11 November 2010

Lake Malawi / Lake Nyasa fact file

Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world, probably over 500 from ten families. Particularly noteworthy are the Cichlids, of which all but five of over 400 species are endemic to Lake Malawi. The lake contains 30% of all known cichlid species.

Lake Malawi, the third largest in Africa and the eighth largest lake in the world, is located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It is the second deepest lake in Africa (only Lake Tanganyika is deeper), though its northern shore gives no hint of its depth.

View Lake Malawi... or should I say Lake Nyassa? in a larger map

Lake Malawi (or Lake Nyasa) is roughly 580 kilometres long, and about 75 kilometres wide at its widest point. The total surface area of this lake is about 29,600km².

The geographic name of the lake itself is highly disputed. Malawi claims that the lake is named "Lake Malawi", whereas most other countries, most notably the Republic of Tanzania, and many internationally-made maps state that the name of the lake is "Lake Nyasa". The official Mozambican name is "Lago Niassa".

"Lake of Stars" is the nickname for Lake Malawi coined back in the days by David Livingstone. The name reffers to the lights from lanterns of the fisherman in Malawi on their boats, that resemble, from a distance, stars in the sky. Today the "Lake of Stars" is also an annual music festival held at the shores of Lake Malawi in Malawi. 

btw - ever thought about renting a houseboat? Well, no problem on Lake Malawi. The Magunda, based in Cape Maclear in the south of the lake, is a 12 bed, luxurious houseboat fitted with a kitchen, lounge and dining area, toilets and showers, a diving platform, and upper deck. The boat has four cabins, two of which have double beds, one has four beds, and the crew cabin has four beds. [more info]

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