On the wild shore of Lake Niassa
in Mozambique, the 9th largest lake in the world, is where
we built Nkwichi lodge. At 560km long, 80km wide and up to 700m
deep, it forms
the eastern border between Malawi and Mozambique. The lake's fresh water is
crystal clear and contains a greater variety of indigenous fish species of
than any other lake in the world.
Nkwichi Lodge lies on the Mozambique shoreline at one of the most beautiful points on the lake. It has been carefully designed to provide comfort and privacy for guests. With a maximum of only 14 people staying at Nkwichi, the lodge can offer guests the highest levels of service in a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.
The beach on the shores of the lake with its fine, white sand is the central feature at the heart of the lodge.. Nkwichi prides itself on practicing responsible tourism. By staying at the lodge guests are contributing to nature and the development of the community. The lodge provides wages for over 75 local members of staff. Their salaries support up to 15 members of their direct families. This means that by staying at the lodge you will have an impact on the lives of over a thousand people.
When you arrive by boat you would never know there is a lodge here. Each
Chalet has been carefully tucked away in the tree line so that the pristine
lakeshore scenery is unspoilt.
There are 6 chalets in total, allowing only 14 guests to sleep at the lodge at any one time. The chalets are located far enough apart to provide privacy. Each one is designed differently with their own unique characteristics. Some are built around rocks and trees surrounding the chalet. All of them are spacious attracting the breezes from the lake under the shady thatched roofs.
The central feature in each chalet is the enormous, 4-poster bed, made of old tree trunks and covered in a beautifully crafted white mosquito net. The sheets are freshly pressed as are your beach and bathrooms towels. Alongside bedside tables with flowers are carefully arranged by the lodge's staff. In the evenings there are electric lights in each room.
Each chalet has its own en-suite bathroom cleverly designed so that you can bathe outside under the tree canopy in complete privacy. All of the bathrooms have showers hung from overhanging branches with hot and cold running water. Some have bathtubs carved out of the living rock.
Each chalet has a thatched veranda to cool guests from the midday sun, complete with carved armchairs and hammocks for siestas.
Songea House and Chalet
For a private escape with family or friends, this unique house and chalet duo
combines idyllic accommodation, a great 'entertaining' venue, luxurious
outside dining, a secluded private beach and breath-taking views of the lake.
The main house has an extremely spacious open-plan design, with a grand dome
thatched roof. The main feature of the house is a large circular reception
room with a unique sunken sitting area. An attractive staircase leads to the
upstairs bedroom which has a balcony overlooking the central room downstairs.
A separate chalet a short distance from the main house provides additional accommodation - making this the perfect choice for small groups. The chalet's natural open design has picture-perfect views of the lake. The en-suite bathroom has a wonderful double-bath (great for sharing!), and is cleverly designed so that you can enjoy the great views across the lake while relaxing in your bath or shower.
Meals will be provided on site by your own chef, and you are a ten minute walk from the main lodge - where you can take full advantage of all the facilities.
Food and dining
Meals are an important part of everyday life at Nkwichi. No 2 meals are ever the same with the chef's delicious range of recipes and the numerous locations where guests can dine for different meals during the day.
The Lakeshore Deck is a popular place to have breakfast each morning, sitting
under the shade of the enormous fig tree eating fresh mangos and homemade
muesli whilst gazing out across the blue water.
Lunches vary depending on what you do each day. Guests often take part in activities which take them away from the lodge during the day. One of the highlights of people's stay is the walk to one of the largest baobab in Africa. It is estimated to be well over 2000 years old. Lunch is served under the shade of this spectacular living antique.
If you are feeling lazy and just want to relax on the beach, the main lodge dining room provides a raised view out over the lake. If you are away from the lodge walking, canoeing or visiting local community projects delicious picnics will be provided wherever your guide takes you.
Dinner is a moveable feast. The staff will make a point of asking each guest whether they would like to eat with everyone else in the lodge or prefer to dine with a companion or as a private party. There are a number of locations for dinner. One of the guest's favourite spots is down on the beach beside the lake under the stars. Alternatively dinner can be served at people's chalets or on the lakeshore deck. Try a new place each evening.
Nkwichi has one of Africa's most impressive 'kitchen gardens'. The Manda Wilderness Horticultural Project on the neighbouring farm is run by the Manda Wilderness Conservation Project. Local farmers have learnt how to grow fresh fruit, vegetables and other food to supply the lodge with delicious produce each day. The lodge chefs use their imagination and skills to provide a mixture of western recipes along with more traditional African food.
Flexibility and attention too detail is our ultimate goal in providing excellent service for your stay at Nkwichi Lodge.
Nkwichi has a great variety of exciting and interesting activities. Whether you are visiting for the first time as a couple, as a family with children or in a small group there is plenty to get involved. For those people who have been on safari and are looking to relax for a few days the beach at Nkwichi rivals any on the Indian Ocean. Guests who want to explore the surrounding areas will find a fascinating 'trail' of local cultural and environmental interests.
