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Kaya Mawa
Kaya Mawa
Kaya Mawa
Kaya Mawa
Kaya Mawa
Kaya Mawa

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

Showing 11-20 of 24
Duration
Arrival date
Ms H & Mr F
Chicago

"Sheer perfection"

4 nights Arrived 13 Jul 2015
"There are not enough superlatives to describe how relaxing, perfect, special & magical Kaya Mawa is. My husband & I stayed in the Nhkwazi premium room, which sits on a hill overlooking the lake. The room is massive & has a ton of outdoor seating spots (which is perfect, as we love to sit outside for hours reading, chatting, drinking & enjoying the views) & a private plunge pool. Also loved the outdoor shower w/ a view of the lake! It was so awesome being lulled to sleep by the cool breeze & sounds of water lapping at the rocks right below us.

Kaya Mawa offers a ton of activities (all non-motorized water activities like snorkeling, paddleboarding & kayaking are complimentary). We were mostly lazy & just laid out on the beach & swam, but did a quad bike tour (super fun!) around the island one afternoon, got massages & visited the Katundu workshop on another afternoon. 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 & we purchased several of their gorgeous items. We also got fabulous massages on our last full day. Despite it being winter in Malawi, it could get pretty warm during the day (I would guess about 80+ F degrees) & the water is so clear & so refreshing to swim in. On the day we left, I went for a 7a.m. swim & was joined by a family of otters!!!

The food was out-of-this-world amazing. Not one meal was even just average – everything was crazy delicious!!! The food is also very fresh & healthy – lots of fruits & vegetables w/ every meal. Ahhhh-mazing!!!

The people who work there are of the highest caliber. They really went above & beyond to make our too-brief stay there extra memorable & special. They arranged a surprise private Swahili dinner on the beach one night as well as private sundowners on a jetty. They also get the little details just right." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs B
Winchester

"Kaya Mawa - stress buster extraordinaire!"

7 nights Arrived 13 Oct 2014
"A heavenly location in which to chill out and recover from the delights and excitement of early morning game drives, heat and dust on safari. A safe and friendly island with minimal commercial activity or modern day pressures. The pace of life was gentle and stress free.

Our room was exactly as we had pictured - cool, comfortable and literally on the beach, and a stones throw from the bar and restaurant.. Attractive locally produced fabrics and furnishings, great shaded sitting out area and sundeck with huge sun umbrella. High quality toiletries, robes and kikoys were provided, plus full snorkelling kit - flippers, mask and snorkel.

The dress code was very relaxed, and you only needed flip flops, trainers (for walks), cotton beach gear and swim things.

A quad bike ride was a must, taking in the fabric/furnishings workshop, radio mast highest view point of the island, St.Peter's Cathedral, local market and ferry point. We used the mountain bikes once, which was an interesting way of seeing more of the island, but were discouraged by the poor condition of the bikes - my pedal came off, and the front brake did not work. We understand that maintenance and spares are a problem.

My wife sailed the Laser dinghy a couple of times, and I kayaked every day.

My wife enjoyed a refresher scuba dive, whilst I stuck to swimming around the bay and rocks.

Local walks were fun - everybody walks on this island of 7,000+ inhabitants and less than 10 vehicles - very welcoming local villagers, lovely views. we would have liked a more accurate local island map to plan our walks and avoid getting hopelessly lost - quite a lot of new dirt roads have been added. Perhaps production of a new map could be given as a project to pupils at one of the local schools.

The staff at Kaya Mawa were very attentive and well trained in looking after guests. They struck the right balance between providing good service, giving information on island life and the villages, and avoiding being intrusive. They put on a delightful evening performance of singing, dancing and drumming, with numbers supplemented from the local village. The room was serviced several times per day and laundry returned promptly. Management should be proud of what they have achieved.

Meals were healthy, tastey, and in keeping with the KM offering, using local produce and imaginative recipes. We had chicken, beef and pork, served with fresh vegetables and fruit. There was no choice, but the variety and quality of the dishes of the day was excellent. KM does not cater for fast food addicts - thank goodness! We really enjoyed dining on the beach by the lakeside - great for romantics!

Set backs were minimal. One morning our loo started to leak from the base of the pedestal (not an unusual occurence, apparently), but the works team were on the case quickly, and we were presented with a half bottle of champagne at sundowner time to compensate for the inconvenience. On our last day the weather broke unexpectedly early with a fierce rain storm - roof maintenance had not been done since the last rainy season, and one or two guests had to be moved to alternative accommodation to avoid being flooded." See all these reviews: 7n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs D
Oxon

"Kaya Mawa review"

7 nights Arrived 2 Sep 2014
"A perfect end to a perfect holiday. Food out of this world, fabulous accommodation and attentive staff. Quiet,peaceful and no need to socialise with anyone else if you don't want to." See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 7n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr Z & Ms D
Vancouver

"great"

4 nights Arrived 16 Sep 2013
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Good
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs I
Cheadle

"Kaya Mawa review"

4 nights Arrived 5 Aug 2013
"Kaya Mawa was a disappointing experience. Despite booking lakeside rooms back in January, which had been confirmed by Expert Africa, we were alarmed to be told by Michelle that she always got out of breath going up to our room, Mbamba,, which was not what we had booked. It was the former restaurant up on the highest rock. She said Expert Africa had 'upgraded' us so we told her we would take it up with them. It appears this was not so. Not for us a room with a view - unless we were prepared to sit on the bed or take a chair indoors and look out of the window. The alternative was to look at a concrete plunge pool or sit surrounded by trees. We envied those guests who could take advantage of room service.;when we tried we had to eat indoors on our knee because the flies were so bad under the trees round the balcony.

