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(Malawi), a lake in Africa, in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi. It lies in a faulted depression at an elevation of 472 m. It covers 30,800 sq km, and its depth increases to 706 m toward the northern end, where the bottom lies well below sea level. Its shores are steep, rocky, and high, especially in the north and northeast. The southern part of the basin lies in a broad depression, and the shores are surrounded by a narrow coastal plain. The average annual inflow (river discharge plus precipitation) is about 72 cu km, and the evaporation is about 66 cu km. The lake is drained by the Shire River, which empties into the Zambezi River. It has a seasonal rise and fall of about 1 m. There are also long-term variations related to changes in precipitation and the formation and destruction of sand bars at the source of the Shire River. The lake is rich in fish (about 230 species), especially species of Tilapia, and is inhabited by crocodiles, hippopotamuses, and numerous waterfowl. Strong storms and surf hinder navigation, and passengers are transported only in the daytime. The chief ports are Chipoka, Kota Kota, Karonga, Bandawe, and Monkey Bay in Malawi; Mwaya and Mbamba Bay in Tanzania; and Kobwe and Metangula in Mozambique. The lake was discovered in 1616 by a Portuguese, C. Boccaro.
A. P. MURANOV