Four Strikes From a Dog

· 2 min read · malawi lake dog

At the Malawi border, a computer problem at customs delayed my importation paperwork. The customs officer smiled at my offer of technical support and waved me into the office. Unfortunately, I couldn't help, but the problem seemed resolved when I was given my temporary import permit.

Many have recommended Lake Malawi when they hear of my route. On the southern part, at Cape Maclear, I opted for the more relaxing overlander's campsite instead of the party life at the backpackers. Interesting to see tourists at the lake for the sun and beach compared to the locals' necessities of fishing, bathing, and washing clothes and cooking equipment.

Further up the Lake, I found a relaxing resort at Nkhata Bay. Camped on the steep rocky edge of the lake's bank, I could hear the waves lapping against the rocks. Fisherman paddled canoes with their catches back to land. Tourists swam to a pontoon to sunbath.

Resting at Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi.
Camped at Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi.

I made a silly mistake. My riding trousers were soaked in sweat, so I left them outside my tent overnight. The next morning, it was apparent from the smell and new damp patches that something had urinated on my trousers. I'd seen two dogs on site. On the second day, there was urine on my tent. On the third day, my ground sheet.

Before leaving, my pannier bag was ready to load onto my motorcycle. Whilst sat on the composting toilet, admiring the beauty of the lake, I saw a dog sniffing my pannier bag. The dog cocked its leg, took aim, and administered strike four. Leaping up from the toilet, I bolted towards the dog. We were face to face. The dog didn't flinch or budge. Raising my voice and waving my arms did the trick though.

Strike number four from a dog! Nkhata Bay, Lake Malawi.

The route from the main road up towards Livingstonia was awesome. Tight, back-to-back hairpins that took me 800 metres above Lake Malawi. The hairpins were concrete, so a bit easier than loose terrain. Here's my tracks (turquoise) on the GPS route (orange).

Twisties from Livingstonia to Chitimba, Malawi. Awesome fun to ride!

Here's a video of the return journey going down. Met a pleasant local and his boy on the way down.

The resort at the top had a stunning view. I was camped literally on the edge of a cliff. Lake Malawi was in the distance. Nighttime made it easy to see the bush fires, which are unfortunately mostly intentional.

View from near Livingstonia looking out to Lake Malawi and Chitimba in the distance.

I met many cool people here. In particular, Kinga from on her bike! Awesome to sink some beers, and chat motorcycle and travel stuff. Shame we were heading in opposite directions.

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