The 29,600km2 body of water known as Lake Malawi in Malawi and Lake Nyasa in its other two countries (Tanzania and Mozambique) is possibly the most scenic lake in Africa. Its flat, fresh, 585km long and contained between tall Rift Valley mountains.

watersports : water skiing [© 2011 Pulse Africa -]    boat sunset [© 2011 Pulse Africa -]    

The surface of the Lake is 1550ft (470m) above sea level. In the north it is quite extraordinarily deep: 2300ft (700m), plunging well below sea level. This reflects the enormity of the natural faulting of the Great Rift Valley which is the origin of the Lake itself.

For much of the year the Lake is placid, a gentle giant, but, especially when strong winds blow north or south, it can become an angry monster. Because of its potentially rich harvest of fish, the Lake plays an important part in the country's economy. Fishing villages are scattered along the length of the lakeshore and the traditional industry and practices are an attraction to visitors.

Access to the Lake is possible along much of its length but it should be noted that it is usually necessary to take a short detour off the main roads in order to reach the beach. Despite the attraction the Lake has to settlement, there are long stretches of totally uninhabited golden sand lakeshore, and plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy activities on and in the waters.

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Best time for visiting Lake Malawi

best time: June - October / good time: March - May

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