One of the oldest lakes on earth. It was formed about the same time as Tanganyika Lake, 350 kilometres away. It was formed by the crack of the African Tectonic Plate. The fluctuation of the water level in the lake is very high and the last period in which the surface of the water level decreased by 120 to 150 m compared to its present state took place between 1390 and 1860.
Malawi is also called Lake Niasa. It belongs to the African Great Lakes group.
It was discovered by the Portuguese merchant Candido José da Costa Cardoso in 1846.
In 1859 David Livingstone arrived at the lake and called it Niasa. Livingstone also used to call it "Lake of the stars" and "Lake of storms".
It is a lake of tectonic origin and was created about 1 - 2 million years ago, although the origins of the pool date back to 8.6 million years ago.
It is located in a valley formed after the African tectonic plate crack.
Lake Malawi is located 350 kilometres southeast of another tectonic lake, Tanganyika.
Over the years the water level in the lake has changed many times.
It happened that Malawi was almost completely dry. The last such event took place about 18 - 11 thousand years ago.
It is located in three countries: Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique.
The lake mirror is located at 468 m above sea level.
The area of the lake is 29 600 km².
The maximum length of the lake is 580 km and the maximum width is 75 km.
It is a deep lake. Its average depth is 292 m and at its deepest point it is 706 m.
The water of Malawi Lake is alkaline (pH 7.7-8.6).
The lake is loosing 80% of water due to evaporation.
The temperature of surface water is quite high and ranges from 24 to 29 °C. The temperature of deeper waters is about 22°C.
The waters in Malawi Lake practically do not mix, so we can distinguish between the aerobic zone (near the surface) and the anaerobic zone (closer to the bottom).
The barrier between the aerobic and anaerobic zone is located at a depth of about 250 metres.
The lake is fed by a tributary of the Ruhuhu River and water flows out of it into the Shire River.
It is home to many endemic fish species. At least 700 species of cichlids live in the waters of Lake Malawi.
Nile crocodiles, hippos, monkeys and a large population of African white-tailed eagles that hunt for fish live near Lake Malawi.
A "battle" took place at Lake Malawi, where on August 16, 1914, the command British Captain Rhoades was ordered to "sink, burn, or destroy" the only boat of the German Empire stationed on the lake.
Having found a moored German vessel near Sphinxhaven, he fired a single shot at it from a distance of 1800 meters, immobilizing it. This event was described by The Times as the first British Navy victory in the First World War.
In 1989 a massive earthquake took place on the southern coast of Lake Malawi.
Fortunately, only nine people died as a result of it, but over 50,000 were left homeless.
On the southern shore of the lake is the Malawi Lake National Park, established in 1980.