fleur-tiny      8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Group Mulanje Expedition Log 14th April to 1 May 1986 

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8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Group
Mulanje Expedition 14 April - 1 May 1986


'The spirit of adventure is
inherent in almost every boy,
but adventure is hard for him
to find in the crowded city'
Lord Baden-Powell, 1932


It was during August 1985 that Norman first mentioned a trip to Mount Mulanje for his Troop and enquired as to whether I would like to join in. In discussing the expedition, he explained that it was to be along the same lines and with the same aims as previous trips, ie. to benefit a group of youngsters currently in their formative years.

In a world increasingly troubled by fanatics of one form or another there can be few more worthwhile and rewarding pursuits than working with youngsters to help them to equip themselves for the future. It has been argued that expeditions should be for the young man in his late teens or early twenties, and something comparable to military service, to discipline and challenge the young body and mind. Nevertheless, there exists a suitable vehicle for this experience and the training which can be given at an early age and probably as effectively, namely Scouting.

This then was the stage on which twelve youngsters were to act out the drama of their trip. There were to be two adults in the wings to give guidance and help where necessary. As a stranger to what was a cohesive group it was very interesting to observe its day to day operation, high points, disasters and successes. Extremely gratifying was the way in which the stranger was accepted and allowances made for, the forbearance with some difficulties and individuals which resulted in a highly successful trip.

What follows is the group's own report. This in itself is a tribute to their leader, the experience and what they have learnt. May this expedition be one of many to follow.

Jon Kappeyne


'Time doesnt mean a thing
Life is just a happening
Filled with lots of pleasant things
Like just being together'

Expedition Members

           Norman Scott - Group Scout Leader
           Jon Kappeyne

           Graham Williams - Troop Leader
           Hilton Ralphs - Senior Scout

   Chambe Patrol
   P.L. Peter Tipler
   A.P.L Andrew Arrowsmith    
   Colin Campbell
   Luke Maloney
   Grant Dickinson

   Thuchila Patrol
   P.L. Wayne Jolly
   A.P.L. Graham Ross
   Simon Campbell
   William McEntaggart    
   Stuart Smith


Leaders Comment

'The Mulanje Massif, situated in the Southeast corner of Malawi is an isolated block of mountains of more than 640 square kilometers. A great impression of impregnability is given by its precipitous flanks which rise abruptly from 615 meters above sea level to either marginal plateaux at around 1830 meters or to rocky peaks reaching close to 2800 meters.'

The idea of mounting an expedition to Mount Mulanje, Malawi was conceived in January, 1984 when preparations were being made for the Botswana Okavango Expedition which was held during December of that year. However, apart from obtaining maps and general information regarding Malawi, very little was done until early 1985, when planning was started in earnest.

The original plan was to hold the expedition during the 1986 December school holidays, but as information and advice was gathered it became apparent that the best time to visit Malawi would be in April and certainly not during December at the height of the rains. Accordingly, the date for the 1986 expedition was set for April/May school holidays. Bringing the date forward by seven months meant, that a good deal of preparation had to be completed at short notice so that the expedition could be advertised to the Troop at Hobby Night on Friday, 29 November, 1985.

In organizing previous expeditions I had learn that one must have an objective if the expedition is to prove of maximum benefit to the Scouts and that the itinerary should be drawn up with this objective in mind.

The area finally chosen was the Southern Region of Malawi. Situated in this region is Lake Malawi, Mulanje Mountain, a number of National Parks, extensive tea and sugar plantations, and the only hydro-electric power station in the country and two of Malawi's largest cities, Lilingwe and Blantyre. Further, the area is heavily populated. With so much to see in a relatively small area, and in order to get to Malawi the expedition would pass through Zambia, the objective being to provide an opportunity for the scouts to appreciate the inter-dependence one country has on one another and to see and learn about the countries, their flora and fauna, peoples and cultures who are closely associated with Zimbabwe.

