Katja Lachmann


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Letters | katja |

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Senga Bay & Lilongwe

Leaving in a bad mood Cape Maclear, the 6 Spanish, their driver and me left to Salima. In Salima they wanted to search the street shops for nice things to buy and bring home. I was not at all in the mood to do that. Instead of following them to the shops I was sitting down in the shadow beside a soap shop and was watching the car. I was distrusting everybody in that moment, being in such bad mood that I did not talk to anybody. When people where passing the streets, coming over to start a talk with white girl sitting in the shadow, I just put my hat into my face and said nothing. I did not want to greet, I did not want to talk nor to look in anybodies eyes. From time to time where children passing and saying, as always, 'Hello! Give me money!'. I did not say anything. One time I said hello, although I knew the question for money will follow immediately. Instead of saying NO, I looked at the child and said, 'GIVE ME MONEY!', holding my hand as they always did. The kid was surprised and struggled as it did not face such situation before. The kid repeated the question and I did the same. I had enough, it was just too much that day.

After two hours waiting for the Spanish coming back with all their shoppings, I was in a slight better mood. We went on direction Senga Bay and the Spanish started to sing all songs you can imagine. They sang also a lot of Spanish songs that I unfortunately did not know. Somewhen late, it was already dark, we arrived in Senga Bay and stayed at the campsite Stepstone (? - I do not remember exactly). It is a campsite that is part of the noble hotel in Senga Bay on the beach. It costs 300 MKW (2,8 $) per person, not per tent, but we anyway decided to stay. After putting the tents and having a shower we went to a nice restaurant where lots of lizards were running along the walls. It was really very nice and the food we ordered was just delicious. As it was the birthday of one Spanish we even ate a big cake! Oh was I happy filled with all that good food! It was very funny and so I sometimes could forget about the afternoon when my mobile phone was stolen.

In the morning we decided to leave to some so called Hippo Pools, where you can watch Hippos. Instead of walking along the beach as one girl had a broken leg, we went by car. Arriving in the place where we could enter to see the Hippo Pools, a person told us that the Hippos had gone to the lake as the pools have too less water. Thus we decided not to enter but go straight to Lilongwe.

In Lilongwe we first went to change money, buy food, search accomodation for me...that I refused as it was bad conditions for lot of money. I was asking at the Councils Resthouse and was offered basic accomodation for 250 MKW (2,4 $) without any mosquito net, in a urin smelling house, better accomodation for 450 MKW (4,5 $) in a new-built house where inside the rooms was no difference to the basic accomodation and not even showers. I was lead to a room where you could have a shower and decided to refuse the offer. Then I was told there are better rooms including shower in the room. I was told the price to be 850 MKW (8,5 $) what 'should be no problem to finance' for me. I said, 'Why do you think I am traveling through Africa with a tent?' and went off. I did not like the Resthouse, nor the people, nor the surroundings. It is a very loud and crowded area.

Being in Lilongwe I experienced the first time during my trip through Southern Africa that there are traffic jams. They are terrible and people are a bit aggressive. Lilongwe is not too big, I would say and then there are too many cars. The result are traffic jams where nothing is moving forwards nor backwards.

In Lilongwe I stayed at Kiboko Camp, what is a very nice place. I enjoyed it very much, paying 340 MKW (3,2 $) for camping, getting always hot water for tea ;), washing my clothes without problems, having HOT! showers ... I loved it. I was very happy until the day a lot of Overlanders (the Safari Groups) came and partied until 2 in the morning. I would have liked to party, too, but I was supposed to leave the next morning to South Luangwa National Park in Zambia, what is not an easy trip. Thus I was disappointed but even asking them for a little bit silence and turning off the music it was a situation I had to bear.