Balaka & Bicycles
The town next to Liwonde National Park is called Balaka. It must be the bicycle capital of Malawi. There were bicycles everywhere. When you get off the bus, guys offer to ride you on the back of their bike to wherever you want to go. You know the way your parents told you not to ride your friends when you were kids? They have a little padded riding seat on the back of the bike. We walked, we did not ride, but they were very persistent in the offers.
No bicycle helmets seen in Balaka. Safety standards are different in Africa, seems like prayer is the main one. I did see one guy with a bicycle helmet in Blantyre, he was delivering for an international delivery company and he looked cool to me.
There are many bicycle repair places in Balaka. It is a medium sized village with lots of space, not much traffic, not many hills, and perfect place for bicycles.