Once known as Lake Nyasa, Lake Malawi is one of the most stunning destinations around Malawi. On its shores lays Nkatha Bay, one of the lake’s main ports located 413 km from the capital, Lilongwe. It’s described as a “tropical paradise” but then again, so are many popular African destinations. What sets Nkatha Bay apart?
The views are breath-taking. I know given that I am a travel writer, I probably say this about every location possible, but there is something about Nkhata Bay that is almost magical. The freshwater lake is pure and clean, filled with different tropical fish species and gently kisses the golden shores of Nkhata Bay. Not to mention the sunsets, which promise to be sources of envy across your social media. It was even featured BBC’s Planet Earth series with David Attenborough. As if that wasn’t enough, tourism in Nkhata is more affordable than other lake or seaside destinations across Africa.
It used to be part of the popular backpacking route from east to southern Africa. Backpackers have been in a constant decline, due to the conflict in neighbouring countries, such as Zimbabwe. To promote tourism, eco-lodges are government funded and different efforts have been made to revive the tourism in this region. One of them is the cheapest diving course in the world at the diving school, Aqua Africa. Casual dives cost approximately USD 50.
The local community are beneficiaries of the tourism industry, and there are many restaurants and lodge options to cater to every need during the stay at Nkhata. Some of the popular activities at the Bay include dhow rides to Mbamba Bay in Tanzania, water sports like paddle boating, kayaking, snorkelling or even cliff jumping. Yacht races are also held on the bay every summer.
Life in Nkhata seems to be in no hurry and on a planet of its own, oblivious to all the chaos outside. It’s perfect when you just want to clear your mind and sleep in a hammock all day.