Copyright June 1997. The copyright of this document is vested in J. Hornbuckle. All
rights reserved. Neither the whole nor any part of this report may be reproduced in any
form or by any means without the prior written consent of the copywright owner.
I spent 10 days birding in Malawi, with Ashley Banwell and Mike Archer, following our visit to South Africa and Zimbabwe. We recorded 306 species (according to Clements) during this time, including White-backed Night-Heron, Striped Flufftail, Wattled Crane, Violet-tipped Courser, Ruwenzori Nightjar, Boehm's Bee-eater, White-chested and Cholo Alethes, Livingstone's Flycatcher, Sharpe's and East Coast Akalats, White-winged Apalis and a host of miombo species such as Pale-billed Hornbill, Stierling's Woodpecker and Boehm's Flycatcher. I had 34 ticks, mostly of birds found elsewhere only in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique. Malawi is densely populated but habitat destruction does not appear to have been a serious problem because most uncultivated land was either in reserves/national parks or private estates. However, the recent ousting of Hastings Banda has resulted in private land being given to the general populace with the inevitable consequences. Forest sites such as Soche Mountain are probably living on borrowed time.
Malawi is relatively safe, cheap (apart from vehicle hire) and hassle-free, with very
friendly people, many of whom speak English. Most of the specialities can be seen by
visiting a mere handful of localities, so that even a short trip can be highly rewarding.
Hence, Malawi is thoroughly recommended as a birding venue, especially with an
additional 5-7 days in Zimbabwe, birding Harare and the Vumbas, for anyone who has
not already been there.
We flew with Air Malawi from Harare to Blantyre, £72 for a return ticket -- a single being more expensive! This was to minimise travelling time as time was short (the others left after 8 days). We could have flown to Lilongwe for the same price, with either Air Malawi or Air Zimbabwe, both reasonable carriers. We left for home from Lilongwe, having had open-jaw tickets, available with KLM and BA.
Public transport is good between towns but non-existent in national parks. The only international car-hire company operating here is Avis, who do not offer unlimited mileage and have a steep drop-charge for starting in Blantyre and finishing in Lilongwe, although this works out similar to the cost of the mileage. Hence our flight plan. However, shortly before departure for Africa I was able to book an unlimited mileage deal through Soche Tours (fax 00265 620 440, tel 620 777), a reputable local agent. This cost US$610 for a Toyota Corolla for 7 days, including full insurance, taxes and $80 drop-charge; the car was supplied by Greenline Car Hire Services (fax 630 897). It would have been cheaper to drive back to Blantyre, to save the drop-charge, and take the 4-hour bus journey back to Lilongwe. I intended to do this, having extended my visit by 2 days, to have another try for montane species, but abandoned the idea when the car was wrecked in a collision (caused by a local driving fast round a bend on the wrong side of the road). There was no excess for the damage but would have been had the police report apportioned blame to me.
The main north-south roads are sealed, e.g. between Blantyre, Lilongwe and Mzuzu (direct or via Lake Malawi), but elsewhere are poor-quality dirt, where a 4-wheel drive would be a distinct advantage. We only just managed to visit Nyika NP, where the roads were barely driveable, it being the rainy season -- we were delayed at least 5 times and were lucky to get a tow out on the most serious occasion. An alternative strategy would be to use public transport for long distances, hire taxis, which with negotiation were quite reasonable, for "local" journeys, and a 4-wheel drive for Nyika.
Cheap restaurants are available in sizeable towns but appear to be scarce elsewhere, hence it is as well to have a supply of food with you at all times, particularly as resthouses are one of the best options for accommodation at the more remote areas and usually come with cooks but no food. Shops in the towns hold a modest selection of foodstuff but much more limited than in South Africa -- do not expect to find items such as muesli. Villages hold very little -- even eggs seem hard to come by.
Although hotels are plentiful in Lilongwe and probably in the tourist haunts along Lake Malawi, they seem surprisingly scarce elsewhere. Outside the cities, the only up-market establishments I know are the lodges at Liwonde and Lengwe National Parks, and even modest hotels can be hard to find, e.g. Zomba, where the national parliament is housed, has only 3 hotels/resthouses. Recommendations are:
Jens Haugaard, PO Box 409, Blantyre; tel home 635 451, work 676 240, fax 676 243
Stewart Lane, PO Box 51147, Limbe; tel 652 151
The weather was generally warm and cloudy, with some sun and heavy showers. Humidity was only really high at Nkhata Bay. The rainy season peaks in Jan/Feb and can extend either side for a month or two; hence road conditions are at their worst in the first few months of the year.
