Situated on stunning Likoma island in the middle of Lake Malawi, set in the warm heart of Africa. Kaya Mawa offers the ultimate beach destination in Africa, as an amazing escape in itself, or before or after your safari elsewhere. For complete relaxation and indulgence, or to enjoy a variety of unique watersports. Upon arrival on the islands airstrip, you will experience the warmest welcome by the friendliest people of the local communities.
Voted in the top ten 'Most Romantic Places in the World' by Conde Nast and in the Tatler top 101 Hotels in the World, most recently voted ‘Most romantic safari property’ by the Safari Awards 2018 and voted Best Beach Property in Africa in the Good Safari Awards. From the pristine white sandy beach, the stunning lodges, blended in nature and the staff recruited from the local community, there is literally nowhere else like it…..
Likoma Island is the larger of two inhabited islands in Lake Malawi, one of Africa’s great. It’s also one of the deepest lakes of the world and home to the largest number of fish species (over 700) than any other lake on the planet.
The island features stunning white sandy beaches, lush vegetation, with many Baobab trees and Mango trees. Likoma is inhabitated by approx. 9000 people, who will provide you with the warmest welcome, when you stroll around the villages.
Make sure to visit one of its amazing additional sights; despite its small size, Likoma island features St Peters cathedral, one of the largest churches in Africa.
Why should you come over here:
At Kaya, we offer a variety of accommodations, all overlooking the beach or the lake, all offering the highest standards of luxury accommodation. However, each chalet has its own characteristics, some offering private pools, for you to choose from.
The first chalet on the beach, closest to the bar and restaurant makes Khuyu the perfect place for those who wish to just relax and enjoy the lake.
Our second chalet from the beach. Built higher up the rocks Mbungu has stunning views across the lake and across the Kaya Mawa beach. Below the chalet down a stone stairway is a private deck with access straight into the lake.
Nestled right on the edge of the lake, Msekwa is a photographer's favourite. Enter through an arched doorway. The wooden walkway allows you to make the best of the lake.
Almost at the top of a rocky knoll Nkwhazi boasts 180 degree views down the lake and across to Mozambique Three split level decks and a plunge pool with seating for two.
At the top of the knoll with 360 degree view of the lake. Stunning views whether it be from your bed or private plunge pool under the canopy of the ficus tree.
Want to stay on your own island? Make your way across the wooden bridge and find yourself at Makungulu. Covered in bougainvillea, a beautiful room leads out on to a wooden deck and jetty over the lake with striking views to Mozambique.
At the far end of the Kaya Mawa beach lies a grand house. A huge bedroom with a mezzanine sundowners spot, twin showers and a bath with a view over the deck to the pool or relax in the sitting room with a private bar. What more could you want?
A two bed roomed house with a Tanzania style seating area in the middle. Sit and relax or cool off in the beautiful plunge pool with views across to Honeymoon Island. Mainja is ideal for a family break or even friends staying together.
Wanting to stay as a family? Yofu is an ideal chalet with two separate rooms enough for a family of four. Nestled into the back of the beach partially hidden by a large mango tree, perfect for families wanting to spend as much time as possible on the beach and in the lake.
Our second family beach chalet. Big enough for a family of 5. A two roomed house with an interconnecting bathroom. The main room looks down across the beach straight into the lake. The other room perfect for children can fit two single beds with space for another that hangs from the roof leading out on to a shaded terrace.
Ndomo is ideal for those wanting complete privacy from the outside world, a great family home or a magical escape for two.
Ndomo house has 4 bedrooms, three of which have their own bathrooms. The other has a bathroom located just outside the door. 8 people can stay in the house with access to your own private beach, kitchen and large living area. Your own plunge pool for the lazy days when the lake seems too far away.
Three large terraces, courtyard, outside dining and barbecue area, swimming pool and secluded beach. The house is fully staffed with a nanny, cook, housekeeper, ground staff and watchmen.
The house is located on the South West corner of the island with uninterrupted views across to the neighbouring island. A year round sunset is a secret surprise, the only place on the island and as far as we know, the only place on the lake.
Kaya Mawa is partnered with Likoma Island Divers and is a recognised PADI Resort. We have two in-house dive instructors so whatever skills you may or may not have we can get you exploring the amazing underwater scenery.
Likoma Island, surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Malawi, is widely regarded as having the best diving on the Lake, both in terms of the diversity of fish species and their sheer abundance.
