Guests can fly to Likoma Island and then take the speed boat or sail across Lake Niassa, Mozambique to Nkwichi Lodge. Intrepid travellers have other exciting options.
Livingstone called Lake Niassa, Mozambique the Lake of Stars. This beautiful body of fresh water is so vast it seems like a sea. Crammed with fluorescent fish, the clear water is just wonderful for snorkelling and swimming.
Located in the Rift Valley, Lake Niassa, Mozambique is shared with Malawi. Nkwichi Lodge is situated in a remote area on the lake shore accessible by boat only or a 3 hour walk from the nearest village.
Manda Wilderness is a leader in responsible tourism. Environmental and community projects are all important. Fresh produce for the lodge is grown on the farm next door and a game reserve has been established. The Manda Wilderness Community Trust operates a number of other projects to uplift the community through sustainable tourism.
Nkwichi Lodge staff and guides are employed from within the community; many helped to build the lodge and then stayed on to receive training and now support their families doing work which they love.
Lilongwe to Likoma Island takes 60 minutes. Lodge staff meet guests at the airstrip and transfer them by speed boat taking 40 minutes, or by dhow which takes 90 minutes.
It is recommended that guests book a cabin on board which includes bed and breakfast. The historic Ilala Ferry departs from Chipoka which is a 60 minute drive from Lilongwe. The ferry leaves on Friday evenings arriving at Cobue (nearest village to the lodge) the next day. Ilala Ferry also departs from Nkhata Bay in the north on Monday evenings arriving at Cobue the following morning. In both cases lodge staff will meet guests and transfer them by boat to Manda Nkwichi which takes 30 minutes.
A local yacht charter company arranges charters on a catamaran from Monkey Bay in the south. The journey takes 3 days sailing up the east coast of Lake Niassa.
There are 2 routes, via Mangochi which is very scenic or via Liwonde which is quicker, to the Namwera / Mandimba border post. From there it is about a 3 hour drive to Lichinga, and a further 4 and a half hours to Cobue. There are no fuel stations after Lichinga and only a few simple shops.
There are scheduled flights on a regular basis from Maputo, Beira and Nampula to Lichinga. After that access is by road.
This route is very scenic and takes about 4 and a half hours. There are no fuel stations after Lichinga and a couple of basic shops, so guests would need to stock up for the journey.
Guests, upon booking, will be given contact details in Cobue for safe and secure parking. A boat crew from the lodge will be waiting to make the transfer to Manda Nkwichi Lodge; this can take 25 minutes by speed boat or 1 hour by motorised dhow.
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