Is It Safe To Swim In Lake Tanganyika?

Old Jul 12th, 2007, 01:48 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 83
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Is It Safe To Swim In Lake Tanganyika?

We will be visiting Greystoke Mahale in late Sept.,and I want to go swimming and snorkel to see fresh water ciclids .Is there any risk of contracting schistosomiasis in this part of the lake?Any advice appreciated.
toontowndoc is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2007, 09:08 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 190
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We were at Greystoke 2 years ago.From what we understood from the managers,one of them a veterinarian,that it was safe to swim.We snorkeled and found it to be an amazing experience.We loved it and neither of us suffered any ill effects.Perhaps the CDC could give you more scientific information.enjoy your trip!
mflickermd is offline  
Old Jul 12th, 2007, 10:05 PM
  #3  
aby
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,493
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
toontowndoc

personally, i would trust the Camp's advice. (for such a camp, giving the wrong information about such an issue, is practically committing suiside...)

aby

P.S. waiting eagerly for your post-trip report - not about schistosomiasis ;-)
aby is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 05:10 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 83
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for your good advice,and yes Aby,I promise to post a report,especially after all the great insight and contacts I have received from this excellant site!
toontowndoc is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 07:06 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 378
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I don't mean to sound like an alarmist, but perhaps it would be good to check with CDC about this. I found a recent paper that shows that Peace Corps Volunteers were susceptible to infection if they swam in Lake Victoria. Travellers have also been known to contract schistosomiasis after swimming in Lake Malawi.

This is not to say that you will catch it at Greystoke. I think it depends on the amount of snail hosts in the area where you will be swimming. I'm just not sure I would place all of my trust in someone saying that it's safe to swim there if I was paying them money to stay there.

Personally, if I went swimming in any slow-moving body of water in Africa, I would request a test for schisto. the next time I visited a doctor--just to be sure. It sounds like one can get a subclinical infection and not even know they have schisto. for a while. It does sound like it's easily treatable once it's detected.

I don't mean to scare anyone, I'm just sharing my personal thoughts. Better to be safe than sorry.
Gritty is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 5,545
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
http://www.cdc.gov/travel/eafrica.htm

The CDC recommends swimming only in chlorinated pools in east Africa.
RBCal is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 10:02 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 708
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
One of the Lonely Planet guidebooks discusses swimming in the lakes (sorry not home now so I can't locate it) and they were apologetic because they had taken the word of some of the lodges it was safe to swim in the lake they were located on and published that and only later found out it wasn't safe. Not sure, but think it was Lake Tanganyika. Visit a library or buy the latest version of the Loney Planet guide to this area and you can see what they say. Given their experience, I would not rely solely on what a lodge says.
tuckeg is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 10:25 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,367
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
From what I understand-- I haven't looked at this stuff for a long time- if it is a sandy or rocky beach area, talking big area you are swimming off of, thats a plus. The parasite needs reeds and grasses as part of its life cycle which includes snails to reproduce. Then if the water is moving like in a stream or river that reduces is significant in reducing any chance of the parasite living in those waters, and if it is a lake, if the water is choppy, has even some good movement, that is enough to disturb its life cycle. Like Lake Malawi, which has lots of safe places to swim, so does Lake Tanganyika.

I was wondering why crocs are not an issue though.
luangwablondes is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 10:38 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I was wondering about crocs too.
Patty is online now  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 12:15 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I stayed at Greystoke 2 years ago in August and spent a lot of time in the water. A lot of people did. I swam in the lake to cool off and even bathed there after chimp trekking with some of the biodegradeable soap they offer in the rooms. On one day we went snorkling and swimming in a part of the lake further down from the camp. The camp has snorkling equipment. The snorkling was not like the Carribean, but I saw lots of really cool fish that I had never seen before. In very clear water.

The camp regularly serves fish caught in the lake, both cooked and as sushi.

I never suffered any ill effects from the water or the meals.

There are hippos in the lake, although not near the camp or near where you snorkle. The water is very clear and on your way to the snorkle area you can see the hippos under the water from the boat. I'm not aware of any crocodiles, at least nowhere near the camp.

One of the great things about Greystoke is you sort of get a safari and beach vacation in one place. It is a magical place. You will love it.

Sure, ask the camp if the lake is safe when you arrive, but pack a swimsuit because I think it will be fine.
sevendown is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 03:00 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
sevendown: thanks for adding that post, good info on your experience. I will be here in February with a group I'm leading and I'm very excited to put on my mask/snorkel and take to the water to observe the numerous chiclid species!
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 06:14 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 246
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You're welcome Predator.

If you have not been to Greystoke, you will love it. It is one of those special places in the world. You feel like you are as far away from civilization as you can get. I felt further away there than I did in Antarctica. The camp is great. The cabins/rooms are wonderful and luxurious, the lake beautiful, the weather great, the food delicious, the beachside bar more fun than anywhere, the beach soft and white. I never wore shoes in camp. The only problem with that is that the resident warthogs in camp would often come by my room and spill the water bowl placed outside to wash your feet. Oh well, that's life.

Heading out on the boat for an afternoon cruise and swim/snorkle, looking back at the green mountains and feeling the warm breeze on your face, is heaven.

But the chimps!!! The chimpanzees are the reason you come and I wish I had been able to stay 4 months rather than 4 days. I could sit and watch the chimps for hours and hours. They are so fun and interesting, and so much like us it is scary. Get in all the chimp treks you can. You will take absolutley wonderful pictures and be absolutely amazed and thrilled. There is a reason Jane Goodall decided to spend her life here.

Enjoy every minute. (Did I say I like the place?)
sevendown is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 07:05 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 1,715
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sevendown: yes it will be my first visit here. No doubt the chimps are the reason we are going but I am so excited about the remoteness that you describe, the chimps, lake, everything! Can't wait to get there.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 07:44 PM
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 83
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'll second predator biologist's comments-can't wait to get there! We'll be coming in from Chada Katavi and what with dry-season conditions at Katavi,I'll be anxious to take a swim in the lake-and yes Sevendown-it's mainly about the chimps,the lake is a bonus!
toontowndoc is offline  
Old Jul 13th, 2007, 09:09 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1,064
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I swam a lot in the lake during my stay at Mahale Mountains - never had a problem.

The only disturbing thing on the lake was the speedboat of Greystoke, passing several times between the camp and the dhow, causing some irritations to the non-Greystoke visitors of this magical place. Some days later I learned what apparently was the reason - it was the afternoon (local time) of 9/11...
nyama is offline  
Old Jul 14th, 2007, 02:03 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 53
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Regarding crocs in the lake, you could take a look at what africatravelresource.com say about that. Basically that there are crocs but no-one has been eaten yet! They list Greystoke as Zoe's camp so you will have to navigate to Tanzania - mahale - accomodation - Zoe's camp - detailed description. Sorry I can't put a direct link as it is a type of pop-up. They do state no refunds for getting eaten!
I didn't manage to include Mahale in our trip. Have a wonderful time.
Julie
jul_uk is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
dovima
Europe
13
Aug 26th, 2008 11:15 AM
mcmckissic1
United States
7
Jun 18th, 2008 02:09 PM
sunny1
United States
0
Apr 19th, 2004 09:20 AM
kimamom
United States
7
Mar 14th, 2004 02:26 AM
mizscarlett
United States
8
Jan 2nd, 2004 07:22 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -