Traversing the M5 to Chintheche beaches
Over the just ended holidays, my family travelled to Chintheche, the famous beaches on the northern shores of Lake Malawi. Chintheche lies about 40 kilometres south of Nkhata Bay boma and just over 80 kilometres from Mzuzu. It is famed for its pristine beaches.
Our journey took us through beautiful mountain views, a rubber plantation and natural woodland from Mzuzu. A photo story of the journey.
The 46km long Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road was recently constructed by ZÜBLIN and STRABAG International GmbH. The road is part of the M5 starting from the Salima turn-off in Balaka running through Salima and Nkhotakota to Mzuzu.
It was a wet morning but a very beautiful drive.
The rolling hills as you drive out of Mzuzu have an uncanny resemblance to Rwanda’s mountainous terrain.
The Mzuzu – Nkhata Bay road is serviced by many Toyota Sienta mini MPVs operating as taxis. Like most secondary roads in Malawi, you will rarely find proper commuter buses.
Crossing Limphasa river in Nkhata Bay.
Nkhata Bay port
Nkhata Bay boma overlooks the Lake Malawi and Nkhata Bay jetty. It is a bit of a tight squeeze and very busy! The bay itself is rather underwhelming and clearly has a waste disposal problem, something someone needs to get on top of. There several lodges in the town but we had a pristine beach to get to.
The white boat has some graffiti “Am not dead am just sick”.
Soaking up the sun… the few rays the clouds let through.
Canoes leaving and coming into port.
Outside Nkhata Bay Port, the main lake port in northern Malawi. Vessels such as the MV Ilala leave this port for the enclaves of Likoma and Chizumulu islands in Lake Malawi as well as ports further south in Salima and Mangochi.
After Nkhata Bay boma you drive through Vizara Rubber Plantation. The estate was established by Sir Henry Wickham in 1876 and has approximately 600,000 rubber trees. Vizara means “horn of plenty” in the local Tonga language. The plantation also processes spent rubber trees into timber.
A timber plantation after Vizara.
There are mangoes in Nkhata Bay. Lots of them. Roadside sellers around every bend and rotting ones under every other mango trees.
At Kawiya bridge. After many hours of travel, I was happy to be in Chintheche. The beach was in sight, yay!
Follow up post: Sun, sand and beer on the beaches of Chintheche.
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[…] a wet drive from Lilongwe to Mzuzu, an overnighter at Glitz Cloud 9 Lodge in New Katoto and another wet drive down the M5, we were finally on the sandy shores of Chintheche. Chintheche is in Nkhata Bay, some 80 kilometres […]