Kaya Mawa offers three Lasers and one Laser 2 for you tou use, either by yourself or with our qualified instructors
Nine kayaks are available for you to explore further territory on the water...
Kaya Mawa has the only Kite surfing centre on Lake Malawi as far as we know. With all new Cabrinha equipment available to rent and our in house instructor your ready to try for the first time or get out on the lake as an experienced rider. A frequent early morning breeze or a good afternoon blow means there is nearly always an opportunity to get out there.
With skis to fit ages 5 to 70 and a trained instructor on hand to give handy tips and pointers to ensure you will be on your feet (or knees) in no time.
Our boatmen have all been fishermen in their past lives so know all the hot spots and fish to catch. We do promote catch and release...
The beach at Kaya Mawa offers our guests plenty of activities. From kayaking to sailing or just sitting on our sun lounges dotted around the beach you can find anyway to relax. Crystal clear and still in the mornings is a perfect opportunity to go snorkeling or water ski on the glassy water. On Kaya Mawa’s beach you can find the bar and restaurant where you have lunch and dine in the evenings.
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The bar and restaurant are at the east end of our beach where it meets the rocky knoll. Split into a multi level deck the area offers seating at the bar, around coffee tables or a lounging area on comfy sofas.The bar offers fantastic sunset views and all the way to the south of the lake just meters from the water.
Our Award Nominated kitchen here at Kaya Mawa prides itself on serving fresh, healthy and innovative dishes using local organic produce, hand picked herbs from our garden and well sourced meats and fresh lake fish.Indulge at breakfast time with a classic Eggs Benedict or keep it light with fresh fruit salad and toasted muesli. .Enjoy a lazy lunch of homemade bread and dips followed by the kitchen teams creation of the day.
Fancy going to see some local football where the atmosphere is buzzing? Talk to one of our managers to find out when a game is on.
A much more leisurely way to take the island in is by quad bike, led by a guide you will be shown all the sights of Likoma without working up a sweat.
Fancy a bit of off road cycling? Then we have mountain bikes for all ages.
With an island as friendly as Likoma no guides are necessary, but are on hand should you wish. Wonder off and see where the road takes you, to the cathedral and the market, or the textiles workshop or one of the many community projects. It really couldn't be much easier and safer.
May: lovely clear blue skies, the rains have finished. The lake is full and temperatures are around 30 degrees.
June - August: Our coolest season. We have a prevailing wind that blows through for a few days at a time keeping temperatures down to 20-25 degrees in the day and as low as 16 at night. The mornings tend to be calm and then by midday the wind picks up occasionally producing a swell not much different from the sea.
September - December: It slowly warms up to up to about 37 degrees, the water reaching 20+ degrees. Clear blue skies during the day and starry nights abound.
December - April: Our rainy season although it doesn't tend to rain much during the days. The rain normally starts around 9 at night and stops by 5 in the morning, no guarantees though. The temperature is cooler than November as the evening showers cool down the land. Temperatures during the day reach about 30 degrees with medium humidity.
By Air: You'll need to get to Lilongwe (Kamuzu) airport. The favoured routes being via Lusaka, Nairobi or Johannesburg and then catching the Proflight (link) (from Zambia) flight, Kenya Airways (from Nairobi) of SAA flight (from Johannesburg). Once at Lilongwe, you'll need to clear customs (we can have someone meet you and guide you through if you want) and then on to a light aircraft to bring you up to the island. It's about an hour's flight from Lilongwe to Likoma with beautiful scenery all the way up.By Water: For more information of flights and rates get in touch and we can help out. How about jumping aboard a 1956 tramp steamer, the Ilala. Once getting to Lilongwe we can arrange for a vehicle to take you down to Chipoka, the nearest port. From there the ferry can pick you up and bring you up to the Island. It's a 36 hour trip with a few stops on the way. It's how the locals get out to the island and is always an interesting experience. Be warned it is not the most reliable form of transport and it only visits the island once a week (Fridays) from Chipoka.To get from Ila Safari Lodge to Kaya Mawa, via Lusaka or Mfuwe (South Luangwa) can be done in one day (1 drive, 2 short flights or 3 short flights). Please ask your travel agent or ground handler for advise. All transfers can be arranged by Green Safaris.
Please note that your weight allowance on the light aircraft is 15kg and soft bags must be used.It is always advisable to pack in your hand luggage a change of clothes and anything you may require on a daily basis whilst away, just in case your luggage is misplaced en- route.It is advisable to make sure that you have full travel insurance whilst travelling in Africa.