The only serious health risk is malaria, and that only occurs in the lowlands, i.e. mainly around Lake Malawi. We had virtually no health or insect problems.
Visas are not required. Local currency is the Kwacha, 15 to the US$ and 24 to the £. The strict rules on dress and hair length imposed by Banda have now been scrapped, although Ashley took no chances. There are no traffic police or enforcement of speed limits, but roadblocks occur at intervals, and papers and the condition of the vehicle are often checked.
Many thanks to Bob Medford, Dave Sargeant, Mark van Beirs, and especially Jens Haugaard and Stewart Lane, for help and advice. Ashley and Mike were excellent companions throughout.
This, and the next site, are just south of Blantyre, the largest city in the country. The key species to see is Cholo/Thyolo Alethe, Malawi's only endemic (well, almost), which is perhaps more likely to be seen here than anywhere else. Other good birds possible are Livingstone's Turaco, Bar-tailed Trogon, Black-fronted Bushshrike, Spotted Ground-Thrush, Pale and Malawi (Cape) Batises, Green-headed Oriole, White-winged and Black-headed Apalises, Peter's Twinspot and Bertrand's Weaver.
From Blantyre take Kanjedza Road (off Mahatma Ghandi Road near filling station) to top of hill with the satellite dish on your left. Turn right at crossroads, along road lined with cedars, and park opposite transformer mast on left just inside the township. Walk back 50 m and turn left alongside church -- follow main path towards mountain, which becomes Red Route to the peak. We saw both Batis sp., Black-headed Apalis and heard the Trogon in a badly deforested area, then had the Alethe, Bushshrike, Black-throated Wattle-eye, and Evergreen Forest Warbler on a ridge near the peak.
Blantyre - Michru Conservation Area is good for general birding -- turn first right after the Hong Kong restaurant, then first left and continue for nearly 9 km.
To get to Stewart Lane's house, take the road to Zomba from Blantyre or Limbe. About 1 km after the Limbe and Blantyre roads join, turn right opposite Maone Park Estate. Follow the tar for a few 100 m until you come to a rock by the roadside with SL painted on it. Turn right here, and Stewart's gate is at the end of this straight track.
An hour's drive from Blantyre, this holds the same birds as Soche Mt. and Green/Woodward's Barbet and Orange Ground-Thrush; Green-headed Oriole is said to be easy here -- a permit is required from the Tea Estate manager (phone 472233). Follow Thyolo Road and turn right at a big blue sign for Satemwa Estate -- on the estate, follow signs for Chawani Bungalow (which costs US$90 to stay, sleeps 8) -- the road to the forest is visible from the transmitter station, reached from the back of the bungalow garden. A permit is unnecessary for the nearby Mikundi Forest, which has all the birds except the Barbet -- turn left c.1.5 km after the big yellow Namingomba Tea Estate sign (on the right), at a small sign for "I. Conforzi Tea Estates, Mikundi Estate" -- a track to the hill forest goes past a small dam on the right.
At 3000 m this is the highest mountain range in eastern Central Africa, only 65 km from Blantyre, or 81 km via Thyolo -- excellent for Crowned and Verreaux's Eagles, with other montane species including Pallid Honeyguide and Olive-flanked Robin-Chat. The scenery is reputed to be spectacular but it is quite a climb to reach the upper parts. Stay at Likhabula resthouse at the southwest base, a left turn just before Mulanje township.
This appears to be the most accessible place to see the star White-winged Apalis. Turn left in front of the parliament building, go up the hill for a few 100 m and scour the canopies of garden trees for the Apalis, which is unobtrusive and highly active but responds to taping. A possible contact is John Wilson, Box 537, Zomba, tel 522313.
The scenic plateau above the town holds Black-rumped Buttonquail and Buff-spotted Flufftail, but the road up to it is unsuitable for 2-wheel drive vehicles at present.
