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Likoma Island

Nestled in the northeastern corner of Lake Malawi, within Mozambican waters but proudly Malawian, lies the enchanting Likoma Island. This small, unspoiled haven is a captivating destination, boasting crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and a vibrant underwater world filled with an abundance of cichlids, some of which are unique to the Likoma region.

Covering a mere 17 square kilometres, this island paradise is home to one charming town, Likoma Town, where you’ll find an unexpected treasure—Central Africa’s third-largest cathedral, St. Peter’s.

Things to do

1. Diving Adventures:

  • Likoma Island offers remarkable scuba diving experiences. Immerse yourself in the underwater wonderland and swim alongside the brilliantly colored cichlids. With over 20 dive sites surrounding the island, there are endless opportunities for exploration beneath the waves.

2. Island Exploration:

  • Embark on boat trips that encircle the island, or venture to the nearby Chizumulu Island, both promising scenic adventures. For a more tranquil experience, paddle your way around on a kayak or paddle-board, taking in the serene surroundings.

3. Land Adventures:

  • Explore the island’s charming villages on foot, immersing yourself in the local culture. Alternatively, seek an adrenaline rush by renting a mountain bike, quad-bike, or e-bicycle. While on your expedition, don’t miss the chance to visit the ancient Baobab tree in the New Market Place. This majestic tree, now hollow, sometimes serves as a storeroom, echoing with stories of the past.

Must do’s

1. St. Peter’s Cathedral:

  • A visit to Likoma Island would be incomplete without exploring St. Peter’s Cathedral. Remarkably, it rivals the size of Winchester Cathedral in England, one of Europe’s largest. Built by dedicated missionaries, this grand structure features a clock tower, stunning stained glass windows, and intricately carved soapstone choir stalls, making it a captivating blend of art, history, and spirituality.

2. Malipenga Dance Competitions:

  • On weekends, witness the vibrant and captivating Malipenga dance competitions. Local performers showcase their talents using traditional instruments, accompanied by eccentric colonial-style costumes worn by the men. If you have the opportunity to visit over a weekend, this cultural experience is a must.

3. Clock Tower Ascent:

  • Return to the cathedral, but this time, ascend the clock tower. From this vantage point, you’ll be treated to a breathtaking panoramic view of Likoma. After exploring the cathedral’s interior, climb to the roof, walk among the bells, and marvel at the intricate clockwork while taking in the island’s natural beauty.

Who is Likoma Island good for?

Likoma Island welcomes a diverse range of travellers, making it suitable for couples seeking a romantic getaway, families searching for adventure and relaxation, honeymooners looking for a picturesque escape, and cultural enthusiasts eager to engage with the local way of life.

Discover Likoma Island’s hidden treasures, where beachfront bliss, exciting activities, and cultural immersion blend seamlessly for an unforgettable journey.

Where to stay in Likoma Island

Kaya Mawa | Green Safaris

Kaya Mawa is Malawi’s premier lake retreat. Situated on Likoma Island, around an hours flight from Lilongwe, it is a stunning and romantic island getaway.

Pure Likoma

Situated on the stunning island of Likoma Island, Lake Malawi. Enjoy a myriad of activities, beautiful sandy beaches and warm turquoise waters.

Mango Drift

Unwind at Mango Drift on the beautiful Likoma Island, Lake Malawi. Barefoot luxury at its finest.

Ndomo House | Green Safaris

Ndomo House is a private 4-bedroom house situated on Likoma Island, a one hour flight from Lilongwe. It is a stunning and romantic island getaway, perfect for families or groups of friends

Tours including Likoma Island

Zambia & Malawi Luxury

11 days / 10 nights
Zambia & Malawi

Southern Malawi & South Luangwa – In Style

18 days / 17 nights
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Puku Ridge - South Luangwa - Zambia

Sunsets and Safaris – Luxury

16 days / 15 nights
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Sunsets and Safaris – In Style

16 days / 15 nights
Malawi & Zambia

South Luangwa and Northern Malawi

15 days / 14 nights
Malawi & Zambia

Malawi Luxury

12 days / 11 nights

Mal-Zam-Bique Combo

22 days / 21 nights
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Malawi South to North

22 days / 21 nights

Far and Wild Honeymoon

9 days / 8 nights
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Bookings and Enquiries

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Likoma Island FAQs

How do you get to Likoma Island?

To reach Likoma Island, you typically fly into Malawi and then take a small aircraft or ferry to the island. The Likoma Island Airport (Likoma Airport) offers regular flights from Lilongwe and other major cities in Malawi. Alternatively, you can take a ferry (the mv Ilala) from various points on the mainland, including Nkhata Bay.

How big is Likoma Island?

Likoma Island covers a total area of approximately 17 square kilometres (about 6.6 square miles). It’s a relatively small island, rich in natural beauty and cultural attractions.

What wildlife can you see on Likoma Island?

On Likoma Island, you can find different species of monkeys and baboons, including the vervet monkey, blue monkey, and yellow baboon. The island is also home to bushbucks, small antelopes commonly found in savanna woodlands. As for bird species, you can spot fish eagles, African fish eagles, grey-headed gulls, kingfishers, weavers, and many more. The waters surrounding the island are home to various fish species, including tilapia, catfish, and bream. Additionally, there are Nile crocodiles in some areas of the island.

How to get to Likoma Island from Lilongwe?

  • To get to Likoma Island from Lilongwe, you have several options:
    • By Air: You can book a flight from Lilongwe to Likoma Island. Several airlines operate regular flights to Likoma Island Airport, and the journey takes approximately 1-2 hours, depending on the airline and the route.
    • By Road and Ferry: Alternatively, you can take a road trip from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay, a town on the shores of Lake Malawi. From Nkhata Bay, you can catch a ferry to Likoma Island. The ferry journey takes longer, but it provides a scenic route and a chance to experience Lake Malawi.

It’s advisable to check flight and ferry schedules in advance, as they may vary depending on the season and demand.

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