A Travellerspoint blog

Crossing the border to Malawi

n the morning we look for Forex to buy some Malawi Kwatcha, but come away empty handed. We find a shared taxi to take us to the border, and before long are on our way. Within 30 minutes we reach the boarder, and are surrounded by guys wanting to change money with us. We go through immigration and then change our Zambian Kwatcha for Malawian Kwatcha. We walk across noman's land to the Malawian Immigration where the visa is free!! We then take a taxi to the minibus stand and find a bus to Lilongwe. On the way we buy a new SIM card. We pass through several police checks, which are a feature of this country. Arriving into Lilongwe's minibus station has us on edge. It is swarming with people, and we see pickpockets in action. People looking into the minibus to see what is there, we close the windows. As we get out, a guy tries to open the front pocket of our small backpack, E shoves him out of the way, we grab our bags and seek shelter by a wall. We watch the same guy take something from a lady's bag and is gone, blending into the crowd. We ask where taxis are and quickly negotiate a price to take us to the backpackers. We feel we can relax once we reach our lodging, securing a bedded tent for the night. We then wander back into town for ATMs and the supermarket. Many children are begging for food, and money, and we as Muzungu are targeted. There is no beer for sale in the supermarkets. Carlesberg has a monopoly on selling beer here, but they are moving production to a new factory, and supplies have run out. Fortunately the hostel bar is well stocked with Carlesberg 'Greens' and 'Browns' (regular and 'Special Brew', though not the same potent brew found in the UK!) At the bar we meet Lee who has just finished working further north for 6 months, who is a wealth of knowledge about Malawi and we pick his brain.

Posted by bumble_bee 07:09 Archived in Malawi

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