In order to achieve this objective, I chose as my second adult member Mr Jon Kappeyne, a prominent ecologist, who I hoped, through informal discussion would interest the scouts in the flora and funa of the region. Secondly as a keen amateur mechanic and owner of a covered pick-up, I would solve the problem of a mechanic and halve my transport problem. I am pleased to record that all three aims were achieved and I owe much to Jon for ensuring the success of the expedition. I am sure no expeditioner will forget the sudden halting of our convoy in the middle of nowhere when jon, with soil auger in hand, would point out the vegetation cover, relating it to the type of soil and naming the prominent trees and grasses of the area - remember Zuclea undulata!

A second vehicle was obtained through the good offices of Mr L. Jolly, a parent in the Group who arranged for the Mitsubishi Pajero to be loaned to the expedition. My sincere thanks to Mr Jolly and to Amalgamated Motor Corporation for the use of the vehicle. We found it to be ideally suited for expedition work, especially when an expedition member fitted it with a stereo tape deck.

Our contact in Malawi was Mr R. Fraser, a parent of a former Scout in the Troop. My sincere thanks to Mr Fraser, for not only did he allow the expedition the use of his lake-side cottage on Lake Malawi and his house in Blantyre, but he mobilised his friends and a number of commercial firms in Malawi to assist the expedition. Their generous contributions in kind to the expedition saved on expenses and enabled each Scout to be given a small refund on the cost of the expedition.

Undoubtedly, the high point on the expedition was the hike on Mount Mulanje when each scout had the opportunity to put the training received both at the Scout Hall and at camp into perspective. Another and perhaps more important aspect, is that scouts gained a deeper understanding of themselves, their strength and weaknesses and those of their companions. To have climbed Mount Mulanje is an achievement in itself and the team work displayed by the seniors assisting the juniors is the cornerstone of the Scout Patrol system.

Finally, I would like to thank the Scouts who took part in the expedition which covered in excess of 5000 kilometers in 18 days. To the seniors who had additional organisational duties, especially Patrol Leader Wayne Jolly who accepted the most difficult task of catering quartermaster, my sincere thanks.

Once again, it was an honour for me to have led a contingent of Scouts from the 8th on an expedition.

N. Scott
Group Scout Leader



Monday 14th April

This day was full of excitement - the departure of the contingent for the Mulange Expedition to Malawi. We all arrived at the Scout Hall at around 7.00am to the hustle and bustle of packing the trailer, and parents fussing, and, after fall in, the photographs and prayer, we left the hall at 7.25am. Seven of us travelled in the Mitsubishi Pajero and seven of us travelled in Jon's 404 Peugeot pick-up.

We travelled along the Falls road and occasionally Jon stopped to explain changes in soils and vegetation as we passed through different regions. At the 60km peg, we noticed two huge teak trees with yellow rings around them on each side of the road and all around this area was teak forest.

We stopped at Forest Hill, where the forestry commission offices are situated for that particular region, and Jon showed us around. There were endless heaps of wrecked gear boxes from Landrovers, which had been ruined by thick sand around that area. We were introduced to some of the mechanics and the stores supervisor and were shown all the Landrover wrecks and scrap chassis. Having seen Forest Hill, we set out again. At 11.00am we stopped at the Gwaai River Hotel for lunch which consisted of hotdogs and cokes. Graham Williams introduced the Gaff tin. He explained that one had to pay a five cent fine if he swore or used his right hand to drink with. Grant was appointed treasurer and soon the money started rolling in, rapidly from Jon's direction. We finished off out cokes, at the cost of a couple of fines, and then we moved on to Victoria Falls.


On the way the Peugeot overheated and blew the cap on the water header tank, so we had to wait until it cooled and fill it up again with water. This done, we were off again at 2.50pm and arrived at the Victoria Falls Forestry Commission at 4.00pm where Jon sorted out some business and we went to the Falls where we arrived at 4.20pm. We passed through the border post on the Zimbabwean side and walked across the bridge to the Zambian border post which we passed through at 6.00pm and drove into Livingstone. We stayed at Mr Lowe's workshop which had a huge roofed area for storage and we slept under that. Jon showed us around whilst Wayne's Patrol organised dinner of chicken, peas, rice, tea and choc-mint pudding, which we had at 7.30. We laid out our sleeping bags and the lights went out at 10.00pm.

