Malawi may be landlocked but, for the angler, the Lake, together with a surprising variety of river conditions, makes the country a most rewarding destinations.
In Lake Malawi itself have evolved more than 400 species of fish, of which 95% are found nowhere else. The great majority are brilliantly coloured tropical aquarium fish, many of them types of cichlid or mbuna. The Lake also contains many kinds of game fish too - Tiger Fish, ncheni, and Lake Salmon, mpasa, an even doughtier fighter confined to the centre and north, providing some of the most exciting sport.
Around the river mouths near Salima and off Mbenje Island a little further north, two species of catfish, vundu and the delicious kampango, both regularly exceed 10kg.
On the upper Shire River many of the Lake fish are found, including sungwa, a type of perch, which here makes up in cunning what it concedes in weight to its Lake cousins. Just below the Kapichira Falls in Majete are numbers of ncheni up to 7kg, and lower down vundu up to 15kg and barbel up to 28kg swim up from the Zambezi.
The lakeside hotels are excellent centres for angling and boats can be arranged in advance. The fish in Lake Malawi have always been a major source of food for many local people but overfishing has become a major problem - fish like Chambo, once abundant, are now scarce and if caught, very small. The government is trying to restrict locals trawling for fish and educating them to respect breeding and growth periods.
Freshwater Trout fishing is a popular sport in the trout dams and streams of Zomba Plateau, Nyika Plateau and Mulanje Massif. The angling season is from September to May and visitors should bring their own rod and tackle. Locally made flies are available. You may need a fishing permit, check with Angling Society of Malawi .