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“Heard all the wild stories .... ???” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Kande Beach Resort

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Kande Beach Resort
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Lake Shore, Chinteche, Malawi   |  
Hotel amenities
Karonga, Malawi
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Heard all the wild stories .... ???”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2012

I have been wanting to go for such a long time, but thought it better not to as I heard all these weird and wonderful stories about parties, people dancing until the early hours of the morning, etc etc. Don't misunderstand me - I can also do that, but only if and when I choose to do so.
So finally decided to make a plan and just go. I took one of the local minibusses and that was an experience in itself. Then walked the last 2 km's. There were quite a lot of trucks doing their overland trips, but so well organised and well behaved. Nothing about wild and wonderful parties. So great! Protocol at reception not that great. They did not tell me that you had to ask to have your room cleaned. The food was okay - not too much to choose from and half of what they had on the menu not available. I did not find the staff too helpful, friendly, willing to help with anything. But I wanted to rest and that is exactly what I did. Slept late, only had breakfast at 11h00 - lazed on the lovely beach (truly beautiful). The chalet itself was really comfortable except for the funny contraption they call a shower, which you can't regulate yourself. Will I go there again? Probably - but not in the near future.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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53 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    3 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 stars
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    3 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2012

We spent two nights at Kande Beach as part of our overland trip. The upgrade to a beach front chalet was very reasonable. I believe the price for people traveling on their own would be in the $25 - $30 USD range. The beachfront chalets do not have an en-suite bathroom. The communal toilets and showers are only moderately clean, with low water pressure and on-demand water heaters that really only get the water tepid.

There are rooms that have en-suite bathrooms, although they are not ocean front.

The camp is in an excellent location, on a nice stretch of beach on the beautiful Lake Malawi. It is quite popular with overlanding tours, and it isn't unusual to see two or three trucks parked in the camp. The ocean front chalet was basic but charming and comfortable.

There is no WiFi, but there is an ethernet cable and computers that can be used for a fee. There is also a bar with cold bevies. There is a laundry service that can have your clothes back to you the next day. It costs between $5 and $10 USD for a medium sized bag of clothes.

Watch out for the "dodgy boys" on the beach. They do a little of the hard sell scene, and one of our travelling companions got scammed for a few dollars. The same is true for the group of guys hanging around just outside the camp gate. We don't recommend dealing with any of these guys.

If you really want to buy something, or go on a walking tour of the local village, ask somebody to find Samuel L. Jackson for you - really! The local men take on Western names because we can't pronounce or remember their real names. Samuel L. Jackson is reliable and honest. He very creative and will show you his hand painted t-shirts and paintings if you ask.

All and all, it wasn't a bad place to stop for a night or two. We really loved waking up in the morning with lake right outside our door.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2012

Our overland camping group pulled in here for a couple of days en route to Livingstone. I thought the place was beautiful! I paid for an "upgrade" to one of the single rooms, felt like I was in a damp smelling storage shed, but it nice to be out of a tent for a couple of nights. But the bungalows for 2 were way nicer, and if you choose to upgrade, share with someone if possible.

The beach was beautiful, the water warm, the bar was nice and staff friendly. The campsite had internet, pool table, hammocks and lounge areas all over the place to kick back with a book. There are some nice activities in the area as well - the horse back riding was awesome and ended in a swim in the lake.

Be careful if you leave the property to go to the village, the locals are RELENTLESS, trying to sell you stuff, if you show any interest at all in anything (even if you're pretending) they will show up at gate and stalk you.

Overall, I really had a great time, yes - the overland groups can take over the bar, but they are a lot of fun... :)

Room Tip: The single rooms are 8x5 windowless rooms with doors, when you're facing them - the 2 on the lef...
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  • Stayed February 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Mandal, Norway
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2012

Stayed here in october and it was a nice stay. The beach was fantastic, and the chalets too. I booked a chalet and it was big enough of me. We were 3 friends going together, but we had 2 chalets. Not expensive at all. Drinks in the bar was ok, and food in the restaurant was al right. Not perfect, but ok.
I would definitely go there again on my next trip in Malawi.

It is true that trucks with backpackers are staying there, and there is a party going on every night. But that was no problem for us. You can join the party, or go to sleep in the chalets a bit away. It was not disturbing.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Uppsala, Sweden
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2011

TRIPADVISOR
Kande beach lodge:
If you are traveling as a backpacker in Malawi and around Lake Malawi, do not stay at Kande beach lodge.
This is a really overpriced place with an overpriced restaurant. The food at the restaurant is not worth the money you spend there and the food is nothing special at all. The bar price is ok. If you want to cook your own food it´s possible to that. You can make a fire and borrow a pot from the staff, but there is a problem. If they are out of firewood you never know when they will have it again. You can ask the manager but nothing will really happen. If you are sleeping in a dorm or the small beach huts there is no water to drink so you must by from the bar. If you are living in the little bit better ones they provide you with drinking water and a water boiler just make sure you boil it first. We stayed in the stone house that has cooking facilities, shower and running water. We used that water to boil and drink and after 4 days we found out it was lake water. There was no warning in the house and the manager never told us about it.

