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Malawi 2015 Part IV: Cape Maclear

After our very pleasant stay at Mvuu Camp in Liwonde National Park, where we saw many stunning species and met great people, it was time for a new adventure. This time we went to the famous Lake Malawi. It is mandatory to visit Lake Malawi when you visit Malawi. Lake Malawi is most famous for its Malawi cichlids. I will show you that there is more.

We left Liwonde National Park later than planned, because of the ‘python adventure’ that turned out to be a great elephant encounter. We arrived in Cape Maclear in the late afternoon. We were relaxing and some guy wanted to sell me a ‘happy pants’. I was not very sure about what he meant. I said: ‘no’, to be sure that I did not lose my innocence that afternoon. It turned out to be a colorful and comfortable wearing pants.

After sunset animals appeared around us. There was an House Snake (Boaedon fuliginosus) next to our table.

House Snake (Boaedon fuliginosus) House Snake (Boaedon fuliginosus)

Also a lot of geckos appeared. There was even a gecko on the menu, as you can see on the photos.
ID1 ID1 ID2

Domwe Island
The next morning we went to Domwe Island. That is a big island not so far away from Cape Maclear.
We hired two guys with a boat to guide us. The first stop on the island was a warm welcome. We saw Kirk’s Rock Agamas (Agama kirkii) and Rainbow skinks (Trachylepis margaritifera), but also brown snakes that smelled like human poop. It was one big toilet, so we went on very quick.

Kirk's Rock Agama (Agama kirkii) Rainbow skink (Trachylepis margaritifera)

During the walk the steep granite slopes were challenging to walk. It was hard to move around. That is mainly the reason I did not see the Giant Plated Lizard (Gerrhosaurus validus) that lives there. I just heard them running away. Besides challenging to walk, rocks were also very hot. A good excuse to swim in Lake Malawi and have a ‘proper holiday feeling’. We also saw many vividly coloured Malawi chiglids in the water. A nice bonus!
ID4 ID4 Bronze Rock Skink (Trachylepis lacertiformis) Kirk's Rock Agama (Agama kirkii)

Sunset at Lake Malawi
In the afternoon we decided to go somewhere to look for animals. I wanted to see a Giant Plated Lizard or maybe another beautiful surprise. I did not get any of that. I did photograph a Bronze Rock Skink (Trachylepis lacertiformis) during the ‘golden hour’.  Now the skink really blends in their surroundings.

Bronze Rock Skink (Trachylepis lacertiformis) Bronze Rock Skink (Trachylepis lacertiformis)

While looking for animals I already noticed the big boab tree and the lookout over Lake Malawi. I already decided where to make my sunset photo. The small island in the background is Thumbi West Island.

Boab and Thumbi West Island during sunset Boab and Thumbi West Island during sunset Boab and Thumbi West Island during sunset Boab and Thumbi West Island during sunset

After photographing the sunset I turned around and I saw the moon. How great is that!

After sunset, we looked the other side and saw this...

Our stay at Cape Maclear was short. It was a very good place to relax, and also something completely different. I had never seen a lake this big before and seeing Malawi cichlids was also a great experience. The stay was short, but long enough for me. I was looking forward to the next stop, Ntchisi Forest Reserve.

If you do not want to miss my next report about Malawi you can follow me on social media. My next report will be about Ntchisi Forest Reserve in Malawi where we found another new species of chameleon. The links to my Facebook Page and other social media are at the bottom of this page.

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© 2017 Nature & Wildlife Photography by Ronald Zimmerman

Thema door Anders Norén