Makolo House offers the ultimate private retreat, located deep in
the African bush. Secreted amongst the trees the house overlooks
the lakeshore and offers complete peace and relaxation. The house
is cleverly designed using natural local materials and has two en-suite
bedrooms with a high thatched roof providing a great feeling of
space. There is an upstairs platform which is a perfect place for
the kids to hang out, or to relax and watch the sunset over the
lake. The location is ideal for taking walks out to explore the
bush, and there is private access down to the lake for swimming.
Songea House and Chalet
For a private escape with family or friends, this unique house and
chalet duo combines idyllic accommodation, a great 'entertaining'
venue, luxurious outside dining, a secluded private beach and breath-taking
views of the lake. The main house has an extremely spacious open-plan
design, with a grand dome thatched roof. The main feature of the
house is a large circular reception room with a unique sunken sitting
area. An attractive staircase leads to the upstairs bedroom which
has a balcony overlooking the central room downstairs.
A separate chalet a short distance from the main house provides
additional accommodation - making this the perfect choice for small
groups. The chalet's natural open design has picture-perfect views
of the lake. The en-suite bathroom has a wonderful double-bath (great
for sharing!), and is cleverly designed so that you can enjoy the
great views across the lake while relaxing in your bath or shower.
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
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
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 favourite
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 neighbouring 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.
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Staff and Service
The people that live around the shores of Lake Niassa are known
throughout Africa as some of the most friendly and charming in the
continent. In this corner of the Niassa region the locals are known
as the Nyanja. The majority of them practice subsistent farming
methods and rely on the lake for fishing as an additional income.
Nkwichi is the biggest local employer, providing alternative opportunities
for people to develop skills in the tourist industry.
All the staff at Nkwichi come from the local villages. Having helped
build the lodge many of them stayed on and have trained to become
waiters, barmen, chalet supervisors and a host of other important
The Chefs take enormous pride in using vegetables, fruit and other
produce that has been grown locally on the Manda Conservation Project
Farm. They have all been trained to cook a variety of delicious
western meals but often add a touch of their own local recipes to
introduce guests to their own traditional meals.
Guest chalets are looked after by a group of dedicated men and
women who will ensure that you have everything you need to be comfortable
and relaxed. They will organise the hot water in the Tanganyika
boilers which supply your bathrooms and keep your room tidy and
clean. In the evenings while you are dining someone will drop the
mosquito net around your 4 poster bed.
The guides at Nkwichi play a central role in looking after guests
during their stay. This is their 'backyard' and they know the local
area and all its characteristics like the back of their hands. They
lead guests on walks up the escarpment to the stunning look out
points above the lake pointing out tree species and helping guests
to identify many of the bird species. They also take guests out
on the lake in the lodge's sailing dhow and in the Canadian canoes.
Everyone at Nkwichi takes enormous pride in working at the lodge
and most importantly looking after guests during their visits. They
will naturally go out of their way to help guests learn as much
as possible about their culture and the local environment whilst
allowing people to relax and have a peaceful stay.
Nkwichi Lodge is located on the Mozambican shores of Lake Niassa.
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.
12° 12' 34.21" S
34° 42' 25.24" E
How to get there
From Malawi by Charter Plane
Lilongwe to Likoma Island (60 minute flight). We will meet you at
the airstrip on Likoma Island and then take you by boat to Nkwichi
Lodge. Please note: boat transfer depends on lake conditions and
there is a risk of winds and rough weather from June - September.
Plane transfer - approx US$ 280 per person each way. Prices vary
in low season. Boat transfer - US$ 60 per person each way
By the Illala Ferry on Lake Niassa
This historic ferry leaves from Chipoka (1 hour and 30 minutes drive
from Lilongwe) in the south on Friday evenings reaching Likoma Island
on Saturday afternoon where you will be met and transferred by boat
to Nkwichi Lodge. The ferry leaves from Nkhata Bay (6 hours drive
from Lilongwe) in the north on Monday evening reaching Cobué
on Tuesday morning. Chipoka to Cobue = US$ 100 per person each way.
Nkhata Bay to Cobue = US$ 40 per person each way
By Yacht on Lake Niassa
Danforth Yachting run charter trips on Lake Niassa. Board the catamaran
Mufasa at Monkey Bay on the southern shores of Lake Niassa and sail
for 3 days up the east coast.
Via Mangochi (the scenic route) or via Liwonde (the quick route)
to Namwera/Mandimba border post. From the border post it is 170km
taking aprox 3 hours (depending on road conditions) to Lichinga.
For rest of route see driving from Mozambique.
From Mozambique by Plane
There are regular schedule flights from Maputo, Beira and Nampula
to Lichinga. From Lichinga, access is by road.
By Road - Drive from Lichinga to Cobue
A beautiful journey, down the rift valley escarpment, through Yao
and Nyanja traditional lands. Initally the route is across the Lichinga
plateau, before dropping down the escarpment to the Lake of Stars,
and finally through the Manda Wilderness Community Conservation
Area. The journey takes around 4.5hours.
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