Domwe Island

Domwe Island
Aristochromis christyi 1

Domwe Island is located in the south of Lake Malawi and forms the tip up in the central part. This is the largest island in Lake Malawi with a circumference of about 11 kilometers. The highest point rises about 400 meters above the water.

The island is cut off from the mainland by Ilala Gap. A narrow shoal. Due to low water levels, Ilala Gap has dried up a few times. As a result, the island has become inhabited by mammals. This is the only island in Lake Malawi that is home to mammals.


The island is used for tourism. Adventurous tourists can explore the island. Canoeing along the coast is also recommended. To get there you need to have some perseverance. The roads to Cape Maclear, the nearest large village, are not quite what we are used to.

You can find the location of the island on our interactive map, which also contains the other famous locations.

Malawi cichlids

Because Domwe Island is surrounded by large boulders and small rocks are rare, you will find few Mbuna. However, there are many different Utaka species to be found.

The list below shows the species that occur at Domwe Island that we have not yet included in the database. Below the list, you will find the species that have been included with a photo:

Aulonocara jacobfreibergi
Aulonocara sp. ‘yellow collar’
Caprichromis orthognathus
Copadichromis cyaneus
Coptodon rendalli
Corematodus taeniatus
Ctenopharynx pictus
Cyathochromis obliquidens
Docimodus evelynae
Labidochromis vellicans
Mchenga cyclicos
Melanochromis heterochromis
Melanochromis melanopterus
Metriaclima aurora
Metriaclima lanisticola
Metriaclima zebra
Mylochromis anaphyrmus
Mylochromis formosus
Mylochromis mola
Nyassachromis sp. ‘otter’
Oreochromis karongae
Oreochromis shiranus
Oreochromis squamipinnis
Otopharynx argyrosoma
Otopharynx ovatus
Otopharynx sp. ‘heterodon nankumba’
Petrotilapia genalutea
Petrotilapia nigra
Petrotilapia tridentiger
Placidochromis mbunoides
Protomelas fenestratus
Protomelas insignis
Protomelas labridens
Pseudotropheus livingstonii
Rhamphochromis esox
Serranochromis robustus
Stigmatochromis macrorhynchos
Stigmatochromis woodi
Tropheops kumwera
Tropheops microstoma
Tropheops romandi
Tropheops sp. ‘broad mouth’
Tropheops sp. ‘gracilior nankumba’

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