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What to do in Malawi
Posted on: Wednesday, June 07, 2017
Blog Category: 'Malawi General'

'What to do in Malawi' written by Cordula Pfluegl (Timbuktu)

The great explorer David Livingstone nicknamed Lake Malawi: "The Lake Of Stars", when he observed thousands of fishermen lanterns shimmering on the expanse of water at night. Indeed, the 29 000 square-kilometer lake holds more fish species than any other lake in the world. When you stand on the shore, you might be forgiven for thinking you were looking out over a great inland ocean. This makes Lake Malawi the ultimate spot for a couple of great (and very active) experiences. From snorkeling, sailing and kayaking to exploring the hiking trails around the glorious lake, you will almost feel like the initial explorer himself.

Lake Malawi hiking trails

Stride out onto one of the nature trails that wind around huge granite boulders, confident in the knowledge that there are no venomous snakes or dangerous animals on the island. Walk through woodlands of baobab, fig, mahogany and miombo trees and enjoy the views out over the lake.

Best time: May-September


Lake Malawi is an inland sea with lovely beaches and warm fresh water, where you can indulge in your passion for water sports. Kayaking the lake should be at the top of your list.  It's also a superb place to snorkel or dive among a blaze of bright fish. If you want to chill, go birding on a boat cruise.

Best time: April - Early November

Snorkel with the endemic fish

Float above thousands of colourful fish in Africa’s great Lake Malawi. This huge body of freshwater hosts perhaps the largest number of fish species of any lake in Africa. Due to the Lake’s high alkalinity, it also has an amazingly high proportion of endemic brightly-coloured fish. This makes for an amazing snorkelling experience in the clear, turquoise water beside your lodge. There are also few plants and organic material in the lake, which makes for amazing visibility above the sandy and rocky bottom. Dive into the waters and get lost in this gin-clear paradise, as you search out new species of fish, or just sink to the floor and let your body float up to the surface as all your troubles melt away.

Best time: August - December


The waters of Lake Malawi are free of tides or currents and excellent for sailing. Winds are rarely very high but there's always a breeze for sail boats. If you're not confident of your own sailing skills, board a skippered catamaran or yacht to experience the freedom of sailing with the wind in your hair.

Best time: Late April - October

Find out more about Malawi on Timbuktu here.

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