More than a lodge, Nkwichi is a complete experience offering a unique taste of Africa with exquisite lakeside scenery and unparalleled tranquillity. Eight secluded beaches set on 4 km of Rift Valley coastline embrace Nkwichi lodge in the perfect setting to discover a lost world; a fresh-water oasis and an Africa untouched.
With its unique, all-embracing approach to tourism over the last 15 years, Nkwichi is intrinsically linked to the surrounding communities and their natural environment.
Dedicated to conserving the pristine lakeshore and virgin wilderness in which it operates, Nkwichi engages with the local Nyanja people in their development and helps preserve and enhance their colourful culture.
Nkwichi is entwined in the fabric of local life by the lake; it ensures guests a 5-star experience and leaves the indelible imprint of an authentic Africa in their hearts. Nkwichi, a halcyon paradise hidden on the pristine Mozambican shores of Lake Malawi.
More than a lodge, Nkwichi is a complete experience offering a unique taste of Africa with exquisite lakeside scenery and unparalleled tranquillity. With 8 secluded beaches set on 4 km of Rift Valley coastline, Nkwichi is the perfect setting to discover a lost world; a fresh-water oasis and an Africa untouched.
In 1994 two brothers, Patrick and Paul Simkin, discussing the problems of development in Africa, conceived a tourism initiative that would bring in guests and revenue, offering unparalleled beauty and comfort, yet at the same time help local people in the area to receive the benefits of modern development.
They set about looking for a place, and luck soon followed when a friend, Lola Castro, who had been working on a programme repatriating refugees returning from Malawi after the end of the civil war, told of the untouched beauty and wilderness on the Mozambique shores of Lake Malawi.
After a canoeing expedition up the little-explored coastline, a potential site for the lodge was discovered. And what a site it turned out to be. For many years, the unique beach, where the lodge is now built, was known as ‘Mchenga Nkwichi’ by the local fishermen of the lake.
Named after the squeaking noise it makes when you walk on the sugar-fine sand. In the local ChiNyanja language it literally means ‘Squeaking Sands’. The name Nkwichi stuck, and construction started on the lodge, built using local materials by local craftsmen.
Designed to fit in with the local environment, using the natural features of the land, the lodge may have grown in stature from humble beginnings but has , never lost its feeling of intimacy, gathering awards and guests on the way.
Nkwichi Lodge became the catalyst for the Manda Wilderness Project, a far-reaching bid to help people in the area around Nkwichi Lodge enjoy the benefits of modern development, including the results of tourism.
Through combining tourism with conservation and community development, the project so far has so far positively affected the lives of 20,000 people, and helped ensure the preservation of one of Africa’s most beautiful places.
Nkwichi is an integral part of the Manda Wilderness Project, an initiative designed by Nkwichi’s investors to bring the communities of the area together and help them use their environment and resources sustainably, making sure it brings the concrete benefits they need.
Perhaps the best way to describe the Manda Wilderness Project, and its goals, is to imagine an African three-legged pot, which needs three equally-strong legs to stand.
Tucked away in the treeline, each chalet is unique. All individually designed and built using local materials to blend in to their surroundings, they deliver absolute luxury in a natural setting.
For those looking for the ultimate retreat, Nkwichi’s private houses, designed for groups and families, offer sanctuary in a sumptuous setting.
The ultimate way to savour Lake Malawi, Nkwichi’s ‘Lake of Stars’ Bed’ is a unique and unforgettable experience. Set on a deserted, virgin beach surrounded by breathtaking baobabs, or on a private rock island close to the shore with Fish Eagles soaring overhead, this is the perfect way to see the wonders of an African night-sky.
With delicious fish served fresh from the lake and a variety of vegetables, salads and fruit from our organic farm, natural, sumptuous meals are freshly prepared each day by our team of trained, local chefs. Tantalize your palate at a number of exquisite settings of your choice, from picnicking on pure-white beaches to dining under the starry night-sky.
IN THE WATER
The crystal-clear freshwater of Africa’s most bio-diverse lake awaits you – explore secluded bays, untouched beaches, towering monoliths and an underwater world of wonder.
