Nkwichi Lodge is a hidden gem on the shores of Lake Malawi, a freshwater oasis that offers a rare chance to savour an unspoiled corner of real Africa. This eco-friendly lodge is built with natural materials and blends in seamlessly with the surrounding wilderness. With only six chalets and two private houses, Nkwichi offers an intimate and exclusive experience for its guests, who can enjoy the ultimate luxury of privacy and tranquillity.
Each chalet and house is unique, hand-crafted with local stone, wood and thatch, and tucked away in the treeline overlooking the lake. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with four-poster beds, mosquito nets, en-suite bathrooms and outdoor showers. Some of the rooms have rock-pool baths carved out of primordial boulders, where you can soak in the views of the lake and the stars. All the rooms have their own private beach, where you can relax on a hammock or a sun lounger, or take a dip in the clear water.
The lodge has no pool, gym or spa, but you won’t miss them when you have access to one of the most biodiverse lakes in the world. You can explore the lake by kayak, canoe, snorkel or sailboat, and marvel at the colourful fish and birds that inhabit it. You can also go on guided walks or bike rides in the surrounding forest, where you might spot monkeys, antelopes, elephants and other wildlife. Or you can simply enjoy the peace and quiet of this remote paradise, and watch the sun set over the lake from one of the many scenic spots.
Nkwichi is more than just a lodge; it is also a social enterprise that supports the local community and protects the environment. The lodge employs local staff, who are trained and empowered to provide excellent service and share their culture with the guests. The lodge also funds various projects in education, health, agriculture and conservation, through its partner organisation, the Manda Wilderness Community Trust. By staying at Nkwichi, you are contributing to the sustainable development of this region and its people.
The lodge is located on the Mozambican side of Lake Malawi, also known as Lake Niassa. This is one of the largest lakes in Africa, and part of the Great Rift Valley. The lake is home to over 1000 species of fish, many of which are endemic and endangered. The lake is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance. The area around the lake is rich in natural beauty and cultural diversity, with various tribes and traditions coexisting peacefully.
Getting to Nkwichi is an adventure in itself. The lodge is only accessible by boat or light aircraft, as there are no roads or railways nearby. The nearest international airport is Lilongwe in Malawi, from where you can take a charter flight to Likoma Island or Cobue on the Mozambican side of the lake. From there, you can take a boat transfer to Nkwichi, which takes about an hour. Alternatively, you can drive from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay on the Malawian side of the lake, which takes about four hours. From there, you can take a boat transfer to Nkwichi, which takes about three hours.