back-packing Malawi solo
20.10.2004 - 05.11.2004 32 °C
Marabuanji.......... 'good day' .Those words were directed to me on my arrival in Blyntyre.
Ok, I've had adventures trips where I didn't know where I will be or when I will get there and what I will do when I get there.This trip was one of those and sadly for me I have had more of those trips than I care to count. It was in October 2004, I decided to celebrate my birthday doing something adventures. I had made the necessary arrangements for the trip i.e: a. I obtained a Mocambiquen visa b. booked a train from Johannesburg to Mesina (border between South Africa and Zimbabwe) & c. booked a bus from Harare to Malawi - Blyntyre. it alll sounded great on paper. I took a train from Johannesburg to Mesina on the Sunday evening around 17:45pm, the train arrived at Mesina at 10:00 am. I then took a taxi from the train station to the Zimbabwean border post. My reasoning was saving money and walking on the no-mans land! well I went through immigrations on the South African side I then walked across Beitbridge walking above the Limpompo river. I had my camera at my hand (those days I used a camera with a flim not a SLR etc). As I entered the gate for Zimbabwe I was asked to step aside by Zimbabwean police. I was asked why I had my camera at my hand, I explained that I took it out when I went through immigration on the South African side. I was told that I need to give them the film since I might be a journalist and I might publish pictures I have been taking/I took of the Zimbabwean police. it all didn't make sense to me, Well to cut a long story short I was told that if I want to enter Zimbabwe I need to use a diferent border post preferebly fly in because I will not be granted entry that day at that specific border post. After a long argument with Zimbabwean police I did a U-turn and went back to the South African side. As I approached South African police noticed me I think I was crying because I was so angry and just had an argument with someone. I explained to the South African police what had happened. They asked me what I wanted to do. I explained that I had to catch a bus from Harare to Malawi the next morning and I need to cross the border that morning. The South African policeman took me across to Zimbabwe and they talked to the Zimbabwean police, I remember the Zimbabwean police saying that they (south African police) need to teach their citizen how to adress man in uniform, another argument arose between them BUT I was granted entry. I decided to change my cloths incase the Zimbabwean police will be after me etc.. after changing I went through immigrations in Zimbabwe and I was granted entry.Adrenaline adrenaline rush..
I then took a bus from beitbridge to Harare, I left Beitbridge at 13:00 and arrived in Harare late that evening. I did manage to catch my bus to Blantyre-Malawi.On arrival in malawi the following evening I checked into a B&B. the following morning I made arrangements for sight seing and to travell to Lake Malawi. there is just as much you can see in Blyntre... Blyntre is easy to travell around.. buses are readily available and people are quite helpful... If you ever find yourself in Blyntre try to relax and enjoy the small, cousy city...