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Lake Malawi Africa

Lake Malawi , Africa

Lake Malawi or Lago Niassa in Africa

Bounded by steep mountains and scattered fishing villages, ‘The Lake of Stars’ resonates serenity far away from the hassles of urban life. While the surrounding national parks are backpackers’ heaven, the crystal clear waters of the lake boast the swarms of colorful Cichlids. This ‘Warm Heart of Africa’ compels travelers to wander right out of the suite and encounter traditional practices, laze in a hammock, and swim in the pristine waters before feasting on a succulent fish.


The word Malawi, which means ‘fire flames’ in Chewa language, signifies incredible views of sunrise and sunset one gets to see from the Lake. The age of Lake Malawi is estimated between 40,000 and three million years.

Things to Do in Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi National Park – Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984, this park includes protected islands and aquatic habitats. It is set against the backdrop of the Great African Rift Valley escarpment at the southern end of the lake. It is an important breeding site for Lake Malawi cichlids that are integral to the local ecosystem.

Water Sports – Southern shore of the lake is a paradise for swimming, snorkeling, and diving in calm waters. Cape Maclear is alluring as ever for sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, or shopping. Safaris on a Mufasa (yacht) and cruises must be included in the itinerary.

Nyika Plateau – Towering above the lake, this region is a wildlife sanctuary. Burchell’s zebra, elephants, hippos, and many endemic birds can be spotted here. The lowlands, here, offer best opportunities for night safaris and game viewing. Walking routes, wilderness trails, and horseback trails are spread throughout the Nyika National Park. A popular hike starts from the Luwawa Forest Lodge down to the shores of Lake Malawi.

Lake of Stars Festival – It’s an annual three-day international festival held on the shores of the lake. Held in September, this cultural and musical event attracts significant number of enthusiasts.

Island Tours – Getting to Likomo Island is only half the fun since it has several lovely beaches and eco-friendly resorts. Traditional wooden boats and speed boats are also on offer for a certain degree of charm to tours.

Nearby Attractions

Nyika National Park, Kaningina Forest Reserve, Cape McClear Nature Reserve, and Lake Malombe.

Where is Lake Malawi?

Lake Malawi is located in southern Africa. It’s shoreline lies in eastern Malawi, western Mozambique, and southern Tanzania.

How to Reach?

By Air – Lilongwe International Airport is the largest airport in the country. To reach here, connecting flights via Johannesburg (South Africa), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) or Nairobi (Kenya) are available. Chileka International Airport in Blantyre is another gateway the lake.

By Road – Monkey Bay, Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, and Karonga are the main townships situated along the shoreline of Lake Malawi. National highways M1 and M5 run along the western region of the lake. You’ll hardly find any cabs as the most locals prefer walking everywhere and buses are an important medium of transportation in Malawi.

Lake Malawi Accommodations

Malawi is a natural paradise and you’ll have to trim down on luxury just a tiny bit. It’s very common to stay at the resorts conveniently located on the shores. Makuzi Beach Lodge, Thumbi View Lodge, Safari Beach Lodge, Chembe Eagles Nest Resort, and Mayoka Village are some of the options spread through the west shore. Several campsites and indoor lodgings are available in the remote terrain of national parks.

Hotels Name Type Address
Kaya Mawa Indoor Lodging Kaya Mawa P.O.Box 79 Likoma Island Malawi enquiries@kayamawa.com
Web: www.kayamawa.com
Safari Beach Lodge 1 star Near to Livingstonia Beach Hotel, Malawi M5, Salima, Malawi safaribeachlodge@gmail.com
Web: safaribeachlodge.net/en
The Makokola Retreat Beach Resort The Makokola Retreat P.O. Box 59 Mangochi Malawi enquiries@makokola.com or reservations@makokola.com
Web: www.makokola.com
Norman Carr Cottage Indoor Lodging Southern Lakeshore, Monkey Bay, Malawi taffy@africa-online.net
Web: normancarrcottage.com
Blue Zebra Island Lodge 1 star Salima, Malawi info@bluezebra.mw
Web: www.bluezebra.mw
Makuzi Beach Lodge Beach Resort Private Bag 12, Chintheche, Malawi
Web: www.makuzibeachlodge.com
Flame Tree Lodge Indoor Lodging Flame Tree Lodge, P.O. Box 150, Chintheche Malawi, Africa flametreemalawi@gmail.com/tony@flametreemalawi.com
Web: www.flametreemalawi.co
Mayoka Village Backpacker Hostel Nkhata Bay, Malawi info@mayokavillagebeachlodge.com
Web: mayokavillagebeachlodge.com


Maize is the staple ingredient of Malawian cuisine and the lake is a main source for fish. Nsima is a traditional dish served with relish. Experience the culinary delights at Oceana Cuisine, Gecko Lounge Restaurant, and in Palm Beach Resort.

Best Time to Visit Lake Malawi

The best time to visit Lake Malawi is from April to November (dry season). This is the ideal season for birding, game viewing, and water sports around the area.

Lake Malawi Facts

  • Lake Malawi covers an area of about km. (11,400 sq. miles).
  • It is the second deepest and third largest lake in Africa.
  • It is known by two other names: ‘Lake of Storms’ and ‘Lake Nyasa.’
  • No other freshwater lake in the world has as many species of fish as Lake Malawi. It has about 1,000 species of cichlid.
  • Lake Malawi Sailing Marathon is an annual event held on the lake.
  • The Shire River is the only outlet of the lake.

Things to Remember

  • If you want to strike up a conversation with a local, remember that verbal greetings are accompanied by a handshake.
  • Try to carry light bags as you’ll have to do most of the travel via public transports.
  • Do not forget to stop by the villages to explore the true essence of Malawi culture.


Published On: Wednesday, October 30th, 2013