Diving & snorkelling in Malawi

Diving & Snorkelling in Malawi

As a body of fresh water, Lake Malawi has a high alkalinity and exceedingly high proportion of endemic fish - mostly of the cichlid family. This means that although Malawi is land-locked, it offers some of the best freshwater diving and snorkelling in Africa.

Lake Malawi belongs to the African Great Lakes and is the southernmost lake in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa. It's the second deepest lake and the third largest lake in Africa - located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania - so there's plenty of space for diving and snorkelling!

Lake Malawi probably hosts the largest number of fish species of any lake in Africa. Most of these endemic fish belong to the cichlidae family and are known locally as nbuma. These are often small and brightly coloured - and so are very attractive as pets for aquarists, as well as for travellers who are diving and snorkelling in Malawi.

Lake Malawi offers many types of habitat and often these niches are filled with individual species of specially-adapted fish. About 30% of the lake is rocky. Due to the water's high alkalinity, there are few plants and relatively little organic material. This means that there's often very good visibility above the sandy and rocky bottom of the lake, so it's often possible to see fish clearly in all of their beauty.

Our 5 favourite places for diving & snorkelling in Malawi