December 18, 2012 | By Tim Johnson, MSN Travel
Top 10 must-see places of 2013


A fisherman prepares fish beside Lake Malawi. (© Antony Njuguna/Reuters)
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  • A fisherman prepares fish beside Lake Malawi. (© Antony Njuguna/Reuters)
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A compact and diverse nation in southern Africa, the beating heart of Malawi is undoubtedly its lovely lake. Dubbed the “lake of stars” by David Livingstone himself, fishermen still venture out onto the waters of Lake Malawi after dark in dugout canoes. They use paraffin lamps to attract their catch, creating — as they have for centuries — a constellation of lights out on the vast blackness of the lake.

During the day, divers and snorkellers delight in the thousands of cichlids that make these warm, teal waters their home (the lake is said to contain some 80 per cent of all the fish found in North American fish tanks). Check out Likoma Island’s Kaya Mawa, a sunny, small, windswept resort where you can recline on the beach and forget that there’s anything going on anywhere else in the world.

* Video: Airlifting lions to restart Malawi’s decimated population

Best of the World is featured in the “December 2012/January 2013 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, on newsstands now.

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