Malawi is reputedly home to some of the best freshwater diving in the world. The large Lake Malawi is perfect for all levels of diver and especially suited to those beginning their scuba adventure or learning new skills. It has very little current and no swells and is home to interesting rock formations.
The lake is unexpectedly colorful, with hundreds of species of cichlids buzzing around its clear waters. The lake bottoms out at 700m, but most diving is done above 20 m. There are a few advanced dives which include tunnel swim throughs as well as one penetrable wreck.
You won’t find any coral reefs here, but you will probably be surprised by the number of colorful fish in this freshwater environment. You can access the dive sites from shore as well as by boat.
Diving in Lake Malawi is possible year-round. The summer months (November to April) are warm and stormy while the winter months (May to September) are cool and dry. Water temperatures range from 73 to 86°F (23 to 30°C) and at most times, visibility is approximately 15-20 meters.
The most interesting time of year for diving in the lake is from September to December. At this time, the many endemic species of cichlid begin their complex mating rituals. Their mouth brooding is fascinating to watch. Whether its your first freshwater dive or one of many, you are sure to make unforgettable memories during your dives into Lake Malawi.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
Visitors can enter Malawi by flight into the capital city of Lilongwe or, less frequently, Blantyre. These airports host flights originating throughout Europe and the African continent.
It is also possible to enter Malawi over road from Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique. Ferries cross Lake Malawi from Mozambique a few times each week.
Once in Malawi, it is possible to travel around the country by plane, boat, bus, taxi or rental car.