Only in Malawi - Lake Malawi

A UNESCO World’s Heritage Site and Yahoo Travel’s Best Lake in the World 2011

Few people are aware that Malawi hosts one of the world's most stunning bodies of water, Lake Malawi. In Africa, only Lakes Victoria and Tanganyika are larger. Lake Malawi however, has recently been nominated the Most Beautiful Lake Worldwide by Yahoo Travel. The particular geological formation of the lake, resulted from the Rift Valley formation, makes it truly unique. It can often be describe as an inland sea, because it is vast and sandy, and in a way it resembles the coasts of the Indian Ocean. It was elected a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it is consitently featured in Patricia Schulz travel book best seller "1000 places to see before you die: a Travellers Life List". 

This jewel in the crown of the country’s tourist attractions was discovered by the famous missionary and explorer Dr David Livingstone just over 150 years ago. Today, Lake Malawi is not only a scenic wonderland but it provides water sport opportunities for those looking for something beyond sun, sand and swimming.

The lake is sitauted in part of the Great East African Rift Valley system, and its size size is impressive: 585 X 80 kilometres. It was nicknamed Calendar Lake, as in miles it shows the measures 365 (number of days in a year) X 52 (number of weeks in a year).  Basically all the larger rivers flowing into the lake come from the west but surprisingly only one river flows out, the Shire river. The waters eventually spill into the Indian Ocean through the Zambezi.

Access to the Lake is possible along much of its length but sometimes it is necessary to take a short detour off the main roads to reach the beach. And despite human settlements are an attraction, there are long stretches of deserted and uninhabited golden sand shores, lapped by crystal clear waters.

Kayaking, sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving and water skiing are just some of the lake activities available to visitors. Journeys by lake range from the famous motor vessel, the Ilala to sailing in an ocean-going yacht. Cruises into the upper reaches of the great Shire river are also possible.

Some possible contacts to experience Lake Malawi:

Makuzi Beach Lodge

Kaya Mawa Lodge (Likoma Island)

Ngala Beach Lodge

Mumbo Island Camp

Cape MacLodge