Tuesday 15th April

(Noddy Badge - Jon)

We were woken up at 5.30am and breakfast was organised by Peter's patrol. Breakfast was of cereal, toast, jam, tea and coffee. We washed up and then the Noddy Badge was presented to Jon for all the bad language he had used the previous day. Then we all piled into the Pajero to go and see the Zambian side of the Falls at 7.30am and returned to the workshop at 8.30am to find that Jon had packed most of the kit back into the trailer. We finished packing the trailer and left the house at 9.30am.


We went into town so that we could buy films for our cameras and then departed for Livingstone at 10.00am. At 12.00 we stopped at a lay-by for lunch which was of cold drink, Cam, bread, apples, and tomatoes, and Simon spilt a whole bottle of mercurochrome all over the table. We set out again at 1.00pm and at 4.15pm we stopped at Choma for cokes. Then we carried on. The road was full of potholes and many big lorries had broken down. We even passed one that had overturned. At Mazabuka we stopped at 3.50pm so that Jon could make a phone call to confirm that we were expected at the showgrounds at Lusaka. Peter tumbled out of the Pajero - taped all over his face and to the head-rest. Then we set off again and crossed the Kafue bridge and took some photographs.

We arrived safely at Lusaka and were given a place in the cattle pens at the showgrounds on the Great East Road. We had dinner, organised by Peter's Patrol, of bully beef, chips, guavas and tea and then had a wash underneath the taps. We were all in bed by 10.00pm, when the light were turned out.

Wednesday 16th April

Noddy Badge - Simon

We were woken at 5.00am and Waynes's patrol organised breakfast of spaghetti, bread, orange juice and tea. We departed from Lusaka at 8.30am and stopped for fuel on the way out. There was a dead dog on the road and lots of unfinished houses everywhere on each side of the road, all looking abandoned and overgrown. There were still lots of potholes on the road.


We crossed Luangwa Beit Bridge at 11.00am and stopped at the side of the road at 12.30pm for lunch of cream crackers, meat paste and cool drink. We set out again and the route became rather hilly so he Pajero found it hard to keep up. It rained rather heavily for a while in the late afternoon. The road soon became dead straight and less hilly until Chipata. We reached Chipata at 4.00pm and some of us bought cokes.

We crossed the Zambian border post at 5.30pm and passed through the Malawian side at 6.30pm. Then we carried on to Lilongwe, where we went to the gold club to stay the night. Wayne's Patrol organised dinner of chips, bully beef, vegetables and tea, and then after dinner we had showers and went to bed.

Thursday 17th April

Noddy Badge - William

We woke up sleepily at 6.30 and Peter's Patrol organised breakfast, which was of Cam, onions and tomatoes on toast, jam, tea and coffee. We had breakfast at 7.00 then packed the trailer and left it at the golf club while we went into town to the bank and to look at the shops. The curios that were sold in Lilongwe and were very interesting and were most appealing. We saw the old town and the new town and left Lilongwe on the M1 at 12.00, after buying cokes at the Lilongwe Golf Club.


Panic stations all round when Norman got us all lost in a maze of detours on the way out of Lilongwe! (a very noddyable deed.) Now, we were on the way to Nkudzi Bay, near Monkey Bay. We saw lots and lots of banana trees growing around mud huts of the locals. Another plant in abundance was a reddish looking grass called the Natal Red Top and, for educated people, its botanical name is Rhynchelytrum Repens. There were many plantations of a tree with a poplar-shaped leaf, which they used to make their Leopard matches. This is called Malina. We passed the turn-off to the Mozambique border post at 1.30 and then drove on to the Monkey Bay turn-off, which was a dirt track and very steep. We stopped for lunch at 1.50pm at the side of the track. For lunch we had French Rolls, cheese and cooldrink. The scenery was beautiful, with rolling mountains all around us, and, being high up ourselves, we could see the Lake far below infront of us.


There were many cascading rivers and waterfalls coming down from higher up the mountains around us and, at 2.00pm, we climbed back into the two vehicles and proceeded to drive down the steep track through the mountains towards the lakeside. At 3.00pm we came to an African man who had made a big selection of miniature roadworks vehicles and aeroplanes out of wood.

They were very detailed and had working hydraulic systems also. He was selling them so we stopped and some of us bought them. At 3.35 we eventually came to the end of the steep track and onto a tar road, which was still rough and full of potholes. We passed a few baobabs along the road and, when we passed some mud huts, we ran over some chickens (also rather noddyable). At 5.00pm we stopped at the T Junction where we were to met Mr Fraser at 4.00pm.


