Reviews of Kaya Mawa
Wildlife sightings and reviews
24 independent comments and wildlife information from our travellers who have visited Kaya Mawa and kindly agreed to share their thoughts. They do not necessarily represent the views of Expert Africa
"Kaya Mawa - time to relax"
We had a deluxe room, which was built into the rock face on the promontory. It was extremely spacious and well equipped, with a large bed, a daybed, writing desk and fantastic views out to a small island. The sides/windows of the room virtually opened fully to wander out on the split level patio with dining table, seating area around a coffee table, bean bag cushions, plunge pool and day beds. The bathroom area was outside with open views out across the lake.
An uneven path with steps led down to the beach and restaurant/bar area. This was lit at night, but a torch was provided also.
The food was excellent at all times and dinner was served at candlelit tables on the beach, with the sound of lapping water. On the last night, we were led up onto the cliff top for a romantic sundowner at the 'the lookout', with beautiful views along the beach and to the sunset across the lake.
The management and staff were excellent, being very attentive, but not overbearing. It was also good to hear about how the Lodge is working with the local community, in particular the schools, the craft workshop and in helping to clean up the island.
The lake was safe for bathing, although the beach at the restaurant end was shingly along the water edge. Further along it became more sandy, where local women and children bathed and washed clothes and pots. Snorkelling gear was provided in each room and canoes, surf boards and dinghy's were available for use on the beach. Beauty treatments were also available.
The lodge was relatively quiet, and we were the only staying guests for one of the nights, although others came in for the restaurant.
We took the vehicle tour to the craft workshops which were very interesting and could teach us all about how to recycle redundant materials. We also saw the town, market and the renowned cathedral. Our guide (Nicholas) led us on a walk through the market to the waters edge, although he was quite quiet and did not explain too much.
The lodge does take credit cards so we need not have taken so much cash if we had known." See all these reviews: 16n in Malawi
" Wonderful time but with a few reservations "
We chose Likoma island because we wanted to get a glimpse of Malawian life and we were able to do this by taking the long and thoroughly enjoyable slow boat ride around the island, with a stop in town to see the cathedral, and by taking a short hike through the countryside to the craft shop that is associated with the hotel.
Our main reservation about the hotel was that the steps leading up, up, up and then down, down to our room were uneven and often very high. Without railings, we thought that many older folks would find these potentially dangerous and hard to negotiate. The toilet in our particular room was outside and up some of those very same steep steps (beautiful view from there) and it was a bit of a challenge to struggle up there at night." See all these reviews: 12n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
"Jewel in the Malawi Lake"
Kaya Mawa offers a ton of activities (all non-motorized activities are complimentary). We did a bike tour around the island one afternoon and visited the Katundu workshop.The workshop is staffed primarily by single mothers & their products are great! http://www.katundu.net/workshop.html Kaya Mawa has many of their products in the rooms & common areas of the lodge and in the rooms.
The food is just fabulous, all staff very friendly and competent and just fun to be around.
Just the perfect place to end a perfect holiday!" See all these reviews: 13n in Zambia; 6n in Malawi
"Kaya Mawa review"
We stayed in the Nkhwazi room, which has a large deck area and plunge pool and a view to Mozambique and the sunset. Every morning we were woken by 2 small birds which managed to bypass the curtains across the open door, but we were not bothered by them as we were behind a large mosquito net. The soft furnishings are local, and its worth a visit to see where they are made at the Katundu workshop - just a 15 minute walk away. I won't spoil the surprise on just what they recycle and how and into what, but we were amazed.
On our last night we enjoyed a private sundown drink from the view point.
The staff, a mix of expat and local, are attentive and friendly, and happy to help.
St Peter's Cathedral is well worth a visit on a Sunday morning for the atmosphere and singing, but you don't have to stay for the whole 3 hour service. Take a bit of money for the collection and/or a tour afterwards. Usually men and women sit on opposite sides, but that doesn't apply to tourists.
