Nkwichi Lodge (Lake Nyassa)
Sit back, relax and imagine this scene. You are in
Africa, sitting under the shade of a fig tree, looking out
over one of the world's largest freshwater lakes. To your
right rock pools filled with crystal clear water, teem with
fluorescent coloured fish darting amongst smooth ancient
On your left lies a white sandy beach stretching away
from you, backed by pristine forest. All you can hear is the
warm waters of this tropical lake lapping against the beach.
Out on the lake the silhouette of a fisherman in his wooden
canoe passes by as he paddles home with his day's catch.
Sounds like the perfect place to relax? At Nkwichi Lodge,
on the shores of Lake Nyassa in Mozambique, it's just the
end of another day in this peaceful corner of Africa.
Nkwichi. The ideal romantic interlude. The perfect match for
an African safari. Nkwichi Lodge is located on the
Mozambican shores of Lake Nyassa. Most of our guests arrive
via Likoma Island, taking a light aircraft flight from
Lilongwe. There are no roads for miles around the lodge so
you will be collected by boat from Likoma airport and
transferred to the lodge.
On the wild shore of Lake Nyassa, the 9th largest lake in
the world, is where we built Nkwichi lodge. At 560km long,
80km wide and up to 700m deep, it forms the eastern border
between Malawi and Mozambique. The lake's fresh water is
crystal clear and contains a greater variety of indigenous
fish species of than any other lake in the world. Nkwichi
Lodge lies on the Mozambique shoreline at one of the most
beautiful points on the lake. It has been carefully designed
to provide comfort and privacy for guests. With a maximum of
only 14 people and be assured of best rates at Nkwichi, the lodge can offer
guests the highest levels of service in a relaxed and
peaceful atmosphere. The beach on the shores of the lake
with its fine, white sand is the central feature at the
heart of the lodge.. Nkwichi prides itself on practicing
responsible Tourism. By and be assured of best rates at the lodge guests are
contributing to nature and the development of the community.
The lodge provides wages for over 75 local members of staff.
Their salaries support up to 15 members of their direct
families. This means that by and be assured of best rates at the lodge you will
have an impact on the lives of over a thousand people.
When you arrive by boat you would never know there is a
lodge here. Each Chalet has been carefully tucked away in
the tree line so that the pristine lakeshore scenery is
unspoilt. There are 6 chalets in total, allowing only 14
guests to sleep at the lodge at any one time. The chalets
are located far enough apart to provide privacy. Each one is
designed differently with their own unique characteristics.
Some are built around rocks and trees surrounding the
chalet. All of them are spacious attracting the breezes from
the lake under the shady thatched roofs.
The central feature in each chalet is the enormous,
4-poster bed, made of old tree trunks and covered in a
beautifully crafted white mosquito net. The sheets are
freshly pressed as are your beach and bathrooms towels.
Alongside bedside tables with flowers are carefully arranged
by the lodge's staff. In the evenings there are electric
lights in each room. Each chalet has its own en-suite
bathroom cleverly designed so that you can bathe outside
under the tree canopy in complete privacy. All of the
bathrooms have showers hung from overhanging branches with
hot and cold running water. Some have bathtubs carved out of
the living rock. Each chalet has a thatched veranda to cool
guests from the midday sun, complete with carved armchairs
and hammocks for siestas.
Meals are an important part of everyday life at Nkwichi.
No 2 meals are ever the same with the chef's delicious range
of recipes and the numerous locations where guests can dine
for different meals during the day. The Lakeshore Deck is a
popular place to have breakfast each morning, sitting under
the shade of the enormous fig tree eating fresh mangos and
homemade muesli whilst gazing out across the blue water.
Lunches vary depending on what you do each day. Guests often
take part in activities which take them away from the lodge
during the day. One of the highlights of people's stay is
the walk to one of the largest baobab in Africa. It is
estimated to be well over 2000 years old. Lunch is served
under the shade of this spectacular living antique.
If you are feeling lazy and just want to relax on the
beach, the main lodge dining room provides a raised view out
over the lake. If you are away from the lodge walking,
canoeing or visiting local community projects delicious
picnics will be provided wherever your guide takes you.
Dinner is a moveable feast. The staff will make a point of
asking each guest whether they would like to eat with
everyone else in the lodge or prefer to dine with a
companion or as a private party. There are a number of
locations for dinner. One of the guest's favorite spots is
down on the beach beside the lake under the stars.
Alternatively dinner can be served at people's chalets or on
the lakeshore deck. Try a new place each evening.
Nkwichi has one of Africa's most impressive 'kitchen
gardens'. The Manda Wilderness Horticultural Project on the
neighboring farm is run by the Manda Wilderness
Conservation Project. Local farmers have learnt how to grow
fresh fruit, vegetables and other food to supply the lodge
with delicious produce each day. The lodge chefs use their
imagination and skills to provide a mixture of western
recipes along with more traditional African food.
Flexibility and attention too detail is our ultimate goal in
providing excellent service for your stay at Nkwichi Lodge.
