A halcyon paradise, hidden in the ancient mountains of Lake Niassa, lies a place so secret, it’s been forgotten in the mists of time! Nkwichi Lodge is located in the north-western corner of Mozambique, on the easter side of Lake Malawi or Lake Niassa (as it’s called on the Mozambican side).
Nkwichi offers a touch of Robinson Crusoe. The five chalets are hand-built and sculptured from primordial boulders, with rock pool, outdoor baths, tree-hanging showers, and hand-crafted, natural furniture! There is also a private house a short distance from the lodge, and a romantic honeymoon retreat a little further away to maximise on privacy!
Explore the wilderness on foot, with snorkel gear or by dug-out canoe. You will see the difference Manda is making – and by staying at Nkwichi, you will be part of it.
Nkwichi Lodge forms an essential part of the Manda Wilderness Project . Mix a heady cocktail of sumptuous yet ‘responsible’ tourism, grassroots practical help for the war-weary people of Mozambique and a last chance to protect a pristine corner of real Africa – and you have the Manda Wilderness Project.
Established in 1999 the Project forges an invincible bond between protecting one of Africa’s last true wildernesses, releasing an African community’s true potential, and boosting the standards of international tourism.
Working closely with the 20,000 people in this vast area, Nkwichi has helped each of the 15 villages to set up a Community Committee. Through these Committees, six schools have been building, a maize mill, a maternity clinic, 60km of roads and over 700 farmers have received training in sustainable agriculture.
With assistance from the Swedish Government and the Ford Foundation, a Community Conservation Area of 120,000 hectares has been established in the names of the local communities.
Nkwichi has been recognised as a pioneering eco-tourism establishment and has been awarded many accolades, including the most recent Conde Nast Traveller World Saver Award in the ‘Doing it All’ category for small resorts 2012.
The choices range from a spectacular flight across Lake Niassa, a stately passage on a historic lake steamer, or a drive across the rugged landscape of southern Malawi and northern Mozambique.
1) Charter flights from mainland Malawi to Likoma Island.
A 1 hour hop from Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, to Likoma, where Nkwichi staff will welcome you and help with the minimal immigration formalities before whisking you to Nkwichi Lodge on our motorized dhow, Miss Nkwichi, or our speedboat. The charter flight is US$320 per seat, plus US$60 pp for the boat transfer (based on 2 people sharing, each way). Total time from Lilongwe to Nkwichi: Approximately three and a half hours.
2) All aboard Ilala
A truly African journey for those more experienced in African travel. The Scottish-built Ilala steams around the main ports of call on Lake Niassa/Malawi on a weekly basis. Join the Ilala at Chipoka (Fridays 2pm) in the south of Malawi or Nkhata Bay (Monday 8pm) in the north. Choose a snug cabin or a breezy night beneath the stars on the romantic first-class deck. Disembark at Likoma Island where our boat crew will be expecting you. The Ilala fare from Chipoka is approximately US$90 per person for a cabin, US$40 on deck. We can organize a car transfer from Lilongwe to Chipoka for approx US$150 (2 hour drive). Boat transfer Likoma Island to Nkwichi is US$60 pp. Total approximate time of voyages to Likoma Island: from Chipoka 30 hours, from Nkhata Bay 12 hours.
Guests can combine the romance of a one-way trip on the Ilala with the convenience of a return flight by charter from Likoma.
1) From Lichinga:
Lichinga can be reached on regular scheduled flights with LAM from the major towns in Mozambique.
Nkwichi can arrange road transfers from Lichinga to the lakeside town of Cobué – an approx 4 hour drive down the Rift Valley escarpment and through the Manda Wilderness Reserve. We will then pick you up by boat for a half hour transfer to the lodge. The road transfer costs US$300 per vehicle each way (maximum 4 passengers. The boat transfer is US$45 per person. Total time from Lichinga: 4 hours 30 minutes.
Other Accommodation in or near Manda Wilderness (Mozambique)
Hidden away on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi, at Kaya Mawa you will be transported into a world of simple pleasures. Embraced by the warmth and hospitality of the enchanting Malawian staff you will enjoy timeless luxury and only the best of modern conveniences.
Situated on the West Side of Likoma Island, with spectacular sunsets, Ulisa Bay Lodge offers affordable island luxury.