Lake Malawi Skies

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Throughout the six African countries we’ve travelled I have been consistently awestruck with the complex displays of color and clouds that are always swirling and forming in these vast skies. But none have been more dazzling, rich and remarkable than those above the third largest lake in Africa.

We are currently traveling through the Great Rift along the edge of Lake Malawi. There are very few cars here, and a lot of bicycles, which may attribute to unimaginably clear skies that spawn magnificent clouds and incredible skycapes.

The lake itself, the ninth largest in the world, is shared by three countries and is equally magnificent as it is large. Nyasa constantly changes colors from an opaque brown near the mouths of rain swollen rivers to hues of emerald green at its deep rocky cliffs. The surface of the water can be glass calm one minute and as tumultuous as a northern sea the next. There are more species of fish that habitat its waters than any other body of freshwater in the world, including over 1,000 species of cichlids that come in all of the vivid colors of the rainbow.

But the skies are what dominate the landscape as we roll through the rift. Far away clouds take on the golden hue of the dusty soil below; the rainy season spawns off storms that seem to move in every direction and are visible for hundreds of miles; what appear to be plumes of black smoke over the distant water are really swarms of lake flies that take on the form of hazy waterspouts; sunrise illuminates crisp formations of condensation and leftover storms that pommelled the land the night prior. As redundant as the motion seems, my camera keeps tilting upward:

Malawi landscape sky
Swallows swarm over Thumbi Island.

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

Malawi landscape sky

Look closely at the upper left of the horizon… two columns of lake flies, probably 3o kilometers from view.

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

A swarm of lake flies gathers at the split in Cape Maclear.

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

Dugout canoes in Cape Maclear.

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

The sight of ducks on the beach reminds you that it is freshwater.

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

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Malawi landscape sky Ngala beach

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi fish eagle

A fish eagle grape a snack from the lake surface.

Malawi fish eagle

Malawi cichlids

Colorful cichlids flock around Gin as she tries to wash away her cyclist tan.

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

Senga Bay Malawi

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky

Malawi landscape sky Cape Mclear

Malawi landscape kingfisher

A kingfisher hovers above the lake before diving for a minnow.
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2014-03-malawi-2_30

Tags

  • SF_Rich

    absolutely amazing photos!!

  • Porl

    Such beautiful photos. I’m gonna be there on 1 April. My plan was to try miss the rainy season. Now I’m hoping to catch a bit of the end of it. Please keep these Malawi posts coming.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    1 April is coming fast… you should catch the tail end of it. We just got back from Nyika Plateau… stunning! More posts soon.

  • http://www.aweekatthebeach.com/ Sarah Fazendin

    Stunning pics!! Such an accurate picture of travel in Malawi. I’ve never biked Africa but it’s on my list. I look forward to following your adventures!!

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Thanks Sarah!

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