A Private Island Escape in Malawi
After the dawn wake-ups on safari, there is nothing better than escaping to the beach for some well-earnt relaxation – and Kaya Mawa, a stunning lodge on Likoma Island, is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a romantic, rustic-chic retreat.
Likoma is a short flight by light aircraft from Lilongwe over breathtaking Lake Malawi. It feels completely undiscovered – this is raw Africa at its best. Here, you will be under strict instructions to do as much (or little) as you wish. You will spend your days snorkelling, kayaking or stand-up paddle-boarding. The water is crystal clear and filled with an array of freshwater fish, the sand is golden and there is a range of water sports on offer.
One of the main highlights of any stay on Likoma is a trip to St Peter’s Cathedral on the other side of the island from Kaya Mawa. This was built by missionaries inspired by David Livingstone and completed in 1911. It is arguably the biggest, oldest and, in our opinion, one of the most beautiful cathedrals in Central Africa.
When one of our Destination Experts visited Likoma, she headed out early one morning to explore the island, and the cathedral was the final stop on her journey. She and her companions were guided around by an incredibly charismatic Malawian, keen to show them every inch of the enormous building. The atmosphere was wonderful and they could hear glorious singing – a choir of at least 40 or so, they thought. Having finally tracked them down in one of the outer rooms, they knocked shyly on the door during a break in the music. The sight they were met with shocked them, as despite the cacophony of noise, inside was a group of only five men and women. They tiptoed in and the choir continued its practice, each person adding a different element to the songs. One man, in particular, had the most incredible and soulful voice that would have put any X Factor singer to shame, with a constant and beaming smile on his face throughout. It was an incredibly moving experience and this memory will undoubtedly remain with her forever.