Lake Malawi National Park


  3 reviews
Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi
About Lake Malawi National Park
Country found in:
Parks total area:
94 km² (58 miles²)
Year established:
1980
Anti-malarial:
Absolutely!
Park wildlife:
  • The landscape consists of wooded hillsides, swamps, sandy beaches and lagoons
  • The lake boasts a highly diverse and unique marine life, housing the largest number of species of any lake in the world
  • A variety of activities is available to visitors, such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, bird watching and boating or paddling
  • Visit during the dry season, from April/May through October/November, when there is little chance of rain and temperatures are mild

Lake Malawi National Park is located at the southern end of Lake Malawi, one of the deepest lakes in the world. With its clear waters and mountain backdrop, Lake Malawi National Park stretches an estimated 94 km² (58 miles²). This includes part of Cape Maclear Peninsula and twelve small islands roughly 100 m (300 ft) off shore.  The park consists of a rocky shoreline, wooded hillsides, swamps, sandy beaches and lagoons. A large baobab tree believed to be 800 years old is a popular sight within the park. Lake Malawi is considered to be one of the largest tourist attractions in the country.

Lake Malawi National Park was designated the world’s first fresh water National Park in 1980 and a World Heritage Site in 1984, in order to protect the diversity of marine life, most of which is endemic. Lake Malawi contains between 500 and 1,000 fish species – the largest number of any lake in the world, making Lake Malawi a globally important area of biodiversity conservation – with about half of those contained in the park area. Most notable is the Cichlidae, as the lake contains 30% of all known cichlid species. Although the lake is an abundant fishing resource for populations dependent on fishing as a livelihood, native species such as the mbuna rock fish are threatened by extreme fishing activity from villages in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. Lake Malawi National Park also houses various mammals, birds and reptiles, such as baboons, blue monkeys, African pythons, hippos, crocodiles and black eagles.

There is a variety of activities available to visitors, such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, and bird watching. Visitors can also boat or paddle, exploring the different islands in Rift Valley. 


When to visit Lake Malawi National Park

The best time to visit Lake Malawi is during the dry (winter) season, which runs from April/May through October/November. At that time, there is little to no chance of rain and temperatures during the day run in the 20s C (68 F). Game viewing is at its best, due to low vegetation and animals gathering at perennial water holes. However, for bird watching November through April is said to be the best. Malawi’s climate is regulated by altitude, and rainfall is extremely rare in the dry season. Even in the “wet season” the rains are usually short-lived and never inhibit travelers.

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Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Jan 09, 2014   |   Visited: Aug 2011.
Lake Malawi should be right up there on any traveller’s bucket list. It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places in Africa - as close to a beach holiday as you can get without actually travelling to the ocean. I’m talking sandy beaches, remarkably clear water; gorgeous scenery, balmy nights and romance by the bucket loads.

For those who don’t know ... read more

I saw

Vervet monkey
Warthog
Hippopotamus
Nile crocodile
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9 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:
** Safari guru **

(4/5 stars) Written on: May 28, 2013   |   Visited: Dec 2010.
A great place to relax on the southern end of the lake.
We came by steamboat down the lake, which I will tell you grows wearisome. Pay the extra for the cabin, and expect many long, slow days with various delays. A good time for rum and writing.
At the park, there are elephants galore. Best elephants I can recall in Africa during my two long visits. There's some ... read more

I saw

Elephant
Dik dik
Warthog
Hippopotamus
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11 people gave this review kudus.
Reviewed by:

(5/5 stars) Written on: Apr 22, 2013   |   Visited: May 1996.
Though it looks thin and small on a map, this lake is large and magnificent. Staying at the south end for 10 days was the most luxurious stay one could have hoped for! There are islands out in the water, and storms can rage without notice from one side to another - - filling the skies with multi-color thunderclouds. Most of the weather was lovely, however, and t... read more
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11 people gave this review kudus.
Safari suitability: 4 / 10
Leopards and the occasional elephant can be seen, and there are other options available besides 4x4 rides.
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Articles about the Lake Malawi

Nearby parks and game reserves

Animals you can find

Leopard
Leopard
Elephant
Elephant
Dik dik
Dik dik
Hyena
Hyena
Jackal
Jackal
Terrapin
Terrapin
See a complete list

Getting to Lake Malawi

Activities you can do

Horseback riding
Horseback riding
Beaches
Beaches
Bird watching
Bird watching
Boating / canoeing
Boating / canoeing
Cultural / Tribal visits
Cultural / Tribal visits
Fishing
Fishing
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