A Travellerspoint blog

Happy Blantyre Birthday


We traveled to one of the biggest cities in Malawi, Blantyre (named for the town in which David Livingstone was born), still exhilarated by completing the Mulanje trek and and thoroughly awesome trip down. There was gospel on the minibus radio and I felt totally comfortable here.

We headed straight to the local backpackers hangout, postponed a jump in the little pool for now, had a quick shower, a few G&T, asked around about local places playing live music and then headed to one of the restaurants that promised the “best steak south of Nairobi”. And it was a great meal, a proper birthday-only treat. We even had a cheese board!

We both could have gone back and slept for a week but this was a birthday dammit so we headed over to “Motel Paradise” and arrived to see sweaty dancers in traditional bush dress stomping about stage banging spears down in time to some choral botswanian traditional-ish music. Perfect (if a little unexpected). Following that was an ex-MP Lucius Banda who we have heard on the radio a lot since. A local man translated some of his songs as we listened and although they sounded very upbeat they all had quite a serious message as you’d expect from a politician.

We were the only white people in the place and therefore a little conspicuous for dancing and had a host of people trying to teach us how to dance properly and make friends with us. In the end we started to flag and left about 3am, resisted the swimming pool back at the lodge again and snuck into our dorm room for a well earned lie in.

We decided to stick around in Blantye the next day since I had lost my watch which I wanted to replace, and Dave wanted to explore the town a little. Also there was a Lake of Stars after party (somewhat late but there you go) which looked worth checking out that evening. So we ran our errands, both luckily avoided being caught out in the 20 minute biblical downpour – the first rain of the rainy season! – and had a very relaxed night at the (unfortunately quite dead) after party, playing some pool and listening to one of the live acts Dave had actually met at the festival. He’s playing gigs to raise funds for a trip he’s making walking from cairo to Capetown. He’s not doing it for charity either, just to meet people on the road in a Forest Gump kind of way. Lovely lovely guy, and a shame there’s no website to track his progress but we hope to catch some more of his gigs round the country if we’re lucky enough to catch him again.

Could have stayed in Blantyre another day just to hang around the backpackers and enjoy the food and beer and the buzz of other travellers (and working internet!) but really there was no other reason to stay. Oh but we did see an enormous chamelion in the garden: while we were on the internet uploading pictures someone ran in to say there was one out there. It's the coolest animal - super slow and careful it seems almost mechanical. Next stop is another town though so we dont want to get city weary.

Had a great birthday precident set here though...wonder where we'll be for my birthday....?

Posted by rachndave 04:12 Archived in Malawi Tagged clubbing birthday

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Cheeseboard! Yay!

by Gulliver

  • waves*

i lived in Blantyre for a year when i was younger.

by Blip

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