Lake Malawi Extraordinaire

Lake Malawi is an African lake that is far from ordinary. Vast, lush, wild and inviting, it offers a wealth of interest to the traveller. Here are a few of the key facts about this stunning natural feature, as outlined in USA Today:

Location and Geography

The eight largest lake in the world, Lake Malawi is the third biggest in Africa and the second deepest. It runs through the Great African Rift Valley and occupies parts of Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. The lake measures approximately 360 miles north to south and up to 50 miles in width with a surface area of almost 15,000 square miles.


Fringed with golden beaches and welcoming coves, there are also remote villages and establishments aimed at tourists, mountain slopes, woods and lush flora around Lake Malawi. The water is mainly placid – there are no tides or currents and few storms, making it popular water sports enthusiasts.


Lake Malawi contains up to 1000 species of fish, more than any other lake in the world. This includes rare tropical fish like the mbuna, plus one may see crocodiles, hippopotamuses and monkeys in and around the lake. There is also a great number of birds, including black eagles and various species of kingfisher.



Lake Malawi is great for those who love water sports such as swimming, sailing, kayaking, snorkelling and fishing. The tourist establishments on the lake will guide and organise activities, whilst small cruise ships also provide tours of the lake. The Malawi Lake Services-operated Llala II cruise liner and in Tanzania, the Songea Ferry transports passengers between ports.

Visit Lake Malawi during the dry season from May to November, when the climate is warm and pleasant with cool evenings and the vegetation is green and lush. October is best for wildlife viewing. It is hot and wet during the rest of the year and conditions are less settled.