The waters of Malawi have the largest tropical fish variety among freshwater lakes in the world, according to various estimates, from 500 to 1000 species of fish live in it. Eleven families are represented in the lake, but one of them - cichlids - covers 90% of lake fish species, most of which are endemic. Cichlids occupy most of the ecological niches of the lake. Lake cichlids are divided into two large groups: pelagic, mainly predatory species living in the water column far from the coast, and coastal species, among which there is a rich variety of shapes, sizes, ways of feeding and behavior. Although the species diversity of pelagic cichlids is also high by any standards, it is in coastal societies that it reaches an absolute maximum. Near the rocky shores of the lake on a plot of 50 m², you can count up to 500 fish of various species. There are species and varieties that are endemic to individual parts of the lake or even to individual bays or coastal areas. Cichlids are the basis of lake fishing and provide food for a significant part of the population of Malawi, some species are presented as decorative aquarium fish that are sold abroad.
In addition to fish, the lake ecosystem is characterized by a large number of crocodiles, as well as African whooper eagles that hunt fish. Every year there is a massive flight of lake flies, the larvae of which live at the bottom in the shallow parts of the lake, the clouds of flies these days overshadow the sun and close the horizon.
The honor of discovering Lake Malawi is attributed to Dr. David Livingston, although, of course, he was not the first European to see this splendor. Livingston called Lake Malawi a lake of stars for a sparkling surface.
This area of stunning beauty, located in the western part of the Rift Valley, covers several islands, the Nan Kumba Peninsula and Cape Macleer. Wooded hills and rocky cliffs that rise sharply from the clear blue waters are reflected in the clear clear water of the lake.
There are no settlements within the park, however, the lake is densely populated. Locals depend on fishing, because farming is unprofitable due to bad soil.
Among the various zones in the area are wooded hills, swamps, reed lagoons inhabited by hippos, leopards, chakma baboons (bear baboons), green monkeys, rodent pigs, and sometimes elephants appear. The islands in the lake, especially Mumbo and Board Zulu, are important breeding sites for several thousand white-breasted cormorants. Of the reptiles, crocodiles live here, as well as many monitor lizards.
Three countries share the lake: Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. In the north of the lake, there is a dispute over the distribution of its waters between Malawi and Tanzania. Tanzania believes that the border should pass along the surface of the lake according to the boundaries that existed between the former German East Africa and Nyasaland before 1914. Malawi claims that it should belong to the entire lake along the most Tanzanian coast on the basis that this is exactly how the administrative border between the British Nyasaland and mandated territory of Tanganyika went after the First World War: the Tanzanian coasts were rarely populated, and the British considered it inconvenient to establish a separate administration for the north -the eastern sector of the lake. In the past, this conflict led to clashes, but since then, for many decades, Malawi has not tried to restore its claims, although it does not officially recognize the ownership of this part of Lake Tanzania.
Most of the lake and its basin (68%) are located within Malawi, the western border of the country practically coincides with the western watershed. 25% of the basin is occupied by Tanzania, 7% - Mozambique. The Tanzanian sector of the basin is disproportionately important for the hydrological balance of the lake, since most of the precipitation falls here, only from the Ruukhu River in Tanzania the lake receives more than 20% of the annual flow of water.
The islands of Likoma and Chisumulu are located in the eastern part of the lake inside the Mozambique sector off the coast, but belong to Malawi, forming two Malawian exclaves surrounded on all sides by Mozambique territorial waters.
Image on the cliffs in Jeongongi
Near the western border with Mozambique, the Chongoni Forest Reserve is located, it is here that the natural forests have been preserved, to which people have not yet reached. The place boasts grassy plateaus, hills and granite hills. Monolithic rocks total 127 drawings. They were depicted by two ancient peoples, “Cheva” and “Batva”.
Nyika National Park
Nyika - a unique natural corner, is a real property of the country and is located in its northern part. In 1965, Nyike was given the status of a National Park. The territory of the park is hilly and occupies more than 3 thousand square meters. km
The local population calls the dense forests of the park Mimboand fields Mopane. The beauty of the park is best seen from a bird's eye view (by air). This place is considered one of the most beautiful in all of Africa. More than 120 species of orchids grow here.
