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Old 30 Oct 2011
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Need a Bike in Malawi

I am going to Malawi for a 4 month volunteer assignment in November and would love to round up a decent dual purpose bike to get around and to do some excursions around east africa. Any suggestions for buying or renting a dual purpose bike in the 250-650 cc range?
I did this previously in Ethiopia and Vietnam and was lucky to find suitable mounts those times (Honda 250 Baja in Vietnam and Yamaha XT600 and KTM 640 in Ethiopia.

Last year I rode my own bike (BMW R100GS) from Nova Scotia to South America and back, but I find shipping my own bike is not always practical for shorter journeys of a month or so duration.

Also would be interested in riding with like-minded individuals. Of particular interest for me would be riding from Malawi into Mozambique, to Tanzania and Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, etc. to circle Lake Victoria. I have biked in South Africa and Lesotho before and want more Africa.

Larry Simpson
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Old 1 Nov 2011
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hiya larry, spent some time there in nov-last year and again in the spring of this year... I´m definitly not an expert..but mostly saw small chinese bikes...it was noteworthy how few bikes comparative to the countries surrounding.
I might suggest driving up a small bike from South africa, i got a sweet little 2010 xr for about 2000 usd. also..saw alot more standard (honda-suzi-ect) in tanzania..o that might be an option. fuel has been a serious issue there lately. (i´ve got friends living in country)..so good milage might be helpful! that said...when there is a will there is a way!
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Old 2 Nov 2011
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thanks, I will try neighbouring countries as well
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Old 13 Nov 2011
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Hey Larry, I've been living in Malawi since June 2010, and I can tell you with certainty, it is very hard finding a good bike here as there are just not many being sold.

I'll be here until Oct. 2012, during which time I will be looking for something as well. If you find something and are looking to offload it, keep me in mind.

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Old 29 Dec 2011
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Tough to find bikes

Hey scubarob,

I too am certainly no expert but for what it's worth:
Last year I landed in Mozambique with the intention of buying a bike to ride north. I struggled to find a bike so decided to travel up into Malawi and try my luck there. Unfortunately I had no joy. I was really surprised at just how few bikes were on sale. The bikes I did see where tiny little Chinese bikes that did not seem too appropriate to travel up through Africa on.
I then decided to continue on my original route with the hope that I may at some point get lucky and stumble across a bike but all the way up through Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda I didn't really see anything suitable. (although I must admit after the fail in Malawi and Tanzania I didn't put as much effort in whilst in the other countries).

If you are still keen on getting hold of a bike, if at all possible, I would highly recommend heading down to South Africa and buying down there. Not doing this was easily my biggest regret of the trip. I should have done it as soon as I realized I couldn't buy in Mozambique.

Plus- Once the novelty of a local bus trip runs out, those 12 hour jobbies are not really a barrel of laughs. Stick with the bike option if you can.

Good luck. Enjoy it out there.

Read more about our round the world DRz 400 trip on our website here:www.toughmiles.com
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