Everyone looked good at dinner. They were tired and sore from the big route they cycled of course, but other than that they were a pleasant group to be around as always. I spent the evening chatting with Bex and Nikhil after everyone had left the table. It was good to get to know one another and share a bit about our backgrounds, it felt like I was making new friends.

Another early rise, but this time, not too early.

I packed my bags up and we were off to Liwonde. Ha, I definitely underestimated my own exhaustion. I had been surviving off of a few hours of sleep and I definitely paid for it on the road trip to Liwonde.

It was nice to see everyone in their casual clothes, ready for a good safari time. A few of the participants looked knackered and some weren’t feeling well, so this was going to help them relax and recline a little.

Our river boat departure from Hippo View Lodge to Mvuu Camp was at 10:30. Our guide Patrick gave us a safety brief and off we went along the river down to the Camp reception. The Shire River is home to Crocodiles and Hippos, which we saw lots of.

The staff at Mvuu Camp were absolutely incredible, welcoming us off the jetty and handing us each a glass of cold juice. It was my first time ever, visiting the camp. The quality of the service we received was unmatched and I recall expressing this to Inno and Dom during lunch. Thank you to everyone at Mvuu, keep up the fantastic work!

After lunch, we headed for a 4x4 game drive. The vehicles we used were super cool, I was offered a ride on the spotter’s seat (this is a seat mounted to the external body of the 4x4, where a ranger sits with a torch in order to spot game during evening safaris). The air was hot and the sun overhead, so I grabbed my bandana and tied it across my face, just to add to the scene.

The second vehicle that drove ahead of us faced a flat tire, but hey I’ve never seen a tire change that quick! The two guides propped all their equipment up, switched tires and got us all back in our vehicles in less than 7 minutes I’m sure. Two thumbs up to these guys.

Our drive was amazing; it was an extremely hot day so we didn’t catch many animals. My highlight of the drive was parking close to the lion habitat in hopes to spot a few. Our guide patiently waited, explaining to us why the lions might not be around (the heat). After waiting for so long, we decided to proceed to the viewing spot. Oh wait, LION!

With binoculars in hand, I carefully scanned this beautiful cub laying under a short tree, enjoying the shade. “Wow, guys. There it is”

Dom: Can you see the head Farida? Where is the head facing?

*takes a closer look*

Farida: To the right, it’s head is on the right side.

Patrick, our guide, asked for the binoculars and once I handed them over he burst out laughing. His partner, who was driving the 4x4 ahead of us giggled through his handheld radio, stating that what we saw was actually a baboon and not a lion. Wow. What a bummer. So much for my lifelong spotting training.

We stopped for drinks at a shaded viewing spot, before heading back to the Camp. Once we arrived, it was straight to the jetty for another boat transfer. Transfers done, it was now time to drive to Mangochi. The sun was setting and temperatures began to drop.

Lots of construction going on along the Mangochi road, so this was a longer stretch than usual. Nonetheless, we arrived and all was well.

Watch out for the next update on the Orbis Challenge. Don’t forget to comment your feedback.






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