Naturally he wasnt there so we carried on to Nkudzi Bay. At 5.15pm we entered the Lake Malawi National Park territory.Now there were plenty of Boababs in the area and we entered Nkudzi Bay at 5.20pm.

We came to Mr Frasers place and settled in among the sand and coconut trees. We stayed in a little cottage where we put our sleeping bags down before going down to the water for a quick swim before dinner. Then we had dinner and went to bed.

Friday 18th April

We woke up at 5.00am and had breakfast at 5.45am of cereal and orange juice. Then we all piled into Mr Fraser's pickup to go to Monkey Bay to catch the "Steamer". The ship was waiting at the docks, so Norman bought 14 first class tickets and we boarded the Ilala at 7.15. We pulled out from the docks at 8.15 and spent a leisurely morning up on the top deck, drinking cokes and sitting out on deck chairs. At about 10.30am half of us were taken on a tour of the ship, which consisted of the top deck, the cabin deck, and 2nd and 3rd class and cargo decks and then the hold. The engine room was huge and was in the centre of the ship, about three decks high and separated from them by thick steel walls. The wheelhouse, on the top deck, had a big wheel, compass, navigating instruments and an underwater radar system for navagating and staying clear of shallow areas or protruding rocks. The senior officers rooms were just like hotel rooms; the rest of the crew's were not as nice and were very hot because they were under water level like the hold.

fish eagle

At 11.00 am we stopped to pick up passengers and to drop some off at a little settlement on the shore. This took till 12.10pm. At 1.30 we went into the dining room for lunch. We had a super lunch of Cream of Asparagus soup, main course of fish, chicken or Ncema, followed by pineapple, tea or coffee. During lunch the ship stopped again to pick up and drop off passengers until about 3.00pm. During the stop we had a swim, jumping off the top deck and the cabin deck. We took turns at swinging off the ropes for the rescue launches into the water, about 4 meters below.

For the rest of the afternoon we lay around in the sun on the top deck. At 4.00pm the other half of us went around for a tour of the ship, while the others had tea. The second group had tea when they came back. At 7.00pm we arrived at Chipoka docks and Craig Fraser and Dave were there to meet us. Norm drove us all home in the Frasers' pickup which was like an overpacked sardine tin. We arrived back at Nkudzi Bay at 9.00pm and Bev had made a stew and sadza for us. This was very nice and after supper we went to bed and finally dropped off to sleep at about 12.00am.

Saturday 19th April

Noddy Badge - Peter


We woke up at 6.30am and breakfast was organized by Peter's Patrol. We had toast and baked beans for breakfast with tea and orange juice. Then we went down to the beach and swam in the lake. Craig took us water ski-ing with his boat and we had sliding competitions on the next door neighbours slipway. This brought us through most of the morning. Unfortunately, the water made us itchy for a while.

The Noddy badge was presented at 12.10pm to Peter and we had lunch at 1.00pm. After lunch we packed the trailer and set out for Blantyre. On the way the Peugeot hit a Caber Goshawk. Jon drove back to see if it had been badly injured or not. It turned out it was only suffering from shock, so we picked him up and drove a little way with him until he recovered. After a while we stopped and Jon set him free. He flew up into a tree and gave a friendly squawk of thanks. At 4.45 we stopped to have a look at an African mole which was crossing the road. We carried on and crossed the Shire River Bridge at 4.45pm. We soon arrived in Blantyre and had a most delicious dinner at the Frasers house, of Stew, chips and tea. We watched videos and spread our sleeping bags over the lounge floor to go to bed. Then we went to bed at 11.00pm.

Sunday 20th April

Noddy Badge - Luke


We woke up at 6.30am and then went to church. We came back to the Frasers house at 9.45 for breakfast which was of mealie meal porridge, eggs, sausages, toast and tea. After breakfast we piled into the Pajero to go and see Nkula Falls at 11.00. We were shown around the hydro-electric Power Station by one of the officials and returned at 3.00 for lunch. Lunch was spaghetti bolognaise and orange juice.

