The Best Things to Do Around Lake Malawi

Fishermen at sunset on Lake Malawi
Fishermen at sunset on Lake Malawi | © SarahDepper / Flickr

There are many thrilling activities to be enjoyed at the beautiful waters of Lake Malawi. Tourists from across the world visit Malawi, the warm heart of Africa, to have memorable experiences of activities that are inspiring and exciting around the vast waters. The following are some of the activities to enjoy on your next visit to the famous Malawian Lake.

Kayaking​ and Canoeing at Butterfly Space in Nkhata Bay

One of the most exciting experiences at Lake Malawi is kayaking and canoeing at the Butterfly Space in Nkhata Bay district in the northern region. The waters of Lake Malawi in this part of the country are very deep, making it a nice spot for kayaking or canoeing. Kayaking and canoeing take the guests to the traditional villages such as Usisya and Rurawe at the north of Nkhata Bay. In these villages, visitors enjoy participating in traditional dances like Malipenga dances. Kayaks and canoes can be hired at Butterfly Space with experienced guides who take the guests to different parts of the lake. It is quite exhilarating to ride the kayaks through the water waves. Feeding the fish eagle at Njaya Lodge is another memorable experience for visitors who love wildlife. There is a large population of African fish eagles in the islands of Nkhatabay district and visitors who come to the lake enjoy giving fish to the national bird. Apart from nestling in the islands and vegetation sites on the shore lands, fish eagles are also found in other more attractive places like the beaches at Njaya Lodge located along the Lake in Nkhatabay. It is a beautiful venture watching the eagles catching the fish being thrown to them. Other times, guests just watch the eagles flying over the waters and catch the fish straight from the waters of Lake Malawi.

Party at Chikale Beach on Sunday

Every Sunday is a beach party day for the guests at Chikale Beach in Nkhatabay district. The beach at Chikale Lodge, located on the hills, provides an attractive setting for parties that invite both foreigners and locals from the surrounding areas such as Mzuzu city. There is music, food and cocktails during these parties and there is always a huge crowd on Sundays at Chikale Beach. It is located just a 10-minute drive from Nkhatabay town. The parties at this beach mostly end up with bonfire at night, and the music continues till the next day.

Horse riding at Kande Beach

At Kande Beach which is located along Lake Malawi in Nkhatabay district, horse riding is an activity that most people find exciting and relaxing. After a swim and sun-bathe on the beach, visitors enjoy a horse ride along the shore. Riding a horse on the shiny sand of the beaches of Lake Malawi makes the rider feel the warm heartedness of Africa. Especially as the sun is setting, taking pictures of horse riding at Lake Malawi looks great. Others like to horse ride through a quiet forest leading to the nearby villages. Play Beach soccer at the Livingstonia Beach. Beach soccer is very popular in the beaches along Lake Malawi. For instance, at Livingstonia beach in the lakeshore district of Salima, playing beach soccer is a game loved by many. During festivities such as Christmas, the beach is always filled with people playing different games and beach soccer is one of them. There are tournaments of beach soccer where winners go away with different prizes at Livingstonia Beach. The guests that have passion for the game either play or enjoy cheering while drinking a cold beer. Sporting activities in general are plentiful along the beaches of Lake Malawi.

Dance the night away at Zithere Pano night club

Zithere Pano (local phrase meaning spend all your money here) is a hot spot in Mangochi district, through which Lake Malawi passes. The club is patronised by visitors who have come to see the lake from this part of southern region of Malawi. Night life is made complete at Zithere Pano club. The fully-stocked bar, located along the lakeshore road, is a centre for live music. Famous local bands like Zembani and Black Missionaries often perform at this club. Attending a music show at Zithere is a memorable activity guests experience when they visit Lake Malawi.

Snorkelling and diving at Likoma Island

There are visitors who come to Malawi specifically to see the creatures beneath Lake Malawi. Those who love snorkelling find Lake Malawi a beautiful place to visit, especially the Nkhata Bay district because the lake is very deep. The water is crystal clear, making it easy for divers to see different species of fish, like Chambo of the tilapia family and the famous Butterfish. There are beautiful places for snorkelling on Lake Malawi, and Likoma Island in the Northern region is one. Apart from viewing fish underneath the vast waters that surround this beautiful island, there other creatures such as octopuses.

Buy crafts at Mayoka Lodge

Wood carvings, paintings and African print bags that express the art and culture of Malawi are sold along the beaches of Lake Malawi. At Mayoka Lodge for instance, guests have access to wall paintings that portray the Malawian way of living, which is characterized by farming and fishing. Visitors who would love to hang these skilfully-made artworks in their homes, buy them at lodges like Mayoka. Paintings of wildlife from the neighbouring countries like Tanzania are also found at the beaches of Lake Malawi. During music festivities like The Lake of Stars, the crafts in abundance. So, among the activities that take place at Lake Malawi, buying wood carvings can be an exciting endeavour.

Have fun at the Lake of Stars Festival

A plan to visit Lake Malawi in September will work perfectly because the grand festival, Lake of Stars, usually lasts from September 28-30 at Kabumba Hotel in Leopards Bay, Salima district. The Lake of Stars festival is Malawi’s biggest music and arts event, which attracts participants from all over the world. In 2016, the event staged 76 artists from 11 countries, with 42 artists from Malawi performing music, poetry, dance, theatre, and visual art among other activities. Apart from the local artists like Lulu, Faith Mussa, Lawi, and Tay Grin, there were also international artists like Timo Maas and rising stars Native Young from Germany, and South African superstars Freshly Ground. In past performances, other artists that have headlined the event include Mafikizolo from South Africa, Oliver Mtukudzi, Uhuru, Annie Mac, Beverley Knight, Bombay Bicycle Club, Christian Tiger School, Eddy Temple-Morris and many others. Tickets are usually on sale for around $50 for three days. Tickets are slightly more if bought at the gate. Guests can sleep in tents at the festival or at Kabumba Hotel.

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