Kaya Mawa, Likoma Island, Lake Malawi
This little gem of a lodge was voted one of the top 10 most romantic places by Conde Naste Traveller Magazine: Kaya Mawa is special.
Lake Malawi is usually referred to as “The Lake of Stars” which is a reference to David Livingstone’s description of it. It’s also nick-named the “Calendar Lake” because it’s 365 miles from north to south; AND it’s 52 miles East to West! Whatever you call it, it’s a most beautiful place.
Likoma Island, covered in Baobab and Mango trees, surrounded by the clearest waters, with lots of sandy beaches and huge rocky outcrops is a romantic and dramatic setting for a holiday. Kaya Mawa sits on a crescent-shaped bay with views to the south over the lake. The name means “maybe tomorrow” in Tonga and that accurately reflects the no-news-no-shoes atmosphere.
There are five rooms dotted around the rocky knoll plus two family houses on the beach and the honeymoon room on its own islet. Each room has its own private deck, views to die for and direct access to the lake and is unique: it’s impossible to choose your favourite!
Here are the details:
Children of all ages are welcome at Kaya Mawa
Things to do
Activities are plentiful and varied, though many folk decide to make relaxation their main activity!
St Peter’s Cathedral, Likoma Island.
Walking or biking around the island to explore is a must. Likoma is 100% safe and the local people are renowned for their welcoming smile and natural hospitality; an unescorted stroll or mountain bike around the island, with a knapsack of cold drinks and a snacks is a wonderful experience.
A visit to St Peter’s Cathedral is recommended too – it’s huge! More than 100m long! The crucifix above the pulpit is made from a branch of the tree under which David Livingstone’s heart is buried. The choir stalls are carved out of soapstone and are elaborately decoration.
Here’s a full list of activities and facilities at an additional charge
Please note Kaya Mawa has a qualified instructor for all Water Sports.
- Water-skiing: $40 per person behind the small boat and $45 behind the big boat (this depends on weight and experience). There are skis for all abilities and ages incl. training skis for five year olds up.
- Knee boarding
- Ringo (inflatable disc for all ages)
Scuba Diving (Two resident PADI Instructors)
PADI Resort Course (two hours or so instruction followed by a dive) which can be done by unqualified divers
PADI Open Water Course ( 3-4 days)
PADI Advanced Course (2-3 days – only once qualified as Open water)
PADI Rescue Course ( 2-3 days – only once qualified as Advanced)
PADI Divemaster Course ( 12- 15 days – Professional qualification – once qualified as Rescue)
Motor boat trips around Likoma Island
The slow Malawian boat max 6
The small speed boat max 3
Fishing Trip, rods and tackle provided (slow trawling boat)
Trip to town and cathedral by car max 6
South Island Tour – Includes Cathedral and Market.
One person per bike
Swimming & Snorkeling
The water is crystal clear throughout the year and the snorkeling is the best on Lake Malawi. The beaches are beautifully sandy and swimming is safe.
Kaya Mawa has a small flotilla of dinghies and speed boats as well as a dhow and half a dozen canoes (plus qualified instructors for each vessel).
Lake Malawi has over a 1,000 species of fish, many endemic to the lake, more than all the freshwater species in Europe and North America combined. Kaya Mawa has a dive centre with two PADI qualified instructors who, if you are an experienced diver, can take you to some of the best fresh water diving in the world. If you are a novice, they can put you through the basics and get you in the water diving within an hour or so. This PADI school is license to teach the Open Water qualification.
Kaya Mawa is 50 minutes from Lilongwe International Airport by light aircraft.