We interrupt this safari experience to bring you Ntchisi Forest. Today was the last day of fall break for the kids. (OK they do have tomorrow off too but since Mom fired the maid, tomorrow will be clean the house day. The kids are not happy. Ha!) So we decided to fit one more adventure in before it is back to school this week. We decided that a hike was just the thing. After looking over our Malawi guide book we decided to head to Ntchisi Forest for a hike and lunch at the Ntchisi Forest Lodge.
Ntchsi Forest is some of the last remaining rainforest in Malawi. Deforestation is a huge problem here, to the point that we have been told by the mission not to buy wood or charcoal. Makes the fireplace and built-in BBQ a little pointless. At one time Malawi was mostly forested but now it is rare to see trees, mostly we see stumps that are trying to grow back. Most of Malawi looks like this.
The forest was a complete contrast to the Malawi I am used to seeing. It was lush and full of trees that reminded me of the trees in Indonesia, huge tall trees with arial and buttress roots. At times the canopy was so dense overhead that it was quite dark below. At one point we could see out of the forest to the deforested area beyond.
The forest is supposed to be home to a lot of animasl. We heard a lot of animals but only saw the occasional bird or bug. We heard monkeys but didn't see any. The other thing we didn't hear was airplanes or cars or other people. It was incredible to be in a forest and hear only the sounds of the forest. The wind was surprisingly loud in the canopy above even though we hardly felt any wind on the forest floor. What an experience.