Kaya Mawa (Lake Malawi)

Romantic Lake Malawi holiday

On the white sandy beaches of Likoma Island in Lake Malawi, Malawi sits Kaya Mawa. A boutique lodge that welcomes honeymooners, families and friends for an indulgently carefree getaway. Rated by Conde Nast Magazine as one of the planet’s top ten most romantic destinations. Here in the Warm Heart of Africa, beach holidays meet African hospitality and ultimate indulgence.

To visit Likoma Island is to step back in time. Likoma Island remains almost untouched since its discovery by Scottish Missionaries at the end of the nineteenth century. The island measures just 17 sq km with dirt roads and a few vehicles. The local people survive largely by fishing and rice and cassava farming. The island has hundreds of huge baobab trees and a number of glorious sandy beaches and rocky coves.

Lake Malawi has over 1000 species of fish. Many endemic to the Lake. Which is more than all the freshwater species in Europe and North America combined. Likoma is widely regarded as having the best diving and snorkeling on the Lake. Both in terms of the diversity of fish species and their sheer abundance. With a vast array of colorful cichlids, and mouthbrooders, Likoma is a beautiful dive location. Besides aquatic life, there are also spectacular underwater rock formations, swim-throughs, a 30-meter wall. And even a mysterious rock carving!

Enjoy fabulous sunsets at the bar overlooking the lake and dine on the beach. Ultimate luxury and beauty. Kaya Mawa has many unique areas where dinners are served. On a beach; deck; platform or in a gazebo. An eclectic mix of simple and delicious international cuisine enjoyed at your own private surprise table.

Skip to Kaya Mawa Island Lodge Rates or Specials and Packages

Kaya Mawa Island Lodge Accommodation

Encircled by coves of beach sand and shaded by mango and baobab trees. The Houses and Rooms are distinctive and are designed to fit naturally into the bay’s rocks and sand. The white washed or exposed stone interiors open out to lake and beach views. With some suites enjoying a private deck and plunge pool or terrace, courtyard and dining areas. Celebrate your honeymoon in dreamy Ngani or have a romantic retreat in one of the Standard Rooms.

The rooms are stylishly designed with up cycled interiors. Glass beads, chandeliers, photo frames and fabrics are all handmade from sustainable and recyclable materials. Most of this work is thanks to the creativity artists at Katundu.

Standard Rooms

There really is nothing standard about these rooms. Msekwa, Khuyu, Mbungu and Makungulu. Natural light streams in from large, waterfront windows. You don’t need to go far for a dip as every room opens onto its own shaded deck from where you have direct lake access.


Msekwa is a picturesque chalet, nestled right on the edge of the lake. A favorite to many. Enter through an arched doorway. Making your way down the steps passing the outdoor bath and shower. Arriving on your private deck. The outdoor living area leads you to a wooden walkway. Giving direct access to the lake. Jump and snorkel right into the crystal clear waters and watch the abundance of fish that the lake has to offer.

Boho chic accommodation in Malawi
Msekwa Jetty


Khuyu is the perfect place for those who wish to just relax and enjoy the lake. With direct beach and lake access, Khuyu also has the perfect deck for sunbathing and sundowners. The spacious bedroom with a shower and bath give you all the comfort you need while staying at Kaya Mawa. The first chalet on the beach, closest to the bar and restaurant, makes Khuyu ideally suited for the less agile.

Luxury Lake Malawi accommodation
Khuyu bedroom


The second chalet from the beach, Mbungu is built higher up in the rocks. Giving you stunning views across the lake to the neighbouring island Chizimulu and the beach. A secluded chalet with an outdoor living area perfect for sundowners. Follow the stone stairway to the private deck with access straight into the lake.

Kaya Mawa Lodge
More Kaya Mawa Accommodation Options ↓

Premium Rooms x 4


Nkhwazi gives you a near bird’s eye view out to Nkhwazi Island. Onto the south of Lake Malawi from the top of a rocky knoll. The white washed bedroom area steps down onto three private decks at the front of your room. Here the warm sun beckons you to unwind in the infinity pool. Or enjoy the seating area with a panoramic vista that is all yours. This room becomes a quick favorite to whoever stays at Kaya Mawa. This room has a king bed and 1 x extra single bed can be added on request.

