On a small island in the warm heart of Africa, nestled on the sandy beaches amongst the rocks is the wonderful Kaya Mawa by Green Safaris. Likoma Island is a unique destination in Lake Malawi providing complete relaxation, indulgence and a range of incredible water sports in the beautiful blue waters. Kaya Mawa offers a variety of luxury rooms, chalets and houses each with their own unique décor and some with private pools.
The area is fantastic for diving and snorkelling and the island itself has lots to offer from St. Peter’s Cathedral, said to be the same size as Winchester Cathedral in England, to the fishing villages and the lakeshore that turns litter and broken glass into stunning home furnishings.
“Idyllic, distinctly island-life paradise, with rooms all designed and trimmed in unique nature-complimenting African chic. Kaya Mawa has an effortlessly timeless sensation, both in the style of the place and the flow of the hours. Whether you make the most of the complimentary water sports – including sailing and scuba diving, or chillax in your inviting room, you will while away time here with ease. The healthy food is outrageously well prepared and tasty, staff friendly and attentive, and the setting is glorious.”
Last visited by Toby Webber, Director – May 2019
There are 3 standard rooms with en-suite bathrooms, all with king or twin beds and face the beach. There are 4 premium rooms, 3 of which have their own plunge pool and one is a ‘Honeymoon Island’ accessed by a wooden walkway it doesn’t have its own pool but does have its own beach and lake access so you can be in complete privacy.
Then there are 5 houses – ‘Madimba’ is an ideal honeymoon retreat, with one huge bedroom secluded from the rest of the lodge. ‘Mainja’ is a 2 bedroom house with its own private plunge pool and a view of the honeymoon island, ideal for a small family or couples getaway. The other 2 houses are fantastic for families, both situated on the beach, ‘Yofu’ has 2 separate rooms that can fit a family of 4 and ‘Ulissa’ is big enough for a family of 5 into two spacious rooms. Last but not least, there is the spectacular ‘Ndomo House’, this stunning self-catered abode can sleep up to 8 people in 4 beautiful rooms with access to its own private beach. It boasts its own kitchen, large living area and private plunge pool. It even has its own staff and boat, to use at guests disposal. Guests can either choose to have all their activities and meals at the house or they are welcome to use the lodge facilities as well.
Here, there is a huge variety of activities. Of course, to start with you may wish to enjoy your beautiful room particularly if you have your own pool. Is there anything better than a glass of wine in the sun in a private pool? However, if you do venture from the room there are some great lake-based activities; kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkelling and fantastic scuba diving, here the water is very clear and is one of the best spots for freshwater marine life. You can also take out the boat for some gentle cruising, sunset boat trips and water-skiing. Alternatively, you may wish to explore the island where you have the choice of mountain bikes and quad bikes to get around! The island is inhabited by a small fishing community and there is the St. Peter’s Cathedral that was built to be used as the missionary headquarters in 1880, this massive feature is not to be missed.
Kaya Mawa has long supported the community on Likoma Island, with almost everyone employed hailing from the island. They also have the Katundu shop where they empower local women, teaching them through training to turn recyclable objects such as glass, wood, clay and beads to make beautiful textiles, light fixtures and wall art which can be seen throughout the lodge and in the latitude hotels.
LOW Season: 1 Apr – 31 Jul & 1 Nov – 3 Jan
HIGH Season: 1 Aug – 31 Oct
CLOSED: 4 Jan – 31 Mar
Wow, what a magnificent property. The hotel placed me in the most beautiful room imaginable on an island. I had to cross a bridge to get to it. The room was stunning. The massage room overlooked the water, and the masseuse was terrific.
The food was healthy and incredible.
Everything, from the flight into the island onwards, was perfect. We were shown around by Ali and Oli (the new managers) on arrival, and our cottage was beautiful- huge, with a double shower and a private pool on the terrace. The food was just incredible, and the bar had a fantastic selection of drinks. Watersports were great- paddle boarding with the hotel’s dog at the helm was a highlight! All in all- totally wonderful.
We had a truly wonderful holiday on our return visit to Kaya Mawa; it was even more beautiful than we remembered. The epitome of barefoot luxury, Kaya is a collection of beautifully curated spaces that effortlessly pull together into a place you just want to be. !ts thoughtful design, well-spaced layout and ample lounging areas, create the sense you have the island to yourself even when they’re quite full.