Watch the locals fish on the shores or in their hollowed tree trunks out on the clear blue lake. Locals washing their clothes, their children and themselves. See the children play and making bonfires at dusk. Watch at night the fishers lights at the lake and the millions of stars above it.
Lake Malawi National Park is a national park at the southern end of Lake Malawi. It is the only national park in Malawi that was created with the purpose of protecting fish and aquatic habitats. Despite this being its main purpose, Lake Malawi National Park includes a fair amount of land, including a headland, the foreshore and several small rocky islands in Lake Malawi.
A trip to the shores of Lake Malawi will also offer you a variety of activities to do from cruises along the lake with a scenery of rich bird life and traditional fishing points, to water sports like diving, snorkeling, boat cruises, fishing, sailing, kayaking, water skiing, feeding the eagles and sail boarding. Lake Malawi is one of the most relaxing destinations in the world!.
Likoma Island is the larger of Lake Malawi’s two inhabited offshore islands. It is a home to over 9,000 inhabitants. There are nice baobab and Mango trees. It has rocky cliffs, sandy bays, mangrove swamps, and fishing is the islander’s main occupation. Some of the best diving and snorkeling is found here. There is a magnificent 100-year old cathedral 'St. Peter Cathedral', which is a pride of the original missionary community.
Interested in the history of Africa’s colonial past? A visit to Nkhotakota on the vast inland sea of Lake Malawi will give you the most of it. The town originated as a group of 19th century tribal villages heavily involved in the Arab slave trade and was the location of a meeting between explorer and missionary David Livingstone, the local headman, and the slave traders. The tree under which the confrontation took place can still be seen. Chongoni Rock-art World Heritage site in Dedza is also a must visit.
Places to Visit on Lake Malawi
There are a number of places of interest to visit along the length of the lake, and good lodges to be found, with a few collections in areas of particular beauty. In South Malawi, between Mangochi and Monkey Bay is a long line of wonderful beaches backed by a variety of accommodation. This Mangochi Lakeshore has the Lake’s greatest concentration of lodges and hotels. Monkey Bay is a functional port town, but round the headland is Cape Maclear and the Lake Malawi National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a veritable aquarium of tropical fish. In recent years, a number of high quality lodges have been built in this area.
Central Malawi’s Senga Bay is another place where there are a number of lodges & hotels, and it benefits from being the closest point on the lake to Lilongwe. Just off shore are the 3 Marelli Islands, which mark the northerly extent of the Lake Malawi National Park. The stretch between the historic Nkhotakota and the sugar estate town of Dwangwa has a smattering of lodges.
Another concentration of lodges is found on the Chintheche lakeshore in North Malawi, which has some stunning beaches. Nkhata Bay is primarily a port town, but has grown as a center for independent travelers. The Northern Lakeshore beyond Chitimba has fewer lodges, and Karonga, an important archeological centre, is the only town of note before reaching Tanzania. Across the lake, into Mozambiquan waters, is Likoma Island. Not only does it have some beautiful beaches, and accommodation, but also a missionary-built cathedral the size of Winchester’s. A nearby stretch of the Mozambique shoreline, Manda Wilderness, is a 120,000 hectare community reserve of unspoilt wilderness and white sand beaches.
There is the famous Illala boat which is a 400 tone passenger vessel and has a capacity of 450 passenger seats. It offers boat transportation between Monkey bay in the south, and Chilumba in the North, calling it at Likoma and Chizumulu Island both northbound and southbound. It has cabin class, first class, second class, and economy class facilities as well as bars and restaurants. Its weekly travels along Lake Malawi provides passengers with spectacular views of constantly changing scenery.
Water taxis along Lake Malawi are available. Ferries connect the islands in the lake at a reasonably price. There is also a four-hour trip from Tanzania’s Mbamba Bay to Nkhata bay in Malawi. When it comes to small boats, the Lake is best known for its kayaking & sailing options with kayaks & canoes available at most beach lodges and even the option to take on longer expeditions along the lakeshore. A few lodges have small sailing boats for personal use or larger ones for a leisurely cruise. The crystal clear water of Lake Malawi make it an ideal location for snorkeling, and donning a mask will give immediate access to the colorful kaleidoscope of tropical fish that live in the Lake and feed from the rocks along the shore. For those who wish to go that little bit deeper, there are a number of PADI registered dive schools along the lakeshore who offer great value scuba diving, including full courses to learn how to dive. One or two lodges even offer water skiing and sailboards and paddle boards are to be found at others. For the less energetic, boat trips range from the famous mv Ilala lake ferry to sailing in an ocean-going yacht. Cruises into the upper reaches of the great Shire river are also possible.