Malawi: Lilongwe, but not for long

I arrived  in Lilongwe early in the afternoon. No delays, no queuing … almost. I was lucky enough to get out of the plane quickly and into the first bus to the arrival terminal. Right at the entrance you have to present your passport and vaccination card before you can proceed to the visa application check desk. Don’t forget to download and fill in the form back at home so that you can proceed straight away while others are busy with completing their forms.

Amanda (Mandy) picked me up from the airport together with Robert, a local LWT employee who you will be meeting you at Mafumu hotel for assembly. He is briefed on the meet & greet procedure and will make sure that everyone gets on the bus to base where Mandy & I will be waiting for you.

Robert & I went for some last minute shopping before he dropped me off at Mafumu Hotel. It’s a lovely place, the weather is pleasantly warm and the Malawian people are exceptionally friendly and welcoming. They say they’re the heart of Africa…

You have my local phone number from a previous e-mail. Reception in Lilongwe is very good; not sure what it is like on the eight hour drive up to base. Mandy and I will leave the capital tomorrow early in the morning – more from me once we have arrived at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve.

Malawi: Getting ready

Hello everyone and welcome to the 2019 Malawi expedition diary

My name is Malika and I will be your expedition leader on this year‘s biodiversity monitoring project at Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve.

Malika Fettak

Together with our partners Lilongwe Wildlife Trust (LWT) and Conservation Research Africa (CRA) we‘ve been organising over the last few weeks logistics, research equipment and camp so that everything will be in place & prepared for your arrival.

I am currently on my way from Europe to Lilongwe and will meet up with Amanda, Head researcher at LWT straight after my arrival.

Amanda Harwood

Our plan is to go for some a last shopping run in town before we drive up to the reserve on Wednesday, where we will meet head CRA researcher Karen Shevlin.

Karen Shevlin

We already have a work plan including a great variety of activities and can‘t wait to train you up for collecting data in the field. Right…this is not a holiday! 😉

We’ve already sent the work plan to the expedition team and you have seen the 2018 expedition report as summary and culmination of what citizen science and hard work can achieve. So come prepared for two busy weeks full of exciting tasks in wonderful landscapes hosting amazing African wildlife.

I will be in touch again before I leave Lilongwe with an update from the ground.

Bye for now, enjoy your preparations and safe travels group 1!

Malika