Monkey Magic!

Paje is famous for it’s beaches, but that’s not all this Zanzibarean delight offers. The Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park is all that’s left of the island’s indigenous vegetation, and is home to thousands of zany monkeys. As a primate fancier (no, not in that way) I was determined to head out to the park whilst staying in Tanzania. As I’ve been living on beer and pizza for the past week, I decided to ride a pushbike out there, and asked for one at my hotel’s front desk.

​”I’ve got a bike, you can ride it if you like,” sang a very camp black man, pushing an old-school fixed gear clunker out from the shadows. “It’s got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good. I’d give it to you if I could, but I borrowed it.” Whilst oddly phrased, I thought it sounded like a good offer and started to say yes, when my new mate cut me off.

“You’re the kind of girl that fits in with my world. I’ll give you anything, everything if you want things.” The conversation had become uncomfortable, so I took the fucking bike and got out of there.

It took me about three seconds to realise the pushie was a piece of shit and was probably built back when the world was still black and white. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s first owner was a triceratops. If you know anything about my sex life, you’ll be aware that I refuse to ride anything that’s banged up and older than me, but I didn’t have any other options, so I rode that clunker 17km through farms and forests, up hills and around villages. I don’t reckon Lance Armstrong could guide that thing to see dealer, but I made it all the way to the legendary Jozani Park. Go me!

The jungle is as thick as an Arabian’s pubes, and I couldn’t wait to get amongst the trees and start tracking down monkeys. My plans were scuppered, however, when I was informed that I’d need a guide to take me out there. As an Australian, the thought of paying some dude to help me walk through the bush makes as much sense as paying some dude to root your girlfriend, so I told him that there was monkey on fire behind him, and ducked into the jungle when he turned around. It was far from the first time an imaginary flaming monkey has saved me.

Jozani is definitely pretty, with all sorts of ancient ruins hiding amongst the almost-impenetrable jungle. The paths are poorly signposted and meander through the vegetation, often disappearing into the swampland, so it wouldn’t be hard to get lost in there and end up having to marry a monkey. Actually, that sounds like a nice life; monkeys are always gobbling bananas, so they’d probably give great blowjobs. I bet a monkey’s never forced their husband to watch Orange is the New Black, either. Any monkeys out there, get in touch.

After traipsing through the jungle for half an hour, I stumbled into a clearing and realised that I was being watched by dozens of pairs of tiny eyes. Red colobus monkeys were perched in every tree, and a swarm of shifty-looking Sykes’ monkeys were hootin’ and hollerin’ and pullin’ themselves off. It was an incredible, and I felt like I was in a nature documentary as the wildlife lived wildly around me. 

Of course, that didn’t last long. I was sitting a metre away from a colobus and feeling at peace with the world when I heard gutteral screeching coming from the bush. I thought it might’ve been a herd of wildebeest, but it was something much worse – a bunch of Germans! They smashed through the bush, squawking away in their grinding voices, scaring all the monkeys away as they rushed to take selfies of themselves. My monkey friend gave me a worried look and then disappeared into the green while a fat, sausage-guzzling German ran after him. The moment was lost.

I left the krauts to continue their blitzkrieg on the bush, and crept through the bush on my own, finding monkeys everywhere I went. I’ve seen elephants, rhinos and giraffes over the past couple of months, but this experience was special because I was able to become completely immerses in the monkeys’ culture. After an hour or two I felt more simian than man. I was sitting in a tree, sharing a banana with a cute little critter named Kirk and contemplating dropping out of society, when the monkey placed his paw on me. He looked into my eyes, and I into his, and the message was clear. As much as we both wanted to spend our days in the trees together, I had to go back to my world. We were just too different.

I hugged the monkey, wiped a tear from my eye, and climbed back to the ground. I was miserable, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I looked back at the monkey and waved as the sweet sadness of departure washed over me. And then the contents of the monkey’s bladder washed over as the dirty bastard pissed into the afternoon sun. That’s the last time I give my heart to a fucking monkey.

Fish, fish, everywhere!

The water off Paje’s eastern coast is a bit like a Russian chick’s skirt; it looks brilliant, and any self-respecting bloke wants to see what’s underneath it. So today I grabbed my snorkel and went down below for a few hours. Oh, I’m talking about snorkelling, you sicko! And as you can see from these really, really, really great photos, I had a wonderful time in a place that looks like a computer screensaver.