Our meal on our first evening was excessively salty - we mentioned it when we were asked but were told we were probably suffering from sensory overload. How rude!

If you have any hankering for exploring Likoma Island independently after safari, forget it unless you are happy to report your plans in advance. It is hotel policy to inform islanders what the guests will be doing/ where they are going which we found very disconcerting. If you are happy to stay at the hotel and access the many water sports then that may not concern you.

We are not picky, difficult travellers and this is the first time ever that we have had a sufficiently disappointing experience.to feel so aggrieved despite many years of travelling. We certainly don't agree with the judgement in Lonely Planet." See all these reviews: 11n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Average
Rooms:
Poor
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Average
Mr R
Guernsey

"A great location, spoilt by shortages"

4 nights Arrived 14 Oct 2012
"The Island is lovely. The rooms are ok but spoilt by a lack of air con and power. The service is ok.

The owner was faultless at dealing with things. The manager was very weak. Shortages were a bore. They ran out of many wines. Tonic ran out on day one. Bacon ran out. This wasn't a problem anywhere except at this lodge so the too-often quoted "well, this is Malawi" was weak." See all these reviews: 11n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Average

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Average
Activities:
Good
Rooms:
Average
Food:
Average
Facilities:
Good
Mr & Mrs H
Worthing

"Paradise"

5 nights Arrived 26 Aug 2012
"Kaya Mawa is stunning, the staff are lovely everything was just great and exactly what I had hoped for. The setting is truly beautiful, a crescent bay with the rooms set around it and up and around the granite out crops. Our room was huge with incredible views out over the lake and so private, very comfortable very clean just perfect

The managers were sweet and couldn't do enough for you as were the staff and waiters who would move heavy umbrellas and bring you drinks where and when you wished. The food was excellent and varied and the dinners at tables dotted along the beach by the water was magical and very romantic with lanterns and candles lighting your way.

A lovely end to a wonderful holiday I recommend it especially after a safari and try to go for more nights than you think you need, you won't want to leave, I didn't" See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr & Mrs B
London

"Island paradise on Lake Malawi"

4 nights Arrived 9 Jul 2012
"After our safari we wanted somewhere to relax and Kaya Mawa was perfect.

Set on a beautiful beach on Likoma Island, we were treated like royalty; nothing was too much trouble. Staff, most of who are from the local village, couldn't have been more charming and helpful. Our room was very big with private plunge pool, three decks and complete luxury.

Meals were mostly served on the beach and the food was very good. Other options were in your room or deck, in the gazebo, under the mango tree; they kept coming up with new ideas.

One of us did a couple of scuba dives which were very nice indeed with a totally personal service from dive master Kevin.
We did the boat trip around the island which was somewhat spoilt by rough conditions at the other (north) end of the island. The visit to the incongruous cathedral was very interesting.

We can't recommend this place enough; we are already trying to work out a way to go back!" See all these reviews: 9n in Zambia; 4n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Mr H & Mrs H
London

"Magical Kaya Mawa"

5 nights Arrived 30 Aug 2011
"Kaya Mawa and beautiful Likoma Island has been the perfect 5-day addition to our Zambia safari.

The picture-perfect beach location, crystal-clear waters filled with life, great food and service along with amazingly friendly people of Likoma Island made it a fantastic, relaxing experience. Special mention for the beautiful room (or villa in our case) - it would certainly deserve six stars for all of its unique individual features, special touches and spacious luxury.

Thanks again to the wonderful management and staff for all the effort in taking care of us after my father had hurt his ankle and apologies for all the long-distance room service across the beach and extra boat trips - rest assured that our time at Kaya Mawa was still hugely enjoyable." See all these reviews: 10n in Zambia; 5n in Malawi
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Activities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Ms B
Herts

"Heaven"

6 nights Arrived 18 Oct 2010
"If we won the lottery we'd go back tomorrow.

We simply loved it, great location, the most amazing room, great service and a little dog we fell in love with.

I cried when we left I loved it so much!!" See all these reviews: 6n in Malawi; 4n in Zambia; 2n in Rwanda
Experience Report
Overall Rating:
Excellent

Location:
Excellent
Service:
Excellent
Facilities:
Excellent
Rooms:
Excellent
Food:
Good
Showing 11-20 of 24
96%
24 reviews of Kaya Mawa by travellers since August 2007
Overall rating by our travellers
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