A magical lake-side retreat on an island in Lake Malawi, Kaya Mawa is the ultimate relaxing getaway. Rustic luxury is the theme linking the individual chalets and houses set in secluded locations beside the two beaches or perched on rocky knolls with stunning views over Lake Malawi to the mainland of Mozambique or Malawi. An hour’s flight by light aircraft from Lilongwe airport to Likoma island, it’s a unique place to unwind after a safari vacation. Fill your days with snorkelling, diving, kayaking or sailing, go fishing, visit the thriving local community or relax beside your plunge pool, enjoying sumptuous meals and spa treatments.
The hardest decision is which of the 12 suites to choose.
The standard rooms are gorgeous enough, with private decks on the lake and scenic steps and wooden walkways set in to the rocks. Hand-built from the local stone they merge into the landscape, all with chic textiles, big beds swathed in mosquito netting, en-suite bathroom, sometimes an outdoor tub and all with plenty of private space for long siestas and romantic meals. Two of the premium suites are perched high on the rocky knoll with amazing views overlooking the lake and their own plunge pools. Another is reached across a wooden bridge on its own miniature island. Then the two-bedroom family cottages have direct beach access, or for a totally secluded family holiday choose Ndomo House on an idyllic beach at the sunset end of the island, with its own separate staff and four ensuite bedrooms.
Kaya Mawa feels part of the local community, its staff all trained locals and a gentle flow of everyday activity on the beach as women do their washing and collect water. The family atmosphere is reflected in the superb friendly service and the generous and delicious meals cooked with local produce, inspiring dinners served on the beach by candlelight. In-house instructors provide a full range of watersports, including kite-surfing, waterskiing and sailing and the best diving in Lake Malawi. Explore the island on mountain bikes and visit the island’s amazing cathedral. The island magic will ensure you never want to leave this off-the-beaten track paradise.
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