Kande Beach, Lake Malawi, Malawi, December 2013

Kande Island

I did an overland truck trip with Tucan Travel and one of the stops was at Kande Beach on the shores of Lake Malawi. Onsite, there was the Aquanuts dive shop. Like any freshwater lake in this part of the world, there is a risk of bilharzia. How much of a risk, I couldn't say, but I decided to go diving anyway.

Just opposite the campsite is Kande Island, a small rocky island. The plan was to go out there in the boat, do our first dive starting from the island and then move onto a rocky reef for the first dive. The second dive was to be a complete circuit of the island, current permitting. The water temperature was 27C, so I got a little cold on the first dive in just t-shirt and shorts and wore a wetsuit on the second. It had been pouring with rain the night before and we were warned the viz wouldn't be that great. In fact, it was extremely variable. Around the sunken jeep, it was as low as 1m, but around the back of the island, it was more like 15m.

The bed of the lake wasn't that exciting. Apart from the jeep and a submerged tree, there were just bare rocks, but there was an awful lot of fish. There were some big catfish which only put an appearance in after my camera battery had run out. There were also a lot of different brightly coloured fish that were all new to me. The whole lake is apparently host to over 1000 different varieties of fish. I certainly didn't see that many, but there were enough different types to make it any enjoyable couple of dives.

Both dives were around 14m in depth, and the dive times were 52 and 58 minutes. Kande Beach isn't somewhere you'd go on a dive holiday, but if you're in the area, it's well worth doing a couple of dives there.

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