This time, we managed to visit Livingstonia, the old missionary high above Lake Malawi. There is an infamous route leading steep up from the lake, a not maintained gravel route with many hairpins which we left to the ones, who wish to challenge their cars. We took the new and perfect tar road, which starts in Phwezi at the M1 and leads to the missionary. Just the last few kilometres to our camp, the Mushroom Farm, were gravel.
The Mushroom Farm was one of the best campsite we had. It lies directly at the cliff, 700 metres above the lake with a fantastic view. The campsite has a loo and a shower with a view, which means that both are open to the cliff and you have a great view from there. They offer many activities, including cooking lessons, hot tub, massages and trips to a waterfall and the missionary. We mostly enjoyed their kitchen, which was vegetarian and very delicious, and talking to all the other guests. It had a great vibe of many different people coming together.
Also for the way downhill, we didn’t take the steep gravel route, but went up to Livinstonia, looking for the museum, which was closed, and visiting the church of the missionary.
Livingstonia was founded in 1894 by missionaries from the Free Church of Scotland. They had first established a mission in 1875 at Cape Maclear, which they named Livingstonia after David Livingstone, whose death in 1873 had rekindled British support for missions in Eastern Africa. By 1881 Cape Maclear had proven extremely malarial and the mission moved north to Bandawe. This site also proved unhealthy and the Livingstonia Mission moved once again to the higher grounds in the mountains between Lake Malawi and Nyika Plateau, and therefore not prone to mosquitoes carrying malaria. The mission station gradually developed into a small town.
The leading missionary for 52 years was Robert Laws. He established the best school in the region at the time in Livingstonia, and its graduates became influential in several neighbouring countries, including South Africa.
Laws wanted Livingstonia to develop into a University, but his successors did not pursue the dream. In 2003 the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa, renewed the vision and started Livingstonia University.
The mission church dates from 1894, and is bild from bricks like all the other buildings in Livingstonia. It has a beautiful stained-glass window featuring David Livingstone with his sextant, his medicine chest and his two companions, with Lake Malawi in the background.
We took the very good tar road back down to the M1 and then the bad main road down a pass, where the trucks were struggling to get up and the tar was destroyed in all the corners. Finally we reached the lake again, where we were meeting “August der Reisewagen” at Chitimba Camp. Here we wanted to spend the last days of the year and celebrate New Year together with Sabine and Peter from Austria and Walpurga and Jürgen from Germany.
We had a great time, celebrating New Year @ Chitimba Lodge, together with nice people. Now the new year with new adventures may come – more soon!