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Lake Malawi/Niassa, Lichinga 3300 Mozambique
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#1 of 2 Specialty lodging in Lichinga
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A hidden hand-built lodge on the dazzling Mozambique shores of Lake Malawi /Niassa. A rare chance to savour an unspoiled corner of real Africa. Explore on foot, by canoe, in sailing dhows. Laze in a hammock above a secluded cove. See for yourself how responsible tourism supports local people and their timeless surroundings. Sugar-white 'squeaking' sands, washed by clear fresh water teeming with tropical fish.
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Lake Malawi/Niassa, Lichinga 3300 Mozambique
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Lilongwe Intl Airport125 miSee all flights
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135Reviews7Q+A31Room tips
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MalawiMike2014 wrote a review Aug 2019
Lilongwe, Malawi323 contributions13 helpful votes
+1
A wild and beautiful location on the Mozambique side of Lake Malawi. The rooms are spacious and very open that give a real wilderness feel to the setting, with open air showers and huge outside baths. My romantic bubble bath for one was pretty awesome too… I also enjoyed the bar setting on the beach, and the use of old dugouts as a bookshelf, the bar and the sofas. Nkwichi have invested heavily in solar, which is a nice green touch and compliments the “supporting local vibe”!!
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Date of stay: August 2019
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Response from nkwichilodge, Reservations Manager at Nkwichi Lodge
Responded Aug 26, 2019
Ola Mike! Thank you kindly for your review of Nkwichi! We are so happy you came to visit the other side of the lake and to enjoy everything which makes Nkwichi special. Hope we see you again really soon :)
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Toby W wrote a review Jul 2019
London, United Kingdom7 contributions15 helpful votes
Nkwitchi is a symphonic juxtaposition of nature and luxury on the Mozambican side of Lake Malawi, or Lago Niassa to give its Mozambican name. In reality, they are closer linked to Malawi some 50 kilometres across the lake, than they are to Mozambique; due to the remoteness of the secluded bay. The only road here is a walking trail which links up the villages, certainly not passable by vehicle. The only realistic way in for tourists is by boat, and we opted to fly from Lilongwe to the tiny airstrip on Likoma island, on route in the 6 seater prop plane we were afforded some great aerial views of Nkhotakota national park which we had just visited, and of course, the oceanic Lake Malawi. A short boat ride with immigration stop took around an hour in total from Likoma, which did not feel a chore at all, aided by two of the happy staff members and a Manica beer or two from the boat’s cool box. We had the fortune to round the rocky outcrop at the north side of the white sandy bay just as the sun was dipping low; its rays tinged the smattering of dancing clouds with oranges and pinks. We were treated to a glorious 360 degree atmospheric display of colour to greet us on our arrival. Seemingly this was caused by the tinted beams of sunlight bouncing off the inland sea. Luckily, Nkwitchi lived up to this arrival, and it really was the perfect prelude to 48 magical hours in this little piece of paradise. Conjuring words to describe the plethora of delights here will never do it justice. Neither will photos or videos. Suffice to say that if you appreciate natural beauty and want to feel at one with nature in luxury, you cannot be disappointed here. The feeling of wilderness washes over you as you arrive, and emanates through you during your stay. It can be slightly disconcerting at first if you’ve not been this remote before, but you soon acclimatise and excitement takes over at what’s round the next corner. The main bay has fine white sand, which glistens in the sunlight from the right angle, due to the quartz and other rich mineral deposits in the lava flow rocks that erupted from the Great Rift Valley millions of years ago as the continent of Africa has been slowly ripped apart. You can see the earth’s story in the bedrock yet to become sand by the swirling layers, obscure structures, and glimmering mineral deposits that are a large part of the topography here. The white sand is dotted with pink hued quartz pebbles where the waves caress the shoreline, and beyond the white horses cantering to shore, Lake Malawi shows you her turquoise shallows, and deep blue depths. The other colour to mention here is green. We arrived just at after the rainy season at the end of April, and the surrounding jungle is pristine and lush, preserved in part by the sad ravages of past humanic unrest. Darkness brings with it the exceptional sight of the Milky Way luminescing its way across a sky that is completely free of light pollution. The design here understands that such stark beauty needs only a light enhancing, so the structures are rustic and non-imposing. Think Africa meets Ibiza chill, epitomised by the local wooden built structures, adorned with billowing white cloth. Just don’t expect Balearic beats