After lunch, we left for Mount Mulanje. At 5.10pm we stopped on the road to take photographs of Mount Mulanje, which looked magnificent, and the clouds around the peak gave a snow capped effect. Then we carried on and reached Likhubula offices - where we stayed in the Presbyterian chalets at the foot of the mountain. We had dinner, organised by Wayne's patrol, which was of chips, mixed vegetables and tea. We went to bed, excited about the next day when we were to begin our climb/hike on Mount Mulanje.

Monday 21st April

"Put it in and if its too heavy take it out. Swop it around and if it is unbalanced - then fix it. Are your packs OK now? Lets go." The above applied to Maccy and Smithy because no sooner were they on the trail than they collapsed and so Norman was burdened with Smithy's pack and Graham hired a porter for Maccy's pack.

As we went further up the mountain it became more and more tiresome and so every 10m we stopped. At the top of the skyline we stopped for a rest and lunch which we greedily devoured as we were ravenous because of the very steep ascent. We sat on the managers verandah because of a light shower and when all were replenished we set out again through the vast pine forests where numerous red mushrooms had forced their way up through the pine needles.


The path became very slippery and when we neared the offices the forest had been cleared and an empty nest was left. We were greeted at Chambe hut by the harsh rasp of a raven and out kit was soon strewn all over the railings to dry. We then ventured down to the stream for a freezing swim and many a specimens big toe only was wetted. When the swim was over we went for walkies and found a logging pit where the pine trees are sawn into planks by hand.

Then the more adventurous ones went exploring while the others cooked the rations allocated to us prior to our climb. Interrogation followed supper and then sleepiness spread around the fire and King Gonk rules once again.

Tuesday 22nd April

Slurp, sniff, chew chew, "oh shut up", banf diff, "wakey wakey, rise and shine". "But its only 6.00" Soon the hissing of gas cookers was in the air and all were happy - well, almost all - poor Normy Norm. Who gave you heart palpitations this early?
Then as the sun peeped from behind a cloud at 8.30 a small party was seen to leave the hut in single file and march off into the cool interior of the pine woods "where the volves live".

As tea time neared we stopped by a small stream for a cold drink and rest in the clouds. When tea was ended Wayne took the map and set out again on the trail. After a slight ascent we entered the natural stands of Mulange cedar with the lianas and ferns in great clusters and the dampness giving off a high humidity. When the forest came to an abrupt end the ferns grouped in small crags for protection and the rocks became slippery, so Peter found out.

Then we were stuck - one path went to the right, the other to the left. Which do we take? And as the clouds cleared miraculously the small telephone shelter atop a nearby peak was revealed unto us for a few seconds and then gone, covered in cloud as quickly as it had come, so now we were re-orientated and the right path was taken.

Now the fun began as we were entering a time-weathered gorge and the path descended very steeply and so the mud slithered under our feet and many of us went head over heels, especially Peter. We then crossed a stream and walked through the ramshackle compound and on to Lichenya hut where a fire was lit and crackling heartily.

When all had settled down the more adventurous ones went for a swim and a wash before cooking and sleeping a well earned rest.

Wednesday 23rd April

It was cold in the brisk morning air and the coffee was very welcome. After breakfast we left the hut and started on a steep ascent towards the small insignificant telephone shelter high up on a rocky cliff.

Luke's leg began to give trouble so we all took something from his pack and peter took the empty rucksack. Now thats real double packing, Norm. We then entered the Cedar forests again on a slight uphill and when we came to the crossroads we rested before climbing a very steep incline which seemed to last for ever. On reaching the top we stopped for a rest and then continued down and up along a very potholed path that was waterlogged.

Lunch was greedily devoured at another set of crossroads and now the going was easy, but Norm could not resist lying on the bridge and when he felt a little run down he could not arise because a spider had mysteriously spun a rolling hitch and other knots that did "knot" aid Norman's walking.


Then once again the packs were lifted skywards and we set off at an easy pace to the next hut. On the way Peter slipped and Wayne fell on top of him. We then came to an enormously huge bridge that must have been built for heavy vehicles as it was a monstrosity. Then we had another rest before finally entering the compound and a very derelict hut which Norm passed thinking it one of the huts of the compound. So much for Thuchila hut.

