Backpacking is the perfect way to discover Lake Malawi and the surrounding areas. Lake Malawi is located at the border between Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania and known for its several species of fishes. Lake Malawi is actually the ninth largest lake in the world and is home to a thousand different species of cichlids. There are different water layers that do not mix and you should be able to notice different thermal gradients as well. Visiting the Lake Malawi area is an unforgettable experience and you should plan a few activities in advance if you plan on backpacking in the area.
Fishing And Boat Safaris
Lake Malawi is unlike any other lake. Researchers have found that the lake is the home of unique evolutionary radiations, which means you will find fish that does not live anywhere else in the world. The lake if home to a thousand different species of cichlid fish but there are several other species as well. You will encounter cyprinids, lake sardines, airbreathing catfish and different species of eels. Freshwater snails and bivalves can also be observed in the lake. Freshwater crabs and shrimps also live in the lake. If you do not enjoy fishing, you can still observe the unique wildlife by going scuba diving or go on a boat safari.
Hiking And Bird Watching
There are different reserves and national parks around Lake Malawi and hiking or trekking is the perfect activity if you are planning a backpacking trip. You can walk around the lake to visit the different countries and admire the landscapes. The Zomba and the Nyika Plateaus are popular hiking spots but you will find trails that follow the shores of the lake. If you want to explore the areas further away from the shores of the lake, you will find hiking trails that go through the Ntchisi Forest and through the Dzalanyama Forest Reserve. Hiking through the forests is the perfect opportunity to observe the flora and the unique birdlife of the area. The shores of the lake and the islands attract birds such as the Marabou stork or the locust finch.
Cycling And Climbing
Hiking through the forests and plateaus around Lake Malawi is a great way to discover the area but there are other activities available if you are more adventurous. The Mulanje Massif and the North of the Lake provide you with plenty of spots where you can climb. Cycling is another interesting activity and mountain biking is a fairly popular activity in the same areas where backpackers go climbing. It is best to have some mountain biking experience if you want to go in the Mulanje Massif and on the Northshore of the lake but you should be able to find easier biking trails in the forests around the lake. Horse riding is another popular activity and you will find several trails for horse riding as well as resorts and lodges that offer this activity.
You can plan the perfect backpacking adventure since there are many activities available in the Lake Malawi area. Make sure you choose activities that correspond to your level of experience and that you leave some free time to just rest and enjoy the amazing landscapes. You can find some resorts and lodges that provide packages with different activities or decide to plan your backpacking trip entirely by yourself. Try to move around so you can see different areas around the lake and get access to different activities, especially if you are interested in climbing, mountain biking and want to see as much of the wildlife as possible.