Lying on a sandy beach, warm water lapping at ones toes sounds like a typical tropical island getaway. Yet this is Central Africa! Lake Malawi, sometimes called Lake Niassa in local language, stretches 560m between Malawi and Mozambique, is up to 80 km wide and 700m deep. The clear fresh water can be an oasis of calm. And yet can whip up into a frenzy of white-tipped waves in strong winds.
Habitats in the Lake
Crocodiles lurk in the reeds, and you can find hippos and otters on frolicking in the quieter bays. Most of these quieter bays are in wildlife reserves, with the rest of the lake being a constant food source to the locals. Fishermen fetch fishes by nets off little wooden boats in the evenings. The lights from these boats make the lake look like a swimming pool with thousands of floating candles.
Lake Malawi as a place of enjoyment
The southern waters of this lake make up the Cape Maclear National Park, and Chembe Village. At Cape Maclear itself, has become Africa’s own backpacking haven. Here one can lie on the beach, enjoy good food and ‘funny cake’, relax around bonfires at night, swim, dive and generally recover after whatever traveling in Africa can throw at you.
Kayak Africa has set up a camp there, along with kayaking trips to cross the waters to two islands. Mambo and Domwe Islands are like something straight out of Robinson Crusoe’s diary. Their tented camps, although rustic, are comfortable enough never to want to leave. Hammocks hang from the trees. An open fire burns constantly to fill up a coffee pot or a bucket of hot water for an open air shower. Fish eagles are one’s personal alarm clocks to rouse you for a breathtaking sunrise over the lake. Psycadelic lizards are your constant companions when exploring the huge boulders that surround the island, and shoals of cichlid fish can be seen through the clear waters. Days are spent exploring the islands, climbing giant baobab trees for views, snorkeling, diving, swimming, kayaking or just relaxing in a hammock.
Legend has it that at the beginning of the century a lone bull elephant swam over to Mumbo Island. It stayed there in his own private paradise until some colonial hunters made it over the waters to shoot him. Kayak Africa now affectionately calls the island “Mumbo Jumbo”.
Hope you enjoyed this short insight about the great Lake Malawi. Well, don’t forget to Subscribe to our newspaper, and feel free to drop a comment below.