Monday, 6 February 2017

South, among the hippos and crocodiles!

After a couple of days lounging about in Monkey Bay, I carried on southwards to Liwonde National Park - staying in a Lodge in the middle of the park, an hour upriver in a small boat. Though it was big enough to weave in and out of families of hippos and steer clear of the crocodiles.

The park is also home to zebras and impalas and bushbuck - soon to be lion-breakfast, as there are plans to reintroduce the big cats. (Apparently warthog is a favourite food of lions, partly, maybe, as they are relatively easy to catch! Which might leave the impalas for the crocodiles.) It is also home to thousands of migrant birds - tiny yellow weaver birds, swallows, and multi-coloured kingfishers. And magnificent fish eagles. It is the best-building season, so I watched as male weavers construct three hanging nests and then strut their stuff in the hope that a passing female will take a fancy to one of them.

I picked so much useless (in the UK) but unforgettable information! For instance, adolescent male elephants display their manhoods by extending their penises till they are dragging along the ground. And I've seen armies of ants on the ground ...

More worryingly, the local health centre (with no running water) is seeing up to 50 cases of malaria a day at the moment, most of them children under 5.

I tore myself away from Liwonde to spend four days on the Zomba Plateau, where it's lush and green, with unpredictable mountain weather. So I've had serious wind and rain. And no electricity.

Sorry, but I can't give you a photo this time. I've got an iPad-charging problem, and am having to eek out my battery. I promise pictures when I get home.


  1. It must be worrying for the elephants to have something dragging on the ground with all the ants about.......shuddders......:-)

  2. How amazing to see animals in their natural setting! You are so fortunate!

  3. Ah Jo, Africa in all its diversity, its richness and its poverty. No running water doesn't mean no water, but no healthy water...wish I was there too!

  4. Thanks for taking the trouble to post despite the iPad problems - I have been wondering how you are getting along and it does sound as if you are seeing some spectacular sights. Look forward to hearing about it when you return.

  5. We saw our own hippos and crocodiles in Ethiopia, although the hippos were all under water, so we only saw their tops. I was amazed at the number of animals we saw, especially in the south of the country. Africa is a very special continent.

  6. Thanks for your reports. They are eye-catching as always.

    Greetings from London.