My first visit to the continent of Africa was a trip to Malawi in September/October 2008 (details here). This report covers my second visit to Africa, again to Malawi.
The timing wasn't ideal - work and church commitments meant we couldn't get out there in the northern winter (rainy season in Malawi - better for birds, worse for getting around) but we did want to go before the friend we were visiting returned home to the UK - and that meant May. Not only is that not the best time for birding in Malawi but it's also one of the worst times not to be birding in the UK, but being a little way into the dry season we could at least get around more easily and didn't have to put up with getting very wet.
This time we only had two weeks, the first spent with our friend Susannah. With Susannah needing to be in Blantyre on the first Thursday and following Saturday we decided there wasn't enough time to head up to Nyika this time, much as we loved it there in 2008.
Last time we flew with Ethiopian Airlines but on the return journey they pilfered valuables from our luggage and subsequently displayed the most appalling customer service as we attempted to resolve this, without success. So this time we decided to opt for the dearer but vastly better South African Airways, flying from Gatwick to Blantyre with a change at Johannesburg. The main places we visited in Malawi are shown on the map below (click on a blue pointer to see the name of the site):
View Southern Malawi 2011 in a larger map
As usual there are two parts to this trip report:
- Itinerary: A summary of each place visited, containing photos of scenery and a few highlights from the birds and animals - click here
- Systemmatic list: full details of all 253 species of bird, 25 species of mammal and all other animals identified or photographed. This section contains photos (of varying quality) of most of the birds and nearly all of the other animals - click here