St Michael and All Angels, Blantyre Mission

Jan 13

Blantyre (Malawi) is named after Blantyre (Scotland), the birthplace of Dr. David Livingstone.

The best place to go for a walk near the centre of Blantyre is the historic Blantyre Mission. It was here where Scottish missionaries founded the original Blantyre Mission. In the late 1950s Blantyre Mission handed over administrative authority to the local Malawian church (CCAP Blantyre Synod) that grew from the mission. The grounds of the Blantyre Synod HQ are still called Blantyre Mission although the area is typically (and incorrectly) referred to locally as HHI.

HHI is the Henry Henderson Institue (a primary and secondary school) next to St Michael's church on the mission grounds. Henry Henderson was the Scottish missionary who together with Tom Bokwito (Henderson's guide) found the location for the mission. Tom Bokwito was a slave freed by Dr David Livingstone himself (and Bishop MacKenzie) who later studied at the Lovedale College in South Africa and then later...

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Malawi's Varied Scenery - 2nd (of 30) Reasons to Visit

Jan 5

Due to it's location within the Great Rift Valley, Malawi combines a deep lake with towering escarpments and varied mountains, hills and rivers. Frequently changing, the landscape is beautiful without being inaccessible. The rolling hills of the tea estates contrast with the high mountains, rocky hills and plateaus resulting in ever changing views as you travel around the country.

When considering the mountains it is hard to imagine two more different, yet beautiful, mountains, than Mulanje and Nyika. Mulanje is a lifetime's worth of exploring for numerous types of adventurer from hiker, to rock climber, to bouldering enthusiast and this is because of it's combination of numerous rocky peaks on top of an idyllic plateau. Nyika Plateau in contrast is rolling green landscapes filled with all levels of wildlife from the largest land animals to endemic species of flora and fauna. Zomba Mountain is different again where the vibe is gentle walks along nature trails by...

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Malawi is Beautiful - 1st (of 30) Reasons to Visit

Jan 5

This is a simple argument for visiting Malawi. Many countries are beautiful of course. Malawi’s strength on this is that it is (i) very beautiful and (ii) that beauty has many aspects.

Lake Malawi is often described as probably or possibly the most beautiful lake in the world. Mulanje Mountain is also spectacular with so many different aspects to it's grandeur. Nyika Plateau is an altogether different mountain but also has another kind of mystical 'other world' beauty. Malawi’s attraction lies in it’s people, it’s language, the mountains, rivers, wildlife and stunning settings for those safaris on land, lake and river. 

To really begin to appreciate Malawi’s beauty you will have to consider other elements of the 30 reasons to visit Malawi. However, to start understanding why Malawi is beautiful first consider that it is within the Great Rift Valley. This is what gives Malawi it's great and beautiful lake and some of the landscapes combining escarpments, hills and...

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30 Reasons to Visit Malawi

Jan 4

There are many reasons for visiting Malawi. It is the combination of reasons which makes such a strong case for Malawi. 

It's easier to market a country with one big spectacular fact or visitor attraction. However, in reality the interaction of factors makes or breaks a good case for whether somewhere is good to visit. This is something I've wanted to write about and so I am making a start with '30 Reasons to Visit Malawi'. It may only be a list, but it is a start. 

1.        It is a beautiful country
2.       Varied landscapes and lake views
3.       Compact with practical travelling distances
4.       It contains the most beautiful lake in the world
5.       It has ‘probably’ the best mountain in the world
6.       Warm and gentle people
7.       Away from the tourist crowds
8.       Fascinating history
9.       An ideal beginners introduction to Africa
10.     Spectacular tropical storms
11.     A hiker’s paradise
12.     The density of different bird species
13.     Safe...

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Majete Wildlife Reserve - a day trip

Dec 20

Majete makes a good day trip if you are not based too far away.

About an hour and a half from Blantyre there is a pool and restaurant just inside the entrance gate. As Majete is in a hot area of the country and considering that you are likely to go on a game drive; a drink and a swim upon arrival may be ideal. Below the pool and restaurant is a waterhole. After a dip we watched a waterbuck and a warthog cooling off. 

 

Also next to the entrance gate there is useful information as well as tasteful local products in the shop. When we arrived late in the morning I could see from the park entry book that were the first arrivals of the day..

Although in all likelihood there were overnight guests elsewhere, to have almost a whole National Park to yourself is a luxury that must be unusual in many other parts of the world. You may question my use of 'National Park' but in Malawi there is little difference in reality between what are called Wildlife Reserves  (or Game...

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