Kaya Mawa boutique hotel in Malawi
Nkhwazi bedroom


Mbamba commands stunning panoramic views of the lake and surrounds. The large bed with driftwood headboard and canopy of draped mosquito netting takes center place. To one side of the room is a large deck with lounging area and plunge pool. And on the other side lies an intimate dining area. Bougainvillea bushes add a touch of pink and purple to the greenery. This attracts some feathered visitors, like bee eaters and weaver birds. Which always provide colorful and chatty entertainment as they flit between the branches. Enjoy an outdoor foam bath or shower with more magnificent views. Mbamba is a room you will love to stay and relax.

Malawi diving resort
Mbamba room
Kaya Mawa Lodge
Mbamba pool


With views across the lake to the Mozambican coastline, Ngani nudges you into unplugging from the world. Surrendering to Africa’s peace, quiet and beauty. White washed floors, locally sourced furnishings and modern fittings are part of Ngani’s charm. A ‘galley’ style bathroom and indoor lounge looking out to the lake completes the laid back feel of the room.

This extends outdoors to the deck that has three seating areas. A large plunge pool and direct access to the lake by a short ladder. Whenever you wish just hop into the lake, enjoy a swim or even snorkel with the fish. Don’t worry if you haven’t brought your own snorkeling gear as this is all provided in your room.

The small rocky island in front of the chalet bursts with bird life throughout the year.

Kaya Mawa Lodge
Ngani interior
Kaya Mawa Lodge
Ngani pool


Want to stay on your own island? Make your way across the wooden bridge and you will find yourself at Makengulu. A scenic chalet with an even more beautiful room. The shaded stone terrace has a cozy corner seat and dining table for two. Leading out to a wooden deck with loungers and a jetty. With striking views to Mozambique. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Lake Malawi or enjoy sundowners on your private deck outside the room.

Kaya Mawa Lodge

Family Houses x 2

For private and spacious beach living, the Family Houses sit at the back of the main beach. Both houses enjoy large outdoor lounging and dining areas.


Ulisa is a large 2 x roomed house with a full bathroom between the bedrooms. Both rooms open to a spectacular view across the white sand to the lake. The second room sleeps 3 x children in single beds. One of them suspended from the roof. Ulissa is as close as you can get to the beach living, with a beautiful baobab tree on you doorstep.

Lake Malawi family accommodation
Ulisa from the lake
Kaya Mawa Lodge
Ulisa Kids Room


Yofu is an ideal chalet for a family of four with two separate rooms. Partially hidden by a large mango tree, it is perfect for families wanting to spend as much time as possible. On the beach and in the lake. The bright, airy main bedroom has double doors leading out onto a secluded section of the beach. Where your own dhow lounge space awaits. A split level bathroom intersects the two rooms. The toilet and basin is on the lower level. While the shower and bath are at the top of some steps. This makes it an ideal place for star gazing while you relax in the foamy water.

Malawi family vacation
Yofu main bedroom looking out

Premier Houses


Designed with love and luxury in mind, Madimba is well deserving of its title as the ‘Honeymoon House’. This grand house lies at the far west end of the Kaya Mawa beach. Opening out in front of the large, split level bedroom is your own infinity pool. With magical views across Lake Malawi to Mozambique. Indulge in romantic, starlit dinners and relax on sun loungers from the comfort of your private deck. To one side is a huge en suite bathroom with double vanities. Shower and double ended sunken bath that looks over the deck to the lake. On the other side, the sitting room with bar beckons you to relax in the cool, stone walled interior. What more could you want?

Kaya Mawa Lodge
Madimba bedroom
Lake Malawi Honeymoon with private pool
Madimba – Honeymoon with private pool


Mainja immerses you in its beautiful natural setting for an unforgettable lakeside experience spent with friends and family. A long wooden walkway and concrete causeway leads you to where this majestic house sits on a rocky outcrop. On the northern side of Kaya Mawa’s beach. Mainja is tastefully decorated with statement art pieces and splashes of color. Amidst white linens, natural furnishings, stone walls and polished floors. The house works well within its natural surrounds, fitting snugly around large boulders. And opening out to remarkable views over Lake Malawi.

The main bedroom has a large king size bed, with a bath & single vanity inside bedroom. There is an outdoor private shower and separate indoor toilet. The second bedroom is ideal for either another couple or 3 children (space for extra single bed). It has an outdoor bath and shower with single vanity. And an indoor separate toilet.

Family holiday in Malawi
Mainja bedroom

Separating the 2 x en suite bedrooms is a gorgeous Tanzanian style sitting area with log fireplace. Out to the front of the house is a private plunge pool built into the rocks. Also outdoors and on different levels are a private dining area. Cushioned seating built into the rocks, and wooden deck with sun loungers. Mainja is ideal for a family break or even friends staying in a group.

