Lake Malawi

Kaya Mawa


Maybe tomorrow

On the Lake Malawi island of Likoma, Kaya Mawa is a wonderfully laid-back barefoot beach retreat with a difference.

Each of Kaya's eleven houses and private villa is unique, all designed to fit naturally into the bay’s rocks and sand with white-washed or exposed stone interiors opening out to lake and beach views. Some of the suites enjoy a private deck and plunge pool, a terrace, courtyard and dining spaces.

The rest of the resort lives up to its relaxing ‘maybe tomorrow’ ethos. Find a secluded spot shaded by ancient baobab or mango trees, snorkel in the warm freshwater, kayak, head to the spa and dine under the stars.

Built by local hands and as Malawi’s first resort run solely on renewable energy, Kaya Mawa is firmly grounded in sustainability, community empowerment and ethical trade.


At a glance

  • 11 rooms and two-bedroom houses

  • Ndomo Point House with four bedrooms and private staff

  • Restaurant, bar and spa

  • PADA dive centre

Kaya Mawa massage


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    Diving and snorkelling

    The waters around the lodge are both safe and clear, offering some of the best freshwater snorkelling anywhere as you swim surrounded colourful cichlid fish. Kaya Mawa is also a PADI accredited dive centre with two in house instructors.

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    Water sports

    For the adventurous, why not experience the stunning Lake Malawi by boat and try your hand at water skiing, kite surfing and wakeboarding, or for the younger ones, knee boarding and tubing.

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    Boat trips

    Enjoy the island from the water, taking a local dhow boat to visit some of the best snorkelling spots, sail into town to visit the cathedral built in 1905 or head out on a sunset cruise.

Community & Culture

At the beating heart of this barefoot luxury lodge lies the local people and culture. Built entirely by local hands and adorned with chic interior fixtures and fittings from the Katundu Workshop, local people have steered the way and made Kaya Mawa what it is today.

Katundu was founded on the island in 2006 around a passion for designing and creating luxury items in an ethical environment, empowering women and through them the local community. These jobs provide a sustainable income and give people the skills and knowledge to improve their circumstances.

Glass beads, chandeliers, photo frames and fabrics are all handmade from sustainable and recyclable materials mostly from the lodge and the lake itself, and many designs can be bought in the onsite shop. Guests are always very welcome to visit the workshop and see the artisans at work.

The lodge also supported the establishment of a community-run garden that supplies Kaya Mawa and the surrounding villages with fresh produce and poultry. This initiative promotes good nutrition within the broader island community, encourages alternative agriculture and chemical-free farming and local women are empowered through sustainable livelihoods.


Kaya Mawa was Malawi’s first lodge to use solar all its electricity needs.

What makes us different

Why Niarra

Niarra Travel is a forward-thinking travel company headquartered in London born out of a passion to do things differently.

In Swahili, a Bantu language spoken by millions in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa, the name Niara means "with utmost purpose" and our team are united by a passion for exploration and a belief that the right kind of travel can make the world a better place.

Our Travel Researchers are here to create incredible trips with a positive impact for you.

  • Unforgettable experiences

    Creating your trip is entirely collaborative and our Travel Researchers are here for every step.

  • Positive impact

    Curated sustainable experiences and accommodation that maximize the benefits to local people and place.

  • Fairness and transparency

    An open, competitive pricing structure that ensures more money goes to where it's needed in the destination.

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