After Zanzibar, we spent a couple more days in Dar es Salaam taking care of some business (yes, vagabonds have business to take care of too!) and arranging the next portion of our journey. We were heading southwest to Lake Malawi, which ended up being an exhausting 40 hour traverse by bus, minibus, matatu, taxi, minibus, taxi and another taxi. The scenery we passed was breathtaking, but at times difficult to appreciate - like the times when someone is sitting in your lap nursing their newborn and your arm is faling asleep because it's been pinned behind you for 3 hours.
When we finally made it to Nkhata Bay on Lake Malawi, we were ecstatic and the crew at Big Blue made use feel right at home by offering us beers and entertaining us with hilarious stories of their escapades over the past month. Two Brits and a South African recently took over management of the place and are working to fix it up, along with a team of 20+ Malawians. It seemed like a huge task to us, but they appeared to be loving every minute of it - especially the daily beers with the police chief and local politicians to ensure things ran smoothly...
Lake Malawi has some of the most amazing fresh water marine life found anywhere in the world. Swimming around feels like being inside a giant aquarium. It's very relaxing, as is just sitting on the porch of your hut overlooking the lake, reading a book or watching the locals paddle by in their dugout canoes. The people are ultra-friendly in Malawi and, for a landlocked country, it oddly has a bit of a Jamaican feel. It was nice to be able to let our guard down after East Africa, where you sort of have to be on the look out for people trying to rip you off at all times.
We wished we had more time on the Lake, but decided to continue overland to South Africa, and so the push was on!