The pastoral Islands of Likoma and Chizimula symbolize Malawi’s raw beauty and offer visitors a stunning preview of the region’s unpretentious natural appeal. Likoma and Chizimulu are charming look-alike Islands situated on Lake Nyasa and form the Likoma District. They are positioned just a few kilometers off the coast of Mozambique, are surrounded by the Mozambique territorial sea but are officially part of the Malawian Republic. Likoma and Chizimulu were seized and heavily colonized by the Anglican missionaries who spread their wings to the dual Islands after a hearty capture of Malawi. Mozambique in turn was colonized by the Portuguese population who refrained from annexing the twin Islands. The Islands therefore obviously transitioned into the cultural and territorial fold of Malawi and not Mozambique. The primary economic activities of the region are agriculture and fishing. The numerous roads throughout the island are uneven and the only practical way to see the Islands is walking through the jagged by-lanes of the region.
The beaches on the Islands are great places for lounging and sunbathing in the midst of Africa’s rustic wilderness. Swimming, fishing, snorkeling and deep sea diving are popular tourist activities on the beaches of Likoma. The main town center of the island also houses an imposing cathedral featuring intricate architectural craftsmanship. The vintage thatched-roofed homes, quaint shops and eateries in the old town are a good way to capture a slice of Malawi’s everyday life. Likoma and Chizimulu can be reached by a streamer from the Nkhata Bay or by a plane from the Lilongwe region. To commute between the islands, take the speedy and convenient dhow boats.
1. Mango Drift in Likoma is a nice, but inexpensive, accommodation option near Nyasa Lake.
2. Kubira Lodge at Chizimulu is a functional property that has basic rooms and an unassuming bar.
3. Kaya Mawa Resort offers a ‘Honeymoon Chalet’ which is priced at $150 per night.
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