Lake Malawi National Park is found in South Malawi and covers the southern area of Lake Malawi and a small area on the shores.
The park stretches and estimated 94sq km on Cape Maclear Peninsula and includes 12 small islets and 100m area of the shore. The park is made up of rocky shoreline, 7km2 of water, wooded hillside, swamp, sandy beaches and lagoons.
Large baobab tree on the shore is a significant sight in the park. It is believed that Dr. Livingstone and the early missionaries used the tree shade for sermons and missionary work. Five graves of the early missionaries are located near this large baobab. Other tree species in the park include ticus, Kahya and Albizzia among others.
This lake is a fresh water lake is the third deepest lake in the world and also one of the lakes within the rift valley region of East & Southern Africa.
The lake boasts clear waters and the largest number of fish species in the world. It is estimated to have between 500 to 1200 species. Cichlids are the one of the endemic species with 350 different species found in Malawi. Mbuna rock fish is more famous in the fishing community around the lake. In 1984, the lake and the park became listed in the UNESCO World Heritage site
Although there lake is an abundant fishing resource, it is threatened by extreme fishing activity from the communities in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. However the new management policy of Lake Malawi National park is geared toward collective conservation efforts of the department of wildlife in Malawi and the fishing communities around the lake.
Wildlife in the park
Game viewing around Lake Malawi National park is good. Some of the mammals in the park include duiker, vervet monkey, warthog, baboon, bush pig, elephants, leopard, bushbuck, kudu, crocodiles, monitor lizards and impala to mention a few. Many of the animals in the park are seen on the grassland plains of Mwenya and Nkhudzi hills.
Birding is also good around the park. The swamps are home to the fish eagle, white throated cormorant and hammerkops among other species. An estimated 300 species of birds is recorded in the park.
Accommodation in the park is available from Gecko Lounge, Pumulani and Chintheche inn. There is lodge on Mumbo and Domwe islands and camping sites as well. Cape Mac Lodge is another Malawi safari lodge located in Chembe Village near the lake.