is located in Malawi
Also known as Lake Nyasa in Tanzania and Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is the most southerly lake of the Great Rift Valley system, bordered by Mozambique and Tanzania, but most commonly accessed from the western shoreline in Malawi.
At 29,600 square kilometres in area, 560 kilometres in length and 706 metres deep, Lake Malawi is the fourth largest freshwater lake in the world by volume, the ninth largest by area and the second deepest Africa after Lake Tanganyika.
The lake is fed by river systems on all sides, but only has one exit, the Shire River, which flows south through Liwonde National Park and on to join the Zambezi River four hundred kilometres to the south, th confluence lying 100km from the Indian Ocean. However 80% of the lake's water is lost to evaporation.
The lake is home to more species of fish than any other lake in the world, with between 700 and 1000 species of cichlids, of which all but four are endemic to this body of water and its tributaries.
The primary reason to visit this area is to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the lake and to partake in a wide range of water-based activities including sailing, snorkelling, diving, water-skiing, wind-surfing and fishing.
Most of the accommodation in the area sits within the Lake Malawi National Park, the only conservation area in the country specifically created to protect aquatic habitats.
South Lake is an area we tend to recommend relatively frequently, since it contains the majority of the best lakeside accommodation in the country, notably around Cape Maclear and its various offshore islands. The area can be easily accessed by road from the city of Lilongwe in around 2 hours. The vast majority of visitors tend to stay in one camp for 3 to 6 nights.Pumulani Lodge
... is the most upmarket option in the area, a really high class beach lodge which is owned by one of Zambia's leading safari operators.Danforth Lodge
... is another nice option in the same area, but considerably lower priced.Mumbo Island Lodge
... is a simple but very cool small beach lodge set on a small island around 10km offshore from Cape Maclear, a big favourite amongst our more outdoorsy guests.
Likoma Island is an 18 square kilometre landmass situated on the eastern side of Lake Malawi, just 7km from Mozambique. The island has a number of glorious sandy beaches and rocky coves, whose crystal clear waters offer some of the best diving and snorkelling in Malawi.Kaya Mawa Lodge
... set on the remote Likoma Island is by far the most common reason for our guests to visit this area and is surely one of the most alluring beach locations in Africa.
Nkhata Bay is often referred to as the backpacking capital of the country, a place which offers a low-cost 'party' environment for the younger crowd coming on overland trucks.
The area is most commonly combined by air and road with safari in South Luangwa
over in Zambia. It can also be combined by road with other areas of Malawi including Central Malawi
, Mount Mulanje
and Majete and Lengwe