Kirsty and Gareth are The Aussie Overlanders – – a wanderlust couple who followed their adventurous travel dream to drive all the way across Africa.
They recently completed the overland trip that made the thousands who followed along with them online, green with travel-envy. Disaster struck more than once and international bureaucracy threatened to put an end to their journey, but they persevered. Coming face to face with gorillas, whale sharks, wolves and Africa’s variety of cultures – all while living out of the back of their 4×4.
When asked about their favourite parts of the trip, they often mention Malawi. “We spent two months exploring in Malawi. We wanted to stay in the country so much that we extended our visa! A suprisingly simple process” Kirsty says, “We love the kind hearted, relaxed nature of Malawians. And the more we saw the more we wanted to see. Malawi is famous for its beautiful lake. But we were surprised to find the incredible wildlife and wilderness the country offers”
One of those wildlife encounters happened in the newly established Majete Wildlife Reserve while staying at the luxurious Mkulumadzi Lodge. “We were laying in a big four poster bed in our bush chalet (a fancy tent!) when all of a sudden we saw elephants walking down the banks of the river for a drink. Watching elephants from the comfort of a 1 000 thread sheeted bed – it was one of those moments where you can hear your Bucket List go ‘Ping! Ping! Ping!”
The couple committed to getting off the beaten track and roughed it on the borders of Liwonde National Park while observing illegal fisherman share the waterways with herds of elephants. And spent days hiking with nothing but the packs on their back, sweating it out, in the infamously steep Mulanje Mountains.
In sharp contrast they describe their time on Lake Malawi with Robin Pope Safaris at Pumulani Lodge as “An absolute bliss-fest. We had an entire horizon pool to ourselves and the private lake front beach as well. The only distraction were the visits from staff asking if we would like a freshly squeezed cocktail… Ahhh, yes please!”
So, does everyone need to set aside months to explore Malawi? Kirsty explains, “Malawi is one of those pocket rocket sized countries that offer travellers so much. So it’s not about how many days you spend there, it’s about the potential to get so much joy out of each and every day. I’m planning my fourth visit as we speak”.