I paid a dude a few bucks to take me out to the appropriately-named Blue Lagoon on his traditional fishing boat, and I felt like royalty as I lay back to relax while he struggled against the wind. By royalty I don’t mean that I felt like an inbred, just that it was nice to have someone do everything for me while I bludged around and looked out at the crystal clear water.

After docking, I dived into the ocean and was immediately overwhelmed by the amount of fish. Seriously, there were thousands of the bastards, and they weren’t shy. I swam right in the middle of a huge school and the fish kept bumping into me and trying to swim down my shorts. It jumped straight into my top five snorkelling experiences. If you’re a fan of aquatic magnificence, Paje is somewhere you really should check out.

There’s a massive array of fishes in all sorts of neon colours. Blue, red, green… alright, I guess you’re aware of the concept of colours. The water is incredibly clear, and splashig around off the coast of Zanzibar is an underwater encounter I will never forget (along with that time I porked a mermaid, of course).

Whilst I enjoyed myself, a fellow snorkeller didn’t have quite such a pleasurable morning. The wind picked up and my little sailor man beckoned me back to the boat, paddling it impressively against the awful conditions. As we chopped through the waves I could see some dunce swimming straight towards us, obviously on a collision course. I tried to shout out to him but he was underwater and couldn’t hear, and had no idea the boat was there until the side wing of it bounced off a wave and clonked down on top of his head. I laughed. So if you’ve got a family member who’s in Paje and isn’t answering their phone, uh, sorry.

All up, it was a brilliant day in the sun, checking out one of the most wonderful places I’ve ever been lucky enough to explore. Zanzibar is a big tourist destination for Europeans and (rich) Africans, but isn’t really on the radar of most Australians. It should be. This island is a mix of the old, untouched Bali that so many people fondly remember, and the still-unspoilt Sri Lanka that a lot of people are just finding out about. In short, it’s as lovely as what’s under a Russian girl’s skirt… well, maybe not that lovely, but it comes close.

The Sights and Kites of Paje

Paje and Paradise both start with the letters ‘pa’. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but the tiny village of Paje, on Zanzibar’s southeast coast, is certainly a lovely place to spend a few days. So that’s what I’ve been doing – bludging by the pool, bludging on the beach, and acting more like a lazy tourist than the high-octane adventure traveller that everyone knows and loves.

Paje moves pretty slowly at the best of times, but it’s like Stephen Hawking on a treadmill at the moment because of Ramadan. A lot of the restaurants and hotels are shut, but I didn’t let that stop me from getting epically smashed within hours of arriving. I found a beach bar that serves icy cold bottles of Kilimanjaro and Safari, and did my best to bolster the economy while breaking my liver. I must’ve done well, because I woke up on a banana lounge in a resort that certainly wasn’t my own, wearing a sombrero. Ladies, I’m single!

I dashed out of the pool area moments before a couple of very large black gentlemen came over to throw me out, and wandered through the blurry streets, trying to make my way home. A few people I didn’t recognise said hello to me, and I pretended to remember what I’d done the night before. It was a walk of shame, Tanzania style. I’m just glad my arsehole wasn’t sore.

The beaches here are grouse, with powdery white sand, striking blue water and plenty of palm trees. After two months travelling, it was a relief to throw my towel down, whip off my clothes and settle in for a super-sized serving of sun. It would’ve been more relaxing without having some little bloke rock up to offer me weed or sunglasses every six seconds, but it’s the third world, what do you expect?

The sand is swarming with cows and elaborately-dressed Swahili gentlemen, who wander around in their red robes, clutching their big sticks in their hands. No, they’re not out there wanking, they’re holding actual sticks, which make them look like wizards. It’s definitely an unusual sight, but all part of Zanzibar’s unique charm.

The rustic beachside resorts, with their shimmering pools and comfortable cocktail bars, contrast sharply with the tiny villages and shacks that wind along the beach. It’s interesting to trek through them, waving to children and dodging motorbikes. Everyone was yelling out, “Jambo!” to me, which I assumed meant fuckwit was pleased to discover simply means hello. Thanks, guys!

The afternoons get bloody windy in Paje which, combined with the calm waters off the beach, makes it one of the best spots on the planet for kite surfing. Most days see 50 or 60 boarders out on the water, and it definitely looks fun. It’s basically paragliding for people who are scared of heights, but I didn’t tell any of the enthusiasts that in case they decided to wedge their board up my arse for doing so.

