Scuba Diving in Lake Malawi, One of the Best Fresh Drinking water Diving Spots on the earth
Since the Solar bakes down upon the glistening floor of Lake Malawi, a few divers arise near the rocky outcrop of Masimbwe Island, a dive web site off Likoma Island in Lake Malawi. Bursting with pleasure they return to the boat, take out their kit and examine the fish they noticed on the small journey again to shore. With unspoilt white beaches and pure blue water stretching as far as the attention can see, you constantly remind your self you are not diving from the Caribbean, but during the 3rd major lake in Africa. Along with above 1000 distinctive species of Cichlid fish, together with cat fish and perhaps otters, it can be No surprise Lake Malawi has been cited as probably the greatest fresh new drinking water diving destinations on the earth.
Malawi is usually a landlocked nation during the Southern Area of Africa and is also bordered by Tanzania towards the north, Zambia to your west and Mozambique on the east and south. The landscape is dominated along its eastern side via the third premier Lake in Africa, as well as ninth largest on the earth. Lake Malawi is called the Lake of Stars, as a consequence of its remarkable capability to mirror the star’s find more constellations in the evening in its crystal clear clean waters. The lake is of considerable value to your region don’t just as a means of transportation but also being a source of both foodstuff and water. As being a Scuba diver, its significance lays in its amazing abundance of various fish species- making it the most biologically numerous refreshing h2o setting in the world.
Lake Malawi includes a larger selection of indigenous species (close to 1000) of Cichlid fishes than some other lake. Researchers have discovered in excess of five hundred species to this point which are endemic to Lake Malawi, which can be more than the entire freshwater species found in many of the waters of both equally Europe and North The united states. The Cichlids of Lake Malawi, even perhaps additional so when compared to the Cichlids from one other two rift lakes, Victoria and Tanganyika, are brightly coloured and patterned. Cichlids have developed from just one prevalent species into the hundreds located today, coexisting in the lake ecosystem. The variable species have designed differential feeding tactics to maximise productiveness. Some species have created tooth specialized in scraping algae with the rocks, or aquatic plants. Other folks use a sand filtration technique to sieve aquatic animals or invertebrates from your sand. Also discovered are species specialised in snail, plant and fish intake.
Among the most intriguing phenomena found on dives would be the protective character in the mouthbreeders, created famous from the BBC documentary collection ‘World Earth’. The Cichlids of Lake Malawi are among a comparatively compact quantity of fishes that look right after and guard their offspring. The moms have their eggs and fry in their mouths right up until the juveniles are big adequate to fend for them selves. Even at this stage, in several species, the infant fry continue being close for their mother in a decent shoal when at the very first indicator of predatory Hazard, she opens her mouth and The full brood are taken in for security. In the situation of lots of the mouthbreeders, the males exhibit no parental care; right after spawning, they proceed to search out A different woman. Often divers can see the males dig huge spawning pits- substantial spherical craters – within the sand, at h2o depths of around two-20 meters (6-65 feet), in an effort to attract more women.
Other species in Lake Malawi have created some quite special hunting adaptations, which make them entertaining to look at while diving. At the very least two species entice tiny fish in just array by feigning Dying and lying motionless during the sand! These are offered the nickname of “The Engage in-useless fish.” One among the biggest fish that could be observed whilst diving will be the Kampango. Growing nearly 2m in duration, the Kampango is a sizable, territorial and predatory catfish endemic to Lake Malawi, taking place with the reduced reaches of rivers for the deepest habitable parts of the lake. A nocturnal predator, it feeds mostly on more compact cichlids. Juveniles mostly feed on eggs released by the female, and when a bit more mature, the male aids the young in attempting to find invertebrates in and within the nesting web page, which both mother and father will defend. If you’re lucky adequate to locate a catfish pair with toddlers, you will see flawlessly fashioned miniature catfish – up to eighty of these in a single nest! The Kampango is inquisitive and can approach divers moving into its territory, especially when breeding.
Lake Malawi is really a contemporary drinking water ecosystem; Due to this fact there is absolutely no coral expansion about the reefs. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean to state there’s no plant life. Lake Malawi offers an endemic genus and species of freshwater sponge, Malawispongia echinoides. This minimal colonial animal happens nowhere else on the planet.
About just one 3rd with the lakes’ coast is rocky, that is residence for the vegetarian cichlids, the Mbuna, along with the occasional clean water eel. These underwater rock formations make for beautiful dive web pages which includes numerous swim throughs and drop-off partitions. The remainder of the coastline is characterised by sandy seashores and bottoms. This is when nearly all the open up-h2o piscivores (consume other fish), called Haps, dwell. Some Cichlid species inhabit the muddy and weed-strewn bottom where more substantial rivers move to the lake.
Lake Malawi is strange in that it does not have tides or considerably potent currents, which makes it an excellent setting for open up drinking water schooling. Diving is possible all calendar year spherical. However, concerning August and November, the lake is at its calmest, with very little wind. Drinking water temperatures can stand up to thirty Levels Celsius throughout this time, with visibility pretty much as good as 20 metres. Using these ailments, three-5mm wetsuits with little if any weight techniques are beautifully acceptable During this freshwater paradise. Provided that Lake Malawi sits at nearly 500m over sea amount, special procedures are necessary when diving at altitude.
Evening diving is unquestionably considered a novel working experience from the lake. Dolphin fish, resembling absolutely nothing like their names sake, is often observed using the torch light-weight of divers to facilitate a simple food. Numerous unique catfish can be viewed increasing within the depths in their daytime lairs on the lookout for food items. Within the shallower waters a myriad of blue crabs can be found about the sandy base, whilst a sharp eye can spot tiny clean drinking water shrimp situated in and around the rocky boulders.