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Lake Malawi

Malawi, landlocked as it is, might not jump into your mind as the most obvious of beach destinations. However, the spectacular freshwater Lake Malawi (sometimes known as the Lake of Stars, for its reflection of the stars at night) ticks all the boxes for a relaxing beach holiday: miles of golden sandy beaches lapped by crystal clear waters, sheltered coves and inlets, glorious tropical fish and a wide variety of watersports.
Lake Malawi works very well in combination with a Zambia safari (Malawi itself is not a traditional safari destination).


Lake Malawi: activities


A good range of watersports are available on the lake, including sailing, kayaking and scuba diving (the lake is as deep as 700m in places - below sea level!), not to mention swimming and snorkelling in the crystal clear waters, or lounging in a hammock on the beach. There are plenty of tiny islands to explore.  Likoma Island also offers cathedral tours, visits to community projects and mountain biking trails.


Lake Malawi: where to stay


Our favourite lodge in the area is Kaya Mawa Lodge, surrounded by mango trees and ancient baobabs at the head of a bay on Likoma Island.   Build using locally sourced materials and surrounded by the crystal-clear waters of Lake Malawi, Kaya Mawa is authentically African and perfect for a holiday of total relaxation. In 2014 it was awarded a Condé Nast Gold Award as a top 5 beach hotel.

AT A GLANCE

  • Boating safari icon
  • Scuba diving and snorkelling icon
  • Fishing icon
  • Cultural activities icon
  • Snorkelling icon

where to stay

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Client Reviews
[100% based on 1 reviews]

Lake Malawi - Reviews

Kaya mawa: Although slightly awkward to get to, Kaya Mawa is well worth the effort.  This is a little bit of barefoot heaven.  We are very fond of Ras Kutani, but this is Ras Kutani +++, I would say in a different league, but with the same laid back charm - even more so.  It is an idyllic situation between two lovely beaches with a view over the lake to Mozambique five miles away.  Lake Malawi is crystal clear, full of myriads of small colourful cichlids.  Each cabin is supplied with two sets of snorkels and flippers and there is free sailing, kayaking and paddleboarding.  There is also water skiing and scuba diving, but these must be paid for.
The cabins themselves are delightful, well spread out and private, beautifully and originally designed around rocks, with large decks , comfortable armchairs and sunbeds, and in some cases like ours, with a plunge pool.  The views are stupendous, even from the bed. 
The standards of food and service were quite exceptional.   The chef was Michelle's partner Rich (who we did not actually meet) and although there was not a choice one's personal dietary quirks were always remembered and everything was delicious.   All the staff knew each guest by name, their favourite drinks etc, and thought of every requirement before the guest himself.   Very friendly but never obsequious. 
I have spent rather a lot of space on Kaya Mara, but I don't think you have been there, unlike the other camps, even though we went at your suggestion.  Tell your clients to forget the Caribbean - this is infinitely better!
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