Yeah, Paje might make me feel like a tourist, but after rocking and rolling all over Africa that might be exactly what I need. I mean, what’s the point of going overseas if I can’t send photos of me relaxing on a perfect tropical beach back to all those people sufgering through the frigid Sydney winter? Don’t worry, I’m enjoying this enough for everyone!

The Most Wanted Man in Zanzibar

As Sinbad fought through a massive crowd, flowers in hand, just to be with me, I realised it was the most romantic thing anyone has ever done for me. Sure, there was that time a chick sucked me off in the toilets at the Chinese restaurant in East Gosford after my brother’s birthday dinner a few years ago, but this was something even more moving than that. I also realised that I didn’t want Sinbad’s monster cock anywhere near me – and certainly not inside me – so I dived onto the Zanzibar ferry and prayed it would leave before he could climb aboard.

I’m not a religious man, but my prayers were answered when we pulled out quicker than a married man in a crack whore and Sinbad was left sobbing at the dock, having lost the love of his life. Whatevs, dude. With the pervert stuck on the mainland, I was able to enjoy the 90-minute ride out to Zanzibar in peace. The bright blue water, whimsical fishing boats and unspoilt beaches that we passed were just what I needed after three days of arduous travelling, and the only thing that could’ve made it better was a cold beer in one hand and a hot lady in the other. I had neither, so I just enjoyed the view.

The ferry docks in at Stone Town, which is Zanzibar’s capital, and it’s a great place to explore because it’s built around the remnants of an ancient Portuguese fortress. My first thought on walking into it was how similar it is to the fort in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka – only bigger, better preserved, and full of people selling magnets, carved figures, garish t-shirts and other shit. Lovely place, but 10 seconds without being offered drugs or a taxi ride is considered peace and quiet in this part of the world.

Tanzania is a hot place and I was thirsty, so I fronted up to a bloke with a cart full of apples and asked him if he could get me a beer. He looked at me like I had my dick hanging out of my shorts and told me that no, I couldn’t have a beer. I quickly forgave his rudeness and asked if there was somewhere I could get a hamburger and chips, and he shook his head again. I looked around and couldn’t see anywhere with food or drinks, which is weird for an overly touristic town like this. I grabbed a little bloke in a funny hat and asked him what the fuck was up, and he told me it was Ramadan, when the muslims don’t eat or drink during the day, so everything was closed. I felt more heartbroken than Sinbad.

As I walked through the narrow alleyways of Stone Town, dodging burkha-clad women and  blokes in long white dresses, becoming weaker with every step due to dehydration and malnutrition, I started to understand why the mussos do the things they do. If I had to go all day without a feed, and a whole lifetime without getting pissed, and only have some woman with a fuckin’ bag on her head to root at the end of the night, I’d start blowing cunts up, too. Sure, there’s the 72 virgins thing to consider, but virgins rarely give good head, so it’s a moot point.

I finally found a beach bar that serves beer after sundown, and relaxed under a tree to get pissed. I was on my third bottle of Kilimanjaro when I saw a commotion down where the fishing boats dock, and fuck me dead if Sinbad wasn’t in the middle of it all! The prick still had the flowers in his hand, and he didn’t drop a single rose as he was tossed off the boat onto the sand. That bastard must have the world’s best eyesight, too, because he spied me straight away and came rushing over.

“I stow away on fishing vessel so that I can see your gorgeous face one more time,” he said, as his pants fell down to expose his oversized penis. “Oceans cannot keep us apart. Angry fishermans cannot keep us apart. Your attraction to ladies and not Sinbad cannot keep us apart. My love, I am here for you.”

Sinbad handed me his roses, closed his eyes and puckered up for a kiss. I took the crimson flowers, handed them to an attractive Danish chick sitting next to me drinking cocktail, and told Sinbad I’d catch up with him when I was done in about five minutes. To make things worse for the big fella, I accidentally trod on his big cock as I stepped over him.
“You see what I do for you?” I told the Danish girl. “I got that bloke to bring you those flowers all the way from Dar es Salaam. Now, your backpackers hostel or mine?”

Hakuna Matata! Welcome to Tanzania!

