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Kaya Mawa
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Reviewed 28 August 2009

Looking for a place like heaven here on erarth? You find it at Likomas Kaya Mawa. The most romantic hide away, great food, wonderful people and the clear blue waters of Laka Malawi... At Kaya Mawa you wish for the time to stop and that tomorow may never come!

  • Stayed: June 2009, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Lilarosa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2009

I'd like to start my review by telling you what kind of people my wife and I are, because I find that it helps you decide whether you can trust the review or not.

We're in out mid-twenties, I'm a freelance web designer and my wife is a optician so we've got more cash than some of our friends but are by no means loaded! We both love travel, and especially love 'off the beaten track' type places. We often spend most our holiday budgets on just getting to places and then stay in hostels etc. but this being our honeymoon we fancied some luxury.

We both love africa and went on to stay in the Seychelles for 2 weeks after Kaya Mawa... and what can I say..... Kaya Mawa blew the Seychelles out of the (crystal clear, fresh) water!!!

Likoma island is pretty much the most beautiful place in the world as far as I'm concerned and Kaya Mawa is the perfect accommodation. Granite bath tubs, private jetties and hand crafted chalets are the order of the day and not soulless white walls and it is all the better for it.
The water is warm and clear and full of fish (better snorkeling than the Seychelles) and the beaches are beautiful too.

The service was top quality, everyone was so friendly and approachable. Great bar, good wine.. my only slight reservation about the whole place was that the food wasn't as fresh and fishy as I had hoped but it was explained to me that a lot of the produce had to be imported in at great cost, so bearing that in mind they did a great job with what they had.

Take a boat tour around the island, it's a great way to see most things in a day and then just relax relax relax.

I'm actually getting depressed writing this review that I'm not there right now!!

  • Stayed: September 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Luke H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 November 2008

Superlatives abound for this place. Rooms are amazing -- we had one that was its own little island reachable by a suspension walkway. Built right into the rocks. Could literally dive out of our room into the lake. Exceedingly nice staff with great service (but not in an excessively formal or stuffy way -- these are people you can have a drink with if you want). Lots of cool options to do things (swimming, Mt. bike across island, diving, snorkeling off your room, hike over to local handicrafts enterprise, or sit and do nothing but enjoy yourself). Setting is great as the lake breeze seems to be always blowing, keeping heat down and making bugs a non-issue. Food is great -- all made from local ingredients. No phones -- you have a walky-talkie if you want anything brought to you -- which in this day and age is such a great break (but yes, you can get online in the office if you need to). If you are going on safari and want a wind down spot, definitely recommend this. Also would be an amazing palce for Honeymooners.

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Rob0ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 August 2008

Stayed in chalet 4 - a lovely stone and thatch "cottage" built around the granite boulders of a bouganvillia drapped little island linked to the main lodge by a wooden bridge. Views of the lake from the numerous windows were breathtaking as was the snorkling from the little private jetty attached to the chalet. Other chalets all looked nice - some with beach asccess and the main dining / bar area was also wonderful with lake views. Cant imagine a more romantic / honeymoon location. Swimming in lake Malawi was a revelation - like swimming in Evian water!

Food excellent and enjoyed the novelty of eating at a different surprise location evey night. Straightforward wine pricing policy - all reds $40 and whites $35.

Island is very dry but not barren like some guidebooks suggest. Island similar to some Greek islands but with Boabab trees.

The locals are incredibly friendly - especially the kids. If they see you have a digital camera expect to be taking photos evey 5 minutes if you go for a walk - they love seeing themselves in the digital display.

Cathedral is well worth a visit and Vincent is only too happy to show you around.

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank BerkshireTigger
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 August 2008

I read an earlier review on here of Kaya Mawa which described it as "a tent on a rock"....well to hideously paraphrase Churchill....some tent, some rock.

If you are looking for a chain-hotel style hotel room, perfect finishes and a gym/spa/activity program then this isn't the place for you. But if you want somewhere with buckets of character and charm and a totally relaxing experience then you will love Kaya Mawa as much as I did.

The setting is stunning - on the shores of the perfect blue waters of Lake Malawi. You can either arrive by plane or on the Ilala - the old Malawian ferry which runs up and down the lake twice a week. Rough traveling but a great experience and really makes you appreciate the comfort of Kaya Mawa on arrival.

Rooms are all different and have heaps of character. They were built by the local population, which was no mean feat given available resources. It isn't clean edges and white walls - but lots of stone and some imagination - and for me it worked beautifully. All the rooms open up on to a deck on the lake and have total privacy.

There seem to be numerous different dining locations so you will eat at a different one each night. Food was excellent - varied, fresh and tasty - and the staff all extremely friendly and capable.

Having spent a fair amount of time doing safaris on this trip I loved the relaxed approach to meals here. There are no fixed times and places to be. When you wake up you use the walkie talkie in the room to call in a breakfast order - which then appears on your deck. If this is at 6am or 11am they don't care, and the same approach is taken for the other meals. This means you can do whatever you want, whenever you want to.

There isn't a massive amount to do - but that is the point. Take some good books, switch off your phone and relax. I took a bike out and rode around the island one day - which was great fun (and quite hard work). Other than that I spent the time being fairly lazy and chilling out in the sun. Other options include kayaking, swimming and diving. But the best bet was sitting on the deck by the bar and having a drink whilst the sun goes down over the water. All very pleasant.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled solo
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3  Thank Adrian W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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