Lake Malawi’s Northern Lakeshore stretches from Karonga District, where the country shares a border with Tanzania, to Dwambazi in Nkhotakota district.
This border town is historically renowned as slave trade centre before and during Dr. David Livingstones expeditions into Central Africa.
Chilumba, is the main Port of call for the MV Illala which is the oldest passenger vessel on lake Malawi. It is the main mode of transport between the north of Malawi and Mozambique as well as the villages on the Rumphi and NkhataBay shoreline.
Livingstonia, on the plateau above the Lake, is another interesting place along the Northern Lakeshore. It is one of the earliest Scottish missionary settlements in Malawi and is a heritage site.
Access from the lake at Chitimba to Livingstonia is through the famous “21 hairpin bends” that offer stunning views of the Lake below. (Picture of road in presentation folder)
Livingstonia is also a home of the famous Manchewe Falls, the Lukwe Eco-lodge the University of Livingstonia and the Stone House which used to house Dr. Robert Laws one of the earliest Scottish missionaries who established the Livingstonia Mission-(subject to change)
For the adventurous, hiking to Nyika National Park is one of exciting challenges!
Chitimba-Mlowe stretch forms part of Rumphi district and offers some stunning scenery as well as sandy beaches and accomodation for budget travellers. It is also in this area that the famous Ilala 1 sunk in 1949.
Descending through the Chiweta Escarpments on M1 road provides “some of the most magnificent scenery in Africa”.
The Escarpment and rivers within the area offer various opportunities for the Adventure traveler such as hiking, biking and trekking.
This is a small typical African town along the northern lakeshore. It is sited on a number of beautiful bays with rocky headlands. The scenery in the town area is of world-beating beauty.
It is also a famous port for ships on Lake Malawi. From here, travelers have access to Likoma and Chizumulu Islands Mbamba bay in Tanzania and also Mozambique.
The district is famously known for the tasty fish that is found in the lake locally known as “Batala” (Butter fish). There are also a lot of Arts and Craft activities in the district.
The district has rubber and tea plantations at Vizara and Kawalazi respectively. These plantations lie within tropical rain forests which offer beautiful scenery and are ideal for biking, bird watching and sport fishing.
The district is also known for the famous Malipenga Dance which is of historical significance.
It is in this district where the deepest point on Lake Malawi is located at Usisya at 230m below sea level or 704m deep.
Chintheche to Dwambazi, has one of the longest stretches of clean and white sandy beaches. Popular activities include Kayaking, Horse Riding, Scuba Diving, wind gliding, snorkeling, fishing, boat trips, bird-watching and mountain biking
Likoma and Chizumulu Islands
Likoma and Chizumulu Islands are the only inhabited islands on Lake Malawi closer to Mozambique. Access to these islands is by air and water.
Likoma is of great historical importance as the headquarters of the Universities Mission to Central Africa (Anglican). It is home to the famous gothic cathedral- St Peters which is an example of early church buildings in Malawi.
The island boasts of very few vehicles but many paths criss-cross it whilst biking and hiking are the best ways to see and enjoy this island paradise!
Boats take tourists round the island, across to Mozambique, or to the smaller island of Chizumulu.
On the south-western shore, a luxury eco-lodge Kaya Mawa (www.kayamawa.com) basks in the glory of granite boulders, sandy beaches and baobabs. It is an intoxicating blend of English fairytale and African legend.
WHERE TO STAY ALONG THE NORTHERN LAKESHORE
There are dozens of small, often simple, lodges built of local materials and right on the lovely white sandy beaches.
These include Butterfly Space Lodge, Mayoka Resort, Chikale Beach, Chintheche Inn (email@example.com, www.wilderness-safaris.com), Makuzi Beach (www.makuzibeach.com), Kande Beach (www.kandebeach.com), Club Marina, Sumuka Inn, Nkhukuti holiday resort, Namiashi, Njaya and Sambani lodge.