Lake Malawi, the third largest lake in Africa, dominates the land known as “the warm heart of Africa”. Fully 600 km long and 90 km wide, this lake covers one fifth of Malawi’s surface area. It is the southern most of the Lakes formed by the Great Rift Valley and has some of the deepest waters of any lake at over 700m – the lake bottom is estimated to be some 300m below sea level.
Not surprisingly, such a mass of fresh, warm water offers much to the water sports enthusiast. The Marathon falls in the season of the Mwera, a strong south-easterly wind, which can blow up without any warning and provide very exciting sailing for even the most skilled and experienced sailor.
The lake is home to an estimated 1000 species of fish, more than the total species found in the fresh waters of North America and Europe combined. This provides not only excellent diving in the clear waters but also a major source of protein available to Malawi’s population. To the visitor, it is an unspoilt Eden, with sandy beaches, spectacular scenery, water sports, equable climate and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. For those taking up the challenge of the Marathon, there will be a yearning to return and see much more.