The Bandawe mission is the followers of David Livingston, the organization is located in the town of Bandawe, near Lake Malawi. This place is notable for the fact that it was here that the colonists tried to devote the locals to the subtleties of Christianity.
Also, serum from malaria was brought here from Europe, thereby saving the lives of many Africans. The missionaries here did not stay long, but left behind preachers among the locals. Now it is a beautiful town with picturesque corners.
Blantyre is the center of trade and industry of Malawi, located in the Shire Highlands. This place organically contains old stone streets with ultra modern office buildings. Founded in 1876, the city arose thanks to the missionary activities of the Church of Scotland.
The place boasts national monuments, a chain of restaurants, hotels, bars and sports clubs. A significant event for the city was the construction of the railway.
Mount Mulange is called "Island in the Sky." When the highest point of the mountain range is enveloped in fog, it seems that part of the earth rose into the sky. Mulange is located on the southeast side of the city of Blantyre. Scientists say that the mountain range was created more than 130 million years ago and consists of granite, quartz and syenite. Unique cedars and tea are grown on the slopes. Popular types of tourism: hiking, climbing, abselding, mountain trekking.
Ntchisi Forest Reserve
Ntchisi Nature Reserve is a two-hour drive from Lilongwe City and is located in central Malawi. This place is unique in that there are untouched tropical forests. The forest has survived because it is surrounded by hills, and this presents difficulties for deforestation.
The total area of approximately 75 square meters. km Here you can find not only rare and exotic plants, but also unusual fruits. A variety of flora and fauna will satisfy the most avid traveler.
Plateau East African
The plateau occupies the main part of Malawi, the highest point is Mount Mulavier (altitude more than 3 thousand meters). It consists of ridges, valleys and gorges. Many rivers begin here, and even the Nile. The mountains are rich in coal, iron ore and precious stones.
The town of Nhotakota appeared due to the union of several villages. In the last century, this place was known because of the slave trade. There are many clean beaches on Lake Malawi. For tourists, the reserve will be interesting, where many exotic animals, birds and reptiles live.
The Rift Valley is called the Great African Rift, which arose during the tectonic movement of earth plates many millions of years ago. The valley divides Malawi in half, has a length of more than 6 thousand km.
Extinct volcanoes are located in the valley. There are also many small lakes with crystal clear water and mineral soda springs. The Red and Dead Sea are also located on the remote faults of the Valley.
Majete Nature Reserve
Located near the village of Chikvava in the southern part of the country. The reserve territory is more than 70 thousand hectares. There are populations of rare animals, but their number by the end of the twentieth century decreased to critical. The restoration of flora and fauna was undertaken not only by local authorities, but also by global organizations.
Mwabvi Nature Reserve
One of the smallest national parks in Malawi, covers an area of about 350 square meters. km This place boasts rocky gorges and sandstone mountain ranges, endless groves and forests. Among the bright inhabitants of the jungle, one can distinguish a cheetah, hyena, black rhino, buffalo, antelopes, sable.
Lengwe National Park
The park covers an area of approximately 130 square meters. km and is located in the driest region of the country. In order to preserve the wildlife and vegetation, artificial reservoirs were created in order to prevent the migration of animals. More than 300 species of rare birds live here. The most magnificent representatives of the fauna are the Kudu antelopes.
Tea Plantations in Thiolo
The history of the cultivation of tea dates back to 1908. Beautifully manicured fields with low green spaces will delight every traveler. During the excursions you can observe the process of work, there is also the Tiolo Nature Reserve nearby.
The town of Mzuzu is one of the three most significant places in the country. It is considered an agricultural center for the cultivation of coffee, tea and rubber plants. The village is located on the shores of Lake Nyasa. Hiking and cycling, as well as horse riding, a boat or a yacht, are provided for tourists.
Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi, it is divided into New and Old Towns. Initially, there was a fishing village, and in the early twentieth century, the colonialists created an administrative center. The most remarkable place is the folk art market. Each traveler will find something interesting for himself.
The town is located in southern Malawi, on the shores of Lake Malawi. It was created by the British colonist Sir Harry Johnston. In the town there are a number of architectural buildings of the early twentieth century.
