Cycling The Globe

A Cycle Touring Expedition Around The World

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Day 2002 – 2005: Nkhata Bay, Malawi

Posted by Thomas Andersen Posted on Apr - 24 - 2016

Distance: 47.4 km
Ride time: 2:33:16
Average: 18.6 km/h
Max speed: 50.4 km/h
Total: 48156 km

I joined a couple of good guys from the local Mzuzu cycle club for the ride down to the clear waters of Lake Malawi. Nkhata Bay has the reputation among cyclists and other travellers for being a place you plan to visit for a few days but end up staying for a few months.

I was also aware that it would be a more expensive place than the tiny villages I have normally visited in Malawi, but since I still had more Malawian Kwacha than could fit in my pocket, I thought it would be OK.

Well, the views from Nkhata Bay over Lake Malawi certainly didn’t disappoint.

It was Easter so it seemed like half of Malawi had decided to come to Nkhata Bay for the weekend. Perhaps a bit too crowded for my taste, but after spending some time in the middle of nowhere it was certainly nice to meet other travellers again.

It was not difficult to understand why people would end up spending months at the shore of Lake Malawi, but after four days I thought I had my share. The road was calling again – next stop will be Tanzania!

I have this principle that I want to cycle as much as possible and only take buses when absolutely necessary – like going through the Chobe National Park in Botswana where cycling is not allowed (and probably not a good idea). Now, Since I was going back up the mountain the same way I had come down the other day, I thought I would be a bit lazy and make an exception to my own rule.

Taking a local bus without a bicycle would be a bit of adventure in itself. Bringing a bicycle, it becomes more of a hassle. First of all you have to negotiate a price. Then the guys wanted to tie my bike under the bus, but knowing the amount of pot holes I thought that was a very bad idea. Finally we found a solution.

Cycling is more simple…

Categories: Malawi
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4 Responses so far.

  1. Kelly says:

    Amazing! We’re heading off on a world cycle trip in a couple of weeks, but haven’t decided whether we will head to Africa yet. It seems like an amazing place to cycle though. Finding your blogs very interesting – hopefully it will help us make a decision in the future 🙂

  2. Ingenious idea to secure it to the ceiling of the bus. 🙂

  3. Hi Kelly! How is exciting that you are about to leave on a round the world ride as well! It’s good fun out here 🙂 I was also not sure if I wanted to go to Africa, but I’m certainly very happy that I did! Happy riding!

  4. Hi Kelly,

    Im planning a trip to Malawi for charity. Nick Butter (1st man to run a marathon in every country of the world)is going to run the length of the coutry, and is aiming to support at least 7 community projects on this route. I am tasked with planning the route… as I am going to be support cycling I thought a good place to start would be by planning as if I was going to cycle. Would you mind sharing your route with me and perhaps we can work together a small bit with your expertise?! Thanks so much!