here, nature provides the soundtrack. There is no need for restaurant buildings when you can eat where-ever you desire; be it the beach, the natural rocky outcrop to the lake, or your private garden. There is a clean white and wood themed beach bar on the sand of the main beach, with plenty of seating space, plants, artwork and a fire pit to while away an evening, and just out of earshot are a few romantic sun-beds. Meander away from the beach down one of the pink pebble lined sandy pathways into the jungle, and you find an open planned lodge area just back from the shoreline. The Lake of Stars as it’s fondly known, with a music festival to the same moniker, is also informationally called The Calendar Lake. Being 365 miles long and 52 miles wide at maximum, it perfectly befits the days and weeks in a year, hence a whole calendar. It’s four million year old depths of up to 700 meters make it the sixth largest lake in the world by depth, fourth by volume, and ninth largest by area, totalling approximately twenty percent of Malawi’s geographical footprint. Lake Malawi is a meromictic lake, meaning that its water layers do not mix. Most of the shoreline is rocky or beach, with areas of reeds in places, with various tropical islands along its length, some of which are private resorts. The single outlet to the lake carving through the rocky rift forms the shire river, which is a tributary to the mighty Zambezi and its stunning Victoria Falls of Dr Livingstone fame. Due to the crystal clear waters and mostly bedrock formed bottom, most of the lake is free of any of Africa’s dangerous aquatic inhabitants, meaning you can enjoy all of the water-sports you’d expect on any ocean. This also gives it a distinct hue with a myriad of blues and greens, as appealing when there are waves crashing on the shoreline, or its flat surface makes all types of boating a joy. The underwater landscape makes for a completely unique habitat for its underwater life. The most conservative estimate is 600 endemic species of fish, up to 1600 comprised in the vast majority by mouth brooding cichlids in all shapes, sizes, and brilliant electrifying colours. Due to the distinctive environment, the cichlids here speciate at a rapid rate, because of this expeditious transition, it’s almost impossible to catalogue them all before they create yet another branch of the cichlid family tree. There are also catfish, lake salmon, and a few other non-cichlid species, making a local fish dining experience here completely unique. If you’re not eating the fish, try swimming with them with the complementary snorkelling equipment, or glide over them canoeing around the bays. Nkwitchi has a few small bays and a main beach which stretches about 300 meters along the untouched Mozambican shoreline, and is as wide as a highway before the sand gives way to lush forest. You can quite easily lose track of time strolling along from the lodge to the south end of the beach, past a few lush green outlets of jungle streams, gemstone pebbles, and local wildlife. Just try and put down the camera long enough to enjoy it! We stayed in Kakoa, which is built subtly into the rocks, with a high triangular thatched roof. The open fronted design which pokes delicately out of the jungle foliage has the run of a small, private rocky bay, complete with an outside sandy seating area, a sundeck, and a cave lookout platform. The bathroom is also built around the natural formations, with little more than a head-height bamboo type fence to hide your modesty from the baboons that occasionally visit. If you have the good fortune to stay in this chalet, you absolutely have to get the staff to run you an extremely bubbly bath in the heart shaped bath lined with candles before dinner. It comfortably fits two, and I can assure you that if you have a drink or two with you, the lines of time will blur as you luxuriously listen to the sounds of the waves crash on the shore intertwined with the nature all around. We had a couple of small excursions from the main lodge, the first of which was a half an hour jaunt through the forest to a 2000 year old baobab tree that was 29 meters in circumference. The majesty of the tree sheltered us from the sun as we had lunch on the bench amongst the roots and marvelled at the beauty and sheer vastness of her and the lifetimes that she has seen. If you listen closely, you can hear the colony of bats that make the old mother their home during the day. Our guide shows us the bullet holes from the civil war in too recent living history, and tells us the story of the 25 local people who climbed into the tree’s bat-cave in one go and survived marauding rebels. Our other hike was up to a huge rock outcrop on the top of one of the hills to watch the sun slowly sink into the lake, providing us a second stunning sunset in 2 days. No sunset would be complete without a sundowner or two, provided in the cool-box carried by the ever pleasant staff. After this we headed back for a 3 course dinner by gas-lamp-light on our own private table on the beach. The food here is locally sourced where possible, so expect to sample the fish from the lake, supplemented by tasty and healthy options shipped in. It was a lovely surprise every meal to see what the talented chefs had concocted for us each lunch and dinner. Breakfast was cooked as