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First Couple of Days on Mango Drift – mainly photos and links

We were stranded here for several days. Fortunately David found things to do.

I am not inspired to write very much just now. Instead I will post some photos from Mango Drift on Likoma Island. These pictures were taken on the first couple of days that we were there.

Ruth and David at Mango Drift

I did write other posts, with no photos, on our time there and I will provide the links.

There is a series leading up to our trip to Likoma Island. Firstly, a stop to buy fruit and vegetables at the side of the road. Secondly, our overnight stop and adventures at Bushman’s Baobabs at the southern end of Liwonde National Park, followed by our next overnight stop and wait at Mufasa in Monkey Bay. After that were a couple of posts on departing on the Ilala and then life on board the Ilala.

The First Likoma Island post is about reaching the island itself on the Ilala. This contains useful information for anyone wanting to know about disembarking from the Ilala.

The next set of posts were written on the island itself and uploaded from the island. Because I was doing this on my iPhone I decided to leave out photos.

The main post that i wrote on and published from the island was about learning to scuba dive on Likoma Island. It is my propaganda piece on why Likoma Island is the best place in the world for learning to scuba dive. I did have a conversation with someone very recently who fully agreed with my view that it is better to learn to dive in freshwater. There were many other reasons, as I recall, for my view that Likoma Island provides the best value for learner divers. I hope you are convinced. If you want to do this yourself then please get in touch. I may be able to help.

Another piece was on the birds on Likoma Island.

The comings and goings of people at Mango Drift are dominated by the arrivals and the departures of the Ilala. The secondary influence on who is at Mango Drift and when are the flights to the islands. However, it is not the passengers who are seen at Mango Drift so much as the pilots. Small planes bring customers to the upmarket Kaya Mawa, the pilots come to Mango Drift. There is probably no better place in Malawi for meeting pilots than Mango Drift on Likoma Island.

The Ilala runs up and down the Lake each week. We were on the northbound journey and some of our fellow passengers were simply waiting for the return of the southbound Ilala. This gave them a couple of days at Mango Drift.

Others there were a very nice Israeli couple, Dan and Gabriela, who were traveling on to Mozambique and the coast. He is a brave man as he is Israel’s answer to Richard Dawkins. In Israel seemingly there would be a lot of opposition to his book launch despite my perception of a large secular community within Israel. It was unfortunate that time was too short for a wide debate as there was a full range of views on offer among the guests. From the tranquil of Likoma Island he would be heading to the storm of his book launch in Israel. I hope that it generates a good debate and light as well as heat…

Here is a musical composition by Dan accompanied by some pictures that Dan and Gabriela put together from a previous trip in Mozambique. Here is his music website. Dan also told us about a tribute to Japan, The Tsunami Song he co-wrote with words by Gabriela.

There was also a family from the UK mentioned in a previous blog post. Several of them, like me, were visiting Malawi after many years away.

The view from the hammock outside our tent. We put up the tent on our second day there.

This was our first sunset on Likoma Island. no sunset was the same.

Ruth and David on the hammock outside of our tent.

David found that he fitted in well with the whole travel and exploration in Africa experience. David is an explorer.

That aircraft has landed in both Lake Malawi and the Baltic Sea off Estonia.

Amelia was good at balancing

Dan and Gabriela. Our tent is in the background under some mango trees.

This is the bar and lounge area on the beach at Mango Drift

The view from the bar

A view of the Mango Drift bay - Mango Bay?

The hill behind Mango Drift


Birds and pilots

Likoma Island is surrounded by the Lake of Stars. There are plenty of fish and fishermen here but there is a lot that flys.

One of the things you soon notice at the bar at Mango Drift are a pair of black and white wagtails that come within 6 inches of you and your Green. There are other birds that seem similarly close to humans. Danny the barman tells me however that they will come close to Azungu but not to Malawians… Perhaps we western tourists indulge them with a few too many crumbs from our tables.

The Mango Drift information sheets claim that the island has 400 species of birds. Given that Liwonde National Park is a bird hotspot and has seen 435 species, that sounds a lot to me.

One person who cast doubt on this figure is Charl, a pilot. Whether there are a lot of birds on Likoma Island or not I do not know. One thing I do know is that a lot of pilots pass through Mango Drift. In our short time here I’ve met two already and I hear that another is on his way. Kevin says that you cannot move for tripping over pilots here. The reason is that there are two top end tourist lodges here. One is Kaya Mawa in the next bay, described by an Italian magazine as the most romantic destination in the world. The other is over the water in Mozambique called Nikwichi Lodge. Likoma Island may be remote and unspoilt but is the contact with civilisation for that particular corner of Mozambique.

The lifestyle of the pilots may not be entirely glamourous as this morning one of them was setting off early to walk across the island to the airfield.

Malawi Blogging

There are a lot of things I am itching to write about but failing to find the time for, or when I find the time I am too tired. Instead I fill in with blog posts that are more worthy of a facebook update or a tweet.

So, I thought in the meantime, to maintain quality for readers, I would highlight for you another Malawi blog which is very good and which I have been following. We were reading this blog from before we arrived in Malawi and this blog belongs to a couple called Kate and Sandy Evans who also live here in Blantyre.

Interestingly they are now writing about Mozambique. However, one of the great things about Malawi is that it is a ideal and practical place from which to explore some of the more remote parts of Mozambique (and the other two neighbouring countries).

Malawi is probably a better and closer base from which to explore the remote and wild north-east of Mozambique then from Maputo in the far south of Mozambique.

Have a read: this post below is the first in a series on Mozambique.

I don’t know how to post a link! Tried and it did not work. So just leaving the url for you to copy and paste.


I don’t have a ‘blogroll’ which would be the logical place for the Muli Bwanji Blog to go. I looked at getting a sidebar so that I could put it there but it messed up all my photos. So I might start changing the way I put photos on the blog so I can aim for a sidebar and blogroll at a later stage.