Likoma Island is a haven of natural beauty and simply walking around, enjoying the scenery and the beaches keeps most people entranced throughout their stay. That said there are a range of activities and special treats that can be arranged for you.
CLASSIC LAKE ADVENTURE
M.V. Ilala sails non-stop in less than 7 hours from Nkhotakota to Likoma. Come and be part of history on the ship that was built at Monkey Bay in 1949. M.V. Ilala has a restaurant and a bar with the best views in Malawi. It also has flush W.Cs and hot showers. Now Malawi Shipping Company has a “spare” ship, so normally M.V. Ilala sails as it’s much larger but should it require service then the new and very fast M.V. Chilembwe replaces it. So you can book with confidence knowing that one or other ship will sail.
Includes a standard cabin on M.V. Ilala on both voyages and for just $20 extra per person guests can book the only Ensuite cabin. The Adventure starts at Chris' Cottage next to Nkhotakota Pottery Lodge every Friday afternoon where evening dinner is served. Guests are escorted to board the ship late on Friday evening and the ship usually arrives before midday on Saturday at Likoma. Staff from UBL meet guests on board and take them to the lodge for 3 days of Island Luxury. On Tuesday morning guests board the ship and return to Nkhotakota in the afternoon to have dinner and the final night at Chris' Cottage before departure after breakfast on Wednesday morning. Accommodation, all meals (including those on board M.V. Ilala), transfers to and from lodges, ship and cabin fares are included. Guests only pay for their drinks and any extra excursions. Discounts for 3 or more passengers. Children accompanied by an adult:- half price for children under 12 and 30% discount for children under 16.
FAIRLY PRICED LAKE ADVENTURE
The only differences with the Classic Lake Adventure are:-
While we will book, if required, cabins on M.V. Ilala guests will pay their own fares, meals and cabin charges on M.V. Ilala. With a sleeping bag and sleeping mat or mattress a very comfortable night can be had on the top deck under the stars. 2nd and 3rd Class options are available. At Ulisa Bay Lodge breakfast and 3 course evening dinner is included so guests have the option to take midday meal away from the lodge or select from the lodge menu. Everything at the Cottage and all the transfers and assistance with boarding are included as in the Classic Lake Adventure.
The Fairly Priced cost in Superior or Deluxe Chalets at Ulisa Bay Lodge is $275 per person sharing, $347 single and $234 per person when 3 guests share one chalet at Ulisa Bay Lodge on Likoma. The Fairly Priced cost in Standard Chalets at Ulisa Bay Lodge is $245 per person sharing and $307 single. Children accompanied by an adult:- half price for children under 12 and 30% discount for children under 16.
M.V. Lamani 1 sails every Monday and Thursday morning from Nkhata Bay to Chizumulu and Likoma Islands and returns from Likoma to Nkhata Bay every Saturday and Wed morning. M.V. Lamani 1 started service in 2014. It has 2 powerful inboard engines & is certified by the Marine Department, it has the latest navigational equipment and a full complement of life Jackets. Cargo is loaded below, and passengers sit on the airy upper deck under a shade. Soft drinks, biscuits & crisps are sold on board. When Ulisa Bay Lodge guests come on Lamani we usually collect them from Chizumulu Island in the lodge boat, so they can be at the lodge in about 5½ hours after leaving Nkhata Bay.
Our 5 Day Lake Adventure starts early every Monday morning at Nkhata Bay and ends on Saturday afternoon at Nkhata Bay.
Our 6 Day Lake Adventure starts early every Thursday morning at Nkhata Bay and ends on Wednesday afternoon at Nkhata Bay.
We also provide advice on where to stay in Nkhata Bay the night before you begin the adventure and where to safely leave a vehicle. A member of staff from Ulisa Bay Lodge will meet you at Nkhata Bay the evening before your Adventure begins. He will escort you throughout the trip, beginning by reserving seats on board M.V. Lamani for you the night before. We also provide lifejackets, comfy mattresses to sit on and waterproofs in case of rain. Normally M.V. Lamani departs between 8am and 10am and arrives at Chizumulu Island about 4 hours later where our boat will meet guests and bring them to Ulisa Bay Lodge.
