Lake Malawi – the jewel in Malawi’s crown

Having given an outline of Malawi’s distinctive number of points of interest in final month’s weblog (lake, panorama, wildlife and tradition), this month we are going to focus in on what might be the perfect identified: Lake Malawi. Broadly considered as Malawi’s main tourism asset and also referred to as the Lake of Stars, Lake Malawi is a wondrous inland sea of crystal-clear waters fringed by seashores of golden sand.

A shimmering jewel within the crown of some of the naturally lovely corners of Southern Africa, Lake Malawi’s nice expanse of recent water stretches throughout approximated one fifth of the nation, offering in some ways the lifeblood of this tiny nation.  Ebbing and flowing into each a part of Malawian life, the Lake brings sustenance, livelihood, tourism and leisure and types an integral a part of Malawi’s cultural heritage. Typically often called the ‘Calendar Lake’ as a result of it’s 365 miles lengthy and 52 miles vast (i.e. variety of days in a 12 months by the variety of weeks in a 12 months) and simply qualifying as an inland sea, Lake Malawi additionally borders Mozambique and Tanzania the place it is named Lake Nyassa.

The Lake Malawi Nationwide Park is the world’s first freshwater nationwide park. The aquatic wonderland at Cape Maclear and its surrounding areas has earned a UNESCO World Heritage Web site standing, which encompasses the land across the cape and bay, in addition to the Lake and plenty of islands off shore.

Swimming with the fish is a favorite pastime in Lake Malawi; dubbed ‘God’s Aquarium’ it provides an unimaginable kaleidoscopic show of spectacular colored tropical fish. The lake is residence to virtually 1000 species of fish round 80% of which can’t be present in some other lake on the planet. The Cichlidae (cichlids) dominate and the lake which is claimed to comprise over thirty per cent of all identified cichlid species. Amongst these are the small extremely colored mbuna rock fish which often grace the aquariums of many a house within the western world. The ample fish populations have made the lake a worldwide ‘hot-spot’ for research of biodiversity, and it’s also extensively recognised as among the finest freshwater diving areas on the planet with visibility reaching 30m at the perfect occasions of 12 months (August to December).

Lake Malawi’s clear, calm, heat, shark-free and tideless waters present a chance for nearly any water sport and the attractive palm fringed shores and immaculate seashores make it a magnet for these searching for an all-year spherical location to swim, scuba dive, snorkel, water-ski, sail, kayak, parasail or just potter about in boats, and the salt-free water is a bonus. A number of the greatest diving is offered within the waters of the Lake Malawi Nationwide Park at Cape Maclear to the south, however there are a handful extra dive faculties dotted alongside the Lake’s shore. One to six-day programs can be found with skilled tuition and PADI or NAUI certification. Alternatively, crusing excursions will be taken to include day or evening dives.

Providing a wealthy fish harvest, the Lake performs an essential half within the financial system. Fishing villages are scattered alongside the shore and the normal trade and practices are additionally an attraction to guests.  In addition to having the ability to go to the villages and expertise the pleasant cultural interplay for which Malawi is famed, guests may also attempt their hand at fishing if they want.

For crusing fanatics, the Lake Malawi Yachting Marathon takes locations yearly in July. Described because the longest freshwater yachting race on the planet (over 500km), this occasion is just not for the faint-hearted sailor. It’s throughout July that the mwera blows strongest up Lake Malawi from Mozambique, creating some tough water and difficult situations. The occasion is fashionable with yachts and crews in southern Africa and has attracted worldwide entrants in some years.  Beginning at one of many resorts on the southern lakeshore, the occasion takes entrants northwards over plenty of days.

Lots of Malawi’s most excessive profile occasions happen on the Lake’s palm fringed shores, together with the Lake of Stars – an internationally famend music & arts pageant which now types a part of the worldwide pageant circuit. Lake of Stars has been going for over 15 years and this 12 months will run as a boutique pageant on the lakeshore in North Malawi from 27 to 29 September.

There’s a good vary of lodging alongside the lakeshore, with wonderful lodges expertly positioned for company to benefit from the areas of excellent pure magnificence. Between Mangochi and Monkey Bay is an extended line of great seashores with all kinds of lodging.  The Mangochi Lakeshore has the Lake’s largest focus of lodges and inns, various from subtle properties, with golf course and airstrip, to extra easy resorts. Greatest identified is the lengthy established and ever spectacular Makokola Retreat, with Zaburi Seashore by Serendib a really welcome new addition to this stretch. For a extra intimate place to remain, Norman Automobile Cottage nearer to Monkey Bay is a captivating family-run lodge.

Cape Maclear and the Lake Malawi Nationwide Park boast a wonderful selection of lodging together with two on abandoned tropical islands: Mumbo and Domwe, the luxurious Pumulani by Robin Pope Safaris and the nice worth Heat Coronary heart Journey Lodge. Most lodging offers very quick access to the seashores and provides a variety of actions on the Lake.

Senga Bay is one other place the place there are a selection of fine lodges and inns, and it advantages from being the closest level on the lake to Lilongwe. Serendib has two extra seashore inns right here: Kambiri Seashore and Blue Waters, with Kumbali Lake Retreat (sister property of Kumbali Nation Lodge in Lilongwe) the decide of the smaller lodges. Blue Zebra Island Lodge is an idyllic retreat by itself island simply off shore.

The stretch of Lakeshore between the historic Nkhotakota and the sugar property city of Dwangwa has a smattering of lodges, with the perfect being the northernmost, Ngala Seashore Lodge.

One other focus of lodging is discovered on the Chintheche lakeshore, which has some gorgeous seashores. Chintheche Inn, run by Central African Wilderness Safaris, has had some thrilling new developments this 12 months and family-run Makuzi Seashore stays as fashionable as ever. For big households or small teams, The Seashore Home provides a chance to occupy a complete home, while The Stables Guesthouse at Kande Horse is ready again from the seashores and, unsurprisingly, concentrates on horse driving experiences.

Venturing throughout Lake Malawi, Likoma Island has the Lake’s greatest identified and most luxurious lodge, Kaya Mawa, in addition to being the primary entry level to get to the barefoot luxurious of Nkwichi Lodge within the Manda Wilderness space on the Mozambiquan shores of the Lake.

Whether or not company select a keep that’s relaxed, or motion packed, Lake Malawi has an enormous quantity to supply any customer to Malawi. This immense and exquisite ‘Lake of Stars’ that entranced the explorer David Livingstone over 150 years in the past has misplaced none of its attract, and the spectacular inns and lodges now dotted alongside its shore make all of it the simpler to succumb to Lake Malawi’s charms in great, relaxed consolation.

Kelly White is Director of the Malawi Travel Marketing Consortium. Malawi Journey Advertising and marketing Consortium goals to offer you the perfect info to make Malawi your tourism vacation spot.

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