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Are these places still there?

posts: 91
reviews: 26
Are these places still there?

Hi, I have really fond memories of spending time in Malawi back in 87 - 89 during the school holidays when I was teaching in Zimbabwe. Can anyone help me remember the names of two places I stayed at and tell me if either of them is still going?

The first one was in Cape Maclear - I think it was run by the Stevens brothers - a collection of beachside huts with a bar / restaurant on an idyllic stretch of beach near a small local village. You could go by dugout canoe over to a little island where the snorkelling was fantastic. If you turned left and walked down the coast you'd get to a rocky peninsula where people would dive from the rocks.

The other place was in Nkhata Bay. I remember that it was called 'Something something Vacation Village' and there was a painted slogan on the wall announcing "Food, Drink, Ballet, Crafts" which cracked me up every time I read it. They were proud to serve "World Famous Banana Pancakes".

I have often googled to find references to these two places but never quite found them. Would love to hear that they are both still there and thriving...

15 replies to this topic
posts: 9
1. Re: Are these places still there?

I know the place you are talking about in Nkhata Bay it was called Heart Motel and was run by Mr Phillips Amiyako. Sadly neither the heart motel or Mr Philips are still with us however his children are thriving and many of them are still living at the old motel.

posts: 15
reviews: 21
2. Re: Are these places still there?


I stayed at the Heart Motel in 96 and have recently contacted Zion Kennedy Phillips Chirwa, one of the Phillips' sons. The Heart is closed but Kennedy has a plan to open a nursery once he has the resources.

Like you I had a brilliant time there (despite a mishap that meant I stayed 2 months instead if 2 weeks) and got lucky when I nostalgically googled.

Have more info about the plans for the place if you'd like to know

posts: 1
3. Re: Are these places still there?

I was there around 1995. Is Zion Kennedy the guy that I remember - a little future businessman? I'd love to get his contact details!

posts: 15
reviews: 21
4. Re: Are these places still there?

Hi SydneyShawn

Sounds like a good description of the young Kennedy. I will pass on your request for his details. He's turned into a remarkable young man. He is leading a local group to set up Sustainable Developmen Projects in Nkhata Bay and the Heart Motel site into a nursery, orphanage and training centre. I'm returning to Nkhata Bay in October.

I'm returning to Nkhata Bay

Edited: 7:06 am, September 01, 2012
Gaborone, Botswana
posts: 373
reviews: 50
5. Re: Are these places still there?

Hi. I had a fantastic time at "Steven's Camp" in 1985 but like you I can't find any current info. I guess that with the dwindling number of Peace corps and British teachers in SADC it faded away. Pity

posts: 15
reviews: 21
6. Re: Are these places still there?

Hi SydneyShawn. If you want contact details for Kennedy Chirwa if the Heart Motel email me at crisdinkmo@gmail.com

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 4
7. Re: Are these places still there?

I would have stayed at the Heart Motel with Mr. Phillips for a period of about 3 months in early 1992. Had an absolutely fantatic time with him. I can tell you from experience that it is not possible to overdose on Banana pancakes. While I was there he ran the place but with the help of one of his sons, whom we gave the nickname Cap'n Staycool, His other sons Texas and Michelle were only little "pikinini's" at the time, Texas would have been about 6 or 7, Michelle about 9.

I had a room over in his yard in one of the bungalows.

Anyone know about Steven, a South African who's mother and brother were over on Chizumulu setting up the rotundas and a guest house? I wonder if it ever got off the ground?

Or Ray from Vancouver who spent a while with us?

As for the Stevens brothers down at Monkey Bay, anyone know if the German is stil running the diving school out of the bungalow and sleeping in his car?

I got my NAUI lisence over a week for US$100.

The nicest place to get your diving lisence you could wish for.

Anyone been there recently?


posts: 15
reviews: 21
8. Re: Are these places still there?

Hi Rambodeus. Spent a few weeks back in Nkhata Bay in October. Michel and Texas are both doing well.

Texas has just turned 18 and put in some hard graft helping decorate a nursery school in Chihame and Michel is currently overseeing the building of a Nursery School at the Heart Motel.

www.hopemalawi.com Nkhata Bay is bigger than I remembered but hasn't lost it's charm.

Melbourne, Australia
posts: 4
9. Re: Are these places still there?

Thanks for the update m2.

The link to hopemalawi is appreciated.

Lilongwe, Malawi
posts: 2
10. Re: Are these places still there?

I know Nkhata Bay very well as I am currently one of the Tourist Destination Operastors there. The place you have mentioned may have changed its name but I can assure that there are now more attractive places in Nkhata Bay and Chintheche. The place I operate is called La Exotica Holiday Resort and is located in Chintheche some 40 kilometres South of Nkhata Bay Town.

You can get more information about La Exotica by visiting our website: www.la-exotica.com or by searching la exotica chintheche on TripAdvisor.

As for Cape Maclear, I have no idea as I stay far from it.

Hope this helps.

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