Lake Malawi
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About Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi and its surroundings are quite beautiful - the combination of rugged mountain terrain and clear blue water make for vivid postcard images that will linger long in the mind. The lake is shared between Malawi, Tanzania, and Mozambique, with Malawi making use of the western section.

It's a very deep freshwater lake, one of the deepest worldwide, and with proportions that make it more like an inland sea. Sailing safaris and canoeing adventures are just some of the ways to explore the lake's secrets. There are interesting little sandy bays and stunning beaches along the rocky shores, also forested slopes and lagoons as well as the Cape Maclear peninsula and 12 islands.

This is a superb environment for water sports and many visitors enjoy brilliant snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, water skiing, and kayaking. There are no currents or tides to contend with, just warm fresh water that is really clear and balmy weather to enjoy at the best times of the year. Needless to say, delicious freshly caught and cooked fish is a menu highlight for every visitor.

This is a Rift Valley Lake and the main feature of the Lake Malawi National Park. The shore is dotted with villages but there are also long stretches that are uninhabited. There is a ferry transport around and along the lake but cruising is also possible up the Shire River at the southern end which eventually leads into the Zambezi River.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and incredibly special because of the great variety of fish found in its crystal clear waters. It is estimated that there are at least 1000 species of fish and a large portion of them are only found In Lake Malawi and nowhere else on the planet - this is truly exceptional.

The bright and shiny Cichlid fish are of huge ecological importance because of their impressive evolutionary development in a freshwater environment that is set apart from any other water sources. Snorkeling and diving in Lake Malawi's waters is an absolute treat.

A rich variety of fauna and flora can also be spotted around the lake. You could see the odd Hippo, Baboons, some Vervet Monkeys, and a Warthog or two amongst other smaller mammals. Islands are nesting areas for Cormorants and the shoreline is where you will see the majestic Fish Eagle, but you can often hear its piercing cry echoing across the water.


Malawi's climate can be broken down into 3 seasons:

Cool and Dry

Runs from May through to August (July is windy and changeable).

Hot and Dry

Runs from September to the middle of November, getting warmer as the season progresses. This is the most popular time around the lake as the water is at its most serene and clarity is high.

Hot and Rainy

Takes over in November and runs through to April bringing the rains and stormy weather which clears the air. Malaria is more prevalent during this time. Come April the water becomes more tranquil and gentle breezes return.

Best Time to Visit

Visiting Lake Malawi, particularly for viewing fish underwater in the southern section, is best between May and October. The weather gets progressively warmer going from moderate to hot by November.



Lake Malawi is home to unique fish species. Nearly 10% are endangered

World Heritage Centre - Lake Malawi fish conservation project

Lake Malawi, Malawi

Malawi: Lake Malawi & Mumbo Island - The Flippertyhoblets


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