Malawi's defining feature and most famous attraction, vast Lake Malawi is a huge freshwater lake measuring approximately 587km long and 83km wide. Easily mistaken as an inland sea, the illusion is fostered by an extraordinary depth of 700m and golden beaches of inviting sand.
A haven for water sports enthusiasts, the lake can be explored with snorkelling, sailing, kayaking and water skiing. However, the remarkably clear waters particularly lend themselves to scuba diving, which is not only an exciting activity to enjoy but a great way to uncover the lake's incredible biodiversity.
Holding one of the highest concentrations of fish in any lake in the world, the endemic Lake Malawi cichlids are most noteworthy: their brightly coloured scales providing a vibrant display. The lake's impressive fish population has been a long-time provider for Malawi's economy, with fishing villages scattered along the shorelines.
However, the shores are hardly dominated by the fishing industry and there are plenty of uninhabited beaches to steal a quiet moment. Reminiscent of an Indian Ocean Island escape, beach holidays to Lake Malawi are a surreal experience; with the surrounding natural beauty extremely convincing that this is anything but a lakeside holiday in a landlocked country. Accommodation such as Mumbo Island Camp and Kaya Mawa cleverly take advantage of such an envious setting, both embracing a castaway feel and both found on tropical islands on the lake.
The southern end of Lake Malawi is a dedicated World Heritage Site and National Park. Strongly rooted in conservation, the park is an excellent place to see cichlids as well as a magnificent array of mammals and birdlife.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Lake Malawi
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Set on the western shores of Lake Malawi, relax on a white sandy beach, take on thrilling water sports and dine al fresco on the lawn, weather permitting.
Sail the stunning waters of Lake Malawi aboard the yacht Mufusa. Stay in comfortable accommodation, wit a lodge on shore offering 8 spacious rooms. Keep yourself occupied with a host of water sports activities and fantastic diving.
The golden sands of Likoma Island are yours to explore from stunning Kaya Mawa, an excellent property that provides the gateway to water sports and diving on Lake Malawi.
Only 1km in diameter, this island is an untouched paradise holding strong eco-principles. An intimate property, Mumbo Island offers tented accommodation and beautiful surrounds that are perfect for diving and snorkelling.
Found on the southern shores of Lake Malawi, from this attractive property stay in one of 10 villas and enjoy a fantastic range of activities, including guided walks and diving.
Stay in handmade accommodation and take in the stunning scenery of Lake Malawi. A beachfront property, facilities are strong: relax at the spa or play a round at the adjacent 9 hole golf course.
Found on Nankoma Island, stay in spacious tented chalets and enjoy a range of activities, including superb sucba diving to bring you closer to Lake Malawi's colourful cichlid.
Found on Domwe Island, this simple camp has an exclusive location with the surrounding natural beauty and a small beach the ideal escape from the outside world.
All Malawi accommodations