Simple and rustic with a stunning beachside location, Nkwichi is well loved at YZ. The whole lodge is full of character, and there’s a wonderful range of things to do!
Nkwichi is a community conservation scheme, employing local people and promoting tourism in partnership with villages nearby. It also focuses on protecting the local wildlife. Getting to the lodge is more complicated than accessing other properties on Lake Malawi, but Nkwichi’s remote location really appeals to travellers who enjoy a little adventure! The accommodation is booked on a full-board basis, and the price of your stay includes a community levy for land use – this is put towards medical equipment, education, and transport. The lodge is open throughout the year.
ACCESS & LOCATION:
The lodge is accessed via a one-hour boat trip from Malawi’s Likoma Island airport. On the way, travellers need to disembark briefly at a small village on the Mozambique side of the lake, to clear customs before arriving at Nkwichi.
ACCOMMODATION & FACILITIES AT NKWICHI LODGE:
There are three standard chalets, two premier chalets, and two private houses. All structures were constructed for the most part by lodge staff, using local materials. Individually styled, each blends beautifully with the natural surroundings. The standard chalets nestle snugly into the tree line adjacent to Nkwichi’s main beach. Each offers a pleasant bedroom featuring handcrafted furniture, well-appointed en-suite facilities such as a rock-pool bath, and lovely lake views. One chalet is sufficiently spacious to accommodate two additional single beds, making it an excellent option for families. Moving up a level, both the two premier chalets benefit from a spectacular setting – one facing west on its own beach, and the other with private access onto Lake Malawi! Finally, if you’re interested in booking a self-contained option, you could consider one of two private houses. Makolo House offers two en-suite bedrooms – one double and one twin – as well as a child-friendly upstairs platform and private lake access. And Songea House is ideal for a romantic retreat, with its secluded location 20 minutes’ stroll from the lodge and a private beach.
The lounge and dining areas at Nkwichi are housed in a circular brick-and-thatch structure, positioned on the property’s main beach and propped up by substantial poles. This building has two storeys. On the ground floor, there’s a comfortable lounge area, a library, and a shop selling an intriguing collection of curios. Head up the timber staircase and you’ll find another comfy lounge, adjacent to a dining area. Both spaces flow out onto a deck, which offers an additional venue for relaxing and enjoying delicious meals – it also has a telescope! Guests can eat and drink on the beach too, either within the beach bar, an open-sided structure, or on the pristine squeaky sands after which the lodge is named. This beach is considered one of the finest beaches on Lake Malawi’s Mozambican shoreline.
ACTIVITIES AT NKWICHI LODGE:
Nkwichi offers a good range of activities:
Laidback beach time– Nkwichi’s beach really is stunning. A number of sunloungers with parasols invite blissful relaxation! Guests can also enjoy the shade of a thatched gazebo and the comfort of a hammock – and every evening a fire-pit is set up for sundowners, safari style.
Snorkelling– Lake Malawi is famous for its cichlid fish, as over seven hundred species have been spotted in these mineral-rich clear waters. Snorkelling is great for observing the colourful little swimmers, amidst gorgeous scenery.
Canoeing– To admire the world above the waves, guests can board a canoe and make their way along the remarkable Rift Valley shoreline. Excursions are accompanied by an expert guide, who’ll introduce you to all the lake’s bird specials, from pied kingfisher to majestic fish eagle!
Sunset dhow cruises– The lodge owns a number of traditional dhows. Guests can head out at sunset, to marvel at the sun’s glorious descent over Lake Malawi.
Fishing trips– A dug-out wooden canoe is the vessel of choice for this activity. Keen anglers could easily while away an entire morning or afternoon on the water.
Guided walks– There’s lots to see inland too! In the company of a knowledgeable local guide, guests can take in such sights as mighty baobab trees, rushing waterfalls, unspoilt woodlands, and breathtaking lake views.
Village visits– A local guide is also on hand to show you around his or her village. Here, you’ll experience the warmest of welcomes, followed by some singing and dancing, and chances to admire the Malawi people’s weaving, carving, and pottery skills.
Stargazing– Pop up to the lodge’s deck come nightfall, and you can use the telescope to take a look at the magical night skies over Lake Malawi.
Star-bed sleep-outs– Nkwichi’s star-bed is positioned on an isolated stretch of beach, and on the edge of the water. Guests seeking a touch of romance can enjoy dinner and drinks at twilight, and even a night cruise, before drifting off to sleep under enchanting starlight.