we liked our eggs in front of us in the morning with a compliment of bread, fruit, cereals, and spreads. Nkwitchi has been around since 1998, but in recent years was in need of some sprucing up. Bjorn is South African and Martina was born in Croatia, but is more heavily influenced by living the majority of her life in Austria and Switzerland. Together as the current managers, they have taken on the task for the last few months of breathing some fresh life into Nkwitchi, and from what I can see; they have done an incredible job. They tell me that they have a lot more they plan to do, and while it’s not needed, I really cannot wait to see what it looks like when it’s ‘finished’! The longest member of staff has been here 19 years, and I cannot fault the service of any of the lovely locals that do everything to make your stay here as enjoyable as possible, with a huge warm smile. On the second day here, a retired lady from England arrived who is volunteering her time to help train and teach the staff in return for bed and board, and it’s great to see Nkwitchi’s staff are happy doing their jobs. We absolutely fell in love with Nkwitchi, and you have to pinch yourself every time you look around for the natural secluded beauty of the settings. However it’s very important to manage expectations here, so that if you’re looking for a luxury resort with a swimming pool, air-con, and all the trimmings, then it’s not for you. Having said that, I brought a Londoner here a few days into her first trip ever to Africa, and she did not want to leave. If the idea of glamping on steroids, in an African park on the best beach you’ve seen in your life sounds like your cup of tea, then sign yourselves up for an utterly unforgettable experience, and be prepared to chase the odd baboon out of your bathroom! I had the serendipity to be here with a partner for a romantic getaway a year into our relationship, and I am sure that the memories we made in our two nights here will bring a smile to our faces for many years to come. Nirvana Nikwitchi day: • Have coffee brought to your room for sunrise, and enjoy the brew as the jungle and lake around you slowly comes to life. • Do some yoga or take a stroll in the stunning surroundings to energize the body and soul for the day • Feed the body by the shore of Lake Malawi with eggs of your choice either on the beach or on the rocky outcrop. • Explore the surroundings, there’s enough to keep you entertained for days here, so dedicate at least a morning to it. Stroll the beach and the jungle. Play with the pigs. Pick up pebbles. Take pictures. Lose yourself in this sun kissed utopia. • Head to the huge baobab tree for lunch under her inviting branches • Activity time! Take a kayak, snorkel or swim in the lake to see what’s hidden beneath the cool water. • Take a hike to the lookout point for sunset and sundowners. • Get the staff to run you a bubbly bath before dinner, candles necessary, wine optional. • Dinner at your private table on the beach, followed by nightcaps by the campfire.
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Date of stay: May 2019
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Trip type: Traveled as a couple
2 Helpful votes
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Response from nkwichilodge, Reservations Manager at Nkwichi Lodge
Responded Aug 26, 2019
Toby, wow! What an incredible review - and so much information for potential visitors to Nkwichi. We can't thank you enough! You definitely have a way with words and we can read your review over and over again - it reads like a castaway story. We hope to see you two gracing our shores again in the future...
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LondonEscapee09 wrote a review Jan 2019
London32 contributions33 helpful votes
+1
I couldn’t contain my excitement when the boat rounded the headland and I had my first sight of Nkwichi’s amazing white beach spread out before me… and this excitement only grew with the warm welcome I received on disembarking, before being shown to my magical chalet. I felt like I had discovered paradise! From beginning to end, I loved my whole experience at Nkwichi. This truly is a remote corner of Africa where the local people are so happy to welcome you. Everything is done to make you enjoy your time, whether you just want to chill on the beach, explore the lake or visit the surrounding countryside and villages. And then there are the fireside sundowners and all the wonderful locations on offer for different dining experiences. Yes, it’s not easy to get to, but the journey disappears once you settle into the gentle pace of life at Nkwichi and the welcome shown by fabulous local the staff who are delighted to welcome you to their beautiful homeland. I also loved the role that Nkwichi plays in the local community. This is a real wilderness area which could easily be overlooked but a key role of the lodge is re-investment in the community, creating employment and supporting a charity that helps with local development. My only question is: when can I come back???
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Date of stay: December 2018
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Trip type: Traveled solo
Room Tip: Each chalet has its own individual character and charm. It was hard to choose a favourite.