After learning I was heading to Dar es Salaam, my good friend (and convicted abuser of homeless people) Scott called me from his presidential suite inside Parklea Prison.
“Hey bro, you go to Tanzania?” he asked, whilst whitling a shiv from a toothbrush. “You must meet my cousin, Sinbad. He look just like me. He also have massive penis, like me. He show you around. He meet you at airport.
“Also, if you can smuggle some rhinoceros scrotum back to Australia for me, I pay you big dollar. I must go now, my cellmate Big Joe has already taken he pants off.”

With a hint of jealousy at the robustness of Scott’s locked-up sex life (if not the partners), I flew off to Dar es Salaam for the next chapter in the World Tour of Africa. Scott had told me his cousin looked just like him, but he’s full of shit, so after making it through customs (an effort in itself) I looked for someone who was the opposite of him. A tall, handsome, intelligent-looking man who appeared to have a baseball bat stuffed down his trousers was an immediate suspect, and he soon introduced himself as Sinbad.

“Hakuna matata, my friend,” Sinbad smoothly said, taking my hand and leading me out of the airport and into the steamy night. “My cousin Scott is very bad man. When he live in Tanzania, he rob people, beat up old lady. He even put a baboons up his anus. You can believe this?”
I told him that yes, I could believe this. In fact, I’ve seen Scott do similar things with bilbies.

“This man Scott, he bring great shame to my family, with his masturbating in public and suggestive dancing in front of schools. He also steal my identity in order to run for president of Tanzania. He did not win, but still has a great deal of public support. It is a curse on me that we look so similar.”

I took a closer look at Sinbad as he unlocked his car, and decided it would be possible to confuse him with Scott… if it was dark, you only had one eye, and had been drinking metho since sunrise.

Sinbad took me straight to his favourite bar, a swinging spot in a converted ballroom that was full of heartbreakingly gorgeous African women. I wanted to get out on the dancefloor and wow them with my sick moves, but Sinbad wouldn’t let go of my hand. Every time I tried to leave he held it tighter, and every time an ebony goddess smiled at me he gave me a glare. It was weird. It was also uncomfortable when he escorted me to the toilet and didn’t let me go the whole time.

Finally Sinbad cracked the shits at all the attention I was getting from the ladies and demanded we leave. I told him to head off so that I could get jiggy with a dark-skinned darl, and that’s when he snapped.
“No! I will not stand for this anymore! I try to love you and all you do is drink, look at lady and talk about how disappointing Canberra Raider are this season. My cousin Scott say you are best gay in Australia and perfect boyfriend for me, but you are not. This is what you walk away from, my friend.”
And with that, he dropped his trousers and smacked his cock on the ground – without crouching.

Exploring Dar was a big shock after being in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi, because it’s a proper city. There are tall buildings, heaps of cars, and people everywhere. I’m not used to crowds after spending time in comparatively deserted places like Livingstone and Lilongwe, and I found it a bit oppressive. It’s totally different from the other places I’ve been in Africa and definitely feels more Asian or middle eastern than anything else. With mosques, Indians and little blokes in dresses, it felt like Dubai’s old town all over again.

I only spent a few hours exploring Dar, and for me that was enough. There’s plenty to see, but it’s a bit too hot and crowded, so I decided to head to Zanzibar. I was just about to climb aboard the ferry to the island when I heard a familiar voice calling out to me, and looked around to see a tall black man cutting through the crowd with a huge bouquet of roses in his hands and tears in his eyes. Looks like this story is to be continued…

Take the Lilongwe Home

Malawians have a wonderful saying regarding their capital city; you can live life the right way, you can live life the wrong way, or you can live life Lilongwe. I don’t know what it’s supposed to mean, but it rhymes, so I guess it’s kind of beautiful and poignant.

The ride there from Zomba was a nightmare and took around 11 hours, crammed into a bunch of different buses with squealing babies and assorted farm animals. I was stoked to find climb aboard a fairly new-looking coach in Blantyre for the second half of the trip, but then it sat by the side of the road for more than two hours until it was overcrowded enough to leave. Are the Malawians getting public transport advice from the NSW government or something?

Lilongwe is an unusual city. There’s no real city centre, with the 700,003 inhabitants sprawled across a massive area. Parts of it feel more like India or southeast Asia than Africa, with tuk-tuks running everywhere and curries bubbling away. Like most African cities, there aren’t a lot of tourist attractions, but dodging the countless gaping holes in the footpath is an interesting way to pass the day.

