Elephants and Elections

Today is Election Day in Malawi.  Though there is continuing speculation about the outcome, voting has been peaceful thus far.  There seemed to be a larger-than-usual number of people on the roads today, and lines at polling stations were long.  Malawi is expecting a record turnout, made only larger by the current President’s last-minute decision to make today a national holiday.  (Will this swing the vote?  Time will tell.)  Results aren’t expected for a few days, giving the expats plenty of time to continue to giggle at the Malawian pronunciation of “elections” and “election monitoring” – remember the tendency to switch Ls and Rs.  But while the country is waiting with bated breath, we will be…in Zambia.  Tomorrow we’re off to Victoria Falls.

Jana’s whirlwind tour of Malawi continued with a trip to the lake and a visit to Liwonde National park.  She declared Lake Malawi “very pretty,” and we spent some time in the sun.  We also learned just how skilled she is at applying sunscreen evenly.  (Suffice it to say she is better with her right hand than her left, and a bit stripey as a result.)

From the lake, we ventured to Liwonde National Park, along the Shire River.  Though Malawi has not been as successful at wildlife management as some of its neighbors (ehem – Zambia), the park is beautiful.  We were lucky to see many elephants on the morning game drive, and have the photos to prove it!

Elephants graze the Shire River Valley

Elephants graze the Shire River Valley

A bit wary of the elections, we headed back to Lilongwe by mid-day, only to find the city virtually shut down.  I have never seen so few cars on the roads here.  Even the usually-bustling crafts market was dismantled for the day!  Jana was amused, however, to see the many billboards that prominently feature the President’s face – like this one:

His Excellency, Bingu wa Mutharika

His Excellency, Bingu wa Mutharika

Next time:  Victoria Falls – really one of the Seven Wonders of the World?

Advertisements

%d bloggers like this: