Boats of Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa), Africa

We bloggers tend to pay a great deal of attention to our web stats – page views, visitors, visits, etc. It is a tangible validation that somebody is paying attention. Or, in my case, 50-75 somebodies a month, pretty consistently (you know who you are). One area I am always eager to see is the geographic location of visitors. A visitor from a new country – even just one person – is such an exciting and exotic touch-point. It sends me looking for more on a theretofore less known land

Tonight was no different, and tonights treat was a visit from Malawi, in Southern Africa. Why so interesting, it being land-locked and all? Ah, but it sits astride Lake Malawi (also Lake Nyasa), one of the largest lakes in Africa (in fact, 9th largest in the world). I figure any large body of water must be navigated, and I was curious to see what kinds of boats one would find there. There weren’t many sources to find, but I did get a couple good glimpses via Vintage Africa Safari’s site.

Fishing boats on the shore of Lake Malawi
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Dugout canoe in Lake Malawi
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It appears that the boats are a mix of pirogue-type flat-bottomed canoes and dugout canoes. The dugouts are interesting in that they are shorter and more enclosed than others I have seen. They appear to keep more of the top of the log, giving the boats pronounced tumblehome and not a ton of room for the crew. It would be fascinating to know more about why this is the case – the nature of available wood? Something about the fishing techniques on the lake? Custom? Please comment if you can add any insight here.

By the way, Malawi looks beautiful and the lake appears to have some small boat touring going on. Add this one to the list…

Location: Monkey Bay, Malawi

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