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Lake Victoria

Lake Victoria

Today, we travelled to Lake Victoria.  This huge lake was first discovered by Europeans by the great adventurers Burton and Speke in their quest for the source of the Nile river.  This is the world’s largest tropical lake, as well as the largest reservoir in Africa.  It covers an impressive 68,600 square kilometers.  

We hire a local fisherman to take us out on his boat.  From there, we snorkel in the relatively shallow waters of the lake.  Lake Victoria is one of the lakes in the East African Valley Rift system, most of which are full of colorful cichlid fish.  Their are many different species present and the colors are dazzling.  Perhaps most surprising is that it is believed that all of these different species evolved from a couple, even one single, species.  Darwin would be proud.

It is nice to relax a bit after our hard treks and climbs in the past few weeks.  Tomorrow we will be heading to Lake Malawi, another African lake famous for its fish.

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The biodiversity in the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef: this is the only living organism large enough to be seen from space.  It stretches 1,200 miles off of the coast of Queensland, Australia.  Amongst the reef, there are hundreds of smaller islands ripe for exploring.  This is the largest marine preserve in the world. Naturally, it is hoe to a plethora of 500 species of beautifully colored coral, 4,000 kinds of shellfish, 1,500 different fish species. 

This reef is perfect for water sports, including sailing, snokeling, and diving.  You can find a travel agency or guides who are willing to help you out on the reef almost anywhere on the northwest coast of Australia.  If you are not into the diving, there is an underwater observatory where you can see all the wonderful underwater biodiversity. 

The best time to travel here is from October to November for the best ocean water conditions.  The clear waters and beauty of the reef is absolutely stunning, and as global warming and changes in climate destroy reefs everywhere, we should try to visit, appreciate, and protect this valuable and unique ecosystem.

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