Lake Chilwa is the third-largest lake in Malawi after Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe. It is in the western Zomba District, near the border with Mozambique. Approximately 60 km long and 40 km wide, the lake is surrounded by extensive wetlands. 335 villages with over 60,000 inhabitants engage in fishing the lake, and pull in over 17,000 metric tons each year, 20% of all the fish caught in Malawi. There is a large island in the middle of the lake called Chisi Island. The natives of the island have a wide knowledge of forest and lake usage. Located in the mountains of Chisi Island, there are a few fortified mountain sanctuaries, providing refuge and a place to go. Chisi Island is home to Mchenga, a large tree that is much wider than two humans standing side by side.
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