Mvuu Camp at Liwonde must be one of the nicest spots in the country, on the banks of the Shire River and partially surrounded by open mopane woodland. Three key species can be seen here, namely Boehm's Bee-eater, Brown-breasted Barbet and Livingstone's Flycatcher, and Pel's Fishing-Owl is also commonly found. It is the one of the few sites known for breeding African Pitta, but very few people have seen it here. Other good birds possible are Rufous-bellied Heron, Dickinson's Kestrel, White-headed and Senegal (Lesser Black-winged Plover) Lapwings, Violet-tipped Courser, African Skimmer, Cape and Brown-headed Parrots, Lilian's Lovebird, Black Coucal, Racket-tailed Roller, African Broadbill, Collared Palm-Thrush and Southern Brown-throated Weaver.
Book through Central African Wilderness Safaris, Box 489, Lilongwe -- the daily cost was 1100K per person (900 Sun-Thurs) all-in including 2 trips a day, but will be higher in the peak season. The pick-up point for the river trip to the Camp is up a right turn immediately before the Shire River bridge when coming from Zomba/Blantyre. The local guide Robert Nyirenda is very sharp-eyed and knowledgeable, although not able to find for us Pel's, White-backed Night-Heron (which normally roost and nest in bushes overhanging bank next to tent 6), Rufous-bellied Heron or Senegal Lapwing, all strong possibilities.
There is good Brachystegia woodland on the hills south of Liwonde, e.g. on the Zomba road before Machinga, which hold Pale-billed Hornbill, Stierling's Woodpecker and Cinnamon-breasted Tit (only found E of the Rift). Car parking is tricky, so we tried the first right turn (coming from Liwonde) into a eucalypt plantation at the base of the hills, parked after a few 100 m, and walked up a track into the forest, but in limited time only saw the Tit.
This is the premier locality in Malawi. Key birds are Wattled Crane, Usumbara (Mountain) Nightjar, Black-backed Barbet, Fuelleborn's Boubou, White-chested Alethe, Olive-flanked Robin, Sharpe's Akalat, Blue Swallow, Sharpe's (Yellow-streaked) Greenbul, Black-lored and Churring Cisticolas, Chapin's and Brown-headed Apalises, Evergreen Forest Warbler, Yellow-browed Seedeater, Anchieta's and Red-tufted Sunbirds and Buff-shouldered Widowbird. Other possibilities are Crowned Eagle, Red-winged and Shelley's Francolins, Denham's Bustard, Buff-spotted and Striped Flufftails, Bar-tailed Trogon and miombo species such as Spotted Creeper and Rufous-bellied Tit. It is quite well covered in Bob Medland's Bull. A.B.C. article but the recommended Zambian resthouse has closed, although could possibly reopen, so you now have to stay at Chelinda Camp -- 150K for a double room, no cook, 300K for 3-bed chalet with cook, or camp. Petrol is available but virtually no food. See map for sites.
The 'best' site for the rarely seen Black-backed Barbet is the riparian trees along Kaswerera stream just east of Thazima Gate -- drive down the track through the village inside the N.P. and walk up stream, if you can -- it was pretty overgrown when we were there, with not a hint of a barbet. Black-tailed Waxbill also occurs in this area. The Barbet has also been seen on the hill outside the gate.
Babbling Starling and Chestnut-backed Sparrow-Weaver, difficult to see elsewhere, are said to be easy at Kawiya Camp in the northeast corner of Vwaza Marsh, a large reserve just south of Nyika N.P. Bear left at the road fork c. 10 km before Thazima gate; about 10 km further on at the bottom of a valley and just out of the hills, there should be a steel girder bridge over a large stream -- 500 m before this turn left on a small track. After about 4 km you reach a narrow bridge with a banana plantation on the other side -- park here and walk straight down the road for c. 2 km to Kawiya Camp. The Starling and Sparrow-Weaver can sometimes be seen in tall Brachystegia between Thazima gate and Vwaza Marsh, e.g. on the left (when coming from the south) c. 1 km before the turn off to Kawiya Camp.
Mzuzu Wildlife Education Centre, down a dirt track on the left of the Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay road, just past the Government secondary school 3 km out from the Government Resthouse, holds Chapin's Apalis and East Coast Akalat, but we saw nothing in the rain.
The main birding reason to come here is to find East Coast Akalat, difficult to see at its better known haunts on the Kenyan coast. There were several in the roadside forest a few km west of Nkhata Bay -- it is probably important to be there at dawn. Go inland on the main road to Mzuzu and park on the only tarred space on the right just past the Nkhotakota turn. Walk up the grass trail -- Akalats sang on both sides near the first bend.
