Nkhata Bay accommodation, Malawi

Location:
Nkhata Bay Malawi
Price:
From US $40 - US $80 per house per night
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No charge for children under 5
Vouchers: not accepted
Reviews:
5 reviews4 star rating
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Nkhata Bay accommodation, Malawi

Nkhata Bay accommodation, Malawi

Responsible travel: Nkhata Bay accommodation, Malawi

The lodge has been instrumental in the development of tourism in the town of Nkhata Bay; it has integrated well into the local community and is 'part' of the village. There are no walls or fences and the lodge is open to all members of the community.

As the first tourism facility in Nkhata Bay, we have helped to develop the industry in the town. 80% of the staff that work at the lodge were recruited locally, trained in house and have been working with us since we opened in 1993. We have encouraged all other facilities to operate in a socially responsible manner.

The lodge was built utilising all natural locally available materials and a no building policy is in place in order to allow the natural vegetation to flourish. All refuse is either recycled or fed to livestock. In addition, the carbon emissions associated with the running of the business are compensated through the planting of indigenous trees in Malawi. Since 1995 over 4000 trees have been planted in local communities.

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Nkhata Bay accommodation, Malawi

You can trust responsibletravel.com reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.


5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed 29 Oct 2008 by Valerie Cooke4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I booked great accommodation in Malawi (Nkhata bay) through the website. The fact that the band 'Beat Life' were there some of the time (before performing at the Lake of Stars festival), made it so interesting and lively. The local young people all came along to listen to the evening band rehearsals! (The band were also running classes in the local school and took part in a 'parade' around the town with the school children, supported by the school staff and governors). Travelling to the North was also a real eye-opener; such a contrast in terms of coolness/no mozzies/mountains.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Get a realistic amount of money changed up-front unless you have plenty of time & resource to travel to Mzuzu and back. I underestimated how much I'd need. See if you can avoid flights which keep you at Nairobi airport on the return journey for 7 hours or so... you're given a really good free meal and the ticket cost's good - but it's still a long wait!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


The owners of the Lodge support local projects and people (e.g .sponsoring kids' football), buy food locally and the staff seemed to really rate them as people. The numbers of people employed does help support the local community too. So yes, it did feel as if the Lodge contributed. I was very conscious that we enjoyed a relatively luxurious stay altho I was glad of it. (I had stayed in much more basic, back-packer accommodation in the 90's, which is no longer operating).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Amazing, memorable, humbling (local people are still SO friendly), too short at 3 weeks...

Reviewed 02 Jun 2008 by Lucy Shipley4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The beautiful beach, the friendly staff, seeing elephants in the wild, riding a crazy matola for five hours through the bush... But most of all, visiting the lodge's Chef James and Head Waiter Dixon's cookery school that they have set up to provide training for young people so that they can gain a qualification, restaurant and kitchen experience and a reference. We went to their home where they run the school out of a back room and it was incredible to see the students lives being changed through such a simple idea. Dixon and James have started an amazing thing here, fully supported by the lodge which allows students to work in its kitchens whilst being trained.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


The only negative experience we had was using the Mzungu tours safari company out from the lodge. We'd recommend using a different company, or if you do use Mzungu make sure that Dave Kondowe is your guide as he seems to be both the owner of the company and the best guide.
Please note, these tours are not run by or affiliated with the accommodation and the tour company wasn't a recommendation of the lodge. These tours were chosen independently by the guest.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes to the first, uncertain to the second. Just by being in Malawi we spent quite a bit of money on taxis, matolas, tours, carvings, cloth, fruit. Go into town and the market and you can help someone straight away. The lodge employs all local people, some of whom have helped out since their teens. All staff seem happy and content, from cleaners to night watchmen. The accommodation has changed their lives. Environmentally, we saw nothing bad, and the lodge was definitely more sustainable than others in the area, but we didnít really pay much attention to this (sorry!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Fantastic, a great introduction to Africa (it was our first time), awesome place, charming staff with the only down point being our safari mishaps which could be easily avoided.

Reviewed 02 Apr 2008 by Philip Hayden3 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Lake Malawi.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


March is probably not the best time to visit Nhkata Bay, it's hot and humid. The dry season would be better. The guys in Njaya Lodge are really nice people.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, pretty well all the money I spent in Malawi was spent with locals and not foreign businesses.

Reviewed 27 Jun 2007 by Simon Collins4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Arriving at this lodge, Nkata Bay on the morning of Sunday 17th June after a day and two nights of rest, stunning scenery and good company on the Ilala lake steamer - the location of the lodge is magical and its staff couldn't have been more welcoming - we genuinely regretted that we hadn't made arrangements to stay there rather longer and return to Lilongwe on the express bus from Mzuzu (definitely would on any future visit). All the rooms were attractive, simple and comfortable - very good value too.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make advance bookings for road transfers, express buses etc with Soche Travel, a local agency with offices and reps in Lilongwe and Blantyre - we were met at Lilongwe Airport and all arrangements were very efficiently dealt with (and much more reasonably priced than the UK agencies we approached first).

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes - the Lodge has a long term relationship with the local community, uses local produce and employs them directly at the lodge or on current extension work (also using local materials).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I'd recommend Malawi in general and this lodge in particular to anyone interested in Africa - charming people, stunning scenery and, in June, perfect weather (very cool nights, warm days and few mosquitoes)

Reviewed 10 Jun 2003 by Kathryn Lancaster4 star rating

I have just returned from a two week holiday in Malawi, where I stayed at Nkhata Bay, as recommened by responsible travel. The lodge is nestled into beautiful surroundings, which you never tire of. We treated ourselves to the luxury of the cottage. We had an excellent view of the lake and Chikale Beach. The cottage is basic, but you are getting what you pay for and that includes hot water, which is always a blessing. We were certainly comfortable and had plenty of room as there was just the two of us. We even got some interesting visitors from time to time, but I wouldn't want to spoil the surprises for anyone, as that made the trip even better.

The staff at the lodge are wonderful and make you feel instantly at home. They are very friendly and helpful and make the stay that much better. The food is fantastic, especially considering what is available to you. BBQ night is a big hit, every Wednesday and Saturday. Arriving on a Sunday as we did, we were delighted to be served up with a roast dinner. I do not eat meat, so had a great nut/rice loaf alternative. I do eat fish though and a good thing too, as its delicious and relatively plentiful.

Its very easy to spend 2 weeks there and really unwind. Evenings were spent meeting travellers and hearing all their tales. Would personally recommend the Gin and Tonic or if you'd like something a bit creamier, the Heavenly Cloud is delicious. Its about a 15-20 minute walk into town, which is nice because really feel like you've escaped from civilisation while you're at the lodge. If you want to go snorkelling or kayaking, just speak to someone at reception and they will get someone to come from the local business based on the beach.

So to conclude, we had a thouroughly enjoyable stay and I would recommend it to anyone who happens to be going that way, or even better, to anyone who wants to get away from it all for a couple of weeks.
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