In memory of Queen Victoria, a clock tower was erected that towers over the entire city. At that time, a synagogue and a large Catholic cathedral were built. Museum of Lake Malawi will be interesting for tourists, where ancient and ethnic exhibits are exhibited. It is also worth visiting the market with exotic fruits.
The town of Zomba used to be the capital of Malawi, now it is a resort center. The buildings of British missionaries have been preserved here. You can enjoy horse riding, climbing and fishing. The tower, which is located in the city center, serves as a memorial for the First World War. Worth a visit is the botanical garden, chic golf courses and tobacco plantations.
Nhotakota Nature Reserve
Nhotakota - the oldest reserve in the country, located on the territory of 2 thousand square meters. km The reserve has preserved many exotic birds, especially valuable specimens: the short-tailed falcon and the black stork. Here the river Bois flows, which is a source of water and food for the inhabitants of the rainforest. Rare species of salmon live in the reservoir.
The place was founded by missionary David Livingston, who wanted to consecrate the locals to Christianity. The history of the mission begins in 1894, in the same year Robert Low built a beautiful stone house. For 50 years, Lowe was engaged in the spread of religion among the local population, for many he became a teacher and mentor. At the moment, Lowe houses a museum and lounges for tourists.
Nyasa Lake is considered the largest and most picturesque, located in the Rift Valley. Pond length 580 km, width 80 km, and depth 700 m. The lake “feeds” on numerous small rivers. Due to abrupt changes in the bottom, the water can be either warm or icy. A huge number of crocodiles are found here, screaming eagles are especially beautiful during the hunt.
Locals call the island of Likomu paradise. He completely drowned in the thickets of baobab and mango. Located on Lake Malawi, the shores can be either rocky or sandy. The north-eastern zone of the island is considered protected. St. Peter's Cathedral was erected here, in which the things and attributes of Livingstone's stay in Malawi are preserved.
Livonde National Park
A place where there are a lot of elephants, crocodiles and hippos, these animals have become the hallmarks of the park. Creation date 1973, the total area of 220 square meters. km The park has a lakeside coast, a river, meadows and forests. Here the best representatives of African animals are collected and the pristine nature of the continent is maximally displayed.
The Zomba Plateau is known throughout Africa due to the exotic beauty of nature. Here you can see the dense forests, waterfalls and streams. The height of the highest point is approximately 2 km. Walking along the tourist route to the top of the plateau, you can meet a large number of rare animals and plants.
Malawi is a hospitable and unique country, it is a rare place where the pristine beauty of nature has been preserved. It resembles an encyclopedia of flora and fauna or a colorful science-fiction film.
From major cities on the African continent, travelers can reach Malawi by bus. Guests of Malawi can take the international bus to the border checkpoint, and they will have to cross the border on foot.
A trip by car to Malawi will take a few days from vacationers. Tourists can leave from the Tanzan city of Songwe (Songo), from Zambia (through three border crossings) or Mozambique (four crossings).
CIS tourists planning to go on vacation to the African country of Malawi are required to obtain a visa.
Travelers should be aware that there is no Malawian consulate in the CIS countries. The nearest consulate of this republic is located in Berlin (Berlin), Hamburg (Hamburg) and Stuttgart (Stuttgart) It is not possible to get a visa permit by mail from vacationers. To obtain such permission, vacationers need a personal presence.
For a tourist trip, a visa to this African state is issued within 3 days. Validity of a visa permit is 3 months.
If desired, travelers can apply for a visa through the diplomatic missions of Malawi, located in neighboring countries: South Africa (South africa), Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique.
Going on a trip, tourists should learn the rules of customs clearance of goods and cash at the border points of the Republic of Malawi.
Guests of the country can import foreign banknotes without restrictions, having previously declared them. Vacationers can import and export foreign currency without restrictions. The exported currency must correspond to the amount of previously imported foreign cash. Import or export of Malawian kwachi (MAW) is limited.
From a trip to Malawi, travelers can not take:
- precious, semi-precious and unprocessed stones,
- Figurines made of bones and leather goods (without a certificate and a receipt confirming the legitimacy of the purchase).