For accommodation, Kapiche Motel is better than Heart Hotel in Nkhata Bay, recommended in Lonely Planet and distinctly downmarket, but the Chikale and Nyaya Beach Resorts over the hill to the south are better still, if you can get in.
Further south at Senga Bay, an easy day trip by public transport from Lilongwe via Salima, Dickinson's Kestrel, Boehm's and Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters and Livingstone's Flycatcher can be found in the vicinity of the shore, and Mpatsanjoka Dambo, an inland wetland, is productive for waterbirds. Cape Maclear is said to be the prettiest spot on the lower lake -- the many endemic coloured fish can be viewed here from glass bottomed boats, but beware of Bilharzia here. At the very south lies Mangochi, east of which is Mangochi Mountain, the only locality for Green Tinker-Barbet, a Mozambique speciality.
The town Nature Reserve, off Kenyatta Drive, open 07.30-17.00, is an excellent place, particularly for White-backed Night-Heron which nest by the river -- take the middle South Trail straight to the river and bear left along the River Walk Trail -- the herons nest in a bush overhanging the river on the far bank, directly opposite a large patch of tall bamboo and a broken wooden bench, but take some spotting. Other good birds here are Finfoot, African Broadbill, Peter's Twinspot and Magpie Mannikin. The golf course, on the edge of town south of the road to Kasumu Dam, is said to be worth a visit if you have time to spare.
This Forest Reserve, an hour or so SW of Lilongwe, on the Mozambique border is an excellent site for the miombo specialities, namely Pennant-winged Nightjar, Whyte's and Miombo Barbets, Pale-billed Hornbill, Stierling's Woodpecker, Miombo Robin-Chat, Red-capped Crombec, Boehm's Flycatcher, Souza's Shrike, Stierling's Wren- (Barred) Warbler, Rufous-bellied Tit, Olive-headed Weaver and Anchieta's, Shelley's and Violet-backed Sunbirds. Long-toed Flufftail, Boulder Chat, Lesser (Nyasa) Seedcracker and Locustfinch are also outside possibilities.
South out of Lilongwe, turn right at the roundabout, to Kasumu Dam. Ignore the left turn to the dam after 20 km, and the reserve is reached after a further 20 km. Drive through the barrier gate and fork right following the sign to the Resthouse; the miombo forest starts 8 km from the gate.
In the far north of the country beyond Chitipa on bad roads, this is the only site for Shelley's Greenbul, Short-tailed Batis and Spot-throat. Oustalet's Sunbird occurs in degraded miombo north of Nyilla, towards Chitipa.
These isolated mountains can be visited as day trips from Lilongwe. Dedza is only an hour's ride away on the frequently served Blantyre bus route. It is a pleasant walk from the main stop -- go back along the road for a few 100 m, then up through eucalypt and pine plantations, past a radio/TV mast to the upper plateau of rich flowery grassland and forest patches. The only notable birds I saw were Hildebrandt's Francolin, Schalow's Turaco, Singing Cisticola and Olive Bush-Shrike. To reach Ntchisi you must go for c. 80 km, 50 of which are dirt roads, but the birds are potentially more rewarding, with Bar-tailed Trogon possible.
This pleasant site south of Blantyre is best known for mammals and the nearby spectacular colony of Southern Carmine Bee-eaters (300 m W of Chigwawa Bridge), but is also noted for Black-and-White (Vanga) Flycatcher -- in the fever trees around the bridge at the Reserve entrance -- Lemon-breasted Canary and the possibility of Boehm's Spinetail and Barred Long-tailed Cuckoo. It holds some of Liwonde's birds, most notably, Dickinson's Kestrel, Racket-tailed Roller, African Broadbill and Livingstone's Flycatcher.
Arrive Blantyre at 18.15, easy entry formalities. Met by Greenline Car Hire, and given larger car than ordered. Drive few km to Grace Bandawe Conference Centre where book twin-bed rondavaal. Ring Stewart Lane, who kindly comes round with maps and gen. Chicken, rice and a banana for c. £2 (same price as tea for 3).