Romantic honeymoon in Malawi
Dinner on terrace of Mainja

Ndomo Private House

Ndomo Private House is less a house and more a fairy-tale castle. Completely exclusive and secluded from the outside world. Ndomo Private House is the ultimate group retreat in itself. Or as a spot to wind down after a safari. Ndomo House is a melting pot of design ideas. Think Zanzibar, Zambia and Kenya’s Lamu Island. Along with hints of Morocco and India.

On the south west corner of Likoma island, the House has been built around the boulders. With rough rock walls contrasting dramatically against smooth plastered rooms.

3 of the 4 bedrooms are en suite with the other bathroom just outside the door. There is a large living room with deck, kitchen and dining area, study and media room. Outside, are 3 x large terraces and a courtyard. Dining and barbeque area, and plunge pool, all with panoramic views of the lake and beyond. You have the private beach in front of the House all to yourself. Ndomo is fully staffed with a nanny, cook, housekeeper, ground staff and watchmen. Accommodates 8 x Adults.

Private holiday house on Lake Malawi
Ndomo Bedroom
Private house for holiday on Lake Malawi
Sunsets on your terrace

Kaya Mawa Activities

Kaya Mawa shows you the best of lakeside living. Whether you’re reveling in the various water sports like kayaking and diving, indulging in a spa treatment overlooking the lake. Or just chilling on the beach with your loved one. On Likoma Island, each day is yours to plan out or simply take as it comes. You can choose to stay on the warm sand, head for the sparkling water. Take a picnic lunch with you from the award winning kitchen. Or just relax all day on your private deck.

Walking around the island is a must. The local population is legendary for its friendliness. Thus a simple stroll around the island perhaps with a few cold drinks and snacks is a wonderful experience. Where one can stop off to swim en route. Engage the locals in conversation. And visit the cathedral, local school and the lively market nearby.

Inclusive activities include:


Explore the pristine waters of Lake Malawi in an underwater adventure, no matter your skill level. The only requirement? To leave the water with a bunch of great memories! No need to bring your own goggles, snorkel and fins as each House and Room at Kaya Mawa has its own snorkeling gear.

Lake Malawi Snorkeling
Lake Malawi Snorkeling


Hop aboard one of our Taz or Topaz for a sailing safari on Lake Malawi. Conditions for sailing are excellent here. Since there are no tides or currents, but there’s always a light breeze for sail boats.


Grab a kayak and paddle before setting off to explore the waters and other parts of the island beyond this bay. Watch as colourful fish flash in the clear water below you. And look out to the Mozambican coastline beyond. The only sounds are those of nature. Birds calling to each other and waves lapping against the kayak’s bow.

Paddle Boarding

Enjoy the warmth of the sun on your back and the cool breeze blowing off the water. As you glide across the lake on one of a stand-up paddle boards. It doesn’t matter if you’re not a pro. Because you will soon be balancing, paddling and having fun, all at the same time. Paddle along the shoreline, enjoying the beauty of the beach from a different perspective.


Head out into the forests to spot some of the island’s colorful birdlife. Or simply enjoy what feathered friend comes to visit while sipping your morning coffee. Likoma is home to over 100 different birds species. Including huge colonies of white-breasted cormorants, black-shouldered and yellow-billed kites. And four types of kingfisher. And the cry of an African fish eagle is a sound you can never grow tired of.

Activities at an additional cost


Indulge in a massage treatment at the Kaya Spa. It is perched on a rocky outcrop in Lake Malawi with a wooden boardwalk connecting it to the beach. Relax, meditate or even drift off to sleep as one of therapists work their magic on you. To the soundtrack of lapping waves and African fish eagles. This is part of the Kaya antidote to niggling aches, pains and stress!

Kaya Mawa Lodge
Kaya Mawa spa

Water skiing and Wake boarding

Try your hand at one or both of these exhilarating water sports. With skis that fit ages 5+ and a trained instructor give handy tips and pointers. You will be on your feet or knees in no time.

Scuba Diving

Likoma Island, surrounded by the pristine waters of Lake Malawi, is widely regarded as having the best diving on the Lake. Both in terms of the diversity of fish species and their sheer abundance. With some of the best fresh water diving in the world. And some 11 recognised dive sites nearby. Lake Malawi has more species of colourful cichlid fish than any other lake in the world. Kaya Mawa is a recognised PADI Resort. The in-house Divemaster knows the best spots to experience the lake’s diverse aquatic life.

