Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

chrisrollins created the topic: Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

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Wife and I have just decided to go to ocean for New Years (29th Dec. to 10 Jan.) and want advice about roads, camping, and kid.

1. What is approximate drive time from Mandimba (Mangochi, Malawi border post) to Nampula? with baby stops, etc. can this be done in 1 day? Inadvisable to drive at night? (absolutely no problem in Malawi, though conventional wisdom is 'do not drive at night')

2. Any recommended camping in Ilha de Mocambique, Pemba, Ibo, and in between? We can self-cater to some degree, but prefer some facilities, local food, cold beer, etc.

3. Is it worth driving back via Montepuez/Marrupa/Lichinga? I did read the older posts concerning drive times, etc, is this still accurate? We are in high clearance 4x4 Condor with all-terrain tires, so no problem with poor roads, but do not want to spend a week on this track if that is the condition in rain.

4. I am researching 'ecolodges' from engineering perspective, any thing interesting to visit on this route? i.e. real eco-lodge, not typical generator/septic tank set up.

5. Any other advice for baby activities?

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mozman replied the topic: Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

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1. What is approximate drive time from Mandimba (Mangochi, Malawi border post) to Nampula? with baby stops, etc. can this be done in 1 day? Inadvisable to drive at night? (absolutely no problem in Malawi, though conventional wisdom is 'do not drive at night')
MIKE: First problem is that the rains will most likely have already started by end Dec so any times I give could be way out due to wash-aways or swamped bridges - this seems to happen every summber on this road stretch. So in the dry bet on 12 - 13 hours Mandimba to Nampula. Don't tell anyone, but I do often drive at night, but then I am pretty good by now at anticipating obstacles such as unlit trucks and tractors, drunk and/or mad pedestrians, wandering goats, drunk drivers, broken down logging trucks, detours etc. I also tend to just drive until around 17:30 (summer, 16:00 winter)and then look for a track leading off the main road and ask any folk around for permission to camp. If you need to bail out then you can always ask to camp at Complexo Malaya in Malema. Just before Nampula I can heartily recommend complexo montes Nairucu.

2. Any recommended camping in Ilha de Mocambique, Pemba, Ibo, and in between? We can self-cater to some degree, but prefer some facilities, local food, cold beer, etc.
MIKE: No camping on Ilha - I would really recommend that you stay at Casa Branca. there is camping on the mainland at Lumbo (Casuarina Camping) but not sure whether I would recommend it. Good places to eat on Ilha are Reliquias and Escondidinho. Casa Branca does a good, reasonable price breakfast if you inform the night before. Pemba no problem recommending Pemba Dive bush camp. Ibo no camping but there are nice homestays so do the search. In-between well there's always my village camping choice (random) also if you take the coastal route from Ilha up to Nacala then stay at at Libelula (formerly Bay Diving).

3. Is it worth driving back via Montepuez/Marrupa/Lichinga? I did read the older posts concerning drive times, etc, is this still accurate? We are in high clearance 4x4 Condor with all-terrain tires, so no problem with poor roads, but do not want to spend a week on this track if that is the condition in rain.
MIKE: I would avoid this route. Problem is not just mud and wash-aways but the Balama river can come down and then there is certainly no way across.

4. I am researching 'ecolodges' from engineering perspective, any thing interesting to visit on this route? i.e. real eco-lodge, not typical generator/septic tank set up.
MIKE: Good question. There is Guludo north of Ibo, and others but need a bit of research.

5. Any other advice for baby activities?
MIKE: Keep out of reach of mosquitoes. It will be very hot and humid, so carry a mist (atomizer) spray with water in it to keep baby cool. Local mammas will be charmed by your baby so use this as an ice-breaker and you will be treated like royalty.

Very interested to hear how you go - ask more if you need clarity re anything.

Mike

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janputte replied the topic: Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

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I think you take an unnecessary (big) risk taking a baby to a malaria area.

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mozman replied the topic: Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

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I assume that Chris and family already live in a malaria area and are therefore aware of the risks.

Mike

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chrisrollins replied the topic: Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

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thanks for the advice there. also got some feedback on thorntree about a viable detour south to gurue and alto molocue, so we have options. i will avoid the northern route for this round.

we live in lilongwe, so not the worst for malaria, but spend plenty of time at the lake, and yes we are paranoid about this, as are all the expat families in the region. this will be a trip further away from dependable clinics, so will be travelling with the medication to give at any sign of fever - that is the standard routine for parents with kids in remote malawi, anyway.

thanks for the warning, though, as it is a reality with a baby in africa.

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mozman replied the topic: Lilongwe-Ihla/Pemba/Ibo & return, camping w/baby

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Hi

yes forgot about the Gurue - Alto Molocue detour. A good option as the road is all tarmac now Alto M to Nampula. If heading for Montes Nairucu, then note that as you come into Nampula, look out for the turn-off to Ribaue, Cuamba etc as it's signposted to the right about 13km down this road (11km past Complexo Bamboo which you will pass on the RHS).

Mike

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