05.45 - 11.30 two sites on Soche Mountain: Livingstone's Turaco, Malawi Batis, Black-throated Wattle-eye, Cholo Alethe, Evergreen Forest Warbler and Black-headed Apalis, but no Green-headed Oriole or White-winged Apalis. Pleasant lunch with the Rev. Stewart Lane at his house in Limbe, but no Bertram's Weavers (which breed in the garden). Try to leave at 14.00 but car will not start. Call Soche Tours who send Greenline, but have to wait till 16.15, thus scotching plans to go to Thyolo Mountain. Book following night at Liwonde by phoning Central African Wilderness Safaris in Lilongwe. Car soon repaired, so make for Zomba (1 hour), where both resthouses are full. Manage to get last free room at Ndineya Hotel, the only other hotel and the cheapest at 202K for 3 in a room (1 on floor mattress). Chicken and chips but very slow service. No phones working in whole of Zomba.
05.30 - 06.30 at Zomba, in secondary growth and wooded gardens above parliament building: stunning White-winged Apalis taped in by A.B. Drive to Liwonde village, with tea stop, arriving 07.40, but 08.00 boat transfer to Mvuu Camp, Liwonde NP delayed till 08.25 awaiting other clients. 09.15: arrive at camp -- lovely site. Slow boat trip gives Skimmer, Southern Pochard and Black Stork, and Boehm's Bee-eaters are in camp grounds. Good lunch and chill out till 15.15 when take guided walk till 16.30: Brown-breasted Barbet and Livingstone's Flycatcher. Game drive 17.15 - 19.30: Bronze-winged Courser, Brown-necked (Cape) Parrot, Fiery-necked Nightjar and Civet, but no Senegal Lapwing (Lesser Black-winged Plover). Pel's Fishing-Owl calling at dinner but not located on short boat trip afterwards, nor White-backed Night-Heron. Hippos noisy at night.
05.30 start becomes 05.45 due to late arrival of guide Robert. Try hard for Pitta and Pel's but no luck: Brown-headed Parrot, Bearded Scrub-Robin, and Broadbill heard. Breakfast at 07.30. Boat transfer back to Liwonde 09.15 -10.00 -- no Rufous-bellied Heron, normally seen on the way. Drive few km back towards Zomba and enter the Brachystegia woodland -- rather quiet, only one small party with Cinnamon-breasted Tit, and Flappet Larks displaying overhead. Head N at noon, intending to go alongside Lake Malawi but unaccountably missed the turn near Selima and so go nearly to Lilongwe -- one 'short cut' to miss the city is very rough and slow. Reach Viphya Plateau at dusk, where many Amur Falcon are hawking over woodland. At 18.45 try the forested Chikangawa Resthouse No. 2, a cook but no food -- as neither we nor local shops have anything worth cooking, settle for the Vipia Resthouse, only one with a restaurant, where fish and chips, coffee and beer most welcome.
05.30 start for Nyika N.P., breakfast at Rumphi and food shopping, then 65 km on poor dirt road. 75K per person per day N.P. fee, 60 km to Chelinda Camp, with young Dutch couple squeezed in. Soon starts raining, making driving rather hazardous but make it at 15.00 after many rock hits under the car; stops on the way for Wattled Crane, Red-winged and Shelley's Francolins, Black-lored and Churring Cisticolas and Blue Swallow. Give food to the cook then, as rain has stopped, drive to grassland, where flush Striped Flufftail, and patches of forest. Single Ruwenzori Nightjar on approach to camp at dusk.
05.30 cool start on trail by No. 1 Dam. Tea at 06.15, leave flat tyre for repair at settlement; surprised to meet Jens Haugaard with whom I'd corresponded from home. 08.00-10.30 Chowo Forest until rain stops play: Schalow's Turaco, Abyssinian Hill-Babbler, Fulleborn's Boubou, Brown-headed Apalis, Cinnamon Bracken and Evergreen Forest Warblers, while White-chested Alethe heard but not seen. Car slips into deep fissure in road, so A.B. and M.G.A. walk to defunct Zambian guesthouse for help. In meantime passing passenger truck stops and tows me out, after breaking tow-rope several times. Eventually find A.B. and M.G.A. eating the last of a pile of apparently very tasty hot potatoes, cooked by the unemployed Zambians, my only consolation being Streaky Seedeater en route. Return to lodge, getting stuck in soft sand but escape by brute force and rocks under wheels. A.B. and I go back to Zoro Chipolo Forest, with one enforced stop in soft sand -- tape out the Alethe and suffer attack by vicious ants; 20 Hobbies hawking together over plateau. M.G.A. had perched Blue Swallows at the dam. Hear from local that guards have recently killed an old leopard for catching chickens and 'chasing our chaps'!
