Splněný sen - it means in english "A dream came true" . Why?

I have engaged to breeding of Cichlids already 27 years. I think over to write a book about it. I would like to share with readers about my breeding experience, but I feel also necessity to give over information about home of the nice fish. It was clear after successful expedition to the south coast of lake Tanganjika, that I will have to visit also the second “Mecca” of the breeders of the African Cichlids – lake Malawi. It was the same like by visit of Tanganjika. There is no service of a travel agency, and so it is necessary to travel individually and to use help of peoples, who know well the place. That’s why I agreed with an owner of an export company, with which I deal business, support of my expedition to the lake. Me and my friends Frantisek and Josef went to the Munich airport and we flew to Dubai. Than we went To the capitol of Tanzania – Daar es Salaam. Rainer from the former East Germany joined us there. The flight passed very comfortable. We were happy, that we had been waited and we began to believe, that we will reach the lake. Daar es Salaam is not beautiful city. It is built very unorganized and many buildings need reconstruction. But still worse is technical condition of local cars, which release clouds of black smoke. The smog hoveringabove city caused my respiratory difficulties. I didn’t wait it in Africa. On the other side the info, that Daar se Salaam is dangerous town, was true – robberies are everyday matter here. I wanted to pick up some money in a bank. The visit of the bank impressed on me very strong. A guard with shot gun in his hands sit in a front of the bank – like in a western movie. It was fine, that the company is located outside of the town and it suggests a fort with its strong walls.
Lupingu - misie
   We spent two days here and during these days we visited an island in the near Indian Ocean and we also saw business of the company. We were not failed by the Indian Ocean in the place. The island was very beauty, but visibility in water was only about 20cm, it means, we saw nothing. It was caused by hovered very fine-grained sand. Great difference between high tide and low tide causes not only rise of strong sea flows, but also, that coral cliffs are too deep in high tide time and they are almost inaccessible by snorkeling. I tried to snorkel over bad visibility, but just the first wave slung me on a cliff and I became with my bloody stomach a classic bait for the sharks…… That’s why we decided, that we will give more days to lake Malawi through our visit of Tanzania and that we will stop research of the tropic ocean. The company, in which we stayed, is divided on two parts. The business part, where the fish are collected before export, and the living part, where we spent two nights. I was surprised by unprecedented quantity of mosquitoes, who liked inside room of our mosquito nets and they untroubly drunk our blood. The company exports the fish from Tanganjika and from Malawi. The Cichlids are transported by aircrafts from Kigoma and the Cichlids from Malawi by trucks from Itunga, here. The way to lake Malawi is about 950km and it was the way, which we should pass it. We started in the early morning in a rent landrover and We wait the long way. We planned to spend the night in some African so called motel, because we wanted to visit a natural park..
Tanzanian shore
   Rather good road crosses the Mikumi National Park and already in it we saw the giraffes and the zebras. Visit of the park is possible after payment of high entrance and only with local guide. Disinfection of our car and luggage was also necessary. We could watch the most famous African animals through about three-hour ride, like zebras, giraffes, elephants, buffaloes, hippopotamus, lions and antelopes. I perslonally was very glad, that I met the very big “wart pig”. Our drivers told us after leaving the park, that it will be more safety to not sleep in nature, but to go directly to Kyeli. I must add, that the first driver was very experienced and he draw carefully. On the contrary, the second one draw bad, he had problems with driving up, but he wasn’t afraid to go down. He went down very rapidly, that I felt, the car will divide into small pieces together with us. But we stayed alive in the end and we came to Kyeli in the evening. The local boss of breeding of Cichlids, Me. Samuel, cared for us. The old agile fellow is very respected here. His fluttering moving is caused by several lived through malarias, but also alcohol in his blood. Fortune wishes to ready people and I was happy, when the chief of divers Omar was introduced to me. The diver was guide even of Konings. He immediately asked me, if I will wish to beat up the fish in front of object-lens. He didn’t want believe to my answer, that it will be enough to show me places with determined kinds of the fish. Really, he didn’t want to believe it. We undertook the first expedition in the next day. The aim was a lake 13km far from Kyeli, which is called Itungi. The coast is sandy here. Unfortunately, the surface was unquiet and visibility in water was bad. I could saw the fish of family Lethrinops and Placidochromis. Rainer (age 48) became high-light of the day. He tried to snorkel the first time in his life and we didn’t know, that he doesn’t know to swim. When we took him out of water, he told us:” I thought, that glasses, snorkel and fins will raise me in water!” Rainer surprised us still several times and we gave to him nickname “adventurer” And we compared him with catcher of butterflies in movie “Vinnetou”.
 

