Lake Malawi formally known as Lake Nyasa or Lago Niassa in Mozambique, is one of the great lakes in the Great Rift Valley system of East Africa. This lake, the third largest in Africa and the eighth largest lake in the world, is located between Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. It is the second deepest lake in Africa. Lake Malawi is said to have more species of fish than any other body of freshwater on Earth, including many species of cichlids. Lake Malawi was officially declared a reserve by the Government of Mozambique on June 10th 2011 in an effort to protect one of the largest and bio-diverse freshwater lakes in the world. Lake Malawi has the nickname ‘The Lake of Stars’ which came about due to the lights from lanterns of fishermen in their boats, that appear like stars twinkling. There is also an annual music festival that draws international attention, under the same name.
Portuguese trader Candido José da Costa Cardosa was the first European to visit the lake in 1846. Dr. David Livingstone arrived in 1859 and named it Lake Nyasa. This area was soon acquired by the British Empire and formed into the colony of Nyasaland. The Portuguese took control of the eastern shore, though Likoma Island on the Eastern shore remained part of Malawi with its mission history and unique cathedral drawing many guests each year. Many options exist for accommodation on both sides of the lake. Any trip to Malawi or Mozambique should certainly include a stay on Lake Malawi. Anyone interested in a sailing trip to different destinations around the lake, attractive options exist.