Likoma is a little bit off the beaten track. Therefore visitors can expect even “less of everything” here. There is no bank and no money exchange office!
Its possible to pay with TC at Mango Drift and Kaya Mawa but they charge some 200 MKW commision
In Mbamba Village is an Indian shop keeper living. Sometimes he is changing money at not too bad rates.
In 1996 there were only two fridges on the whole island. One was broken and the other one was in the community hall but not able to cool the drinks for so many people! This changed when Likoma was rewarded with an enormous generator, because it was the only district in the Northern Region where the ruling UDF party got the majority during the previous elections.
There is a missionary hospital but if you have serious problems you have to wait for the Ilala II.
-Immigration: Usually there is an immigration officer on the Island from Tuesday to Saturday
-Cobue in Mozambique can be visited without a Mozambique visa when you apply for a Lakeshore Permit at the police station. You need to pay a small fee to the immigration in Cobue. Regulations can change so check about the current situation before taking a boat!
-Be aware the Cobue is a very remote place. There is hardly any road transport to any other place in Mozambique. I met people who were walking all the way down to Metangula!
-There is no Rabies and no Bilharzias on Likoma, but loads of nasty ants!
-It’s a very safe place without any crime. Leaving your valuables in your room is not a problem!
- Its safe to walk at night through the villages and across the island but it `s dark. Bring a torch and watch where you walk – there are snakes!
Sometimes billions of flies gather on water. This happens only in the northern parts of Lake Malawi. It looks like there is “smoke on the water”. The locals catch them as an addition to their daily diet. The fly is called “Kungu” which means “Manna of Heaven”. Wrapped in a banana leaf they will be dried or smoked above a fire.
Usually the Ilala II tries to avoid steaming through this billions of “Kungu” but if it is not possible its better not to stay on the upperdeck!
Favorite thing: If you want to get away from the crowds it’s this is the ideal place! It is possible to camp on one of the plenty beaches. You should ask for permission in the nearest village before you pitch up your tent! The nicest beach is on the southern side of the island and called “Chiponde Beach” There had been some plans to open a lodge on this beautiful place.