12 Jul Lake Malawi Beaches I My Top 5 Beaches at Lake Malawi
Malawi is one of the less traveled countries in Africa and therefore still an off the path destination. Despite the impressive Lake Malawi the country is also known for its warm-hearted people and the wildlife.
I was lucky enough to explore the “Warm Heart of Africa” on a 3-week road trip. The majestic Lake Malawi is the 3rd biggest lake in Africa. The visibility of the water is beyond all expectations the variety of fish is incredible, so are the Lake Malawi beaches. In this post I put together a list of the best beaches Lake Malawi offers.
Lake Malawi Beaches – Cape Maclear
One of Malawi´s most stunning beaches is located at Cape Maclear at the southern end of Lake Malawi. You will reach the “Cote d´Azur of Malawi” after a 3-hour drive from Lilongwe. When I went to Malawi I planned to stay at Cape Maclear for 3 nights. Eventually I ended up staying 5 nights. The beach is sandy and endless, the water super refreshing and turquoise blue.
How to get to Cape Maclear:
If you are not going by rental car, you can get to Cape Maclear or the town Chembe by public transport. The buses usually drop you in Monkey Bay. From there you can easily take one of the motorbikes to Chembe.
Where to stay at Cape Maclear in Malawi:
My favourite place to stay at Cape Maclear is called “The Funky Cichlid”. This backpacker lodge is located right on the beach. The vibe is amazing, the staff super friendly and lots of activities on offer. We did some water-ski, stand up paddling and a fishing tour with the locals. If you make the Funky Cichlid a stop on your trip, please try chef Samson’s delicious Fish Curry and say hi for me.
Going up north from Cape Maclear you will pass Senga Bay. Senga Bay is a charming fishing village. Super charming is the beach too. It is a perfect place to get in touch with the locals, actually with the kids as this picture proves.
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Here we go: my 2nd post and vlog of my "Ultimate Guide: Malawi" is online. Follow up on my adventure and get to know one of the most breathtaking countries I have ever been to. The kids were the most amazing for me. We literally took about 1 million pictures like that. Everywhere the kids were super keen for selfies. This was in Senga Bay, one of the stops of the second part of our trip – find the link in the navigation. #onclaudi9 #malawi #travelpic #culture #culturetrip #locals #tradition #meetlocals #exploremore #photooftheday #likethelocals #vlog #lonelyplanet #vacations #africa #travel #instatravel#wanderlust #travelingram #blogger#instadaily #instagood #instapassport #travelmore #travelpic #travelnow #exploremore #photography #beach #breathtaking #kids #children
The backpackers in Senga Bay we stayed at is called Cool Runnings and is located right on the beach as well. The owner of the lodge Sam is involved in many projects in the community. They range from eco-toilets over a football team to a school. If you stay in Senga Bay for a few nights please get involved in one of the projects.
Your itinerary in Senga Bay should also include visiting the Sunday market, having some yummy street food and making new friends in the local bars.
Kande Beach is located in the northern part of Lake Malawi. From Lilongwe it takes you about 5 hours to reach one of the best beaches Lake Malawi offers. We got there by rental car but you can also take public transport – just plan a little bit more time. From the main road in Kande Town you need to go off-road for about 2 kilometres to finally reach Kande Beach. A Beach Lodge with Campsite is located right on the beach. We stayed in one of their chalets for 2 nights. The 3rd night we did wild camping on the beach. The 4th night we got invited to stay in one of the local´s houses. What I want to point out here again, is the friendliness of the Malawian people. Especially in Kande Beach we made many friends and got to experience their generosity and hospitality.
Another tip: If you stay in the lodge at the beach please make your way back to the main road of Kande to experience some local life. You can check out the market, go for some nice street food and have dinner in one of the restaurants. Going out for drinks to one of the local pubs should be on your bucket list as well.
Lake Malawi Beaches – Nkhata Bay
From Kande Beach it takes you another hour to get to Nkhata Bay. This bustling town is a perfect spot to mingle with the locals and experience some Malawian culture. We stayed in Mayoka Village Beach Lodge. This really nice backpackers offers dorms, private chalets and camping. Snorkelling, stand up paddling, hiking, shopping at the market, going for a swim, reading, chilling, sunbathing… the activities are endless and for free. Little stunning Lake Malawi beaches and chill out spots can be found all along the coast. Nkhata Bay is also your starting point to get to another jewel of Lake Malawi – Likoma Island.
Are you planning to travel Malawi? Here you can design your own trip:
If you would like to experience a real off the beaten path spot in Malawi, then Likoma Island is your place to be. The island is located in the northeast of Lake Malawi and offers some stunning beaches as well. It is easy to explore the island on foot due to its small size. Traveling over to Mozambique is even more easier. If you are planning to visit Likoma Island it is important to stock up on important food and supplies as the island doesn’t offer a wide selection on both.
How to get to Likoma Island, Malawi:
From Nkhata Bay or Nkhota Kota the Ilala Ferry can take you all the way to Likoma Island. Here you can find the timetable and departure times. The Lamani Ferry is a second option of how to get from Nkhata Bay to Likoma Island. My advice: ask in Nkhata Bay, preferably at the place you are staying, when the boats are leaving. They will be happy to arrange for you. One more tip: be aware both ferries are never on time.
Where to stay at Likoma Island:
A backpackers on Likoma Island that I can recommend is “Mango Drift”. From camping over chalets to dorms – Mango Drift has all kind of accommodation available. Going for some snorkelling or scuba diving, watching the sunset or just chilling at the beach – that is what people do here.
My extra tip:
Do you love festivals, art and good music? Then Lake Malawi got something on offer for you. The Lake of Stars Festival is an international music festival hosted on the shores of Lake Malawi every year. Keen? Check it out!
How did you hear of Malawi? Have you already traveled to the Warm Heart of Africa? Please let me know in the comments!
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