We started in the next day to village Lupingu, 80km far from Kyeli. It would become our temporary home. Our trust to local guides was endless and that’s why we were not afraid to set out unquiet lake and even black sky didn’t discourage us.
   I will not tire my readers by detailed account of all journey distress on stormy lake, I will count only some facts. The way would take 7 – 8 hours, but it took two days in the fact, with emergency landing and sleeping in wilderness. The waves were higher than two meters and on of the wave even washed off our boat an attendant of the ship engine. As the boats were shorter than five meters, navigation reminds cruise in fun-fair. .
břehy Itungi
   I must confess, that I have never been so angry with myself like at the moment. I felt responsibility for my Czech friends. I guesses, that the boats must turn up and we will lose all things in the better case and we wioll will finish in the coast. It was clear too, that diving is impossible in these conditions and I will return back home without water photos. When we saw our aim at a distance, I thanked to the God, that we are alive. I didn’t suspect, that also our next days will be connected with the God. We were welcomed by the local rector in the port and he announced to us, that we are guests in his rectory. Just after accommodation we began to dry all our things, including money and documents – all was absolutely drenched through. Lake surface was calm in the next day, our diving equipment was ready and so we could start with research of surrounding of the village harbour. The coast was stony. The first fish, which we watched, was Metriaclima zebra. It is the most widespread fish there, they were everywhere. Tropheops sp. “Mauve” was also very often.. Metriaclima callanois and Lebeotropheus fulebornii were less often. Very interesting was common occurrence of classic colored form, but also spotted one, Metriaclima fainzilberi. I was surprised, that both forms, which usually cross each other in aquariums, live together here. I didn’t met it in Tanganjika. Conditions for photography were not good. A lot of mechanical dirt hovered in water. Also the stones were covered by sediment, which stirred very easy. I found a cleaner place from time to time and I could take some photos. I tried to not use flash in shallow place, because its light caused illumination and that way better visibility of dirt. Good luck, that I use the digital camera and I have immediate possibility to check a picture. Sandy bottom began in the direction to depth covered by stones in the beginning and sandy plains continued further. We watched the fish of family Aulonocara, Copadichromis, Nimbochromis, Placidochromis, Protomelas and Sciaenochromis among stones. I found reproduction nests of the fish of family Lethrinops in the sandy plains. The fish were very shy and that’s why I had to use waiting technique, which was so successful by taking photos of Cyathopharynx furcifer in lake Tanganjika. I laid on the bottom and I waited. The fish came only after 20 minutes and they began to rub together. I started to take photos andat the moment, when I was sure, that I have all pictures, a beautiful male of Fasorochromis rostratus appeared above me, I aimed immediately my camera at him and I had it too. I surfaced and I was very satisfied, that I didn’t spend my time in Malawi in vain. The next days passed stereotypely. We went by boats to the new places every days, our guides caught the fish and we paid attention to watching and taking photos. Frantisek and Josef advised me upon any interesting placaes and Rainer “made us sure” from the coast. Generally, structure of the fish communities was very analogous, but it could happened, that we found a kind in the definite place, which was not in other places. F.e. it was nice spotted form of M. callanoiis about 5km Northern from Lupingu, and, on the contrary, it was Metriaclima sp Msoho about 10km southern from Lupingu. Apparently, I was not glad to meeting with a couple of Tilapia rendali, who cared of their larvae in depression in the botoom. I didn’t know the kind and I thought: “Oh God, who settled it here?” I found in literature, but only in the evening, that this kind is standard inhabitant of the lake. Very interesting was occurrence of Nyassachromis Macrocephalus with their sandy sloped nests..
Cape kaiser
   Though the real nice experience was a place with giant nests of Dimidiochromis kiwinge. The size of nests was consterning and I immediately used Frantisek as measure for taking photo. Special dusky atmosphere ruled here And other fish curved out to territory if these predators. The stay in the rectory was very pleasant and the rector was not only excellent companion, but also very smart person, who tries hard to improve his rectory and to help to people not only from Lupingu, but also from other villages. He took us on expedition to the mountains. We went by Landrover on sheer tracks with crumbled surface. We were several times in real danger, that we will fall down to a valley. Probably, I have never forgotten the expedition. Earlier, that we expected, 9 days passed and we had to return back home. The back passage was without problems and also transport to Daar es Salaam was all right. Than only a short visit of Zanzibar (I can’t recommend it) and flight home. The suggestion occurred me in the aircraft: “To which place next time?” I didn’t find answer on it till today…….

H. D. s průvodcem Omarem
This man was our attendant . I thank you Omar .


Pictures from Malawi mission are under (Click for large images in the new window .)
Metriaclima zebra
Potamonautus orbitospinus
Tropheops sp. Mauve
Metriaclima fainzilberi OB
Protomelas ornatus
Nimbochromis livingstonii
Nyassachromis microcephalus
22 Lethrinops microstoma
Fossorochromis rostratus
Copadichromis trewavasae
Aulonocara gertrudae
Protomelas fenestratus
       
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