Our third stop in Malawi was a six-hour drive with the final 120 km being on rough, dusty tracks. My knees were just starting to protest when we arrived at “Chelinda Camp”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/accommodation?product_id=177116, in Nyika National Park.
George, the temporary manager, offered us a complimentary upgrade to “Chelinda Lodge”:http://cawsmw.com/index.php/lodges/chelinda-lodge/ but, having seen chalet 3 and heard about the arrangements, we stuck with the camp.
The 1960s British built chalet, had two bedrooms with twin beds, bathroom with bath and shower, separate loo, a living room bigger than ours at home with three-piece suite, dining table which would seat 8, another table always laid out with tea and coffee and constant log fire. There was a kitchen but the main attraction was our ‘personal attendant’ (Boniface) who cooked for us although we had the option of eating in the main restaurant. Electricity was available from 5.30pm to 9.30pm but solar lights were provided.
The water in the shower was hot (it was heated by an external wood burner) but it was hard to get the mix between the hot and cold right. The bath ran with scalding hot water and although it was very shallow, we found it easier to manage.
Dinners were lovingly cooked and presented by Boniface who we discovered, had been the Lodge’s chef prior to his promotion. For example; one meal started with mushroom crostini (warm diced mushrooms piled onto toast and garnished with olives), followed by chicken in a honey sauce served with rice, cauliflower cheese and a boiled squash served in its shell with melted butter and black pepper in the hollow where the seeds had been scooped out. Pudding was individual apple crumbles with warm custard.
No matter what time we had to get up, Boniface was already rattling pots and pans and preparing breakfast which included cereal, orange juice and a help-yourself fruit bowl followed by a full English of sausage, bacon, eggs of choice, tomato and lots of toast with home-made jams and Malawi peanut butter.
Lunches were similarly good: tuna fish cakes, green salad and potato salad with home-made rolls followed by guava and cream.
Despite the fact we only stayed for three nights, saying good-bye to Boniface was quite emotional as we’d spent so much time with him. However, he did ask for our address, so maybe he’ll turn up in E17 one day and cook for us.