The culinary traditions of the ancient tribes of Malawi are almost not affected by foreign influence. In the national cuisine of Malawi, only that which the natives themselves grew on their plantations is used: sugarcane and sweet potatoes, millet and corn, sorghum and cassava. The most popular cereal in the diet of Malawians is millet.
In authentic Malawi cuisine, almost no animal or poultry meat is used; residents prefer river fish. Malawian chefs keep ancient insect recipes. Tourists who decide to get acquainted with the exotic cuisine of Malawi, along with fellow travelers should try "Anna Nzhuchi" - bee larvae fried with salt. If travelers do not like such a dish, they will be offered another exotic dish - “Bvamnoni” (previously boiled, and then crickets fried in peanut butter).
Holidays in Malawi will allow guests of the republic to get acquainted with the traditional Nsima dish - corn porridge, to which Malawians add cassava root.
Vegetables are one of the indispensable elements of the cuisine of this African country. “Natively” in composition and method of preparation resembles stew, but in addition to classical beans, onions and tomatoes, Malawians include cassava root, sweet potatoes and canola in the composition of this dish. Travelers who come to rest in Malawi are served such a stew with fresh rice or sorghum.
I use local culinary sweet potatoes in almost all confectionery products. On the basis of sweet potato flour, Malawians bake the cookies "Mbatata" and "Zitumbuva" (fritters from cornmeal and banana).
Cornmeal acts as the basis for the popular Maheu soft drink among Malawians. The world-famous Carlsberg beer is produced in Blantyre. A trip to Malawi will provide vacationers with the opportunity to taste the Malawian gin, rum and vodka.
The national currency of the Republic of Malawi is kwacha (MAW).
On vacation, foreigners can exchange foreign currency for local tourists at banking institutions, exchange points, hotels and at the airport.
Along with Malawian banknotes, guests of the republic can use American dollars for settlements.
Traveler's checks can be cashed at large bank offices, but cash is still more common.
Use of credit cards on vacation is limited. Cards are accepted for payment in the capital and major cities. However, even in Lilongwe, withdrawing money from a card can be problematic.
Malawi is a small but incredibly beautiful country, on the territory of which there are 2 UNESCO heritage sites.
- A trip to the southern and central region of Malawi will allow tourists who are fond of out-of-town tourism to visit the Lake Malawi National Park (Lake malawi national park) The park was specially created to protect the animal and water environment of the republic. Rare species of fish live in the lake, and baboons have chosen the land. An 800-year-old baobab is growing in the park, under which, according to legend, Dr. Livingston read his sermons to missionaries.
- In the Central Region, guests of Malawi who are interested in monuments of archeology and ancient civilizations can view and photograph rock carvings in Jongong (Chongoni rock art area) Cave paintings of the Pygmy tribes and the Cheva tribe appeared in the Chongong area in the Stone Age. Cheva depicted in their drawings their sacred rituals associated with the feminine. These images are still considered sacred to some tribes living in Malawi.
Another 2 natural attractions of the republic are included in the list of candidates for inclusion in the UNESCO world heritage.
- A trip to the southern region of Malawi will bring vacationers to the biosphere reserve Mulanje (Mulanje Mountain Biosphere Reserve).
- Everyone who comes to the northern region of the country will be able to look into the national park Nyika (Nyika national park).
In addition to the natural wonders that have become the legacy of mankind, many exciting tourist excursions await tourists in Malawi.
- Guests of the republic who are interested in mountain tourism can go to Mount Mulange (Mulanje massif), which the Malawians themselves call the "Island in Heaven." Mulange is Malawi's highest point.
- The republic has become famous thanks to its many national parks and reserves. The most popular among tourists and their fellow travelers natural sites: Lengwe National Park (Liwonde national park), Majete Nature Reserve (Majete wildlife reserve), Mwabvi Nature Reserve (Mvabvi wilderness area) and forest reserve Ntchisi (Ntchisi forest reserve) Fans of rural rest can choose tourist routes through the magnificent tea plantations in Tiolo (Thyolo tea estates).
- Holidays in Malawi will appeal to those tourists who are interested in the monuments of history, culture and architecture of this country. To Karonga (Karonga) guests of the republic can visit the Cultural and Museum Center (Cultural and Museum Center) In Zomba (Zomba) we recommend travelers to look at the Postal Services Museum (Postal services museum).