Lake Malawi, known locally as Lake Nyasa, is the country’s most prominent feature and undeniably the focal point for Malawi’s tourists. Lake Malawi’s vast size, its warm fresh water and its gorgeous surrounding beaches make it a mecca for those seeking a year-round location to swim, scuba dive, snorkel, waterski, sail, kayak, parasail or simply potter about in boats.

At the southern end of the lake is the Lake Malawi National Park and, as the waters and fish are protected here, the lake is a veritable aquarium of tropical fish. The park encompasses the sandy beaches and granite islands of Malawi’s Cape Maclear peninsula. This UNESCO World Heritage Site earned its place on the list not only for its exceptional natural beauty, but also because of its outstanding example of biological evolution and biodiversity conservation.

Inside the park the scenery is scintillating. Steep hills carpeted with trees tumble down into the deep blue water of the lake, while the shoreline is punctuated by islands, bays and large granite boulders. The clarity of the fresh water and the great abundance of marine life make it ideal for snorkelling and diving, while the absence of currents ensures it is wonderful for swimming, sailing, kayaking and other water sports.

The tropical waters of the lake are teeming with hundreds of fish species, including the colourful cichlids, and as a result snorkelling or scuba diving is very popular. Look out for the base of the lake which has the appearance of a moonscape, with large craters measuring up to 2 metres (6.5 feet) in diameter. These unusual structures are made by the dominant male Malawi cichlids and serve as their rather grand courtship arenas.

Ideal Destination For

  • Beach
  • Special Interest
  • Sport

Southern Lake Malawi Activities

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