Lake Nyasa ranked sixth in the top ten deepest lakes in the world, the ninth - in the ranking of the largest bodies of water on the area.It is the third largest in Africa.
tropical waters of Malawi (Nyasa second name) are characterized by a large number of fish.Such a diversity of fish kingdom is not in any other lake in the world.
origin of the lake basin of Lake Nyasa
few million years - so experts estimate the age of the body of water as Lake Nyasa.The origin of basin water bodies may be associated with volcanic or tectonic faults due to exogenous factors, the convergence of glaciers and other situations.
Malawi lake basin is the result of a tectonic rift.That is the origin of Lake Nyasa is related to a grand fault of the crust - the East African graben.Typically, these lakes the largest and deepest in the world.No exception and Lake Nyasa.
Origin Malawi basin, according to some sources, calls into question the continued existence of Africa.In the future, this fault could break the contine
History of discovery
If you trace the origin of Lake Nyasa to scientists was not difficult, its discovery is not quite understandable.For Europeans, the history of the geographical area began almost four years ago.Then, in 1616, the Portuguese named Gaspar Bukarru during his travels in the northeast the lower reaches of the Zambezi River, which flows into the Indian Ocean, made the first discovery of Lake Nyasa.It turned out that, even though Bukarru was the European discoverer of the reservoir, it has not received wide publicity and information themselves have been buried in the archives of the Portuguese government.Therefore, for a long time attributed to the opening of Lake Nyasa and the great Scottish missionary explorer of Africa - David Linvingstonu.
He knew nothing about how the researcher Bukarru and its discovery in 1858 led a large expedition to the Zambezi basin.And September 16, 1859 has announced the date of the opening of the south of the Great Lakes of East Africa - Lake Nyasa.Incidentally, it is worth noting: if his attempt to climb up the Zambezi did not fail, then maybe he would not have started a study of the river Shire and stumbled to the "lake of stars", as the researcher called Nyasa in his diaries.
origin of the name of the lake
As already mentioned, one of the largest lakes in Africa has two names - Niassa and Malawi.
«Nyasa" in tune with the ancient name of Lake Victoria - "Nyantsa."These two words come from different but related languages, which are belonging to one big language family - the Bantu.Hence their equal importance - the "big water" or "large body of water."
second name - Malawi - comes from the ethnic group of Malawi, which is more than half the population of the same name Africa.By the way, the latter owns most of the pond.But more about that later.
Because of the duality of names on different maps can be seen as Lake Malawi and Lake Nyasa.
Where is Niassa?The lake fills the crack in the earth's crust rift basin, which lies at the southernmost point of the Great Rift.And the latter was stretched between the edge of the Red Sea and the lower reaches of the Zambezi River.
Because of the terrain where the Niassa lake has an elongated shape, reaching a length of 584 km with a width of 16 to 80 km in different places.The area of the reservoir is 29 604 km and lies at an altitude of almost five hundred meters (specifically - 472 m) above sea level.
maximum depth of Lake Nyasa reaches 706 m, while the average - 292 m. This means that the deepest places are below sea level.The bottom of the lake has no sudden changes, indicators of depth gradually increasing from south to north.
Relief coastline is different monotony.In some places along the coast and the towering mountain peaks (from 1500 to 3000 m above sea level), in other stretches coastal plain, which is expanding at the confluence in the water body of large rivers.
Lake Nyasa on the map of Africa can be found at the following coordinates: 11 ° 52 'south latitude and 34 ° 35' east longitude.
Climate Climate in the territory, where the Lake Nyasa, subtropical, and has the ability to change: in the mountains reigns invigorating coolness of the valley in Malawi - moderately warm, and in the lower river really hot.
Autumn and winter is warm and mostly dry, but sometimes the rains are possible.The minimum elevation of temperature at this time does not fall below 22 0 C, and the maximum range at 25 0C.Yes, and it's in the mountains.On the plains the temperature slightly, but above +27 ... + 30 0C.
In the late spring - early summer rainy season begins.The air temperature is lowered to 15 ... 18 0 C in the mountains, and 20 ... 25 0 C in the plains.