Avoid this place….

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kandebeach, Owner at Kande Beach Resort, responded to this review, February 21, 2013
i would like to comment on the water situation mentioned in this review. firstly the water provided in the cottages is definitely not from the lake. we get all our drinking water from a deep borehole in the local village and it is safe to drink. i have been drinking it for the past 18 years. secondly we dont provide drinking water in the backpacker rooms as most hardy travellers would either do as we do, and get it from a well or borehole and we are situated on the edge of the 3rd largest fresh water lake in africa, where by adding a purifying agent or just boiling for 10 minutes, you have access to as much free drinking water as anyone would need. we do sell water at the bar and most travellers are prepared to either buy this or make their own plan.......
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NL
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2010

Yeah, that actually does make sense if you think of a Resort. To us it was a culture shock. The place is busy, has high capacity and is a well-oiled holiday-machine. In other words, a resort. You can stay as a couple/solo, but mostly the resort aims at groups, over-landers. This means that there usually are a few groups and the place is busy, which can be to your liking or not.

Service was usually sufficient, as in nothing special, but the basics are all right. Except the restaurant personnel (especially the waiter), they were more than OK. Although you had to walk to the bar (outside the restaurant, some bit away) to get any drinks. The man who tended the boats (we rented one) on the other hand tried to get us out of our boat early because he wanted to go home... That I found less than OK Finally, our departure was a bit disappointing. It is something of a 2.5 km walk to the main road, so we called for the recommended taxi driver, which is mentioned at the reception desk... He was not around, and that was that. It simply meant: walk. Not an unusual thing in Africa, I know, but that is where an European style Resort doesn't match its African environment well enough I think.

Accommodation:
We slept in our tent and one night in a beach chalet. Wherever you pitch your tent, there are no quiet corners. When you are there with your little tent, the sheer amount of tents, trucks and people can be somewhat overwhelming, but otherwise it is OK There is even electricity around the camp ground.

The beach chalet was lovely. It gives some privacy, because you have your own veranda with a view over the lake and Kande Island. They tend to be full, so if you want one, do make a reservation.

Activities:
As said, location is beautiful but the place is a bit busy/massive (to my taste). On the other hand, probably because of the large scale, some cool activities are offered.

There are PCs with internet available. Expensive, but it works and is reasonably fast.

An absolutely wonderful experience (unless you hate horses) is a horse-riding trip through the surrounding villages, which ends n Lake Malawi. It is not cheap, but prices are very reasonable in my opinion (horse riding is never cheap). Anyway, it is good value. Not only the swimming part, riding through villages, accompanied by a local (also on a horse) who speaks local language, gave me a chance to take a look at village life without being the big disturbing factor myself (being white). Or maybe on a horse you're just a different disturbing factor, but anyhow, the experience is different from just walking around and it is special.

Also we rented a catamaran (old and squeaky, but hey, we didn't sink), but alas, no wind so we came back half-way the afternoon to get a drink from the bar...

Service intermezzo:
That was when the boat-tender stated that we had to bring the boat back, because his working day was almost finished... Yeah, right. We did actually pay European prices at the reception for "half a day" (we figured that would be at least 4 hours). His answer was something like "I only work 6 hours, so 3 hours is half a day..." So we agreed to be back in "half an hour" and that was fine...

Back to activities:
Thing is, there are some cool activities (there is diving and snorkelling too, but we didn't do that). I think Kande is the only place in Malawi where you can ride a horse.

All in all: Not my style, but a pretty decent resort I think. Do prepare for sort of a mass tourism experience. If you are looking for a party, this is your place.

Worst: Whining fellow tourists.
Best: Horse riding!

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mainz
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
23 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2010

We traveled to Kande Beach with our Overland Group Nomad Tours. This place was heaven! The Cabinas are right at the beach so you can hear the waves at night when you're going to sleep. The whole place is very nice and you will enjoy just hanging around in one the many hammocks on the campground. I would definitely go there again on my next trip in Malawi!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Kande Beach Resort

Address: Lake Shore, Chinteche, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Northern Region > Chinteche
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Chinteche
Also Known As:
Kande Beach Resort Malawi/Chinteche

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