It wasn’t the most regal of first meetings. I was paddling on Lake Malawi just off Kande Beach with a fellow backpacker when somehow we overturned our canoe and before I knew it I was ingesting mouthfuls of Lake Malawi water a predicament I really didn’t want to be in as the guide books said DO NOT swim in Lake Malawi it is full of minute worms that enter your skin and set up home in your intestines and bladder. While I was having visions of slowly being eaten away from the inside out a hand appeared and pulled me out of the water onto the nearby rocks jutting out of the lake. Hello I’m Julius Caesar he said with a big smile.
We got talking on the rocks and Julius asked me if I’d like him to make me a personalised bao board game made out of wood. I thought it would be a great idea as I enjoyed playing this popular Malawian board game and would love to take one home with me. We settled on a design lion, rhino and elephant and a price and we made our way back to the beach and Julius got to work on the board game.
We struck up a good friendship over the days I was at Kande Beach. Our tourist accommodation by the lake was a compound in which the locals were not allowed to enter, we had our own amenities, bar and restaurant etc which were of course at tourist prices. This is all well and good but seeing how the locals lived and worked was more of an interest to me. Julius showed me around his village and the local market, I met his beautiful family and we finished the day with a beer at the local pub which consisted of a dirt floor room and a fridge full of beer and a happy smiling barman, how good is that!
I had such a great time at Kande Beach in Malawi, the people are so friendly and always happy and how often in your life will you meet Julius Caesar and if you’re lucky you might meet his mate Daffy Duck!
Travelled to Kande Beach: 31 December to 3 January 2006