The clear, calm, warm, shark-free and tideless waters with an abundant fish population (around 1000 species), and fascinating rock formations make Lake Malawi an excellent place to dive. It is widely recognised as one of the best freshwater diving locations in the world, and one of the cheaper places to learn to dive. Visibility can reach 30 m at the best times of year (August to December).
Diving is available at Mumbo & Domwe Island camps (Lake Malawi National Park) as well as Blue Zebra on the Marelli Islands. There is also a long-established dive school available to those staying at Nkhata Bay and one out on Likoma Island. As well as casual dives, one to six day courses are available with professional tuition and PADI or NAUI certification. Alternatively, sailing tours can be taken to incorporate day or night dives.
Though equipment is available for hire it is best to bring your own mask, snorkel and flippers. A 3mm wetsuit is recommended for the 22°C – 27°C waters. The Lake’s altitude of 474m above sea level will require appropriate adjustment of decompression tables.
To read Aaron Gekoski’s entertaining and wonderfully illustrated article in Divesite about diving in Lake Malawi click here.
Places offering Scuba Diving
Lake Malawi National Park
Lake Malawi National Park is the world's first freshwater national park and world heritage site, situated at Cape Maclear.
Likoma Island sits on the far side of the Lake Malawi in Mozambican waters. The island is home to stunning beaches and lodges, with access by boat or aircraft.
The Marelli Islands group, consist of three uninhabited islands that are protected as part of the Lake Malawi National Park. They are 3 km from the Senga Bay shore.
Nkhata Bay is a small sheltered harbour on Lake Malawi's northern shore. It is a focus for the fishing industry but becoming increasingly important as a tourist centre.
When looking for the perfect destination to snorkel, Lake Malawi has it all. Discover the underwater world of Malawi's famous cichlid fish in clear and calm waters with visibility up to 30 m.
Kayaking & Sailing
The vast body of water that is Lake Malawi provides the perfect 'playground' for kayaking/canoeing and sailing. Excursions can range from an hour or so up to a number of days.
Unsurprisingly for a Lake of its size, there is a good range of boat trips available on Lake Malawi on vessels of all sizes.