Last weekend we traveled up to the lake with a group of ten friends and stayed at Senga Bay. We rented a self-catering cottage right on the water. The bay is situated so that the waves are huge and crash onto the beach and it makes you feel like you’re at the ocean.
The weekend was to witness the first attempt by a woman to swim the 25 kilometers across Lake Malawi. Unfortunately, due to external forces such as current, high winds and waves, and a lack of GPS, she swam 35 kilometers but in a large arc and had to be pulled out of the water late in the evening without making it to land. There was a party to welcome her after her attempt with a brai, speeches, and live music. I do have to say, though, as proud of her as we all were, there was a rumor flying around that she was the second woman to attempt the swim.
Saturday we took a field trip to the local crocodile farm. This farm is the stuff of legends. It’s been around for decades, has over 16,000 crocs at any given time, and whenever you go to the lake, there is a rumor that at least three crocodiles have just escaped from the farm and are roaming the local waters.
The crocodiles are bred for their skin which is sent to Europe to make handbags, belts, and shoes. They seem to be happy enough creatures – content to relax in the pools of water or in the sun. It was most exciting to see the adult crocodiles – those who are at least 50 years old. These things were massive! They could snap you in half without even thinking about it. Sandy and Kevin drove the poor Malawian tour guide crazy as they asked at every single pin if they could buy a crocodile. They weren’t specific about age or color – any would do. The tour guide was not amused.
We were usually in two cars – one being Daisy who also went on the self-guided safari. Daisy is a really important part of our trips – she is a modest suburban mini-van and can carry at least eight people comfortably but she can handle anything Malawi throws at her – pot holes, goats, herds of cattle. And she’s perfect for tailgating.
All in all, it was a perfect weekend and we’re planning to go back next month!