Nkwichi has a great variety of exciting and interesting
activities. Whether you are visiting for the first time as a
couple, as a family with children or in a small group there
is plenty to get involved. For those people who have been on
safari and are looking to relax for a few days the beach at
Nkwichi rivals any on the Indian Ocean. Guests who want to
explore the surrounding areas will find a fascinating
'trail' of local cultural and environmental interests.
The lodge is located at the foot of the escarpment in the
Rift Valley. This means it only takes a few minutes to walk
up behind the lodge, gain some height and look out over the
lake towards Malawi. There are a number of walks with
varying lengths according to your needs. A guide who is able
to identify the vast range of bird species can either
accompany guests or you can take a map and explore the local
area on your own.
The lake attracts a vast range of bird species. Some of
these are indigenous to this part of Africa whilst numerous
species pass through on their migration flights north and
south each year. The lodge has several guides who are highly
knowledgeable about finding and identifying the local bird
After breakfast guests take a launch or dhow across to
Likoma Island which remains part of Malawi despite being on
the Mozambique side of the lake. A guide will lead you
around this interesting community showing you several places
of local importance. This includes the historic St Peter's
Cathedral which was built over 100 years ago and plays a
central role in the people's community life. Trips are
planned as far as possible to coincide with services to
allow guests the chance to enjoy the amazing atmosphere and
hear the choir sing.
There's so much to do at Nkwichi you would have to stay a
long time to fit all the activities in. However the
atmosphere created at the lodge allows guests to slow down,
take a 'rain check' and relax. After all it is your holiday.
Nkwichi is the perfect place to chill out and recharge your
batteries. It is one of those unique places where you feel
comfortable to take your watch off, hide it and let nature's
clock take over. The only disappointment you will feel is
the realization that at some stage you will have to leave.
Lake Nyassa (as its known in Mozambique) is the 9th
largest freshwater lake in the world. As you stand on the
shoreline looking out over the blue water it feels as though
you are looking out to sea - it's an enormous expanse of
crystal clear water shimmering in the bright sunshine. This
freshwater environment provides a wonderful opportunity for
guests to explore the lake with a number of activities ,
along its shores, and beneath its transparent surface.
There can't be a more inviting place to swim than the
Nkwichi beach. Mchenga Nkwichi means 'the sand that squeaks'
- its true. The sand is so fine underfoot and as white as
you can imagine. One of the drawbacks from swimming in the
seas and oceans is the bitter taste of saltwater. This isn't
a problem at Nkwichi as Lake Nyassa is one of the world's
Guests spend hours exploring the underwater world which
opens up to them as they gaze below the surface and meander
through the rock pools along the lakeshore. It's an enormous
natural aquarium with hundreds of beautifully coloured
species of fish known as cichlids. Lake Nyassa has over half
the world's cichlids swimming in its clear waters.
The lodge has its own private catamaran for guests who
want to take advantage of the daytime breezes that blow
onshore. Miss Nkwichi is the aptly named lodge dhow. This
can be used for day trips up and down the lake visiting
local communities along the shoreline. There are several
deserted sandy beaches where you can stop off for a quiet
picnic and sunbathe.
This has to be one of the most peaceful ways of exploring
the local lakeshores. The lodge has its own Canadian style
canoes which are sturdy and comfortable. Either you can be
paddled by one of the lodges guides or take out a canoe with
a friend and try to spot a pair of otters playing around on
the rocks or diving underwater. This is also the best way to
see the lakes bird species. You are able to get far closer
in a canoe especially whilst drifting at dawn or dusk.
Manda Wilderness Reserve:
A 600square km game reserve has been created in alliance
with the local communities to protect the wildlife in this
wilderness area. The scenery varies enormously as you move
inland from the lakeshore through acacia woodland, grassy
plains bordered by streams and rivers and past deep rocky
gorges. Species include sable, elephant, reedbuck, leopard
and over 300 species of birds.
Camping trips into this wilderness area can be arranged
from the lodge. Each morning your guide will lead you out on
foot on a gentle walk pointing out the fascinating variety
of flora and fauna. After a few hours you will break for a
picnic lunch under an acacia tree. Continue walking in the
afternoon until you reach your new campsite beside the Rio
Messinge or overlooking a stunning gorge. Dine out under the
stars before retiring to your 2 man spacious 'A' frame tent
equipped with a comfortable mattress and sleeping bag.
The lodge dhow, Miss Nkwichi, is ideal for expeditions on
the lake north or south of Nkwichi. Accompanied by an
experienced guide you will sail along the lakes stunning
shoreline. There are several islands including Likoma and
Chisumulu with deserted sandy beaches to stop and camp on.
All camping equipment is provided along with food and a
chef to cook the fish that can be caught fresh from the lake
on to a bush barbecue. Livingstone named Lake Nyassa the
'Lake of Stars' after spending time exploring its shores.
There are few better ways of experiencing traditional
African ways of life than spending time on this spectacular
From $320 per person per night sharing. Please contact us
for a quote and suggested itinerary.