Lake Nyasa - Matema Beach

On the shores of Lake Nyasa is a hidden gem of Southern Tanzania, Matema Beach. For those who are traveling towards Malawi or want to explore another region of Southern Tanzania, this is an ideal destination.  Located a short drive (38 km) from the border crossing between Malawi & Tanzania, Matema is a wonderful inland beach.

At the base of the Livingstone mountains, Lake Nyasa or the 'Lake of Stars' (named by David Livingstone due to lights from the lanterns of the fishermen on their boats, that resemble, from a distance, stars in the sky) is the third largest lake in Africa and the ninth largest in the world.

The lake has largest number of fish species of any lake in the world, particularly Cichlidae, of which all but five of over 400 species are endemic to Lake Nyasa.



Activities in and around the Lake include:

  • Hiking to the nearby waterfalls
  • Snorkeling to view the colored fish (Cichlids)
  • Visiting Ikombe to see the potters making locally re-known Kisi pottery
  • Walking along the beach to see the hand carved fishing boats & drying fish
  • Visiting a bat cave

 Also note that Lake Nyasa is the cheapest place in the world to get your open water diving certification (enjoy viewing more than 500 species of fish while learning)

When traveling to Lake Nyasa from Mbeya, you pass through a very rich agriculture zone which includes bananas, tea and cocoa.  You may also want to stop in Tukuyu for a tea plantation visit.