Malawi fuel situation…

For other overlanders heading to Malawi… We have had no trouble with getting fuel in the last two weeks.

I believe the changes in government have meant more fuel supply?

We were preparing to take 1500km’s of diesel with us due to the constant reports of dire fuel shortages but thankfully we didn’t bother as there was diesel (and petrol) available in the majority of stations. If one was out then the next station would be stocked up and without any significant queuing.

We still had 50 litres in the jerries to be safe and this was possibly still a wise choice but we never struggled to fill up and emptied the jerries for the sake of not lugging around extra fuel.

In fact, the diesel in Zambia was 30US cents more per litre so if you’re heading from Malawi to Zambia… Top up on the Malawi side!

Hopefully that is helpful to someone!
Jo and Richard

Ants in the tree and a spider in the car!


Well, we’ve had quite a week! We have visited all the old haunts of Richards childhood… Schools, restaurants, sports clubs etc etc and spent three glorious nights with the adorable Mr and Mrs Grimes. It was a blissful reminder of home life and they were so generous. Home-cooked meals, TV (!!), comfy clean beds, our own bathroom, and a washing machine. That’s right! An actual clothes washing machine.. Amazing.

We have since covered quite a distance and taken in the sights of Mulanje (a mountain) where we camped at the Likhabula Pools, Zomba (a mountain plateau) and we now find ourselves back on the sleepy shores of Lake Malawi. All gorgeous of course but we have been feeling a little lonely, missing the excellent company of David and Di.

A testing day in transit yesterday; parked in a lovely spot for lunch to find our spare wheel carrier broken in 4 places but thankfully still attached to the vehicle (just!). While negotiating the storage of an enormous 19″ wheel (coupled with enormous mud-terrain tyre) in the back seat of our poor truck we were “attacked” by an equally huge spider! URGHH. Where our leggy friend is now is a mystery though as we both took off at the sight of it! I was precise in emptying the contents of our can of fly-spray into the vehicle before departing for the lake but still, made for a fairly tense three hour drive.

We arrived at dusk last night at the much anticipated Chembe Eagles Nest where we found a campsite full of impressively spec’d up and kitted out overlanding vehicles that make us two look like chumps to be honest. These things are amazing! They must have sensed jealousy in the air as they were quick to offer us two of the most tasty and tender lamb chops we’ve ever eaten. This didn’t soothe the green-eyed-monster as she reheated the 4 day old bolognaise sauce. Grrrr.

No matter, we have indulged in a lazy morning of scrambled eggs and Konyagi cocktails today and as there are welders in absolutely every corner of Africa, we are now back to normal with a functioning spare wheel carrier. Tomorrow… Zambia! And our next dose of African wildlife.

A few pics to a create a “nutshell” of the last few days:

Ants in the tree, world famous (in Blantyre!):


Phoenix School, where Richard learned to a be a smart-ass:


Dipping our toes in the Likhabula Pools,Mulanje:


Money well spent! I think not:


Richard went home.

To Malawi!

So the day has arrived, this morning we stopped off at the Weerasinghe family home from over 25 years ago… How interesting to see the pretty little town of Blantyre where Richard and his family spent a happy 10-ish years. It’s really lovely here!

It’s Sunday morning so we are enjoying scrambled eggs and toast at the only establishment that is actually open, there is also loud and energetic singing, cheering and clapping coming from all the churches in the area and it’s sunny… Pretty good start to the day!

We have had a busy old week making our way from Dar Es Salaam down to Blantyre. We departed Dar last Sunday after Richard replaced our rear shocks and we headed for the border with Malawi. We stopped at two gorgeous campsites along the way and had a quick and simple 30 minute border crossing at Songwe.

Excited about the shocks anyone?:


However, it wasn’t long after leaving Dar that we found our brakes to be toast. How annoying after waiting all that time for parts from the UK! The pads were so bad that they had knackered the discs as well 😦 Careful driving and lots of engine braking later, we were in Lilongwe, Malawi to pop into the Land Rover dealership… that no longer exists. Wonderful.

Richard found one set of Land Rover rear pads and one set of after-market front pads from a local workshop, even though they took 4 hours to find we were very lucky indeed!

We have been travelling with a lovely Swiss couple in their 1980’s Range Rover (lovely big noisy V8!) and met them for our last night of beers and fried foods, they have now departed for Zambia and we have some time left in Malawi yet.

One of our campsite mates:


Anyway, that’s us for now… Richard has just spotted his favourite childhood restaurant so it looks like we are headed out for dinner at Hong Kong Chinese in the next couple of days.