Lake Malawi National Park – Things to do around Lake Malawi
Lake Malawi National Park has been a World Heritage Site since 1984 and is the only park in Malawi to be created for the conservation of fish and aquatic habitats as opposed to most parks that protect wildlife. Considered Malawi’s touristic jewel, this landlocked freshwater lake is second to none, with a length of about 600 km and a width of 75 km. In the north, the lake is an extraordinary 700 metres deep. Looking almost like the ocean itself, this huge expanse of blue water is a breath-taking sight. The lake is filled with brightly coloured fish and aquatic wildlife unique to the lake. Lake Malawi is located between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and for this reason it is also referred to as Lake Nyasa. Fishing villages scattered along the shore have also contributed to the naming of Lake Malawi. As the fishermen set out each evening they often set adrift many lanterns, which from a distance look like stars, leading to the fond nickname of ‘Lake of Stars’. The national park offers an unmatched experience, blending a classic beach holiday with adventure, sport and wildlife. The southern and central areas of the park contain the most popular sites for tourists. These are the areas where most of the lakeside accommodation can be found. There is an impressive choice of accommodation for visitors, ranging from lodges to hotels to backpacker establishments. Mangochi Lakeshore and Monkey Bay have the highest concentration of lodges and hotels, with popular resorts such as Makokola Retreat and Sunbird Nkopola Lodge. Nkhata Bay, located in Nkhata Bay District, is ideal for both couples and families and is especially popular with honeymooners. The bay has golden beaches and the resorts and lodges offer romantic settings.
Birds of Lake Malawi national park
Malawi is an incredible destination for birders. It hosts over 670 bird species all over the country out of which about 530 species breed in their habitats inside the country. They will be easy to spot in the wet season from November to April after arrival of migratory birds from Europe, Asia and North Africa. Lake Manyara hosts a number of water birds including fish eagles, cormorants, egrets, fish eagles and forest and savannah birds. Birders should expect to spot little bee-fly catcher, lilac breasted roller, African hoopoe, babbling starling, black stork, blue swallow, Burchell’s coucal, European honey buzzard, red-necked falcon, mottled spinetail, swallow-tailed bee catcher and wattled crane to mention but a few.
Malawi is a bird sanctuary with population of 650 species recorded throughout the country. The primary species that wing the Malawi region are woodland and grassland birds. On bird watching safaris, guests can spot species including Livingstone flycatcher, Lilian’s lovebird, fish eagle, kingfishers, egrets and pelicans.
Wildlife of Lake Malawi national park
The transparent waters of Lake Malawi are home to over 350 species of endemic Cichlid fish…Cichlid fish? Yes, present in almost every aquarium across the world. In a variety of colours and sizes, these make for excellent snorkelling sightings! There is also abundant birdlife from the darting cormorant to the regal fish eagle and of course the famously large nested hammerkop for birders this is an aquatic bird paradise. Not to forget, as it is freshwater we have 2 species of otter here which are regularly sighted along the shoreline and even on some of the islands. You may also be shocked to hear that snakes are very good swimmers so if you are between the shore and the islands have a look out for a more unusual swimmer!
How to Get to Lake Malawi national park?
The nearest airport to Lake Malawi National Park is Club Makokola (CMK) clients wanting to fly can charter air craft. However the easiest option for getting to Lake Malawi National Park is by road the distance between Lilongwe and Lake Malawi National Park is 118 km. The road distance is 210.5 km which takes approximately 2h 56m to drive 210.5 km from Lilongwe to Lake Malawi National Park.
Where to stay in Lake Malawi national park?
-Annie’s Lodge cape maclear.
-Mufasa Eco- Lodge.
-Thumbi View Lodge.
-Monkey Bay Beach Lodge.
Best time to visit Lake Malawi national park.
Malawi has a hot summer rainfall season from November to April so the best time to visit is during the drier winter months – early May to late October. Winter gets chilly high up on the northern Nyika Plateau but down on the shore of Lake Malawi you can expect warm, sunny and dry days – great beach weather!