05.30 leave Chelinda Camp for Chowo Forest, with stops (Olive-flanked Robin-Chat for A.B.): Sharpe's Akalat but no Bar-tailed Trogon. Depart 08.15 for Thazima Gate -- stuck once in deep wash hole, jacked out -- big flock in miombo 5-8 km before the Gate: Spotted Creeper, Yellow-bellied Hyliota and Rufous -bellied Tit. Gate at 11.00 and walk to stream to look for Black-backed Barbet, but dip. Drive 3 km back up hill and explore miombo: Miombo Scrub-Robin, Anchieta's and Green-headed Sunbirds, Bertram's Weaver (at last) and a rare Rufous Bushchat. A flock of soaring Steppe Eagles below the Gate are probably migrating. Spend some time trying to find Vwaza Marsh, but have to abort when car becomes stuck in deep ruts due to insufficient clearance. Relieved to reach Rumphi at 16.30 and press on to Mzuzu and Nkhata Bay. Locate nice beach resort in the dark, but full so have to settle for 2 cheap rooms (75K total) in town. Feast on beef pizzas and chocolate cake!
05.15 departure for lowland forest in rain, soon seeing East Coast Akalat but little else. Locate Environmental Education Centre, Mzuzu, and walk short trails, hoping for Chapin's Apalis -- promising but dead due to heavy rain. Breakfast at pleasant Govt. Resthouse nearby -- no eggs or jam! Drive to Lilongwe, with one hot, birdless stop in miombo on Viphya Plateau, arriving 14.15. Visit Soche Travel to extend car hire period and book a room at Annie's. 16.00-17.00 in Nature Sanctuary -- White-backed Night-Heron nesting but no Magpie Mannikin, heavy rain starts again.
05.30 to Dzalanyama 40 km, then 8 km through eucalypts. 07.00-08.00 track on left -- one flock with Stierling's Woodpecker, Boehm's Flycatcher, Red-capped Crombec, Souza's Shrike and Violet-backed Sunbird. A further 2-3 km gives Whyte's Barbet, Flappet Lark, Wood Pipit, Retz's Helmet-Shrike, Anchieta's and Shelley's Sunbirds and Black-eared and Yellow-browed Seedeaters, but nothing new on final walk 11.00-11.30. Towards Lilongwe, after almost birdless Kasumu Dam, hit by Landcruiser ambulance. Taken 15 km to Lilongwe police station where wait hours, as there are no spare vehicles, before Greenline arrive, then further hour while they locate a tow-rope, finally returning to our car at 15.30, A.B. and M.G.A. having just left for the airport. Police measure up, and I am towed back to town and dropped at Annie's at 17.00 where spend evening chilling out with English girls.
Lilongwe bus terminal for 07.00 bus to Salima, intending to visit Lake Malawi. Not arrived by 07.15 so take double-decker to Blantyre, alighting at Dedza, 08.40 (33K). Walk up Dedza Mountain to plateau at top -- picturesque but only notable new birds are Tambourine Dove, Olive Bushshrike, Singing Cisticola and Yellow-bellied Waxbill. Catch bus back, 13.20-14.20, then to Lilongwe Nature Reserve by minibus, till closing time at 17.00: Finfoot and Peters' Twinspot. Arrange taxi for 05.30 in the morning.
Taxi fails to show so go to bus station and find another, a wreck -- 06.00 by time he has petrol. Reach Dzalanyama forest edge at 07.30, with complaints about distance and road condition. Walk to the left for some distance before eventually finding 2 bird parties, with some of last time's species plus Pale-billed Hornbill and Miombo Barbet. Return to taxi at 10.20 and Annie's at 12.00, paying 420K to driver. Torn trousers are repaired in 15 mins by Singer sowing machine (only 5K). Lift to airport at 15.30 with South African tobacco farmer en route to Salima for drinks with friends -- says he can't return to South Africa as he was ex-army and the new regime is 'taking out' white army men. Bird area near airport entrance -- good for sunbirds but nothing new. $20 departure tax payable only in US$ but change given (in $, unlike at Harare where they will not give any change); able to buy duty-free in Kwacha and change remaining K to $ without original exchange receipt. Arrive London early morning.
Taxonomy, names and sequence based on Birds of the World: A Checklist by J.F. Clements (1991); an asterisk indicates split not accepted in Malawi. Notable records by only one observer are initialled in parenthesis.
Taxonomy, names and sequence according to Kingdon, J (1997) The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals.
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