There are also heaps of signs for witch doctors, offering to do everything from bringing back lost lovers to finding dogs. Most of the signs are about penis enlargement, so I stopped by one of the witch doctors to see what he could do to make my doodle bigger. I was slightly disappointed when all he did was hand me a copy of Penthouse and point me towards the nearest toilet, but it definitely worked for a few minutes.

I’m writing this at the airport, waiting to fly out to Tanzania, and I’m genuinely sad to be leaving Malawi. This country is stunning, frustrating, exotic, backwards, cultured and wild, and the people unbelievably kind and friendly. It’s been a huge week with brilliant new friends and challenging experiences. I feel changed for having been here and reluctant to leave, knowing that I probably will never be back.

I’ve spent time with interesting people who are walking completely different paths to my own, and it was a privilege to walk beside them for a moment or two. Meeting cool and inspiring people is the best thing about travelling, but constantly saying adios to them is probably the worst. Ah, I’m getting sentimental. Or maybe it’s just the bilharzia talking.


I have a history of hooking up with attractive European sheilas whilst travelling and then disrupting my plans in order to look at their pretty hair and kiss their pretty faces, so it should come as no surprise that it’s happened again. I had the option to spend a few more days by the water, or follow an Austrian chick into the middle of nowhere before heading off to Tanzania. And that’s how I ended up in Zomba for a couple of days.

Zomba? Where the fuck is Zomba? It’s a crumbling village in southern Malawi that’s barely on the maps and a long way from anything resembling a tourist trail. There’s a couple of nice hills nearby to walk up and that’s pretty much it, so Zomba won’t be replacing Paris and San Francisco on lists of the world’s greatest cities anytime soon.

With Amilcar along for the ride, we were able to keep the Kool Kayak Krew (KKK for short, although we might wanna rethink the acronym) together for the 200km bus trip. Now, you might think that Malawi has a world class public transport system, but you’re wrong, because it’s rubbish. The journey was a six-hour nightmare of overcrowding, breakdowns, chickens, crying babies, street food and third world shenanigans.

The next day, with the Ggermans and Austrians off making the world a better place, me and Amilcar decided to check out the delights of Zomba. Alright, so there’s a bank, a supermarket that sells food even a goat wouldn’t eat, and a bus stop. I dunno, there might be a 300m-tall statue of a robot that shoots laser beams out of its eyes, but I didn’t spot it. The town is bustling but feels safe, and provided a good look at genuine African life.

Bus stops are usually a good place to find drug-addicted prostitutes, but rarely a decent spot to get a quality feed, but Zomba is an exception to that rule. We bought chicken, chips and rice from a tiny restaurant hidden in the smog, and the food was tops. We even met some blackfella who decided he was coming back to Australia with me, and made sure I had his phone number, email address, home address, university address, parents’ names and date of birth written down before I left. I’m surprised he didn’t offer me he dick size and the age of his pet goldfish.

The closest thing to a tourist attraction in Zomba is the Zomba Plateau that stands proudly above it, so me and Amilcar found something that almost looked like a track and headed straight up. It was very bloody steep, but by the time we got near the top the view was phenomenal. Zomba’s landscape reminds me of southern China; surprisingly green, with mountains that reach for the sky. Before long the heavens opened up and I welcomed the first rain since I left Australia more than six weeks ago.

And that was pretty much it for Zomba. Well, you know, as far as the sightseeing goes. Now it’s time to say buenos dias to Malawi and head to the tropical delights of Tanzania. I wonder if there are any European chicks up there looking for a handsome Aussie to keep ’em company for a few days…

Chicks dig dudes with exotic tropical diseases, right?

Lake Malawi looks glorious, but shortly after arriving I decided not to swim in it because it’s full of flesh-eating bilharzia parasites. My mind was quickly changed when a decorative 24-year-old Austrian sheila begged me to share a kayak with her for a trip around Thumbi Island. Shit, there’s not much I wouldn’t do for a European stunna in a bikini, so a shortened life expectancy and the likelihood of my intestines squirting out my arsehole in the near future was a small price to pay.

Also along for the ride were Amilcar, a crazy 53-year-old Brazilian and Lucas and Celine, a couple of Germans working at a charity in the wilds of Malawi. All we needed was a Jew and an Irishman and we would’ve had the perfect setup for a joke.

The view from the back of the kayak was fuckin’ excellent (and the scenery wasn’t bad, either), with the wide, open lake giving way to immaculate mountains on every side. The water is crystal clear and as blue as an Aryan child’s eyes, making for a grouse place to splash around and have fun. After strapping my snorkel on and plunging into the sparkling water, I was welcomed into a world of astonishingly colourful cyclid fish, who swam and danced before my eyes.

