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Rated by Tripcook
Jambo Africa

 
 
  Kaya Mawa
 
 

Often appearing in the top 10 list of the world's most romantic destinations, the remarkable Kaya Mawa lodge – a place of truly unique character on the southern tip of Likoma Island, Lake Malawi, is a wonderful way to experience the lake, its people and of course relax and enjoy lodge comforts!

Lake Malawi, which stretches nearly 600kms from north to south and up to 80kms in width, is Malawi's most prominent feature. It is Africa's third largest lake and arguably, the most beautiful. Likoma Island, situated in the far north of Lake Malawi, is the larger of two small islands very close to the Mozambique coastline. To visit the island is to step back in time. Just 17 sq km with one small dirt road and two vehicles, the local population survives largely by fishing, rice and cassava farming. The Island has hundreds of huge baobab trees and a number of glorious sandy beaches and rocky coves. The Lake is one of the finest fresh water diving sites in the world, so qualified divers and beginners (who can take dive courses) won't want to miss this experience.

Kaya Mawa is situated at the head of a crescent shaped bay, surrounded by mango trees and ancient baobabs. Translating as “maybe tomorrow” in the local Tonga dialect, Kaya Mawa is constructed from the stunning natural surroundings of beach, rock, island and lake creating a lodge of distinctive character, imagination and special ambience.

Kaya Mawa's unique selling points of superb location, stunning accommodation and a wide range of activity options offer guests a memorable experience. The lodge was built entirely by hand, in partnership with the local community. It consists of seven stone and teak framed thatched cottages set into a granite headland. There is a honeymoon house tucked away on its own private island that can only be accessed by boat. All the cottages have private terraces with direct access to the water and some can only be reached by walkways that are built over the lake

Activities at Kaya Mawa are plentiful and varied for guests to enjoy. Although many of the guests choose to make relaxation their main activity, there are other activities to keep guests busy.

Walking/Biking

Walking or biking around the island is one of the activities that one cannot miss. Guests can take leisurely strolls around the island and even stop off to swim en route. Likoma is 100% safe and the local population is legendary both for its friendliness and its curiosity-a simple unescorted stroll around the island perhaps with a knapsack full of cold drinks and a few snacks is a wonderful experience-you can stop off to swim en route, engage the locals in conversation and visit the cathedral and the lively market nearby . A visit to the cathedral is one of the highlights - St Peters Cathedral, which was built at the turn of the century by Universities Mission to Central Africa. It is a remarkable building which measures more than 100 meters. The crucifix above the pulpit is made out of a branch of the tree under which David Livingstone's heart is buried. The choir stalls are caved out of soapstone with elaborate decoration. The sun shining through the large stained glass cast a beautiful light.

The waters are crystal clear throughout the year and the snorkeling is among the best in Lake Malawi. Snorkels and masks are provided. The beaches are beautifully sandy and swimming is safe.

Alternatively there is a rock swimming pool right by the bar.

Other water sports on the island include, diving, motorised water sports, sailing safaris (The lodge has a small wooden skip for journeys around the island.) and kayaking.

Diving Courses

 

The lodge has its own PADI accredited instructor and excellent dive equipment and can offer casual dives as well as a full range of instruction- PADI Open Water one courses (the minimum requirement for someone to be able to dive unaccompanied take 4 days) and resort courses of half a day (to allow someone to dive accompanied by the instructor) take half a day.

Lake Malawi has over a 1000 species of fish, many endemic to the lake,
more than all the freshwater species in Europe and North America
combined.
Likoma Island is widely regarded as having the best diving on the Lake, in terms of variety of fish species and shear abundance, as well as spectacular under water rock formations, swim through's, and a 30m wall.

We found an etching on a rock at 26m which appeared man made and was similar to one found in Ethiopia, which was an ancient warning to travelers that they were entering "Bad lands". With over 30 sites to suit all levels of enthusiast, it's the premier dive location in Lake Malawi.

 

Other Motorized water sports

Waterski-ing, tube riding and wake snaking are offered as well as fishing trips. These are all around USD15 - but this varies on the length of the activity.

Access

By light air craft from Lilongwe, or via the Lake Ferry.

 

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