Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Survival on Arrival

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After a fifty hour journey to Lilongwe, I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. I had emailed my contact, without response six days prior and said that hopefully I would be on time. I only lost one item of luggage between the four flights (unnerving considering I only took two)! It could work out to be a painful loss, like when Hooch dies after saving Tom Hanks, but I’ll just have to live without.

I walked out of the airport after having a few stern words with Kenya Airways and saw my contact pull up with five other Limeys in a clackety old Land Rover. Rickety, but rock solid, the Defender is a beast and I hope I’m in good hands. Wishing I might have a few hours rest before tackling the world, I’m bundled into the back with my remaining luggage thrown on the roof. Within ten minutes of leaving the airport, I’ve been thrust a beer, offered some local cheeba, thrown a dirty but delicious samosa and have just been told we have a four hour drive south, to Cape McClear. Not exactly the most relaxing start after a sleepless 37 hours, but I’m in Africa, so I better man up.

On reflection, with the red-tinted sun setting to the west out of the back window of the truck over arid mountains, smoke oozing from most villages as locals prep their dinner, we try to avoid the goats, waddling ducks, wandering chickens and drunk cyclists busying the rush hour road. Driver Matt does his best and we only dismount the road half a dozen times; swallowing our lungs only once as a tyre or two lifts off the ground while we overtake a swerving articulate. Ahead of arriving, I’ve heard stories about Matt’s eager reputation on the road…


I sip on a warm beer as the dusty hot landscape dances past my weary, strained eyes and it’s pretty perfect to be back in Southern Africa, even if I’m being tossed around in a metal box lacking any soft comforts under my coccyx. I’m familiar with an “African massage” and I’m fairly certain I’ll be sore in the morning.

I’m pretty glad my contact received my message a week ago and reliably turned up. Admittedly, I may have been a little sceptical.

Onwards to Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi after sunset, and presumably somewhere to sleep!

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Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, I’m now mainly in Malawi.
Go Untamed Safaris is now up and running.
Between work days and in the rainy season (December to April); I am planning some expeditions and seek out some experienced individuals keen to be involved.
I am normally available in the U.K. January to March.

For safari and expedition details:


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