s surprise, they charged R200 for breakfast. Apparently, the menu we found is supposed to stay in the rooms as it is only for guests staying in rooms. The camping breakfast is only the toast and coffee. Hugo didn’t protest as it would be a ridiculous argument to expect them to give a $10 breakfast included in $5 camping. As the saying goes: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is”.
We left Casa Rossa at 11:30 with Caro steaming with anger as she could have used the R200 for something much better, Hugo tried to calm her by promising that she can buy more material worth R200. We stopped in Zomba at an old church where police waited for us to turn into a one-way street. There were no signs and they didn’t make any effort to point in the right direction, but as soon as we drove down the road they stopped us and tried to fine/bribe us. We got away without paying anything.
We then withdrew cash, refueled the Hilux, bought some dollars and went to the local market. At the market, we wood to build a box that we can put in the empty jerry can holder on the roof rack. The wood looked like it came from someone’s stall that was just taken apart after we asked someone if they have wood.
We only left Zomba at 13:30. Just outside town, we saw some furniture making stall with saws so we decided to stop and ask for help. We got someone to build the box for us using the wood we bought and the dune boards that we have been driving around since Namibia. R40 and another 90 minutes later we were finally on the road again.
We drove on the S144 all the way to Phalombe. The road was mostly good tar with crumbling sides as usual, but the last few kilometers to Phalombe there were some roadworks. We bought chips and salad next to the road again. It cost R3 per person, tastes good and makes us full. Price wise last night’s pasta should taste 50 times better, but at most, it was only 2-3 times better. The chips are thus very good value for money or the pasta was severely overpriced.
The road from Phalombe to Likhubula was also partly under construction and partly gravel.
The massive rock faces of the Mulanje Massif was quite impressive to see as we drove along it.
At Likhubula we went to check out the Hiker’s Nest where you can camp in the parking lot but then decided to stay inside the reserve at the Likhubula Forest Lodge. On the drive to the lodge, lots of people ran behind us and even knocked on the window trying to sell their ‘guide’ service.
We got to the lodge and to our dismay the 3 young Germans from Sunga Moyo were also there, but in the end, they weren’t a nuisance again. We also got a little ‘revenge’ feeling when someone started washing their car early in the morning while they were still sleeping.
Camping cost 4300 MWK and you used the toilet and shower of the guesthouse which has nice hot water. We had beer shandy while watching the sunset and made two-minute noodles with chorizo for dinner.
We went to bed quite early as we were considering hiking to a waterfall tomorrow before setting off to the border.