Farewell to Malawi

Due to the lack of Internet in central Mozambique, we’ve been unable to bid a timely farewell to our time in Malawi. Given how rough the last couple days were, I already miss Malawi. In comparison to Tanzania and Mozambique, travelling in Malawi was a breeze.

The biggest difference between travelling in Malawi and neighbouring Tanzania and Mozambique is the roads. The roads in Malawi are downright luxurious in comparison to Tanzania and Mozambique. Because of Japanese investments, the conditions of Malawian roads are improving at a rapid pace. In contrast, Tanzanian roads are poorly built and rarely maintained, often times you can see the road cave in because the road was not built on a proper foundation. The problem is exacerbated by Tanzanians’ unhealthy obsession for giant speed bumps. As for Mozambican roads, my first impression was “how did this happen?” How did potholes get so big, so deep? How are there so many? I hope they don’t bust my suspensions.  Having done most of my driving in North America, good roads are something I take for granted. Now I see a properly sealed road as an engineering marvel.

In addition to the roads, widespread English fluency, and surprisingly developed tourist infrastructure made our journey across Malawi exceptionally smooth.

The awesome staff at Mgoza Lodge in Cape Maclear

From Malawi to Tete

After 4 days of lounging, sea kayaking, and snorkeling in Cape Maclear, we made our way south to Zomba – Malawi’s old capital – to visit Jen, a friend of mine from college who just moved to Malawi for a fellowship. After 3 nights in Zomba, we headed for the infamous Tete Corridor in Mozambique.

As recently as 10 years ago, the Tete Corridor – the small strip of Mozambique separating Zimbabwe and Malawi – was considered one of the toughest drives in Africa due to poor road conditions and banditry. Although the recent mining boom in Tete has made the Tete Corridor safe for travel, it doesn’t make visiting any more inviting. One travel writer described Tete as ‘hot, humid, and dusty’ – a combination I didn’t even know was physically possible – while another described it as ‘malaria infested.’ Kind of like when a movie’s review is so bad it makes you want to see it, I am definitely intrigued to see Tete in all its crappiness.

After our unfortunate mandatory stay in Tete, I can confirm that Tete met all of my lowly expectations. The city is indeed hot, humid, dusty, and mosquito infested, not to mention grossly overpriced.

Even though I still have more to say, it is time to call it a post . As those of you who follow me on twitter already know, we are currently in Beira. It is time to get some rest in preparation for a long day of driving tomorrow. Off we go to Vilankulo.

Follow my odyssey on Twitter @AlpheusChan

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