427 km Makuzi Beach to Chembe Eagles Nest
13 249 km trip to date
On the way from the north to Makuzi we passed rubber plantations and saw the rubber trees being milked. Raw rubber balls made from strands of raw rubber are sold along the road.
Makuzi Beach is a holiday destination. The camping area is superb and the beach idylic. There is no bilharzia, as there are no villages near the beach. It is a private beach enclosed by huge rocks with crystal clear water.
We spent three nights at Makuzi and relaxed and swam for hours. The restaurant serves excellent food. One can spend a summer holiday here. We had camping neighbours from Gauteng with three small children, and the children were on the water in a small boat playing around and swimming for hours on end – extremely safe for small children. The lodge provide kajaks and rubber boats free of charge to all guests.
The second morning we had a severe tropical rainstorm with heavy rain, wind, thunder and lightning. Lightning struck behind us in the camp four times taking out the electricity of the whole camp. With the last strike Eric and Cobus had electrical currents going through them, as they were barefoot on the wet lawn. Their feet were warm and tingling for hours afterwards. The results could be disasterous, but we were very fortunate that it seemed to be a weak current.
The drive south towards Cape Maclear was through beautiful scenery. The main road from TZN to Lilongwe further south was not in great shape with lots of pedestrians and cyclists and the tar had ragged edges.
Once we reached Dwangwa, the Illovo sugarcane fields lined the road towards the lake and the landscape was more flat.
When we turned east towards Cape Maclear, we took a 15 km gravel shortcut through rural villages. These villages were more spread out and the houses were all surrounded by large maize fields which they were working with hoes and shovels. It appears to be a community effort, as large groups of people work in one field, with the other fields already weeded. Very neat with no littering and everybody had been working in the fields. Seeing this we realized once again on this trip that it is possible to live with very little and still be content. All people we passed were happy and smiling, the children playing and swimming in the muddy water after the rains.
A few kilometers before Monkey Bay is a roadside stall named Toys ‘R Us where some young guys make wooden cars. We stopped there and asked for a replica of our Cruizer. They told us that we had to go into Monkey Bay and print pictures from all sides and bring it back as reference as they do not have a ‘whatsapp phone’ (smartphone to take pictures) and we could collect the car two days later. Finding the printing shop in a small village built in a single line along the road was quite a tall order. All these little 6 sqm shops looked the same and we got our pictures at the second ‘computer’ shop after almost an hour of searching through the town. Back to Toys’R Us where the pictures immediately drew a crowd of small children who compared the pictures to the actual vehicle.
We arrived at Chembe Eagles Nest at Cape Maclear late the afternoon. A beautiful lake resort owned by South Africans with almost luxurious buildings. The campsites are limited and there were six vehicles from South Africa camping. No swimming for us, as the villages are all around and we had been warned about bilharzia at the Cape Maclear beaches.
Cobus and Henriette left us the next morning to go home. They decided to travel through Zimbabwe to be able to reach home within four days.