Discover the Lost Lake
A halcyon paradise hidden in the ancient mountains of Lake Niassa, lies a place so secret it’s been forgotten in the mists of time …
Nkwichi Lodge is located in the north-western corner of Mozambique, on the eastern side of Lake Malawi (or Lake Niassa as it is called on the Mozambican side). The lake is one of the world’s most extraordinary natural wonders and home to a greater variety of fish than north America and Europe combined! It is known as ‘The Lake of Stars’, named by David Livingstone when he came across it in 1859, due to the lanterns of the fisherman at night resembling the starry night sky. The tropical, crystal-azure waters in front of Nkwichi are unbelievably clear and make exploring this unique Rift Valley coastline, by canoe, sail or snorkel, a adventure never to be forgotten.
Named after the sound your feet make when you walk across the beach in front of the Lake, Nkwichi!
Relax on dazzling white “squeaking” sand or in the shade of giant baobab tree Clamber over prehistoric rocks stretching into crystal-clear water or swim in secluded bays overlooked only by chattering birds. Snorkel among flashes of brightly-coloured shoals of fish only yards from shore or paddle a canoe along the lakeshore and discover untouched niches of tiny bays. Stargaze at an African sky on a glorious 4 poster bed on your own private beach or choose a good book, climb in a hammock and let the world pass slowly by…..
Explore the final frontier of the Rift Valley, encounter the warmth of the Nyanja people and experience an Africa Untouched! Follow an experienced guide on a trek through the heights to get the ultimate view of the lake or sail out on a traditional dhow to visit the Old Portuguese town of Cobue near Likoma island, home to one of Africa’s largest cathedrals.
Nkwichi offers a a touch of Robinson Crusoe. The chalets are hand-built and sculptured from primordial boulders, with rock-pool outdoor baths, tree-hanging showers, and hand-crafted, natural furniture!
Natural, sumptuous meals fused from locally-grown produce from the farm (one of the many projects supported by Nkwichi Lodge), served in one of the many extraordinary locations of your choice, under the stars or a 2000 year old baobab tree – the choice is yours!
But Nkwichi is much more. Visitors see that the local Nyanja people gain from community-led projects such as school-building and road construction – projects the people themselves have chosen and which they are proud to show to guests.
From the outset in 2002, the six original investors, all with an international aid background, resolved to make Nkwichi Lodge work for the local community and its unspoiled natural environment. To this aim the Manda Wilderness Project was created.
Perhaps the best way to describe the MANDA WILDERNESS PROJECT is to imagine an African three-legged pot, which needs three equally-strong legs to stand. The legs of the Project are:
- THE LODGE: Responsible Tourism: A high quality, low-impact lodge, attracting tourists to the area, training local staff and raising awareness both nationally and internationally.
- CONSERVATION: Preservation of a unspoilt corner of Africa
- COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT: Practical help for the people of Northern Mozambique, who suffered 25 years of war and generations of neglect.
What’s been achieved to date…
- PEOPLE’S RIGHTS Land titles for the villagers where none existed before and a 120,000Ha community reserve, the Manda Wilderness Community Conservation Area, has been created. Complete with elephant and wild dog, the reserve is managed by the communities themselves.
- An Association called UMOJI (meaning ‘as one’) has been created, with traditional and democratically elected representatives from each of the 16 villages of the Manda Wilderness Project. UMOJI gives the people a unique platform to control their natural resources and defend their rights.
- PEOPLE’S WELL-BEING Working with the villages for development projects they decide on, so far the Manda Wilderness Community Trust has assisted in construction of 10 schools, a maize mill, a maternity clinic, and a girls boarding house for secondary school.
- The Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project (MWAP) aims to encourage sustainable farming, assist in small business development and improve nutrition standards for the local community. To date, MWAP’s demonstration farm has provided free training to over 400 independent farmers.
- PRESERVING CULTURE Each year the Trust organizes a traditional dug- out canoe race, a community choir festival and a football tournament with members from each of the 16 villages taking part. These events are watched by thousands of local supporters.
- Local choirs and dance groups are invited to the local to promote local Nyanjan culture for guests. All crafts sold at the lodge are from the local area.
Guests are invited to local villages, led by an experienced local guide, to see the Manda Wilderness Project in action and meet the people that make the project work.
- REDUCING POVERTY AND BUILDING CAPACITY Nkwichi Lodge injects over $100,000 each year into the communities through wages and the active policy of purchasing local products and materials, such as vegetables and thatching grass.
- All staff at the lodge come from the surrounding villages, and continue to receive training, from guiding skills and carpentry to English classes and IT skills.
Explore the Wilderness on foot, in snorkel gear or by dug-out canoe. You will see the difference Manda is making – and by staying at Nkwichi, you will be part of it. Nkwichi has been recognized as a pioneering eco-tourism establishment and has been awarded many accolades, including the most recent Condé Nast Traveler World Saver Award in the ‘Doing it All’ category for small resorts 2012.
2016 – Gold Winner “Best for Beach Tourism” – African Responsible Tourism Awards
2013 – Third Place “Best Community Safari Property in Africa” – The Safari Awards
2013 – Third Place “Best Ecological Safari Property in Africa” – The Safari Awards
2012 – Winner “Doing It All” Category – Conde Nast World Savers Awards
2012 – Winner “Best in Community Empowerment” – Kutoa
2011 – Winner “International contest for Socially Responsible Tourism” ToDo!
2009 – Winner “Africa’s Leading Responsible Tourism Company” – World Travel Awards
2008 – Winner “Best small Hotel” – Responsible Tourism Awards
2008 – Finalist “Green Spaces Travel Award” – Times
2008 – Gold “World Quality Commitment Award” – Business Initiative Directions 2008 – Honorable Mention “ Education” – Conde Naste Traveler World Savers Awards
2007 – Finalist – “Best Poverty Reduction” – Responsible Tourism Awards
2006 – Finalist – “Best Protected Area” – Responsible Tourism Awards
2005 – Finalist – “Best Tourism and Conservation” World Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
2005 – Finalist – “Best Overall Business” Africa SMME