After that we jumped off some rocks like people on a Coca Cola commercial and lost most of the flippers and snorkels (thus depriving some innocent Malawian dude of his livelihood), before heading back to the beach for about a thousand cheap cocktails. I figure the alcohol in them will kill most of the parasites. I even had a crack at my Austrian friend’s paraglider, and amazed the locals with my groundhandling skills (alright, more like gave them a laugh with my ability to put a wing in a tree).

That night we all headed along to a concert by some local Malawian reggae band called the Black Misionaries at a dive bar in Cape Maclear’s rundown fishing village. The place was absolutely packed when we got there, with rastafarians bouncing around in the sand and pissheads punching on in the dark. The wacky ‘baccy was being passed freely around and most people were holding hands or cuddling. It was a good vibe, even though the band kept ignoring my calls to play some bloody Chisel.

Being a handsome chap with a bit of a bad boy attitude (with a heart of gold that means your parents will love me), it wasn’t long before I drew the attention of the local lovelies. Alright, ‘lovelies’ might be stretching it – I was swarmed by a bunch of humans of indeterminate gender and unfathomable weight, who kept pinching me on the arse and trying to grab my dick. I scurried off into the crowd to escape their clutches, before seeking refuge in the toilet block. That was even worse, because what passes as a toilet in Malawi is a filthy, shit-filled hole in the ground. I decided to spruce the place up by pissing in the corner and snuck out of there, back into the maddening crowd.

Upon returning to the group, I was greeted by the highly unusual sight of Amilcar holding hands with a very tall, very thin black man, and busting out some crazed Ricky Martin-inspired moves. He was obviously enjoying himself, but I was shocked when he left to visit the toilet with the black man, returning several minutes later to dance some more. I was also devastated that no black men wanted to hold hands with me.

I was feeling rubbish the next morning when I rocked up to breakfast, but things were about to get stranger. Abud, a socially-awkward creep we’d met at the concert waddled into the restaurant shortly afterwards, hand-in-hand with a statuesque African woman who looked like she’d had all will to live fucked out of her by an obese Syrian the night before. The big fella gave me a high-five and then settled down to scoff a mountain of food. Amilcar staggered in a few minutes later, wearing only one shoe, no shirt, and looking confused.
“I do not know what happen,” he said to a pot plant. “One minute I have fun dance, drink beer, and the next I wake up in bed with two black people. One man, one woman. I am so ashamed.”

And what happened between your drunen hero and the Austrian? A gentleman never tells, but it did lead me on a strange and unexpected journey… but more about that next time.

The Marvelous Mountain Man of Malawi

With the stunning-to-look-at-yet-infested-with-parasites Lake Malawi threatening to kill me, today I decide to head for higher ground where I might be a bit safer. There are some awesome mountains around Cape Maclear, so I put on my walkin’ boots and went for a strut. Little did I know that I would’ve had less trouble drinking utant snails straight out of the river.

The main hiking track starts just out of town, next to the graves of the long-dead missionaries who founded the village. Thankfully, they didn’t come back from the dead and tear out my throat. It quickly climbs up the side of one of the monoliths and just keeps on ascending, proving to be a tough hike that offers enough peeks back over the bay to make every step worthwhile.

It takes about 90 minutes to reach the main lookout, and the view over the town is monumental. I could see far out into the massive body of water that is Lake Malawi, all the way to the imposing cliffs on the far side. The vista is bodacious (what? It’s still a word!) but I wasn’t really able to enjoy it because of the massive swarm of flies that decided to assault me. And I thought the hawkers on the beach were annoying!

If you decide to take this walk, be smart and turn around once you hit the lookout. The path to that point is easy to follow and makes for a top day out. Don’t be an absolute fuckin’ gronk like me and scramble further up the mountain in a pointless attempt to find the summit. There’s no real track, only a series of ambiguous symbols spray painted here and there on rocks and trees, and it wasn’t long before I was exploring uncharted territory crawling up boulders to get to the top. I made it and for some reason my clothes fell off!

