Travelling in Malawi

Old Jun 22nd 2007, 7:44 am
  #1  
Carine Guibert
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Default Travelling in Malawi

Hello,

My husband and I have the project to travel this summer (in august) in
Malawi, with a french travel agency. It would be a safari, organized
for just the two of us, with an international flight Paris/
Johannesburg/Blantyre. Then we would take the road until Liwonde
national Park, for a few nights at Mvuu Wilderness Lodge. After that,
we would take the road to lake Malawi, Mumbo Island precisely, to go
to Kayak Africa Lodge. We would come back to Blantyre or Lilongwe
airport/Johannesburg/Paris (SAA).

We would be very grateful to any of you for giving us advice for
security matters ; indeed, the french Foreign affairs ministry warn
people that safety may be endangered in some touristic places in
Malawi.

If some of you have already travelled in this country, please, let us
know. Including about accomodation and landscape.

Thank you in advance,

Sincerely yours,

Carine Guibert and Fr�d�ric Salein, from Toulouse, France.
 
Old Jun 22nd 2007, 8:49 pm
  #2  
Marc Lurie
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Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

Hello Carine,

I think it is quite common for European and American advisory bodies
to warn about the dangers of travelling in Africa. These warning are
usually the result of a lot of unnesecary paranoia, and an
over-reaction to an event/s that happened.

I have travelled a fair amount in Malawi, and I would consider it one
of the safest African countries from a criminal safety perspective.
While it is not as asfe as countries in Western Europe, and there is a
lot of petty theft, it is relatively easy to avoid being affected
simply by following common sense.

I don't know Mumbo Island specifically, but Lake Malawi is marvelous.
From a safety point of view, stay away from the "beach boys" who hang
around on the lake shore and offer to sell you "space cakes". These
are small cakes baked with loads of marijuana. The authorities have
recently clamped down on marijuana, and the penalties are quite
severe.

I like Malawi very much. People are extremely friendly, and the
countryside is beautiful. The towering cliffs of the Rift valley in
the northern part of the lake are absolutely magnificent. It's a
despeartely poor country, but a fantastic place to visit.

If you're going to have spare time in Johannesburg, please drop me an
e-mail, and I will be able to suggest some places to stay, things to
do etc.

Regards,
Marc


On Fri, 22 Jun 2007 12:44:48 -0700, [email protected] wrote:

>Hello,
>
>My husband and I have the project to travel this summer (in august) in
>Malawi, with a french travel agency. It would be a safari, organized
>for just the two of us, with an international flight Paris/
>Johannesburg/Blantyre. Then we would take the road until Liwonde
>national Park, for a few nights at Mvuu Wilderness Lodge. After that,
>we would take the road to lake Malawi, Mumbo Island precisely, to go
>to Kayak Africa Lodge. We would come back to Blantyre or Lilongwe
>airport/Johannesburg/Paris (SAA).
>
>We would be very grateful to any of you for giving us advice for
>security matters ; indeed, the french Foreign affairs ministry warn
>people that safety may be endangered in some touristic places in
>Malawi.
>
>If some of you have already travelled in this country, please, let us
>know. Including about accomodation and landscape.
>
>Thank you in advance,
>
>Sincerely yours,
>
>Carine Guibert and Fr�d�ric Salein, from Toulouse, France.
 
Old Jun 23rd 2007, 1:58 pm
  #3  
Bobs your uncle
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

I went there last year for four days. I was privileged to have a mutual
friend put me up for those days.

There is only one piece of advice, however, I would give after my short
experience there, and that is, DON'T FLY AIR MALAWI if it is at all
possible. I can testify that flying on them was a huge mistake.

The seat pitch is only 29" or so, much less than most other domestic
airlines worldwide. (I am 6'2" and it was not a pretty sight). They herded
us on to a 737 that was not too shabby, except the air conditioning was not
functioning during the next 30 minutes we were forced to endure sitting on
the tarmac in.

The taxi speed out to takeoff was no more than an estimated 15 km/h, so that
went on forever on Jo'burg's long taxiways.

The takeoff, climb, cruise and descent were all 'normal' as could be
expected. The in-flight meal was acceptable. Then came the landing..... this
was absolutely, without a doubt the worst landing I have made in any
aircraft over the 20 years of my flying experience. (I hold a valid
Commercial pilot's licence). There was no flare and consequently the
aircraft impacted the ground so heavily that upon our embarkation, there
were technicians scurrying madly over to the undercarriage (or what was left
of it) to visually inspect the damage.

After relaying this story to my Malawiian friends, it turns out that this is
'ops normal procedure' for Air Malawi. There have been reports of brake
assemblies flying off the a/c after similar such arrivals.

Go South African Airways or Kenyan if at all possible - the small difference
in fare is well worth the insurance!!!

Enjoy your trip!

Mike.


<[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected] oups.com...
Hello,

My husband and I have the project to travel this summer (in august) in
Malawi, with a french travel agency. It would be a safari, organized
for just the two of us, with an international flight Paris/
Johannesburg/Blantyre. Then we would take the road until Liwonde
national Park, for a few nights at Mvuu Wilderness Lodge. After that,
we would take the road to lake Malawi, Mumbo Island precisely, to go
to Kayak Africa Lodge. We would come back to Blantyre or Lilongwe
airport/Johannesburg/Paris (SAA).

We would be very grateful to any of you for giving us advice for
security matters ; indeed, the french Foreign affairs ministry warn
people that safety may be endangered in some touristic places in
Malawi.

If some of you have already travelled in this country, please, let us
know. Including about accomodation and landscape.

Thank you in advance,

Sincerely yours,

Carine Guibert and Frédéric Salein, from Toulouse, France.
 
Old Jun 24th 2007, 2:33 am
  #4  
info
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

We would be very grateful to any of you for giving us advice for
security matters ; indeed, the french Foreign affairs ministry warn
people that safety may be endangered in some touristic places in
Malawi.


Hi Carine & Frederic,

although Malawi is a reasonable safe country one must realise that more then
98% of the Malawi population is poor. Therefore don't show off with jewels
and camera's.
The safari company however won't take you to places which are dangerous, or
where you would run a higher risk of getting robbed.

Malawi is a beautiful country with very friendly people overall. Don't go
swimming in Lake Malawi as you might contract bilharzia.

Enjoy your trip!

Regards from the bush,

Corn�.

www.amukela.com
 
Old Jun 24th 2007, 3:49 am
  #5  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

Regarding Bilharzia in Lake Malawi, here are some references:

http://www.travelhealthzone.com/ask/.../bilharzia.php

http://www.iexplore.com/dmap/Malawi/Activities

http://www.getawayafrica.com/index.p...&locationId=-1

Essentially, they all say the same thing:

Bilharzia is present in most sub-Saharan African fresh water, and Lake
Malawi is no exception. The chances of contracting Bilharzia are very
small if you stay away from stagnant, shallow, and reeded areas.

Personally, I have never contracted Bilharzia, but I am always careful
to wear sandals in shallow water, so that does limit the chances
somewhat. But I must stress that there is still a chance that I could
get the disease.

I know what the symptoms are (fatigue, abdominal cramps, diahorea,
occasionally blood in the urine,etc. usually within 2 months of
exposure) and I will immediately seek my doctors assistance if the
symptoms ever appear. The cure is a very simple single dose of
Praziquantel after lab confirmation of the disease.

I would not let the possibility of contracting Bilharzia stop me from
enjoying watersports and the fantastic diving that can be done in
Malawi.

Regards,
Marc
 
Old Jun 24th 2007, 7:08 am
  #6  
Liz Leyden
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

In message <[email protected]>
Marc Lurie <[email protected]> wrote:


>
> Bilharzia is present in most sub-Saharan African fresh water, and Lake
> Malawi is no exception. The chances of contracting Bilharzia are very
> small if you stay away from stagnant, shallow, and reeded areas.
>
> Personally, I have never contracted Bilharzia, but I am always careful
> to wear sandals in shallow water, so that does limit the chances
> somewhat. But I must stress that there is still a chance that I could
> get the disease.
>
> I know what the symptoms are (fatigue, abdominal cramps, diahorea,
> occasionally blood in the urine,etc. usually within 2 months of
> exposure) and I will immediately seek my doctors assistance if the
> symptoms ever appear. The cure is a very simple single dose of
> Praziquantel after lab confirmation of the disease.
>
> I would not let the possibility of contracting Bilharzia stop me from
> enjoying watersports and the fantastic diving that can be done in
> Malawi.

The son of an acquaintance caught Bilharzia in Lake Malawi, but, as
you said, it was very easily cured and he was none the worse for it.

Slainte

Liz


--
http://www.v-liz.com - Kenya; Tanzania; Namibia; India; Galapagos
Photo Gallery:
http://www.betterphoto.com/gallery/g...?memberID5111
 
Old Jun 29th 2007, 4:31 am
  #7  
info
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

>
> The son of an acquaintance caught Bilharzia in Lake Malawi, but, as
> you said, it was very easily cured and he was none the worse for it.
>

The question Liz is: would you go swimming in that Lake? I agree that it is
easily to cure, but better not catch it!

Regards,

Corn�.

www.amukela.com
 
Old Jun 30th 2007, 7:48 pm
  #8  
Marc Lurie
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

Corne and Liz,

There's an old joke about "How do you tell if there's bilharzia in the
water in a river in South Africa?" The answer is "Put your finger into
the water. If it gets wet, then there's bilharzia" :-)

Bilharzia is particularly prevalent in the Vaal River system as well
as most rivers to the north of the Witwatersrand, in the Northern
Province, Mpumalanga, and Kwazulu Natal. I've been swimming and
mucking about in these rivers for 40 years, and I've never had
bilharzia. Some of my friends did get it when I was younger.

The real danger areas in water are where the water is stagnant and
shallow because the snails that carry the disease can't live in deep
or fast flowing water.

For me, the beauty and sheer enjoyment of swimming and snorkeling in
Lake Malawi far outweigh the possibility of getting bilharzia.

Regards,
Marc

On Fri, 29 Jun 2007 18:31:18 +0200, Corn�
<[email protected]> wrote:

>
>
>>
>> The son of an acquaintance caught Bilharzia in Lake Malawi, but, as
>> you said, it was very easily cured and he was none the worse for it.
>>
>
>The question Liz is: would you go swimming in that Lake? I agree that it is
>easily to cure, but better not catch it!
>
>Regards,
>
>Corn�.
>
>www.amukela.com
 
Old Jun 30th 2007, 8:25 pm
  #9  
info
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Travelling in Malawi

"Marc Lurie" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
> Corne and Liz,
>
> There's an old joke about "How do you tell if there's bilharzia in the
> water in a river in South Africa?" The answer is "Put your finger into
> the water. If it gets wet, then there's bilharzia" :-)

That's a nice joke!

>
> The real danger areas in water are where the water is stagnant and
> shallow because the snails that carry the disease can't live in deep
> or fast flowing water.

At some places at Lake Malawi I saw these snails, as well as reeds.... I
didn't go for a swim then.

>
> For me, the beauty and sheer enjoyment of swimming and snorkeling in
> Lake Malawi far outweigh the possibility of getting bilharzia.
>

I also loved it, but we went swimming on those spots where there was only
beach, no reeds etc.

Regards,

Corn�.

www.amukela.com
 

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