Lake Niassa

Lake Niassa
© Helena Telkanranta / WWF-Canon Local villagers with traditional dugout canoes.

© Helena Telkanranta / WWF-Canon
Local villagers with traditional dugout canoes.

The Basin

Coastal East Africa comprises several rivers and lakes that drain primarily into the Indian Ocean and the great lakes of East Africa. Among them, Lake Niassa (also known as Lake Malawi) is one of the most unique – and as yet unspoiled – freshwater ecosystems on the planet. It is the ninth largest lake in the world and is shared by three countries: Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. Lake Niassa is a global center of wildlife. It is home to more than 1,000 species of fish – 95 percent of which exist only in this freshwater river basin.