My Malawi experience is almost exclusively with the charming town of Nkhata Bay. Here there is plenty of accommodation and things to do. You can also just relax on the beach and read a book or three. There is snorkeling, canoeing, hiking, and even the occasional rugby game on in the down town backpackers. The biggest attraction here is to take a diving course. You can take a five-day course and get an internationally recognized certificate. It is one of the cheaper courses you can take in the world and is pretty good. The best part is the location because lake Malawi offers you an opportunity to see the world’s largest keeper of fresh water tropical fish.
There are much to see here in the way floral and fauna. There are monkeys in the trees along the lake and plenty of birds including kingfishers, weavers, African fish eagles, storks, hoopoes, bee-eaters and more. In the lake are a very unique fish called Chiclids that are a beautiful blue. They are mouth breeders meaning the fish carry their eggs and even their young in their mouths until they mature.
My favorite part of Nkhata Bay is to just watch the busy little town in its every day live. It has an authentic African feel about it that hasn’t yet been ruined by the all of the tourist. The people are very friendly and warm. The place just feels good and really grows on you after awhile.
Directions: Nkhata Bay is 50 km east of Mzuzu in the northern part of the country. You can take a bus or the steamer to get here. Both have a regular schedule.
- Diving and Snorkeling
I visited Nkhatabay in 2005. NkhataBay is a very vibrant town. As I was walking in town somebody told me about Mpapa Beach. Ask anybody in town they will show you boats to go to Mpapa Beach. This place has the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. Shallow waters are as clear like a sky. No crocodiles to worry about. On this beach they are building a lodge which will be the best in the entire Nkhatabay. The owner is a Malawian living in the USA. As I said the building is under construction but this should not discourage you to visit Mpapa Beach because you will meet friendly locals who are always welcoming everybody. Most tourists visit Mpapa Beach because of the bay and its shallow waters. This place is not far from Nkhatabay. I understand the owner of this beach is also going to build a movie theater but the rooms are very big. I guess this guy is bringing the American style to Malawi.
On Mpapa beach they have orchard of papaya, bananas, etc. They also sell beers. This is also a good place for watching locals fishing "usipa(saradine)". I mean I enjoyed pulling the nets standing at the shore and as the net come close to the shore you will see "usipa" jumping. I mean the experience is so great. The locals on the beach make everything so exciting. The locals don't allow thieves and you shouldn't worry of anybody stealing from you.
Your visit to Mpapa Beach brings income to them, and it is in their best interest to protect you from any harm. I have never seen such hospitality like on Mpapa Beach. The people are poor, but they have rich heart. Just to say thank you for making my day leave them something to appreciate them. I mean you are going to love it! For further information about Mpapa Beach you can reach me at: email@example.com
Address: Mpapa Beach, NkhataBay, Malawi
Directions: In Blantyre go to a bus depot near the Polytechnic(University of Malawi) and buy express bus ticket to Nkhatabay. It leaves around 5:30 at night.Related to:
- Water Sports
- School Holidays