We have 2 visiting CAPA professors staying with us for 2 weeks, so we decided to pack up the family and the guests and go on a little adventure!
Despite our misadventure on a trip a couple weeks ago, we decided to go back to Kuti, but this time spend the night. Kuti’s prime time is “golden hour,” the hour just before the sunset or the hour just after the sunrise. And if you spend the night, you can be there for both. Kuti did not disappoint. We found a herd of nyala before we even got to the chalets!
Aaron and Myral stayed in one of these nice new chalets, and our family stayed in one of the 4-bed a-frame chalets. Simple, but sufficient.
Hotdogs and s’mores for dinner: great camping food, no matter what continent you’re on!
Then off for a good night’s sleep. The next morning, the girls were up early, so Matt took them out so I could sleep a little longer. Not happening though! It was 5am, but the sun was up, the zebra were braying, and I got up! I grabbed my towel and toiletry bag and headed for the bathrooms. I was a little sleepy-eyed, but glanced down the path as I stumbled to the bathrooms:
Hello nyala! So I, and my towel and toiletry bag, took off through the bush to check out a group of 6 young male nyala. They were beautiful. Myral later told me that he had seen a couple of them sparing shortly before I came out. Speaking of Myral, I found him, and Aaron, and my family all nearby the nyala, checking out a herd of zebra.
The variety of zebra commonly found in Malawi is the Burchell’s zebra, the southern variety of the plains zebra. They’re easy to recognize because of the grey stripes that jump into the pattern.
Having found some animals and my family, I decided I’d had enough of a side trip with my towel and toiletry bag, and headed back to camp to get ready for the day and make some breakfast on the concrete braai (barbecue).
There was a light sprinkling of rain in the morning – just enough to feel wonderful on the skin, but too much for the breakfast plate – so we ate in the thatched kitchen/dining area.
Then we packed up and headed out, in time to see a zebra parade.
Next stop: crocodile farm! We brought our own big mouth crocodiles. Sure are cute for crocodiles, aren’t they?!
The crocs are raised for their skin, which is apparently the best quality at 4 years old. So we saw lots of crocs 1-3 years old. This particular enclosure had 2,500 crocodiles, all 8 months old.
These crocs are 3 years old.
And yes, the workers get right in there with them!!! Not me! Not in a million years!
Naomi and I were only moderately ok with the concrete and chain-length fences between us and the crocs. But it was reassuring to know that in the 15+ years of their existence, this croc farm has never had anyone killed by a croc. Yes, the walls are very secure. It’s just really weird being that close to a crocodile, even with a secure wall!
Then the fun part! Crocodile teeth! We all bought some! 😜
The croc farm is along the lake shore, so we headed down the coast a little and went for a swim!
The only crocs in this part of the lake were the cute kind!
After a swim, we ordered lunch at the Livingstonia Hotel and enjoyed both the company and the beautiful setting. We’ve known Aaron for 12+ years, so it’s been so good to catch up with him!
If you can see the water from your table, you should order the fish! The local favorite is chambo, a variety of tilapia, and it’s really good!
One more stop in the way home: the wood market. It’s very touristy and rural Africa, but a great place for visitors to pick up a few souvenirs. Or to find a chief’s chair and sit back to watch people walk by.
My find of the day: new earrings. Can you guess what they are? (Hint: look up 6 pictures)
That’s all – we were all adventured out! Time to head for home and a nice warm shower!
Who’s going to come adventuring with us next? 😊