The flight from Lilongwe airport in Malawi to Likoma Island is one hour. One hour in an aircraft that fits five people. One hour in an aircraft with a ‘feels like’ temperature of about 48°C and no aircon. One hour in an aircraft that makes your undigested lunch churn in your tummy as it free-falls for a few seconds in the turbulant atmosphere. But it’s an hour’s trip that you’ll be happy you made. Flying over the tranquil, terrifically turquoise Mozambican waters of Lake Malawi is an awe-inspiring experience. It’s the ninth largest lake in the world, but that fact only really hits you when you’re hovering over it in the little Cessna plane, hoping that in an hour you’d be safe on land instead of nosediving into the vast pool below. An hour later your shaky legs touch solid ground and, after a few deep breaths of fresh lakeside air, you’ll feel your soul awaken.
There is no shortage of sights on this small island to reinvigorate the soul, and many of these are found at Kaya Mawa. Located on the southern end of the island, this luxury beach lodge offers relaxation (and romance) at every turn. All of the accommodation options, which range from standard rooms to premier family housing are tucked away, giving privacy to honeymooning couples, groups of friends and vacationing families.
The restaurant and bar are located on the beachfront, with day beds where you’ll find it only appropriate to nurse a stiff G&T while lazily taking in the spellbinding lake vistas. For couples, dinners are best enjoyed under candlelight on the beach, where the lap of the water punctuates softly spoken conversation.
However you don’t have to be one of a couple to enjoy your time at Kaya Mawa. With a variety of activities including diving, kite surfing, quad biking and fishing, solo travellers will never be at a loss for something to do. And if the action gets too much, a lavish spa treatment on a gazebo in this paradise, surrounded by peaceful shimmering water, will restore balance, readying you for the trip back to everyday life.
For more information, visit kayamawa.com.
Text Jessica Ross