Island Boat Trips

Enjoy the island from the water. Taking a local dhow boat to visit some of the best snorkeling spots and into town to visit the cathedral built in 1905. Make a day of it with a packed picnic and your favorite drinks. Or set off for a sunset fishing cruise.


Enjoy a blissful day out on the lake and see what freshwater species you can reel in. The boatmen were all fishermen in their past lives so know where all the best fishing spots are. Kaya Mawa promotes a catch and release policy to ensure the populations are kept healthy and growing.

E Bike tours

Explore Likoma Island on the solar-powered electric mountain bike. Making the excursion around the island not only silent but Eco friendly as well. Which path will you take? Visit the cathedral built in 1905, Katundu textiles workshop, the majestic valley of the baobabs and some of the eleven local villages. The warmth of the locals will make you feel right at home on Likoma.

Responsible Tourism

Kaya Mawa is firmly grounded in sustainability, community empowerment and ethical trade. Built by local hands and Malawi’s first resort run solely on renewable energy. At the beating heart of this barefoot luxury lodge lies the local people and culture. Local people have steered the way and made Kaya Mawa what it is today. From laying bricks and mortar to building all the rooms entirely by local hands. To creating chic interior fixtures and fittings through the Katundu Workshop.

Kaya Mawa has always been involved in support and development within the community. They have been involved in numerous different projects, from piping water to the villages to feeding programs.

Katundu was founded in 2006 around a passion for designing and creating luxury items in an ethical environment. Empowering women and through them the local community. These jobs provide a sustainable income and instill pride, dignity and purpose. Giving people the skills and knowledge to improve their circumstances. Guests are always very welcome to visit the workshop and see the artisans at work.

How to get to Kaya Mawa

Likoma Island is accessible by charter flights with Nyasa Express from Lilongwe. Duration approximately 1 hour with a 25 minute road transfer from the airstrip to the lodge. Fast speed ferry options available with Likoma Passenger Services from Nkhata Bay and Ngala Beach Lodge to the island. For the adventurous traveler, there is also the local lake ferries from different locations along the lake shore to Likoma Island.

When to visit Kaya Mawa

Kaya Mawa is a great year round destination. The best climate can be experienced from late April to November with June to August being the coolest months (20-25 degrees during the day). The remainder of the year often experiences higher temperatures of 30-37 degrees. The months of December to April are the rainy season. However, rains often tend to fall in the evenings.

Kaya Mawa accommodation rates per person

High Season:
29th to 31st March, 1st August to 31st October and 23rd December to 2nd January 2025

Green Season:
1 April to 31 July, and 1st November to 22nd December

Standard Rooms and Standard Family Houses$610$825
Premium Rooms$675$895
Madimba & Mainja Premium Family Houses (Min 2 x adults)$735$950
Ndomo House (Min 3 x adults or 2 x adults and 2 x children for at least 3 nights)

*Kaya Mawa Lodge is closed from 2nd January to 29th March every year.

Child Policy

Children of all ages are welcome. Cots are available for children aged 0 – 2 years.
0-4 Stay free.
5-15 pay 50% if sharing with 2 adults.
16 + pay the full adult rate.

Kaya Mawa Island Lodge Accommodation Special Offers

Wings & Wheels Incentive

Book a minimum of 4 nights at Kaya Mawa and we will include all flights and transfers from the nearest international airport. For Kaya Mawa, this is Lilongwe. Or a minimum of 4 nights at a combination of Green Safaris Lodges (Lusaka, or Livingstone):
Ila Safari Lodge (Kafue National Park),
Chisa Busanga Camp (Busanga Flood Plains in the North of the Kafue National Park),
Tongabezi & Sindabezi (Livingstone, Zambia side of Victoria Falls),
Sausage Tree & Potato Bush Camps (Lower Zambezi National Park),
Shawa Luangwa Camp (South Luangwa National Park).
Valid for all of 2024.

Weddings / Honeymoons

Kaya Mawa is the perfect wedding destination with various locations for the ceremony and reception. The experienced and friendly staff can arrange and host unique weddings on the Island.
Kaya Mawa is ideal for honeymooners with a selection of accommodation offering privacy, views, and beach access.

Malawi Accommodation ↓

We are still adding Malawi accommodation so please do not hesitate to contact us with your requests.

Romantic Lake Malawi holiday

Kaya Mawa (Lake Malawi)

The boho chic Kaya Mawa Lodge is on Likoma Island in Lake Malawi. A boutique barefoot luxury lodge is ideal for honeymooners and families

Kaya Mawa (Lake Malawi)
Kaya Mawa by Green Safaris
Likoma Island Malawi

You may also like...