Every month Ulisa Bay Lodge produces a sheet showing the current ways to reach Likoma.

Contact us at so we can email you the up-to-date sheet.


Most days there are daily scheduled flights by Ulendo Air to Likoma from Lilongwe (1 hour flight). Flights usually depart Lilongwe about 1400 hours and depart Likoma about 1100 hours.    Scheduled flight rates are $300 per person one way.  From mid-Janaury until Easter there are usually only charter flights which are $450 per person one way and require a minimum of 2 passengers.   Likoma Airport is not yet an International Airport so passengers from Likoma leaving Malawi have to clear immigration at either Lilongwe or Blantyre. See for full information.

Get in touch if you would like help booking a plane ticket or arranging a pick up from the airstrip to the Ulisa Bay Lodge. 


There are several options to reach Likoma on ships with regular weekly timetables from Nkhata Bay, Nkhotakota, Senga Bay, and Monkey Bay in Malawi. Daily, except Sunday, small boats arrive mid-morning at Likoma from Cobue in Mozambique (just 4 kms away) and return before midday.

We have shown below the schedules for the ships based on our experience over several years.   Ships usually leave on time at the start of each trip but the times at later ports can vary by many hours due to loading times and the weather on the lake.    We are in contact with the Captains so can usually give fairly accurate estimates of times of arrival & departure on the actual day of sailing.   


Information for M.V. Ilala & M.V. Chilembwe, and booking cabins on Ilala or 1st Class Seats on Chilembwe phone +265(0)1587411 or contact us and we can book on your behalf.

Tickets can be bought on the ship on the day in Malawi Kwacha.   


These are the easy way to reach Ulisa Bay Lodge as whether you start from Nkhotakota or Nkhata Bay we take care of all travel arrangements and our staff will escort you onto and off the ships.

And if you want to travel from any other other port on the Lake we can we can organise a trip you will never forget.


M.V. ILALA - Timetable for Likoma


Monkey Bay Depart Friday 0800

Senga Bay Arrive 1400 & Depart 1630

Nkhotakota Arrive 2300 & Depart 0400 Sat.

Likoma Island Arrive 1030 & Depart 1600

Nkhata Bay Arrive 2200  


Nkhata Bay Depart 0130 Tuesday

Likoma Island Arrive 1000 & Depart 1700

Nkhotakota Arrive 2350 & Depart 0600 Wednesday

Senga Bay Arrive 1300 & Depart 1450

Monkey Bay Arrive 2100

FARES in US$ -

Malawi Kwacha Fares have not changed since October 2014 so the MK fares may rise any day by up to 100%. The fares below are the the US$ fares as of October 2014.

M.V. Ilala Fares:

One way per person in US$:- Cabin Class/ 1st Class / 3rd Class:

Likoma–Nkhata Bay$27/$19/$9

Likoma-Nkhotakota $36/$22/$10

Likoma-Monkey Bay $71/$40/$18

M.V. Chilembwe Fares:

One way per person in US$:- 1st Class / 2rd Class (Almost no difference in 1st & 2nd Class Seats) 

 Likoma–Nkhata Bay $22/$14

Likoma-Nkhotakota $25/$18

Likoma-Monkey Bay $42/$29

M.V.Ilala has been in service since 1951.   It combines the traditions of strong, safe ferries with the latest satellite navigation.  Travelling 1st Class on the top deck passengers can relax in an uncrowded atmosphere and there is a restaurant & a well-stocked bar, Flush WCs and Hot Showers. 

2nd & 3rd Class passengers are allowed to eat in the 1st Class restaurant.  There are 6 Standard Cabins & 1 Ensuite Owners Cabin (50% extra).   1st Class passengers can sleep under the stars on the top deck - a sleeping bag & mat is advisable.

M.V. CHILEMBWE - Timetable for Likoma

N.B. Normally M.V. Ilala ferry sails, however if Ilala is under maintenance the M.V. Chilembwe sails instead. 


Monkey Bay Depart Friday 0900

Senga Bay Arrive 1300 & Depart 1430

Nkhotakota Arrive 2100 & Depart 0400 Sat.

Likoma Island Arrive 0900 & Depart 1130

Nkhata Bay Arrive 1500  


Nkhata Bay Depart 0700 Tuesday

Likoma Island Arrive 11.30 & Depart 1500

Nkhot. Arrive 19.30 & Depart 0400 Wed

Senga Bay Arrive 0800 & Depart 0930

Monkey Bay Arrive 1430


M.V.Chambo began service in 2013. Designed with a shallow draft and a drop down ramp at the front it can off load passengers and goods directly onto the beach.  As of January 2019 Chambo has not sailed for over a year. We are advised the Mozambique authotrities are look for a new company to run this ship which is very well designed for lake transport.



M.V. Lamani sails from Nkhata Bay to Likoma  every Monday and Thursday and from Likoma to Nkhata Bay every Saturday and Wednesday.

NKHATA BAY TO LIKOMA: One way fare $5

Depart Nkhata Bay/Likoma 0800 - 1000 and arrive Likoma/Nkhata Bay 5 - 8 hours later.

M.V.Lamani is a reliable and fully certified boat, owned and run by people from Likoma who have vast experience of the lake weather. Lamani has two powerful inboard diesel engines and provides economic transport for people and supplies.   Soft drinks, biscuits & crisps are sold on board. When guests for Ulisa Bay Lodge are travelling on M.V. Lamani we usually collect them from Chizumulu Island and bring them to Likoma in the lodge boat. This way guests are at the lodge within about 5 hours of leaving Nkhata Bay.