Malawi is in Africa and is bordered by Mozambique to the south and east, Tanzania to the north, Zambia to the west. It's described as the "Warm Heart of Africa", referring to the friendliness of the people. Lake Nyasa (Lake Malawi), the third largest lake in Africa, runs along most of its eastern border. Still not sure? Click for the map.
Malawi is landlocked so all the diving is freshwater in Lake Malawi which boasts of over 1000 species of tropical fish - 350 of which are unique to the lake.
[Thanks to Oliver Payne for the photograph]
- There are 11 main dive sites around Nkharta Bay which are mainly big underwater boulders covered in algae, providing interesting swim throughs and hundreds of beautiful fish.
- A night dive is recommended here as scores of the large locally named dolphinfish surround you within minutes of entering the water, an exciting sensation in the dark as you never quite know where they're coming from.
- Malaria is found in all areas of Malawi; check before travelling.
- BE AWARE: Lariam (mefloquine) is an anti-malarial drug used in regions of the world where chloroquine resistant falciparum malaria is prevalent. e.g. East Africa, South East Asia. Possible side effects of lariam such as dizziness, blurred vision and a disturbed sense of balance are common and could cause problems for divers. These effects can often imitate or even worsen the symptoms of DCI. There could also be confusion between the side effects of lariam and the symptoms of DCI or nitrogen narcosis resulting in a misleading diagnosis.
- Lake Malawi is freshwater and is prone to bilharzia, especially in the Cape Maclear area. Bilharzia is caused by infestation by a type of flatworm, or fluke (parasite). The fluke larvae are released by freshwater snails which penetrate the human skin and mature into adults. Female flukes may lay eggs that cause inflammation. The symptoms (which can take months to surface) depend on the species of fluke. 'Swimmer's itch' develops where the parasite enters the skin, and is often the only symptom. If you think you've been exposed to it you can get a very cheap pill from the local pharmacists that will kill it before it even shows its face.
|Language:||English and Chichewa|
|Climate:||Sub-tropical - Dec to May is the rainy season|
|Natural hazards:||Flash floods|
|Diving season:||Year round|
|Water temperature:||24C–29C (75F–84F)|
|Air temperature:||26C in January to 21C in July|