Kande Beach, Malawi

Trip Start Jun 05, 2012
Trip End Jul 10, 2012

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Where I stayed
Kande Beach Resort

Flag of Malawi  , Northern Region,
Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sleep didn't come easy because instead of the bar closing at 11pm it closed at 2 am.  People were singing at the top of thier lungs at 1:45 in the morning.  We got up around 7:00, ate some cereal, and waited for breakfast.  We had pancakes, potato fritters, bananas, sausage, then did our own dishes and we were set for the day.  We got a shower, then rented a canoe for $15.  We paddled out to Kande Island.  Miles snorkeled for awhile, jumped off of the rocks, then we walked around the island.  The water was super cold, so I mostly stuck my face into the water to see the colorful fish.  When we were on our walk we saw two monitor lizards sunning themselves on the rocks.  They were 3 to 4 feet long.  We saw abiyt 15 types of cichlid fish.  There were blue ones, blue with black stripes, blue with yellow fronts, blue with yellow dorsal, white, black, white with one black stripe, yellow with blue, yellow, yellow with brown, brown with yellow dots, brown with black stripes. There were probably others that I just can't remember.  We paddled back, shared a Fanta and relaxed.  We are running out of Malawi Kwacha so we tried to figure out what to do about that.  Ernest still has some because they bought their carving with American Money.  Lunch was two types of salad, tangilos, bologna, peanut butter and honey.  We washed our dishes then relaxed in hammocks. It got too hot so we moved to a shaded area and layed there for awhile.  Then it was time to go over to the dive shop.  We got wetsuits, boots, fins, weight belts, and our BCD's.  Then it was just a wait until the people got back from their first dive.  The boat was super small and it totally filled with water when you sat still. The instructor somehow thought 10 people could fit when only 8 could and that was even too crowded.  We rode towards the buoy by the island.  He did a countdown and we all had to jump out of the boat while it was moving.  Then he handed over our BCD and tank and we had to put them on while we were in the water.  The water was 25 degrees Celsius but it felt really cold.  We went down to about 14 meters deep.  We swam over a sunken boat, a sunken VW jeep with a tree sticking out the back.  There were craters in the sand which were perfectly round.  Apparently they were made by male cichlids to attract females.  The dive master refered to them as "sex pads".  We saw lots of the really small fish but I think that we saw more variety when we were snorkeling on our own.  We did some "swim throughs" which were nothing more than swimming between large boulders.  We finished the dive after 49 minutes but it felt like much longer.  I think I was cold enough to be done after about 30 minutes.  We handed our gear into the boat, then had to try to pull ourselves up and in which was very difficult so we ended up getting drug into the boat.  By the time we got back to the dive shop, we were both freezing cold, so we ran to the showers to get warmed up. 
     After warming up for a few minutes we went down to the beach and played 4 on 4 beach volleyball.  Then we were wondering when our laundry would be done.  Luckily we went over and asked. The people who do your laundry just sit there waiting until you go to pick it up.  We had already paid $10 and I gave the lady a tip of 210 Kwacha, a shirt from San Francisco, and some fruit/nut snacks from Spanish Club.  Victor has been asking me to play basketball against him, so finally at dusk we played one on one and he won 7-5. I am sure he will remind me of this later.  Dinner was really good rice, barbeque chicken, green beans, carrots, and spinach.  Everything was really good except the spinach.  I really don't think it is spinach even though that is what they are calling it.  I think it is a local green.  
    We used the internet for 450 Kwacha.  I bet that the lady I gave the laundry tip could have really used the money, instead of me using it for the internet. Marlene and Ernie came into the internet area, and we talked to a guy about Victoria Falls then looked up Harare and the things to do there.  Then we looked up driving directions and realized that what Victor proposed was not even possible.  After dinner we had our group meeting and we talked a little about the history of Malawi.  It has really only been around since the late 1800's when Livingstone came, but wasn't independent or called Malawi until the 1960's.  The Dr. who became the leader in 1958 served one year before being put in prison for a year.  When he got out of jail be started a new political party.  Then they also had a president who declared himself "President for Life".  The constitution was changed and they have had about 4 presidents since then. The country had the lake as 1/5 of its area.  Some consider Malawi to be overpopulated with 13.9 million people.  ( I see plenty of open spaces so I don't think it is overpopulated)  They rely heavily on the fishing.  They have no minerals to export.  Tobacco used to be 70% of the GDP for the country but now tobacco is on the decline so they are trying to figure out alternatives.  One of the possibilities is a spice called Indian Hemp.  They think it would grow well but there is a problem in taht it looks just like "Malawi gold" which is cannibus.  The fear is that more people would start growing the drug, but telling the officials that it is the spice. They are still working on a solution to that problem.  In March or April of 2012, the President died.  Some people were happy and think that the country is much better off, but it has still caused some issues.  Gas is very hard to come by (this is why we filled up, and even filled jugs before entering the country).  There was also a cheese and butter shortage at the supermarket. The new leader who was the vice president is a woman. She will run the country until 2014 when the next election will be held. 
     Shortly after this meeting and history lesson we went to bed because we had to be ready for a 5:30 breakfast the next morning. 

Budget $200               Food  150 MK      Fees- 210 MK laundry tip, 450 MK internet
Spent $108.25 Activity- $105 for diving and canoeing

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Mom on

Sounds like more fun! Glad you were able to snorkel right off the beach! Brrr..on the water temp for diving and for the weather you will encounter in the next couple of days. Having a sunburn, going into the cold won't help! You will have to layer up!

I bet the ladies who did your wash were grateful for the shirt and snacks. Glad you guys help people out along the way! You have very generous spirits and good hearts!

Yay! Chicken! I can imagine it is difficult to keep meats cool enough to be safe. In the next couple of days, sounds like you will have to work to keep it from freezing! Does seem strange.

Glad you guys are still having a great time. I like the basketball "excuses"! lol!

Love you both very much! God bless and keep you! Until I hear from you again....

Claudia on

Hey! Keep the updates coming ... it's fun living vicariously thru you! I feel like I can really "see" what you are doing ! I recently acquired a Vietnamese chicken basket ... maybe that would come in handy ! Can't wait for more pics! Stay safe!

dad on

sounds like an awesome day! The food and your day sounded great!!! Be safe...

dad on

Hey you guys, I'm back. Julie was out of town on business so I couldn't do the computer thing. Something wrong with my googler. She's back so now I can send a "comment." You two appear to be having a great time and beating the odds since neither one of you have been eaten by a lion or trampled by a wildebeest. When do you get to hang out with the pygmies and play soccer with shrunken heads? I want pics of that. Miss both of you bunches and am tickled beyond words by your adventures. Be safe and have fun.

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