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Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Our good friend Dave sharing his experiences and photos from his trips to Lake Malawi.

Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby Dave G » Sun Feb 12, 2012 9:09 am

The flights last year from Heathrow to Lilongwe were about £600 return including 45 kg of luggage plus hand luggage. Red Zebra Tours is getting more expensive and the rules are changing. (Malawi has problems of its own - fuel is getting hard to secure - even for companies involved in tourism). I think I paid about $1800 cash to David for the two weeks on the boat with a crew of three. That includes meals and full dive cylinders. You can dive as often as your body's nitrogen loading will allow. I use a dive computer set to a conservative model to avoid DCI (decompression illness). There were 5 of us this year. There needs to be about 7 - 8 really to make things pay. In addition you've got to arrange the transfer to / from the lake. (another £100 return - less if everybody can arrive / depart together). Plus a bit of spending money - say £100 for extra booze, pizzas, tips for the crew etc. and £100 for a couple of nights at another guest house before you join Red Zebra (while you buddies trickle in from around the World). I like to stay at Sam Ludick's place 'Cool Runnings'.

The weather was awful last year - it was cold, rainy and windy. Vis in the water wasn't always good - made photography a nightmare. Nobody can guarantee the weather!

It's a magical place and while the people are friendly they're very very poor by our standards. Don't expect luxury! Most nights we set up tents on the beach. Sand and dive gear aren't natural bed fellows! you can wreck a reg or knacker the seal on a dive torch if any sand gets near the o rings etc.

Overall I'd say £2200 would easily cover it for a fortnight plus whatever it costs to get to / from Heathrow.

But you need to be a good diver - occasionally you might be called upon to rescue lost plates at depth or retrieve a stuck anchor in deep water (as happened at Zimbawe Rock - I volunteered not realising how deep the anchor actually was and how difficult it would be to dislodge the heavy thing - definitely not a mission for a novice diver). I thought I'd be in and out in 5 mins with a 10 meter dive. 20 minutes, 40 metres and half a tank of air later I resurfaced - worried that I might get DCI - luckily I didn't.

If I was wealthy and didn't have to work I'd go every year. Maybe if ever I got made redundant or something I might even try to stay out for a few months on anti netting duties in conservation areas (as my friend Larry Johnson once did). The fish populations have been recovering in some areas where the ANDs have been deployed. I will go again but not this year (although I'd love to - and this year I've been invited to go with Ad Konings group up to the Mozambique coast). My next dive trips are southern Egypt wrecks in June and possible back to the Farne Islands (north of Newcastle) to dive with seals.
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby Clare » Sun Feb 12, 2012 3:54 pm

I hope you will be sharing your wreck photography with us even you return?
We supply high quality, home bred Malawi Cichlids to the UK http://www.tonysafricancichlids.co.uk Next day courier £15 Sat courier £26
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby aaronn » Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:40 pm

That's a bit more than i expected but does sound like a really great experience.
i would love to go but it wouldnt be this year thats for sure, gotta tackle the nurburgring first :)
What sort of fish will you see in egypt ?
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby whiteside » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:54 pm

:clap: great pics cheers
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby StiggyAllen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:03 pm

Great photos. I'd love to go one day :)
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby StiggyAllen » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:09 pm

:text-coolphotos:
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby Phil » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:09 pm

Fantastic photo's! not sure Il be able to look the fish in my tank in the eye now I know where they could be. Nice to see someone local on here Dave I live I Harborough too!
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby Dave G » Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:48 pm

Hi Phil

PM me if you want to meet up
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby Clare » Fri Mar 16, 2012 3:33 pm

Cough cough.

Dave!! photos pwetty pwetty please. :greetings-wavegreen: :greetings-wavegreen:
We supply high quality, home bred Malawi Cichlids to the UK http://www.tonysafricancichlids.co.uk Next day courier £15 Sat courier £26
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Re: Waters around Namalenje Island (Malawi trip 2011)

Postby wesg8 » Thu May 24, 2012 3:23 pm

More amazing pics
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