Road Trip

For this holiday season my good bud Kevin and I decided to hitchhike through Malawi and Tanzania. Prior to meeting up with Kevin  I decided to take a slight detour to visit my favorite place in Mozambique, Angoche, where my good friends Anneke and Mafe live.

Angoche is Mozambique’s hidden gem; no tourists, amazing beaches, friendly people, delicious food, and beautiful sunsets. What more can one ask for, right? Well how about a boat ride for some snorkeling? Talk about the cherry on top!

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After my time in Angoche it was time hop onto the train and meet up Kevin in Ribaue, Nampula. Hanging out with Kevin and seeing the amount he has integrated within his community was amazing. Kevin spends most of his time in the Sawa Sawa village within Ribaue. Here he has learned the local language, he is an active member of the local church, and he has also learned the landscape as if it were the back of his hand (great for going on hikes).
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Next stop on the list was the Mozambique/Malawi border. To get to the border we had another train ride, this time from Ribaue to Cuamba.

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Once we got to the border we changed out our money from the Mozambican Metical to the Malawian Kwacha. IMG_8703
Once in Malawi we made our way to Liwonde National Park  to camp out for a few nights. ‘Please stay within a hundred meters from our camp’ says the camp ranger. As soon as Kevin and I hear this we give each other the look and accept this as a challenge. We ended up taking a walk through the national park and saw hippos, water buck, gazelles, baboons, warthogs, and many more animals.

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Oh yeah… we also saw an elephant! Kevin first spotted the elephant from afar and suggested we  get closer. Knowing how dangerous elephants could be I initially said no. ‘Ok I guess we could get little closer’ went through my head. As soon as I started snapping away I quickly lost track of how close I was getting. Before I knew it I was about 20 yards away from it I turn to look for Kevin and he’s another 50 yards behind me.

‘If it turns don’t run… If it turns don’t run…If it turns don’t run… Stay calm… Stay calm… Stay calm’

‘PHEWWWWW GWRAPH GRARPH!!!!!!!’ Says Mister Giant Elephant.

Elephant turn around quickly, flares his ears and lifts front feet off the ground!

‘Oh shit!’ I turn and run. Three steps into my run I remember the ranger said not to run away.

I stop try and relax and now the elephant and I are in a staring contest. It takes a three charging steps towards me but it must have laughed at how terrified I look and it decided to return to its dinner. The elephant marches away pridefully knowing it just defeated the stupid little human.

Luck. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like such an idiot before.

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After my near death experience it was time to head to our next stop on our trip, Nkotakata. We only stay here one night but this one night was enough to see the beauty of Lake Malawi.

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After our night in Nkotakata we made our way to Livingstonia to spend Christmas with several Malawi Peace Corps volunteers. We stayed at The Mushroom Farm, a beautiful place in the mountains that overlooks Lake Malawi. While here we also hiked to the Manchewe Waterfalls, Malawi’s largest waterfall.

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On the walk down from the waterfalls Kevin and I came across a huge dance party. So of course we had to stop by and join in.

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Christmas with the Malawi PCVs was awesome! A special thanks for all of them for taking us in and showing us a great time!

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Next stop, cross the border into Tanzania and make our way to the train station in Mbeya. Our train went from Mbeya all the way to Dar es Salaam, a 20 hour train ride.

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As soon as we made it to Dar es Salaam we caught the ferry to head to Zanzibar. In Zanzibar Kevin met up with his friends from his Peace Corps Masters International Program. We also met up with many other PCVs from Tanzania. We snorkeled, we partied, and played football off a boat. Zanzibar was an extremely beautiful island with a lot of rich history behind it, definitely a place I will visit again.

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After Zanzibar we went back to Dar es Salaam and began leapfrogging  towards Mozambique. On one of our rides Kevin met Philipina, a young lady who is studying medicine who offered us to stay at her uncles house in Lindi. Lindi is a small calm town near the beach so of course we couldn’t turn down this offer. We stayed with her uncle who was a doctor at the local hospital. We were received by such great hospitality that we just had to stay another night.  A special thanks to Philipina and Dr. Keneth and his family for the unbelievable hospitality.

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After Lindi we started making our way to the border. We didn’t necessarily know how to cross the border so we just trusted directions from strangers. These directions led us to the middle of nowhere, non the less it was the border. At the border we were met by a young gentleman with a small boat who offered to take us across for a small fee. Not having any other choice to cross the Rovuma River… the youngster got paid.

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Once we crossed the border we stopped in Palma, a small fising town,  to catch a ride to Mocimboa da Praia. In Mocimboa da Praia I met up with a really good friend, Mama Lina, who let us camp at her lodge for the night.

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After Mocimboa da Praia Kevin and I split our separate ways to go to our homes. The hospitality received throughout this entire trip was unbelievable. I’m blessed to live in such a beautiful country and such a beautiful continent.

*Special thanks to Anna Weaver for letting us use her bug hut!

~ by rhexperience on January 12, 2014.

3 Responses to “Road Trip”

  1. Awesome!

  2. So jealous, in a good way! Experience of a lifetime.

  3. OOOOOOO this just excites me 🙂

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