What better way to see the wilds of Africa than on the back of something wild? Kande Horse offers rides through local farms and inland fishing villages of Malawi. While we are certain the ride is lovely, the real topper is ending the journey with a bareback ride directly into the lake. Why swim with dolphins when you can swim with a horse? That’s what my grandfather always said. Sounds like a good deal of chafing and a high possibility of sliding off and being trampled, which sounds just like something we would do. They also offer packages with overnight stays and breakfast and dinner included for a mere $120 USD.
We can’t just drive by Africa’s manufacturer of Carlsberg. Beyond making most of the beer for the land, Castel Malawi have, among other products, Fanta and something called Sobo Squash, an apparently fruity, squash beverage. Sounds just terrible enough to give it a shot, but maybe only an actual shot worth. Regardless, the company provides equal employment to many and also has a philanthropic arm giving back to their neighbors whether through education, a good ol’ football match or making water available, we appreciate a good combination of beer and charity. We don’t know that they give tours, but we may as well stop by and see if they let Freddy in for a quick cold one.
The Leper Tree
Inside Liwonde National Park, among the beauty and nature it preserves, it also holds a bleak bit of history. Outbreaks of leprosy have occurred in this area as recently as 1950. Many of the local tribe hold ancient beliefs that those afflicted by such an illness should not be buried, fearing that they would contaminate the land. People suffering from leprosy were bound together and led to a baobab tree, where they were lowered, some still living, into the hollowed out core of the tree to live out their final days among the bodies of those that came before them. Visitors are encouraged to look down into the tree marked “The grave for people who suffered from leprosy in the past” and see the remains staring back at them.
Saint Michael and All Angels Church
We don’t often mention architecture, but this is a building of a different color, and different towers. It’s not anything that is going to show up on a tour of brilliance, rather a long-standing testament to community in Blantyre, Malawi. Completed in 1891, it was designed by Scottish missionary Reverend David Clement Scott, who was more missionary and not at all architect. He had no designs or drawings, just imagination and a prayer. Also, hundreds of equally under qualified volunteers who stacked bricks for 3 years. Those bricks were baked on site to save money and laid dry with no mortar to see if they would stand together. Turns out they did, 37 stories worth of bricks from the brain of a missionary. He didn’t do a great job of describing his vision, or generally matching architectural styles at all. A mishmash of Moorish and sometimes unidentifiable styles sporting a couple of mismatched towers, it has standed the test of time to remind the world that you don’t have to know what you are doing, you just have to do it. And that just may be our Adventourist motto.