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Diving & snorkelling in Malawi
Diving & snorkelling in Malawi
Diving & snorkelling in Malawi
Diving & snorkelling in Malawi
Diving & snorkelling in Malawi
Diving & snorkelling in Malawi

Lake Malawi probably hosts the largest number of fish species of any lake in Africa.

Diving & snorkelling in Malawi

Amazing 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.

Kaya Mawa

Lake Malawi offers some of the best freshwater snorkeling and diving in the world. There are plenty of brightly-coloured and often endemic cichlid fish; the lake is always warm and the currents are usually moderate.

Kaya Mawa

Lake Malawi offers some of the best freshwater snorkeling and diving in the world. There are plenty of brightly-coloured and often endemic cichlid fish; the lake is always warm and the currents are usually moderate.

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Where to see wildlife species in Africa

Maximise the chances of seeing your favourite African animals based on traveller sightings reports from the field.



Loxodonta africana

By far the biggest of the so-called Big Five – indeed, the largest land animal on the planet – the elephant shapes the very landscape it inhabits and is a defining presence on any safari.


3,537 sightings from 3,891 observations

Where to see elephant in Africa



Panthera pardus

The most numerous of Africa’s big cats, leopard occur across many habitats, from wild tracts to populated areas. Their grace and their elusive nature make them a unique safari drawcard.


1,889 sightings from 4,029 observations

Where to see leopard in Africa



Panthera leo

Lions are at the top of the food chain and also most safari wish-lists, but with their numbers falling fast, any encounter with these majestic apex predators always feels like a privilege.


2,964 sightings from 3,641 observations

Where to see lion in Africa



Acinonyx jubatus

The cheetah is the fastest land animal and the only cat that hunts by pure speed. Found largely in open grasslands, its slim, elegant form is today an increasingly rare sight.


1,028 sightings from 3,085 observations

Where to see cheetah in Africa

Wild dog

Wild dog

Lycaon pictus

African wild dogs are among the continent’s most compelling animals. Much misunderstood, these rare, tie-dyed canids are amazingly efficient hunters with a fascinating social life.


843 sightings from 2,707 observations

Where to see wild dog in Africa

Spotted Hyena

Spotted Hyena

Crocuta crocuta

The spotted hyena may be thought of as ‘ugly’ and ‘cowardly’. In fact, this versatile and intelligent carnivore is one of Africa’s most fascinating and warrants attention on any safari.


2,127 sightings from 3,841 observations

Where to see spotted hyena in Africa

Black Rhino

Black Rhino

Diceros bicornis

The black rhino is the smaller and rarer of Africa’s two rhino species but has the more fearsome reputation. Shy and heavily persecuted, it tends to stick to cover.


615 sightings from 1,995 observations

Where to see black rhino in Africa



Giraffa camelopardalis

The world’s tallest land mammal, giraffes are herbivores which have evolved many unique adaptations. Their iconic outlines tower above the bush in many of Africa’s wildlife areas.


3,413 sightings from 3,953 observations

Where to see giraffe in Africa



Syncerus caffer

One of the ‘Big Five’, buffalo earned a fearsome reputation in hunters’ tales. By contrast, big herds of these sociable bovids are placid, but mount formidable defences against predators.


2,504 sightings from 3,021 observations

Where to see buffalo in Africa



Hippopotamus amphibius

The territorial calls of the hippo create a signature soundtrack to Africa’s rivers & wetlands. Despite an endearing smile, this aquatic herbivore has a notoriously aggressive disposition.


2,591 sightings from 2,910 observations

Where to see hippo in Africa

Sable antelope

Sable antelope

Hippotragus niger

Perhaps Africa’s most beautiful antelope, sable are renowned for their combative nature, even holding off lions. Shy and restricted in range, sightings of sable are always special.


436 sightings from 1,954 observations

Where to see sable antelope in Africa



Taurotragus oryx

Africa’s largest antelope, eland are culturally important from prehistoric rock art to modern game farms. Though widespread, they are also shy so sightings are uncommon and often fleeting.


1,438 sightings from 2,916 observations

Where to see eland in Africa

Roan antelope

Roan antelope

Hippotragus equinus

Africa’s second largest antelope and one of its most handsome, with a powerful build and distinctive markings, roan are wary of people, but renowned for their bravery against predators.


458 sightings from 1,965 observations

Where to see roan antelope in Africa



Connochaetes sp.

Superficially bovine in appearance, wildebeests are known for their spectacular migrations sometimes in huge numbers. These resilient animals are some of Africa’s most successful herbivores.


2,411 sightings from 3,557 observations

Where to see wildebeest in Africa



Equus sp.

The zebra is a quintessential African animal: the horse in stripy pyjamas at the end of every child’s A–Z. There are three species, of which the plains zebra is much the most common.


3,723 sightings from 4,412 observations

Where to see zebra in Africa



Smutsia sp.

Pangolins appear to be more pine cone than animal in their unique armoury of scales. These nocturnal, ant-eating oddities are not only highly elusive but also increasingly rare.


54 sightings from 3,238 observations

Where to see pangolin in Africa



Orycteropus afer

The aardvark is one of Africa’s most bizarre and enigmatic animals. A shy, nocturnal termite-eater, signs of its presence may be scattered about the bush whilst sightings remain elusive.


67 sightings from 3,241 observations

Where to see aardvark in Africa

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