Day 5b- Mbamba Bay to Likoma

Just before midnight there is a knock at the door of our guesthouse. There is a man outside. The landlady has gone to bed, we are up awaiting the arrival of the captain of our intended boat at 2am. We wake her up and she lets him  in. It is the owner of another boat – not our intended boat, but the owner of the boat we had first met yesterday. Word has got around somehow and he’s here to say his boat is ready to leave now. He also tells us the other boat (our intended boat) is actually going to Mozambique first before traveling to Lakoma, something we prefer not to do due to visa costs. We change our plans.*

We get the kids up, pack up and leave we have our boat – things have come full circle and we are where we were yesterday morning  as a travel plan.

It’s a long walk to the boat through darkened streets and coastal fields to the boat. We load our luggage and clamber aboard. Looking up we see the most amazing night sky, billions of stars, the Milky Way in all it’s splendor  and even some shooting stars.

 It is awesome – the best I have seen. We lie on the deck on tarpaulin laid over cargo and gaze up at the wonder above as we slowly make our way down the coast . I stay up the others sleep.

The boat we are on is a motorized cargo vessel, wide and low in the water. We take a while to leave the Bay, the sea is a it choppy, eventually we reach open water and progress down the coast. A couple of times the motor stops and makeshift repairs are applied. About 2am the moon rises, a crescent,  and obliterates much of the Milky Way, ghostly banks of mist rise up from the lake at times, we motor on.


The sky pales from about 5am And over the next hour we witness the sunrise over the mountains of Mozambique. We are traveling through Mozambique waters now. In a sense we have been to this country though we have not set foot on it’s soil or passed through customs, so it doesn’t count.

Likoma Island looms ahead for a future post.

*Note the earlier post has been updated to reflect the changed plans.

Mode of Transport

  • Cargo boat

Distance (miles)

  • 58


  • Lake Nyassa /Malawi


  • Cargo boat

Cost (not including meals)

  • 15000 TzS (£4.50)per person


  • Lake Nyassa / Malawi

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