What to see in Lake Malawi

Lake Malawi Attractions

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a magnet for travellers and by far the most popular destination in Malawi. The main activities along the lake shore are freshwater diving and snorkelling, game viewing, kayaking, boat rides to various islands and beaches, fishing, horse-riding and simple old sunbathing. In most of the popular tourist hubs mentioned below it is possible to enjoy the resort attractions of watersports and well-groomed beaches as well as more traditional Malawian experiences like shopping in craft markets and homestays with local families.

Tourist facilities are patchy with some luxury resorts offering an all-inclusive experience and other areas remaining largely non-commercialised. ATMs are available here and there and credit card acceptance is on the rise, but neither should be relied upon when exploring the Lake Malawi region - it is best to find out in advance from your resort what to expect and arrange accordingly.

Most of the lake is accessed by short dirt roads leading off the tarred road that runs its length. Outside of the dry season (May to October) these dirt roads can become difficult to traverse; even in the dry months a 4x4 vehicle is ideal for those planning extensive travels. Malawi is described affectionately as 'Africa for Beginners' by travel authorities and although the infrastructure is not always impressive getting around is comparatively easy, especially as the locals are so famously friendly and helpful. Lake Malawi is also pleasantly uncrowded despite its undeniable appeal and visitors seldom struggle with reservations for accommodation, restaurants and activities.

Cape Maclear

Cape Maclear (Chembe) is a small fishing village on Lake Malawi. It has one dirt road leading into town along…

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Lake Malawi National Park

Established in 1980, Lake Malawi National Park is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its importance in the study…

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Likoma Island

Likoma Island is an isolated enclave of Malawi, completely surrounded by Mozambican waters, and was colonised by Anglican…

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Monkey Bay

A small port town on the southern end of Lake Malawi, Monkey Bay (Lusumbwe) is probably Malawi's best-known resort area.…

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Nkhata Bay

Nkhata Bay is a busy fishing village on the shores of Lake Malawi, near Mzuzu. The town is well-placed for tourists to…

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A small and basic town on the shores of Lake Malawi, Nkhotakota has a traditional market and a few hotels and bars, but…

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Salima, the most convenient entry point to Lake Malawi for travellers, is a one- to two-hour drive from Lilongwe. The…

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