If you can fit it into your small case, and you have your own snorkel and mask, then bring them. They are provided but are basic and I missed having my own kit. Best place for fish is by the rocks." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 3n in Malawi; 1n in South Africa
"Wonderful Kaya Maya - a great escape!"
It met our concerns for sustainable and responsible tourism with its collaboration with the local community and its focus on conservation. In addition the stunning beach, the comfortable, romantic chalets and the delightful staff and charming hosts made this for us the most perfect finale to our safari.
Love to go back!" See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi; 2n in Zimbabwe
"As life should be...."
Allie and Ollie were perfect hosts and eager to offer guests the idyllic stay that the location inspires. They very generously upgraded our stay to a premium room, Mbamba with stunning views and our own plunge pool and private area. The room was spacious, beautifully decorated with a fridge and open bathroom. We felt the room to be well equipped with everything provided including wraps and sun hats which is excellent considering the restricted luggage allowance if arriving by small aircraft.
The accommodation is arranged amongst the rocks and therefore very private. Anybody with mobility issues would be wise to study room options and request accordingly. The ambiance was so very calm, private and unobtrusive. It is not necessary to socialise with others if that is your preference. Power can be sporadic at Kaya Mawa but that goes with the location, and my understanding is that steps are underway to secure a more stable and reliable supply.
The staff and community are an integral part of the success of Kaya Mawa and it is encouraging to see the combination, coordination and mutual appreciation and encouragement.
The food was superb and we did not eat a bad meal during our stay. Dinner was served on the beach and sundowners could be enjoyed either in your room or at the communal area, and tea and coffee were bought to your room at your requested time the following morning. Drinks were charged for and not expensive in our opinion given the location and there was a varied range and wine list.
Sundowners I believe can also be enjoyed at the nearby wonderful viewpoint with views over Mozambique and the surrounding area.
Non motorised activities were included in our rate and other excursion options available. We elected to take quad bikes with guide to explore the Island and the Cathedral and this was a great morning. We thoroughly enjoyed this experience. There is also a resident diving instructor on the premises.
The Island was also easy and safe to explore on foot and we enjoyed a walk to visit Mango Drift for a lunchtime drink with a stop at the Katundu workshop en-route. There is also a shop at the lodge selling lovely items made at the workshop. The decor in the rooms is also a great showcase for their work. Items can be shipped if unable to be carried.
There is a spa service with facials, massages and a selection of other treatments. We did not utilise this so cannot comment.
Connection permitting there is limited wi-fi available in the office area and tips can be left in a tip box in the office to be distributed to lodge staff by an elected committee.
The ambiance at Kaya Mawa is as you imagine: relaxed, calm, welcoming and truly special and we wish the management and staff continued success. The lodge is exactly as the photographs suggest and it would be hard to be disappointed in your stay.
We experienced quite a lengthly re-scheduling of our Ulendo flight on departure which Allie very kindly helped to ease by permitting us to use our room until lunchtime and offering us some complimentary services. This was greatly appreciated.
Thank you for a special and memorable few days." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi
"A gem "
The rooms brilliantly designed quirky features like Porthmeirion but an even better setting.
Cannot recommend this place too highly sorry we only had two nights but will try to revisit in future" See all these reviews: 12n in Malawi; 3n in Mozambique
"Kaya Mawa was special"
The location is wonderful and it has been used to good effect to create interesting and beautiful rooms with lots of privacy and taking advantage of the views of the lake. A boat ride around the Island took all morning, stopping for a visit to the local craft co-operative and then the incredible cathedral.
The staff were warm and friendly and nothing was too much trouble. On two nights, staff brought along a village gospel choir and a band to entertain us. Dancing to African drum beats on a sandy beach on the lakeside at sunset was truly a memorable experience.
The food was nothing short of amazing - imaginative with fresh ingredients, all produced from a challenging supply line." See all these reviews: 9n in Malawi; 4n in Zambia; 3n in Botswana; 1n in South Africa
"Our African beach heaven"
"The idyllic Kaya Mawa"
We just loved everything about it from staff to service to location to activities.
Would definitely seriously consider returning here." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
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