Lost World

This is where the Likhubula river crashes off the vast Mulanje massif in south-eastern Malawi. It’s dry season, so it’s ‘small’ said the guide. He claims the pool I swam in was 60 metres deep which is believable when you see the weird gullies and precipitous cliffs formed around this 650km square granite ‘inselberg’ sticking up out of the surrounding tea plantations like a Lost World.

It was a lot colder than the ponds, so very refreshing.

On the way back we saw a wonderful Stierling Woodpecker. It’s still a fairly common bird around here but also an interesting example of habitat pressure. The fast-growing and very poor Malawian population relies on gathered wood for cooking and so they go deeper and deeper into the forests to get it. They (usually women) are incredibly dextrous at carrying huge loads of branches on their heads as they trot down the slippery mountain paths but it’s all making life a little harder for this rather raffish and punky bird.

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