When out heavy burdens were placed on the verhandah, we all went for a swim and Arrowsmith, being a Prunition (attends Plumtree School), ripped the ring out of things and went water sliding down an 8ft falls and a lekker rock without waiting for us. It was a very bruised body that went to sleep that night. However, when grub was eaten we all retired into our warm sleeping bags around the fire and went to sleep with Ralphs's pleasant munching as a lullaby.

Thursday 24th April

Whew! Its 5.15am and at 6 o'clock we started our descent. Well, after breakfast we set out on our very slippery and very steep descent towards our rendezvous where Jon would pick us up. Peter slithered his way down most of the way and, as we neared the bottom, he made his last effort and slithered about 10m on his bottom. Now I could have sworn I had a coccyx in one piece before I came on this hike!


At the bottom we went past a small hut and a whole lot of astonished Africans looked at us. We then waited for Jon to arrive and at exactly 9am, the appointed hour, Jon screeched around the corner in the Pajero. We then managed to get 14 people and 13 rucksacks into the Pajero and we drove to the huts where we had stayed before the hike. There we had lunch and cleaned out the trailer and, before going, Maccy went for his first bath since the beginning of the hike.

After his bath, Maccy swore to always be clean and so we left, heading for Blantyre, passing large tea plantations. We did not go through Blantyre but took Jon's shortcut - a guided tour of Blantyres refuse pits.

Leaving Blantyre we went down the escarpment into the Rift Valley where Jon showed us the soil changes and the movement of top soil. We arrived at Lengwe National Park at 6.20 and supper was soon on the go. Lots and lots of chips were cooked for Norman and after supper we retired to bed after a very hectic day.

Friday 25th April

Noddy Badge - Stuart

We woke up at 5.45am and jumped out of our bunks for cold showers. Then Peter's patrol organised breakfast of baked beans, toast, jam, orange juice and tea. After breakfast, Jon talked to us about grasses and a game scout called Sam took us on a nature trail for the morning. We walked along through the path while he explained various things to us. We visited a hide next to a water pan and then we went back to the hostel, where he showed us some snares confiscated from poachers and a poaching gun which was handmade and illegal to own. After this, Graham Williams presented Sam with an Expedition badge.


Then we had lunch, organised by Peter's patrol, of Cam, bread, pickles and cooldrink. After lunch we packed the trailer and left for Blantyre. On the way, we went to see Kapichira Falls. On the way back from the falls, we stopped and bought a crate of cokes which we polished of rapidly. Then we set out again for Blantyre. We arrived in Blantyre at the Frasers house at 7.00pm. Jon had a phone call from Bulawayo and we were told the fantastic news that Bulawayo had received over nine inches of rain in a week.

Peters Patrol organised dinner while the others watched videos. Dinner was of fried eggs, sausages, tea and cooldrink. We all had a shower and then the seniors went to look around town and buy some groceries. The rest stayed and watched videos then eventually went to bed, having seen them all.

(BLANTYRE - ZAMBIA (past Chipata))
Saturday 26th April

Noddy Badge - Graham Ross

We woke up at 6.00am and had breakfast of french toast, syrup, cereals and tea. Then we packed the trailer and went to town to do some shopping. When we had done our shopping, we went back to the Frasers' house, picked up the trailer and departed at 10.00am.


We stopped at the independence arch to take some photographs. On the way out of Blantyre, we noticed that one of the shackles on the trailer was broken, so Jon bought two bolts and we had it fixed in about fifteen minutes. While we were stopped, the Scout Leader for Blantyre came and met us. We finally departed from Blantyre at 12.30pm and drove on until we stopped for lunch at the side of the road for sandwiches and hard boiled eggs. After lunch, we hit the road again and drove on to Lilongwe where we arrived at 4.55 and had a quick look at the shops before they closed. Then we set out to cross the border. We arrived at the border at 9.00pm and carried on through to Zambia. Then at 12.50am we stopped for a nap.

Sunday 27th April

Noddy badge - Norman


We woke up and set out for Lusaka at 4.45am. We stopped for lunch at the side of the road and had bread, tomatoes, jam, meat paste, cheese, pickles, cooldrink and tea.