- Paddle and play in pristine fresh-water
- Snorkel safari through a world of brilliantly-coloured tropical fish
- Canoe along the magical Rift Valley shoreline
- Watch the world go by in a sunset dhow cruise
- Savour fishing trips in a traditional dug-out
UNDER THE STARS
The magic of the Lake of Stars. As the sun slips gently across the water, highlighting the distant mountains of Malawi, a thick band of orange gives way to blue. The first flickering of an African night sky heralds a gallery of cascading shooting stars. Fireflies glitter in the trees, the fire crackles by your feet and sense of timelessness drifts through your mind.
- The Lake of Stars as never before from Nkwichi’s unique Star Bed
- Sun-downers with the first flickering of twilight
- Romantic dinners on secluded beaches
- Night cruises under a canopy of starlight
- Uncovering the universe’s secrets through the lens of a telescope
ON THE LAND
Explore the hidden wonders of the ancient Rift Valley landscape, from panoramic vistas to idyllic waterfalls and soaring Baobab trees. Through the eyes of one of Nkwichi’s qualified, local guides, discover one of Africa’s last unspoiled pieces of paradise.
- Hike along the rugged coastline of one of Africa’s oldest paths
- Picnic under a 2000-year-old Baobab
- Track game through pristine woodland
- Visit villages in timeless surroundings
- Get a Fish Eagle’s eye-view of the lake from spectacular viewpoints
A world and its people unchallenged by thoughtless development, the secret Mozambican shore offers a chance to experience an Africa untouched. The pristine, unspoiled Mozambican side of Lake Malawi offers a chance to explore the lake as it once was. Virgin woodland, teeming with life, ancient rock formations and scattered, secluded bays by the dozen.
Each time of year offers a different experience and a different view of Lake Malawi.
January to March
Green season. While there can be some rain, it never lasts all day. With the lake at its calmest and the birds singing in the trees, this is also one of the most beautiful times of the year.
April to May
An African Autumn. One of the best times to visit; the lake is crystal clear, the bush still green and the temperature perfect.
June to July
Mid-Winter. Warm in the day and cooler at night. The bush dries out bringing the animals closer to the water sources. Perfect for warming your toes round the fire at night.
August to September
Things start to heat up! This makes a very welcoming lake. The bush is also now dry giving fantastic views of the surrounding bush.
October to November
The hottest time of the year but the lake is an oasis of freshness. Excellent visibility ensures fantastic snorkelling.
November to December
Summer arrival. Hot and slightly humid with occasional showers. Fireflies light up the trees, storms brew on the horizon and the birds arrive to start the season off again!
NKWICHI. THE BEST SUNSETS IN AFRICA
In a continent full of wilderness and wonder, there’s little to compare with that special feeling, fantastical yet fleeting, of an African sunset. And there are a few reasons why Nkwichi offers some of the best…
Most importantly, Nkwichi sits on the wild, Mozambican shores of Lake Malawi, meaning it faces West, one of the few lodges on the lake to do so. This means a clear, unobstructed view, every evening, of the sun slipping slowly towards the water.
There are few better surroundings on the continent in which to experience an African sunset. The ancient Rift Valley coastline, resplendent with pristine natural woodland, scattered sandy bays and volcanic rocks, provides a perfect frame for capturing a moment of magic.
With 4km of coastline, there are a number of tantalizing places to view from, giving a different feeling every night. Atop a rock island, witness the last of the suns rays bringing the dazzling mica and quartz to life, or gaze from one of Nkwichi’s viewpoints, with panoramic views over the lake, and the first stars heralding the curtain of night.
Completely cut off from the rest of the world, there’s little to disturb the serenity. No roads, cars, phones or bars. No noise or dust polluting the air. Just the magic of Africa’s most incandescent hour complemented by the lapping of the waves and the cry of the lonely Fish Eagle.
Nkwichi gives you the freedom to decide how to enjoy your moment. Sit back with a G&T, the soft sand between the toes while the tales of fellow travellers hover over a crackling fire. Or choose a quiet corner with your partner, glass of wine in hand, taking a moment to share the golden embers of the day glittering in each other’s eyes.