Thursday 21 December 2017. Photos
Highlights: The Tanzania-Malawi Border Crossing
We farewelled Tanzania today and entered the small landlocked nation of Malawi today. This was our second consecutive long day driving as we covered 500 kms in around 12 hours. This time we left at the relatively late time of 6 am and it wasn’t long until the sun was up. Just before 5 am I woke up and found I had to go to the bathroom, it wasn’t worth going back to sleep for 15 minutes so I carefully dressed in the dark in order to avoid waking my roommate Tara.
Today for breakfast we had hot sausages in rolls in addition to the normal breakfast of cereal and toast. With the long drive today there wasn’t going to be a lunch stop so most of the group made their lunches as well to eat on the truck. I however decided to skip this as the sandwiches I make at 5.30 am always end up breaking up into small pieces by 11 am, snacks from a previous day will get me though.
The border crossing into Malawi was not ideal. First up it costs $75 USD for a visa which is the most of this trip and considering this will be the shortest country stay it felt a little high. Still this is a poor country so if it helps their economy then that is fine.
However the immigration process was not efficient or very fair. For example a man with a uniform come up to our group at random demanding yellow fever certificates without explaining why, eventually we determined he worked for the Malawi Government. Then three members of our group (Tera, Tim and Lorraine) had their yellow fever certificates singled out as they were only given a fraction of the normal dosage for the vaccination but still fine to travel in these areas. After much discussion the three were asked for $100 USD each to let them enter the country, eventually this was negotiated down to $100 USD total. Still the payment of this money in no way minimise any legitimate health issues which makes me feel this is was a cash in hand ‘fine’ or better known as a bribe. Still this puts the country in a very bad light.
We got into the Chitimba Beach campsite just as the sun was setting. I once again upgraded from camping to a basic room this time costing $23 USD with the room coming with a cold shower and most importantly a mosquito net over the bed. From what I could see Lake Malawi looked awesome.