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Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa, Likoma Island & Mozambique Lakeshore, Malawi

Our rating: First Class

Likoma Island is found towards the north eastern part of Lake Malawi, within the territorial waters of Mozambique but part of Malawi and linked to the rest of the country by a steamer service. The island is quite hilly in places, mostly dry and sandy since it lies in the rainshadow of the Mozambique shore. Baobabs are a common feature of the landscape but big trees are generally scarce. The population is over five thousand people, scattered in little villages throughout the Island.

Kaya Mawa is set on a rocky promontory on the southern tip of the Island. The name means 'maybe tomorrow' and is the perfect phrase for this wonderful retreat. It is has been sensitively refurbished and a new central lounge and dining area has been built with lighter colours and contemporary style. It is a perfect location for beach dinners or a relaxing lunch, with comfortable sofas with huge cushions, so you can listen to the water lap the shore whilst having a G&T.

There are 11 rooms in total, each is individually designed and built in sympathy with the rocks on the island and often built around the boulders themselves. There are four standard, three premium rooms and four houses tucked away on the beach. Totally separately is the Ndomo Point house a private self-contained property.

At Kaya Mawa, full board is included; the food is excellent with a range of choices, served by cheerful and friendly staff. Most of the soft furnishings are hand crafted on the island by Katundu designs which is based on Likoma Island and employs 26 ladies, single mothers and adult orphans, from the local orphan program.

Lake Malawi is renowned for some of the best freshwater snorkelling and diving in the world and being an island Likoma is a perfect spot. As well as water activities, there are plenty of other lovely excursions to enjoy here during your stay.

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Audley Travel specialist James

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Photos of Kaya Mawa

Likoma Island & Mozambique Lakeshore itinerary suggestions

Nearby accommodation

Nearby places

Places & hotels on the map

    Alternative places to stay nearby

    Where possible, we like to offer a range of accommodation for each stop of your trip, chosen by our specialists as some of their favourite places to stay. To help you make the right choice, we give each property a rating based on its facilities and service, but we also look for hotels with distinct character or a location that can’t be bettered.

    • Nkwichi Lodge, Manda Bay Wilderness Area

      Nkwichi Lodge

      First Class

      Located on the Mozambique shores of Lake Malawi, Nkwichi easily rivals the Indian Ocean beaches on the eastern side of the country. The staff are friendly and welcoming. A lot of lodges make claims to "eco-tourism" but a stay at Nkwichi feels like the real thing.

    Experiences while staying here

    The following activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences of the area where you’re staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident’s eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can also suggest outdoor pursuits and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the traditions of the area’s inhabitants.

    • The Cathedral on Likoma Island

      Visit St Peter's Cathedral

      Likoma Island & Mozambique Lakeshore

      We definitely recommend taking a stroll or a boat trip over to the "town" and visiting the huge St. Peter's Cathedral which was built in 1905 by missionaries

    • Lake Malawi

      Watch the Local Choir & Dance Group

      Likoma Island & Mozambique Lakeshore

      Kaya Mawa is frequently visited by a local choir and Malipenga and Chioda dancing teams. The Malipenga (male) and Chioda (female) dance team are an integral part of Malawi culture. Feathers in caps, socks pulled up to the knees, the haunting trumpeting of the calabash tells the story of colonial days gone by.