Guests then have 5 or 6 days of island luxury in ensuite chalets all with spacious Khondes overlooking the beach and lake where there are stunning sunsets every evening. The Adventure includes Full Board of English breakfast, midday meal and a 3-course dinner in the evening. If guests wish to take a midday meal at a local restaurant in town or at the other lodge still operating in the Green Season we will pay for the meals.
The Adventures includes: - Boat Fares, Transfers to and from Ulisa Bay Lodge, Assistance with boarding M.V. Lamani, Accommodation in Superior or Deluxe ensuite Chalets, all meals.
5 Day All-Inclusive Lake Adventure for just $365 per person sharing or $460 single.
6 Day All-Inclusive Lake Adventure for just $399 per person sharing or $499 single.
Children accompanied by an adult: - ½ price for children under 12 and 30% discount for children under 16.
Contact us for prices for 3 or more adults.
Visitors to the website in 2017 and before may have seen our Lake Adventure to Mozambique and Chipoka on M.V. Chambo. Sadly this option is no longer available as M.V. Chambo no longer calls at Chipoka or anywhere else in Malawi in the Southern part of the lake except when it goes for service to Monkey Bay.
Guests can still take a day trip to Cobue in Mozambique with the Lodge boat or take M.V. Chambo to Metangula on Sunday or Thursday returning to Likoma on Saturday or Wednesday. The boat ride is a trip back in history as Chambo passes and stops at many villages where there are no roads and not a single iron sheet roof is visible.
Metangula is a busy town with lively bars and a variety of accommodation and some good restaurants. There is a good beach a 20-minute drive away.
For citizens of Malawi or other Southern African Countries there should be no visa charges to enter Mozambique or on re-entry to Malawi. For citizens of many other countries the Mozambique Visa (obtainable at Cobue while on M.V. Chambo) is now US$60 and unless travellers have multiple entry Malawi Visas there may be an additional US$75 to pay when returning to Likoma.
For travellers there is a tarmac road from Metangula to Lichinga and it takes about 2 hours in a mini bus.
NOTE THAT MOZAMBIQUE VISAS ARE AVAILABLE AT COBUE BUT NOT METANGULA.
The snorkelling in Lake Malawi is world class with thousands of varieties of fish abundant in the lake, most famously the incredible array of multi-coloured cichlids.
Despite the abundance and variety of cichlids in Lake Malawi they are a protected species as large quantities of the fish have been removed to sell to collectors around the world.. please look after our wonderful cichlids!
The best snorkelling spots tend to be rocky outcrops where the fish have naturally protected habitats with large boulders and crevices in the rocks.
We have snorkelling equipment for you to use at the lodge but you are welcome to bring your own.
If you want to experience the life of the local fisherman we can arrange fishing trips in the traditional dugout canoes that the majority of fishermen still use in Lake Malawi. The fishermen will teach you how to control the canoe and the tricks of the trade so you can catch your own lunch!
If you have a bigger group it is possible to hire a larger boat for fishing or even a simple sunset cruise.. there is nothing quite like watching the sun go down over the lake while out on the water.
Ulisa Bay is arguably one of the most beautiful spots on one of the most beautiful islands in one of the most beautiful lakes in the world. It certainly has some of the most incredible sunsets, ever changing each day.
We can arrange a private candlelit dinner on the beach for you and your partner to watch the sun go down and create everlasting memories.
You cannot make pots in a more beautiful setting than Ulisa Bay Pottery – set on the hill behind the lodge it has stunning views over the lake. UBP was started in 2017 by Chris Stevens after he retired from both Dedza and Nkhotakota Potteries.
At Ulisa Bay Pottery anyone, from beginners to experienced potters, can come and make pots for a few days or a few weeks. The pottery has both electric and kick wheels and an electric kiln. There is also the exciting opportunity to learn how to make traditional African pots from Maria, a great grandmother several times over who still enjoys making her simple but stunningly beautiful pots. Sitting under the large Mango tree by the beach being taught how to make her pots is a humbling experience. As is the firing process where within 45 minutes of lighting the “bonfire” the pots are fired and ready for use.
Accommodation options for potters range from Full Board in a Deluxe Chalet to Bed Only in a Standard Chalet and for those staying 10 days or more a Self-Catering option is available.
Just email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org with what you would like to learn or do and he will send you a quotation.