A MINI AFRICAN ROAD TRIP IN THE 'FUN CARGO'

A MINI AFRICAN ROAD TRIP IN THE 'FUN CARGO'


Back in 2013, Nash and I set out on a road trip in the aptly named "Fun Cargo" - effectively a minivan body on a Toyota Camry chassis.

Luxurious, spacious, indestructible... but entirely unfit for most Malawian roads. Despite Fun Cargo's limitations, we covered some serious ground. 

The land of long walks

Malawi is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa. Even long stretches between cities are full of people, walking, biking, and keep you on your toes. People put all sorts of things on the back of bicycles - goats, kids, bricks, firewood, baskets with chickens - in this case it's sugarcane.

As a gringo, driving across Malawi reminded me of the America west. Big mountains and lots of distractions.

North to Nkhata Bay

Driving north to Nkhata Bay, you effectively parallel Lake Malawi. One of the most remarkable agriculture projects in Malawi is Ilovo Sugar's Dwangwa Estate. It's ~10km long and you can smell the sugar processing for miles. 

 

Boat Building

Along we the way, we stopped in a fishing village to check out our friend's fishing operation. These gents were building a new fishing skiff. These boats were very sturdy craft, and often fitted out with a salvaged car engine for propulsion. Sailing isn't a big thing on Lake Malawi - paddle and engine power are. 

Most non-commercial fisherman still use dug-out canoes like these. And often they work as a group using drag nets and lanterns to attract fish. 

Fishing Towns

Malawi's lakeside towns all have a big fish drying set up like this. 

My next trip to Malawi will be shorter, but I will be spending time with my suppliers and touring local youth support organizations.

Stay tuned, and please share and get involved.