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1 Helpful vote
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Response from nkwichilodge, Reservations Manager at Nkwichi Lodge
Responded Aug 26, 2019
Bom dia from Nkwichi! Sorry we have taken so long to respond to you but THANK YOU so much for your beautiful feedback on our little corner of bliss. Come back soon - you will be most welcome :)
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OlliIT wrote a review Jan 2019
4 contributions3 helpful votes
we unfortunately never reached the Lodge since we had a very bad accident in the middle of the unpaved road from Lichinga to Cobue. The driver was arranged by the lodge and he was driving very fast, insomuch that already after 30' from the pick at Lichinga airport - when we were still on the paved road directed to Metnagula - one of the tier exploded and we had to use the small emergency tier. On the unpaved road from Metangula to Cobue the road conditions were super bad and the driver was still drinving like crazy notwithstanding our requests to slow down...and the car turned upside down twice. It's a miracle if we are alive, the manager of the lodge promptly assisted us to find a doctor and arrange our return but we had to call an emergency flight from Lichinga to Nairobi since in Mozambique the first hospital with x rays and brain scans was 1000km far.
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Date of stay: January 2019Trip type: Traveled as a couple
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Alisa B wrote a review Nov 2018
99 contributions13 helpful votes
+1
I'm just back home after spending 6 nights at this beautiful place. I'd never been to Lake Malawi before and this is definitely the place you what to stay if you are looking for a secluded spot to soak up the sun, read books and do lots of snorkelling. We flew over the lake on a small plane from Lilongwe to Likoma Island and so got a good idea of the scale of this massive lake (like a small sea!)- Nkwichi definitely seems to have be built on the best beach. White white fine sand- while other beaches have more coarse browner sand! We enjoyed a few different activities during the week, including kayaking through the granite boulder islands, picnic lunches scattered around the property, lunch under the giant ancient baobab tree, rock jumping, sleeping out in the 'star bed' under the full moon down on the beach, hiked up to the top of a nearby hill to watch the local choir sing for us (spectacular sound and was made more dramatic by a huge thunder and lightening storm rolling in!) and bubble baths in the huge stone baths. But the highlight for me was the snorkelling. Its feels like your in an aquarium! The crystal clear turquoise lake water at a perfectly cool temperature is a welcome retreat from the hot sun during the day. I took my own fins and mask/snorkel though the lodge does also provide these. The Cichlid fish were lovely, eating the algae that grows on the granite boulders! The staff were very friendly and made sure we were well looked after. As other reviews have noted the lodge is very much off the beaten track (which I thought was a blessing) but it does mean you have to be willing to 'go with the flow' and enjoy the journey, however you decide to travel there. Don't be expecting 5-star luxury, but do be expecting 'bare-foot' luxury and appreciate that you're here for the peace, beauty and remoteness of this place- there are very few places left in the world like this where you can really switch off from the outside world. Thank you to Valantine, Paul and the rest of the Nkwichi team for a really memorable week.
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Date of stay: November 2018
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Trip type: Traveled with friends
Room Tip: Kakoa is the only totally open room so you can wake up with the dawn each morning. All bathrooms...
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1 Helpful vote
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Response from mrmpala, General Manager at Nkwichi Lodge
Responded Dec 11, 2018
Dear Alisa, thank you very much for sharing your experience & wonderful pictures. It was pleasure hosting you. We believe Nkwichi is an experience and we are delighted you took a liking to our offerings. We hope your memories of the place will draw you to return one day for a special occasion or to disconnect. Your valued feedback gives the added burst to continue to preserve our beautiful corner. Thank you, Valentine
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ALSO KNOWN AS
nkwichi hotel lichinga
LOCATION
MozambiqueNiassa ProvinceLichinga
NUMBER OF ROOMS
8
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Frequently Asked Questions about Nkwichi Lodge
What are some of the property amenities at Nkwichi Lodge?
Some of the more popular amenities offered include airport transportation, room service, and laundry service.
What food & drink options are available at Nkwichi Lodge?
Guests can enjoy breakfast during their stay.
Does Nkwichi Lodge have an airport shuttle?
Yes, Nkwichi Lodge offers an airport shuttle for guests. We recommend calling ahead to confirm details.
Does Nkwichi Lodge have any great views?
Yes, guests often enjoy the lake view available here.