Malawi named one of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel Top Countries for 2022! Find out more.
Malawi named one of Lonely Planet's Best in Travel Top Countries for 2022! Find out more.
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When searching for the perfect destination to snorkel, Lake Malawi has it all. Clear and calm waters that allow up to 30 metres of visibility at the best times of the year (August to December) to discover the underwater world of Malawi’s famous cichlid fish. As well as an extensive fish population and fascinating rock formations it’s no wonder that a section of Lake Malawi, the Lake Malawi National Park, has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best freshwater locations for water sports in the world. Even using the most basic of snorkelling gear gives good results in the right places, with fish of dazzling colours coming within inches of you. The fish feed from surfaces of the rocks in the Lake and so are very easily seen by snorkelling around any rocky headlands or small rocky islands. They will stay feeding until the very last moment that an outstretched hand tries to touch them!

Snorkelling is available are pretty much all Lakeshore locations and most lodges and hotels have equipment that can be used by their guests without charge.

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Places offering Snorkelling


Chintheche offers some of the best beaches on Lake Malawi, with a collection of luxury lodges right by the shore.

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

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.

Manda Wilderness (Mozambique)

A massive 100,000 ha area of Mozambique land which runs to the eastern shore of Lake Malawi forms the Manda Wilderness Community Reserve.

Mangochi Lakeshore

The Mangochi Lakeshore is a strip of southern Lake Malawi where many popular hotels and resorts offer beachside accommodation.

Marelli Islands

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

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. 

Similar Activities

Scuba Diving

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.

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.

Boat Trips

Unsurprisingly for a Lake of its size, there is a good range of boat trips available on Lake Malawi on vessels of all sizes.