It had started off as an innocent game between friends but now I had found myself yet again, on the floor. Dusting myself off, I reached out for my opponents hand as he hauled me out of the sand. We shook and nodded at each other in respect. This was war and I was not going down without a fight…

Ten minutes later. I admitted defeat and collapsed on the beach, red faced and gasping for breath. Maybe playing sand football in my bikini against the local Malawi boys had not been my best move.

But at least I had got to show off my tackling skills.

My very fit and muscly opponents

This is Lake Malawi, the most amazing place I have encountered on my African tour (apart from the red desert of Namibia).

With a lake the size of an ocean, sandy beaches, amazing stars and the most wicked thunder storms you can imagine.

Lake Malawi

I can see why Madonna came here.

The people are so friendly (okay, so they may be constantly trying to sell you their goods),

The kids are cute (except when they are asking you for money or pens)

The ‘cute' Malawi children

And the scenery is so lush, with thatched huts, sugarcane fields and waterfalls.

It has such a relaxed vibe that I could stay here for a month.

Oh sunny days…

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