Lake Malawi (National Park)
Lake Malawi (National Park)
Lake Malawi National Park was the very first freshwater national park declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1984. This status protects the diversity of endemic fish as well as the aquatic habitat. Although the Lake covers one-third of the country, the National Park is only 94 square kilometers including a land area around the cape, some islands, and of course, the lake up to 100 meters offshore. Lake Malawi National Park is located in the South of the lake near Cape Maclear.
Wildlife of Lake Malawi National Park
The transparent waters of Lake Malawi are home to over 350 species of endemic Cichlid fish…Cichlid fish? Yes, present in almost every aquarium across the world. In a variety of colours and sizes, these make for excellent snorkelling sightings! There is also abundant birdlife from the darting cormorant to the regal fish eagle and of course the famously large nested hammerkop for birders this is an aquatic bird paradise. Not to forget, as it is freshwater we have 2 species of otter here which are regularly sighted along the shoreline and even on some of the islands. You may also be shocked to hear that snakes are very good swimmers so if you are between the shore and the islands have a lookout for a more unusual swimmer!
Vegetation of Lake Malawi National Park
The lake's surrounding offers stunning scenery of rocky mountains plunging into the crystal clear water, webbed by large-leaved rock fig trees, scrambling atop and plunging their roots into the many cracks and crevices. You will also notice along the shore and on the roadside, numerous baobab trees and flat-top acacias to tickle the senses that you’re in Africa. Sunsets are one of a kind, and the nights provide the Lake with its nickname of “lake of stars” as you can see hundreds of little lights coming from the fishermen's boats.
What to do in Lake Malawi National Park
Scuba diving: The lake is a popular destination for scuba diving with people visiting especially to dive. Many resorts along the lakeshore offer scuba diving at very good prices. Some even offer night dives, which is extremely popular as all the nocturnal creatures come out to play.
Water sports: Different lodges offer varying water sports activities, some will offer motorized sports, such as wakeboarding and tubing, and most will offer non-motorized activities such as kayaking.
Hiking: There are a few hiking trails around the national park. Each one offers fantastic and rewarding views. The difficulty isn’t particularly hard but be sure to take plenty of water.
Snorkelling: A dive is great and you can see some incredibly unique fish however if you don’t have your PADI don’t fear! Thanks to the beautifully clear waters you can see a whole lot by just putting on a snorkel mask. Ask us or your lodge for top snorkel spots.
Kayaking: Why not grab a picnic and a kayak and head off to explore the islands around the shore of Malawi? Explore the coastline of Lake Malawi, you are likely to spot a whole lot of aquatic birds, see the Fish eagle fishing and if you are lucky you may spot an otter or two.
Who the park is good for
Passionate about fish, birds or diving? Lake Malawi will be your paradise! If you love to kayak, dive or even just swim, relax or engage with the locals, Lake Malawi National Park is the right destination for you.