Then having had Lunch, we drove onto Lusaka, where we arrived at 3.00pm. We unpacked the kit at the showgrounds. We swept out some livestock pens in which to cook and sleep, and then had tea and biscuits while supper was being prepared by Peters Patrol. Then we had supper of chips, bullybeef hash, choc-mint pudding and tea. When we had washed up, we had a Scouts' Own led by Hilton at 8.00pm, which lasted for about ten minutes. After Scouts' Own, some of us went for a drive around town with Jon, while the rest of us stayed behind with Norman. We went to bed at about 10.00pm.

Monday 28th April

Noddy Badge - Norman

We woke up at 6.30am and Wayne's patrol brought the rest of us tea in bed. Then the rest of us got up at 7.00am. Breakfast was cooked by Wayne's Patrol and was of toast, Spaghetti, jam and tea. After breakfast, we packed the trailer and drove off to see town again. For the interested housewife, prices in the shops were sky high! A box of rice crispies is K18.50, a crunchie is K5.00, and a packet of cream biscuits is K9.75! Not many people bought anything and we left Lusaka at 12.30pm and set out for Kariba.


We had lunch at the side of the road at 3.00pm of sardines, spreads, biscuits and cooldrink. Then we drove on and arrived at the Zambian border post at 4.00 and crossed the dam wall on foot while Norman and Jon drove the vehicles across. The water was very low, and nothing was coming through the flood gates, even though two of them were open. We got thought the Zimbabwean border post and drove to the Kariba Breezes Hotel, where we were given the games rooms upstairs to stay in. We unpacked our kits and set about preparing dinner which was of sadza, vegetables, bully beef, instant pudding and tea. We slept in the Badminton room, on the court, after either had a swim in the pool or a shower in the room seven.

Tuesday 29th April

Noddy Badge - Wayne

We woke at 6.00am and had breakfast of cereal, toast, jam and tea, which was organised by Peter's Patrol. Then the Noddy Badge was presented to Wayne for losing 15 tins of food from the stores. (Did he lose them or eat them? - that is the question.) After the presentation, we washed up and went into town, which consists of a little shopping center. We looked at St. Barbara's Church, and did some shopping. Then we went to the crocodile farm, only to find it closed, so we returned to the hotel for lunch, organised by Peter's Patrol, and which was of sardines, bread, cream crackers, pickles, gherkins, cooldrink and tea.

At 2.20 we went to the crocodile farm again to see it while it was open. We saw tiny crocodiles, about 20cm long, medium sized ones about 1m long and a huge one about 3m long. One of the little ones was dead and was upside down in the water. We had cokes and bought curios at the shop. Then we paid a quick visit to the information bureau to take photographs of the dam wall. Having done this, we drove to the Cutty Sark Hotel to board the launch for the Booze Cruise. The cruise was very enjoyable and we bought two rounds of drinks from the Gaff Tin. There were snacks of kapenta, fish fillers, toasted cheese fingers and all garnished with shredded lettuce. We stopped to swim in a non-bilharzia infested area, and then came back. The cruise finished at about 6.30pm and then we returned to the hotel. We showered and changed into Scout Uniform for the dinner and went to the bar verandah for pre-dinner drinks (paid for out of the Gaff tin). The gaffs were declared over by Norman and then we adjourned to the dining room for dinner.

Simon was given a high chair (by special arrangement by Jon) and, lucky for Simon, there was an ordinary chair around the corner for him. Grace was said by Stuart Smith, and then we began with soup and melba toast. Wine was served and we had grilled bream with tartar sauce. Cottage pie was next, which tasted very nice. Then we went to help ourselves to fresh salads, which we ate with roast beef and Yorkshire pudding with vegetables in season. Peter Tipler proposed a toast to the contingent of the expedition. The Noddy Badge was presented for the last time to Graham Williams, and then we went to help ourselves to sweets at the sweet table. There was an exuberant array of fruit salads, pineapple cocktails, parfaits, ice-cream, jellies and trifles. Then Norman presented J and B Scotch Whiskey T-Shirts, given by Mr Fraser, to the three Noddy Badge recipients with lucky numbers - Stuart Smith, William McEntaggart and Luke Moloney. Then we all had chocolate ice-cream while Norman gave out the wall plaques and mugs to the whole contingent and the Hotel Manager.