Lake Nyasa nourish fourteen rivers.Among them, occupy an important place Bois (or as it is sometimes translated, BVA), North and South Rukaka who carry their water from the west, Dvanga, Ruhuhu - from the northeast, Songwe - from the northwest and Lilongwe - from the southwest.
Shire River is the only external drain reservoir.It follows from Malawi in the south and flows into the Zambezi.
Large depth of the lake is not a smaller volume of water mass Nyasa - 8400 km3.But, despite this, its drain is equal to 63 km3 of water per year.Of this amount, only 16% over the river flows Shire, the remaining 84% evaporates from the surface.Because of these features of the period of renovation of water at the lake fairly long: according to experts, to fully update a water mass must be 114 years old.
the Salt Lake Nyasa - in the range of 0.4 grams per 1 liter.The water itself is similar in composition to the water of Lake Tanganyika - the same rigid and firm.Both ponds and peculiar to the same temperature, which, depending on the time of year ranges from 23.5 to 27.50 C.
Lake Malawi has one of the most diverse ecosystems of all the freshwater on the planet.As it dwells from 500 to 1000 species are presented eleven families.
At each site, and in some bays and on the coasts of his kingdom fishy.But the most common inhabitants are lake cichlids, which are divided into two groups: pelagic and coastal.Pelagic cichlids - carnivorous fish, most of them live in the thicker kinds of distance from the coast.Their opposite - coastal tsihdidy.They have a great variety of sizes, shapes, methods of diet and behavior.
But the fish - are not the only inhabitants of the waters of Lake Nyasa.Waters was chosen by African crocodiles and eagles whooper inhabiting it in large quantities.
In general, the animal world can not boast of smaller diversity of its representatives.Around the lake wandering buffaloes, rhinos, African elephants, zebras, antelopes, giraffes, predatory lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas and jackals.Such a set of wild animals due to the multifaceted nature.There with mountain tropical rainforests savannas coexist with green palm trees, acacias and air majestic baobabs.
around the magnificent lake are three countries: Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania.Between the last two a long time there was a dispute about who owns the water reservoir.And all because of the fact that at different times in different ways defines the boundaries of ownership: up to the First World War the line was held between the former Nyasaland and German East Africa, and after 1914 - the lake was on the account at Malawi.
Sometimes these disputes have led to clashes.But to date, the passion subsided a bit, and Malawi is no longer trying to recover their right to object before us.Although belonging to the controversial part of Tanzania does not officially recognize.
For all this part of Niassa and its basin is divided in proportion as follows: Malawi is subject to 68% of the reservoir, Tanzania - 25%, and Mozambique - only 7% of the pool.
large number of fish have contributed to the formation of such fishing as fishing.The annual volume of fish harvested here is five to seven thousand tons per year, of which 2/3 were produced by local fishermen Africans.
development of fishing has led to the appearance on the shores of Lake Nyasa small fishing villages that live exclusively through the sale of the catch.Of course, a little bit of mining residents consume themselves, but most are on sale - the fish is smoked or dried and sold as such, often through intermediaries.
Lake Nyasa recently became a place of industrial fishing, not only local, but also foreigners.Such activities are fully focused on the market.At the disposal of fishermen, unlike fishermen from the African, has a fully equipped modern ships.
Despite the great demand for fish, deep part of the pond remains maloispolzovannoy - to enhance the fishery need to improve the technology, respectively, require more money.A lack of production is closer to the shore, to unnecessary costs no one will be ready.
beauty of Lake Nyasa in itself could cause act of pilgrimage for tourists.But a fish kingdom was not only commercial specialization, but also a lure for divers.
Today there are special tours of Lake Malawi for fans to dive and admire the beauty of the underwater world.How else?After all, such a variety of aquarium fish, along with water clarity (visibility is achieved at a distance of thirty meters) has no analogues in the whole of Africa.
Typically, these tours include both daily dives and night dives.In addition to swimming, hiking and leisure available transportation walks along the picturesque banks of the lake.
But come here not only to divers.In 1934, some parts of the territory are declared forest reserves and sanctuaries for birds, and in 1972 their area has increased several times, resulting in the creation of the national park.For example, researchers, ornithologists can make some discoveries, watching the large population of eagles anglers who love to hunt and nest on the shores of the lake.
Journey to Niassa, as well as its history, will not leave anyone indifferent!