We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

The Friendly Gecko

Lifuwu village, Leopard Bay, Salima Malawi
Contact accommodation for availability.
There are similar hotels available.
View all
Traveler (12)
Pool & Beach (7)
Room & Suite (6)


The Friendly Gecko Guest House offers you the perfect way to enjoy the beautiful Lake Malawi and experience authentic Malawian village life. Our Guest House is located in the village of Lifuwu right on the shores of Lake Malawi. We are around 2 hours by car away from Lilongwe or a 20 minute car ride to the nearby Senga Bay resorts.
Read more
Property amenities
Free parking
Free breakfast
Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly)
Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Room types


Lifuwu village, Leopard Bay, Salima Malawi
9Reviews4Q+A1Room tip
Traveler rating
  • 6
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Time of year
Traveler type
Selected filters
  • Filter
  • English
Popular mentions
During my backpacking trip through Malawi I stayed at the Friendly Gecko for one night (Thursday night before Lake of Stars began Friday). As I understood it, the Friendly Gecko is primarily for people staying for longer periods of time while doing volunteer work in the area (the Friendly Gecko itself has a LOT of awesome projects going on). Probably because of this fact, the place seemed a bit more “homey” than other places - it was obvious that somebody was actually having their everyday lives there and therefor the living room, bathroom and kitchen was not as tidied up as you would see most places - but it was clean, pleasant to be in and of course the dorm rooms was tidied up and ready for guests - and with towels on the beds! (I don’t know how to describe the place without it maybe having a negative sound to it - but really, it was a nice place). I was traveling with a group of people. We arrived after dark (I think it was 8 or 9 pm) and with no food whatsoever. We accidentally woke up some of the volunteers staying there, but there was no negativity about it and they even gave us some (a lot of) pasta to cook for dinner. We all stayed in one room with bunk beds having space for six people and though a fan in the room it was extremely warm in there (which was also due to the season just being warm). Next morning there was a nice breakfast buffet. I wanted to go to swim, but was told that of course I could if I would, but it would be frowned upon by the locals if I did not cover my body up, as it is a Muslim area. I didn’t go swim and I was happy with my decision when later going to the nearby village and Salima. I wore shorts ending just above my knees and I did have some looks. (But really, it was my own fault not paying attention to my clothes and my surroundings - so just make sure to wear appropriate clothes while there.) All in all, I enjoyed my stay at the Friendly Gecko!
Read more
This is actually a very large home that acomodates volunteers with the organization help2kids. There is a nice kitchen and bath, all is shared. Most rooms are dorm rooms. Transport only goes twice a day, on an unpaved (at this writing) road.
Read more
I chose the Friendly Gecko because of their active involvement in social upliftment of the Lifuwe Village. I was not dissapointed in fact I was pleasantly surprised.This is real Africa and the people are warm and accommodating,The views are splendid and the beach of the bay a few steps away.Although I was on a business trip I could not help to push my schedule in order to spend more time in Leopard Bay. I ventured into the village and beyond driving myself. I shall be back.
Read more
Great place to stay with a fantastic location and cool mission. Expect a few volunteers for their partner organization to be living there full time, but this doesn't detract from the experience at all. Hard to beat the location as it's in the heart of an authentic Malawian fishing village and right on the lake!
Read more
Friendly hosts......friendly volunteers......recommended budget accommodation for a peaceful lake experience...... Incase you are lost, the villagers around the place are always willing to assist with directions. Also recommend everyone to visit this side of Senga bay more often as there is an extensive beach and great views.
Read more
Response from FriendlyGecko, Manager at The Friendly Gecko
Responded May 18, 2014
Thank you so much for the feedback and taking the time to write a review! We are so glad that you had a peaceful experience at our Guest House as we strive to create a tranquil environment for those hoping to escape the city for a few days of calm and relaxation. Lake Malawi and the beaches are indeed wonderful in this area and on clear days it is fun to see the other shores of Malawi across the Lake. We hope to host you again in the future! Thanks for choosing to stay at the Friendly Gecko!
Read more
MalawiCentral RegionSalima
Is This Your Tripadvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing
Frequently Asked Questions about The Friendly Gecko
What are some of the property amenities at The Friendly Gecko?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include free breakfast, free parking, and kids activities.
What food & drink options are available at The Friendly Gecko?
Guests can enjoy free breakfast during their stay.
Is parking available at The Friendly Gecko?
Yes, free parking is available to guests.
Are pets allowed at The Friendly Gecko?
Yes, pets are typically allowed, but it's always best to call ahead to confirm.