After the dinner we went to bed, all tired, full and happy. (Jon nearly forgot to take "her" caftan off!)

Wednesday 30th April

Noddy Badge - Graham Williams

We woke up at 6.00. Now the expedition was officially over and we had the journey home ahead of us. We had an early breakfast, organised by Wayne's patrol, of cereals, toast, jam and tea.


After breakfast we packed the trailer and changed into Scout Uniform once more for the group photograph. Having that over with, we changed back into civvies and went to town for ice-creams and to look at the dam wall once more from the observation point at the information bureau.

Then we set out for the journey home. We had lunch at Chinoyi, of cream crackers, meat paste, bovril, cheese, polony and cool drink. Then we went down to look round the caves. The water in the caves was crystal clear and the stalactites and stalagmites were fascinating. Having seen the caves, we journeyed on and stopped in Harare to collect Jon's dog. His name is Jed and for the rest of the journey he sat in the Peugeot and peered through the window into the cab at Jon with a solemn glare.

We stopped for the night at Kadoma at the James's house (Wayne Jolly's Aunt and Uncle). Mr and Mrs James very kindly put us up and Mr James took us to the club for showers, cokes and chips. Then we went back to the house for supper of Milo and sausages before going to bed.

Thursday 1st May

We woke up at 6.00 and had an early breakfast of cereals and tea. Then we packed the trailer and left for Bulawayo after the morning prayer. We stopped in Gweru at 10.15am for an early lunch at Granny's Restaurant and had hamburgers and chips. This was very nice. After lunch we drove on to Bulawayo. We arrived in Bulawayo at the Scout Hall at 12.00pm and cleaned the two vehicles, pots and pans and other equipment. Then we sorted out the ropes and personal kit. This took us until 3.00pm and, by that time, all the parents were arriving to pick us up. We had the closing prayer, thanks, and a short speech by Jon. Then we went home to tell our families of all the exciting happenings of the expedition which lasted 18 days and covered a distance of 5048 kilometers.

---Luke Moloney and Graham Ross

8th Bulawayo (Hillside) Scout Troop - 1986 Mulanje Expedition

Click to enlarge:
Back Row: GSL N.Scott, APL G.Ross, PL W.Jolly, PL P.Tipler,
SS H.Ralphs, TL G.Williams, L.Moloney, J.Kappenye.
Front Row: C.Campbell, S.Smith, G.Dickinson, W.McEntaggart,
S.Campbell, A.Arrowsmith.

Click to enlarge:
Map of Malawi's Mulanje Massive
Map of Malawi's Mulanje Massive

         Click to enlarge:
Map of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi
Map of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi

Acknowledgements:- Grateful thanks are due for the willing assistance and advice of the following individuals and organisations. They made our expedition possible.


Mr J.Kappeyne
Mr A.Pakenham
Mr L.Jolly
Mr K.Nortje
Mr F.Swain
Mr D.James
Mr R.Bull
Mr J.Landau
Mr Lowe
Mrs K.Bundock
Mrs L.Jolly
Mrs J.Arrowsmith
Mrs E.Swain

Our friends in Malawi
Mr R.Fraser
Mr C.Fraser
Mr Grayson
Mr J.Ferreira
Mr N.Ali
Mr Turnaselli
Mr C.Scordis
Mr M.Yusuf
Mr Amin
Mr R.Pitcher
Mr J.Carvalho
Mr B.Sherry
Mrs B.Zangle
The Manager, Bakers Delight
Parents whose sons participated
8th Group Committee
Matabeleland Provincial Scout Headquarters
National Scout Headquarters
The Management, Amalgamated Motor Corporation

8th Mulanji Exp86 a.pdf File
Hi there,
I trust all is well with you. The last time the folks were over they brought all sorts of bits and pieces from by old room, one item was the Mulanje Hike diary. I see there is no record of it on Angelfire so I have I have scanned and pdf'd some of the pages. You will notice from the page numbering that there are several pages missing. In order to try keep the file size down I have left out the majority of the pages with photographs on. I am not sure if you can use it, the quality is not great but it records an adventure - way back when.
Take care,
Andrew Arrowsmith
March 23, 2010

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