The lodge is located at the foot of the escarpment in the Rift Valley. This means it only takes a few minutes to walk up behind the lodge, gain some height and look out over the lake towards Malawi. There are a number of walks with varying lengths according to your needs. A guide who is able to identify the vast range of bird species can either accompany guests or you can take a map and explore the local area on your own.
The lake attracts a vast range of bird species. Some of these are indigenous
to this part of Africa whilst numerous species pass through on their migration
flights north and south each year. The lodge has several guides who are highly
knowledgeable about finding and identifying the local bird species.
Likoma Island Tour:
After breakfast guests take a launch or dhow across to Likoma Island which remains part of Malawi despite being on the Mozambique side of the lake. A guide will lead you around this interesting community showing you several places of local importance. This includes the historic St Peter's Cathedral which was built over 100 years ago and plays a central role in the people's community life. Trips are planned as far as possible to coincide with services to allow guests the chance to enjoy the amazing atmosphere and hear the choir sing.
There's so much to do at Nkwichi you would have to stay a long time to fit all the activities in. However the atmosphere created at the lodge allows guests to slow down, take a 'rain check' and relax. After all it is your holiday. Nkwichi is the perfect place to chill out and recharge your batteries. It is one of those unique places where you feel comfortable to take your watch off, hide it and let nature's clock take over. The only disappointment you will feel is the realisation that at some stage you will have to leave.
There can't be a more inviting place to swim than the Nkwichi beach. Mchenga Nkwichi means 'the sand that squeaks' - its true. The sand is so fine underfoot and as white as you can imagine. One of the drawbacks from swimming in the seas and oceans is the bitter taste of saltwater. This isn't a problem at Nkwichi as Lake Niassa is one of the world's cleanest lakes.
Guests spend hours exploring the underwater world which opens up to them as they gaze below the surface and meander through the rock pools along the lakeshore. It's an enormous natural aquarium with hundreds of beautifully coloured species of fish known as cichlids. Lake Niassa has over half the world's cichlids swimming in its clear waters.
The lodge has its own private catamaran for guests who want to take advantage of the daytime breezes that blow onshore. Miss Nkwichi is the aptly named lodge dhow. This can be used for day trips up and down the lake visiting local communities along the shoreline. There are several deserted sandy beaches where you can stop off for a quiet picnic and sunbathe.
This has to be one of the most peaceful ways of exploring the local lakeshores. The lodge has its own Canadian style canoes which are sturdy and comfortable. Either you can be paddled by one of the lodges guides or take out a canoe with a friend and try to spot a pair of otters playing around on the rocks or diving underwater. This is also the best way to see the lakes bird species. You are able to get far closer in a canoe especially whilst drifting at dawn or dusk.
A 600square km game reserve has been created in alliance with the local
communities to protect the wildlife in this wilderness area. The scenery
varies enormously as you move inland from the lakeshore through acacia
woodland, grassy plains bordered by streams and rivers and past deep rocky
gorges. Species include sable, elephant, reedbuck, leopard and over 300
species of birds.
Camping trips into this wilderness area can be arranged from the lodge. Each morning your guide will lead you out on foot on a gentle walk pointing out the fascinating variety of flora and fauna. After a few hours you will break for a picnic lunch under an acacia tree. Continue walking in the afternoon until you reach your new campsite beside the Rio Messinge or overlooking a stunning gorge. Dine out under the stars before retiring to your 2 man spacious 'A' frame tent equipped with a comfortable mattress and sleeping bag.
The lodge dhow, Miss Nkwichi, is ideal for expeditions on the lake north or south of Nkwichi. Accompanied by an experienced guide you will sail along the lakes stunning shoreline. There are several islands including Likoma and Chisumulu with deserted sandy beaches to stop and camp on.
All camping equipment is provided along with food and a chef to cook the fish that can be caught fresh from the lake on to a bush barbecue. Livingstone named Lake Niassa the 'Lake of Stars' after spending time exploring its shores. There are few better ways of experiencing traditional African ways of life than spending time on this spectacular lake.
Rates per night, full board: on request
|Honeymoon chalet, Mokolo House and Songea House
|Boat transfers, per person one way, minimum 2 persons
|Likoma Island - Nkwichi
|Kaya Mawa - Nkwichi
|Cobue - Nkwichi
Rates exclude: drinks, motorised boat activities, insurance, items of personal nature, medical evacuation, flying doctor service
Contact & reservations:
1) you can e-mail us requesting information and/or rates: e-mail
Reservations are only accepted in writing: by fax or via e-mail.
Final availability confirmation: in writing: by fax or via e-mail.
Terms & conditions, Payment options and Cancellation policy
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