Not for the first time, the point where I took off my shorts was where the fun stopped. I did my best to retrace my steps to the lookout, but I soon got turned around and ended up in the middle of the rugged bush with no idea where the path was. With the sun setting I knew I couldn’t mess around, so I faced the village far below and bush bashed down the mountain, knowing that I had to get out of there one way or another. It was a bloody steep trip and I slid down half the way, cutting myself on rocks and slamming into trees. I was starting to think about my options if I had to spend the night out there in the wild, when I heard the sweet sound of a woman singing.

I crashed through the thorny thicket towards the sound, praying it wasn’t my imagination. Eventually I stumbled into a clearing where a woman was collecting sticks, and she just looked at me like I was some sort of monster. I was sweaty and bleeding and close to tears, so maybe that’s exactly what I looked like. I did my best to communicate my desire to return to civilisation, and after a while she pointed towards the beautiful, wonderful, glorious path. I was so stoked to see it that I wouldn’t have been happier if it was lined with naked women and free beer.

Alright, that’s a lie. Once back at the beach I cracked open a brew and sat back to watch another mesmerising Malawian sunset. The going down of the sun was a terrifying prospect when I was lost on the mountain, but something soul-enriching whilst relaxing with a cold one in my hand (but enough about my penis!).

Cape Maclear and the Curse of the Killer Snails

In my endless quest to find remote, barely-heard-of paradisical wonderlands (that may be populated by decorative backpackers), I pointed to a random point on the map and ended up in the isolate lakeside village of Cape Maclear, Malawi. As well as being a day’s travel from the nearest place that could be called civilisation, it’s incredibly beautiful, and also shockingly dangerous. Yes, just like 90% of hot women worldwide, this place is pretty and deadly in equal measure.

Cape Maclear is 270km from Malawi’s capital of Lilongwe, a journey that took around four hours through desolate and sparsely-populated landscapes. I barely saw anything of note the whole time; a few scattered villages, some bulbous baobab trees, some goats and crushing poverty. I was heading far, far away from anything I’m accustomed to, but towards something pretty special.

After hours of watching the dusty brown monotony slide past my window, it was suddenly replaced by vibrant green rainforest and we rolled into the fishing village of Cape Maclear. I caught glimpses of the legendary Lake Malawi through palm trees, but it wasn’t until my car pulled in at my hotel and I climbed weerily out that I was able to appreciate the true greatness of this massive body of water.

One of the biggest lakes on the planet, Lake Malawi is 560km long, 75km wide and up to 900m deep, meaning it’s a shade smaller than Matt Preston’s arse. It’s a lot prettier, though, not just because of the magnificent mountains and golden beaches that surround it, but because of the glittering array of tropical fish that live under the surface of the water. It sounds like the perfect place to splash around in for a few days – except for the fact that swimming in the water could kill you faster than a funnelweb with a shotgun.

That’s because the lake is absolutely swarming with bilharzia, a terrifying waterborne parasite that burrows into the skin of unsuspecting swimmers and destroys their intestines and (gulp) the wee-wee tract. It’s passed on by evil mutant snails that live in the lake and spend their time trying to murder anyone who comes near them. It’s a shame because the water looks incredibly inviting and would be perfect to wade around in with a beer in hand.

The symptoms are fucking horrible – an explosive bout of blood-stained diarrhea matched with pissing razorblades and excruciating abdominal pain is just the beginning of the nightmare. The longterm effects are even worse, with liver damage, kidney failure, infertility (which admittedly has the benefit of making it easier to convince chicks to do it without a condom), bladder cancer and severe brain damage. It’s quite a price to pay to watch some pretty fish swimming about.

While wandering the beach I was swarmed by half-a-dozen small, naked boys, who wanted me to pay for them to dance for me. While the offer was certainly interesting, that’s the sort of thing that gets you placed on a sex offenders registry, so I told them I wasn’t interested. I’m not a pervert or anything, but I couldn’t help noticing the size of the schlongs on these toddlers – they’re fucking massive! We’ve all heard the stories about black men and their monumental meat (and I’ve researched the topic further through some educational movies), and I can tell you it’s all true. These toddlers’ cocks hung halfway down their legs, and I was honestly terrified that their wangs would smack into me as they scuttled around me.

Cape Maclear is an easy place to take it easy, and I plan on spending the next few days sitting around, drinking beer and doing as little as possible. And if I smash one too many bottles of Kuche and decide that going for a skinny dip is the best way to win the heart of a fellow traveller, I’ll spend the rest of my time here spraying the walls with rancid, bloody shit. That should be fun.