On Ntchisi’s back roads

It was a day before Malawi went to the polls to elect a new president, parliament and local councils. My wife had arranged a quick trip into Ntchisi and she needed company. I think she later thanked me for tagging along. It was a long drive on the back roads of the district and we took wrong turns at least twice. My reliance on Google Maps and her intuition was a winning combination. If either one of us had been alone, we would have ended up on the other side of our destination.

Ntchisi is one of those places that is sort of out of the way. It’s most famous resource is Ntchisi Forest and the forest lodge. Other than that it’s a hilly and relatively cold district. Considering that our trip was soon after the rainy season, the dry weather road was in fairly good condition.

Donkey cart in Ntchisi

The road surfaces are a mix of rock, solid earth and treacherous soft sands – wouldn’t want to be there just after a rainstorm. There was quite a bit of traffic including this donkey drawn cart.

A bicycle pit sop

As is the case with most districts in Malawi, motorcycles are an important form of transport. Mostly unregistered but affordable for most. This shed is a motorcycle repair shop.

An old quarry in Ntchisi north

This is an old abandoned quarry, simply called Pa Quarry ( meaning at the quarry). This was the landmark we were told to look out for but it was conveniently hidden just off the main road.

Gorgeous views overlooking Ntchisi hills

The views of the farmlands from the hilltops at sunset were gorgeous.

Our Renault Duster handled the sometime rocky terrain very well

Our little Renault Duster handled the roads very well. Despite the sometimes rocky surface, we never hit the bottom of the car. A very capable little car.

A spectacular Malawi sunset
The spectacular sunset when we finally got back to the tarmac road on our way back to Lilongwe.


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