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BLINDMEN AND ELEPHANT FISH
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In 2010 Justin Kraus and Okju Kim came to Malawi looking for a place to settle down. After a few years of working on and studying coastal management and development programs in Africa and Asia and working in the African tourism industry they found Kande Beach located on the beautiful shores of Lake Malawi and a little dive center there called Aquanuts Divers.
In 2011 they bought the dive center and moved permanently to Kande. Astounded by the beauty and diversity of Lake Malawi’s cichlid fish and dismayed at the inattention that the scientific and conservation communities were paying to the northern half of Lake Malawi they decided to found the Maru Research Center in an effort to better understand and promote the Lake both to the international community and more importantly to Malawians themselves. Lake Malawi is the most biologically diverse lake on the planet with an estimated 1000 species of cichlid fish alone. However by most counts barely half of those 1000 fish have been properly scientifically identified let alone studied. The rest of the lake’s ecological, biological, and even socio-economic characteristics have been similarly understudied.
There is a lot of work to be done. Unfortunately Malawian institutions, like most in Africa, have neither the expertise nor the resources to do it. At the Maru we want to do our small part in assisting them so that more can be done and so can you through our volunteer and internship opportunities.
The Maru Research Center and Aquanuts Divers
A sunset view of Kande Island from one of our lakeshore cottages