Our main holiday destination was Nkwichi Lodge, a wilderness lodge on the shores of Lake Nyassa.
After an early night at Cobue, we boarded our boat the “Miss Nkwichi” that was to take us to the lodge. (the boat has arrived the evening before to be ready for our 8am departure). The lodge can only be reached by boat which is a treat.The journey took us south toward Metangula, and was easy going on the lake when we are so used to being on the sea. Slowly slowly we moved toward our resting place, giving us time to appreciate the forest scenery on the shore and the rocky scenery just off the shore. Cormorants gather on the rocks cutting a fine shape in the turquoise of the water and sky.
I was looking for signs of the Nkwichi buildings because it seems what most people have to say about arriving here is that they never knew anything existed inside the trees until they were there. I was almost their next victim of this cunning subterfuge but right at the last minute spotted a yellow thatch roof. I felt so proud of my great eyesight until I was told the reason I could see it was because it was new and the thatch hadn’t had time to turn brown and blend in.
We arrived at the jetty where the staff were already waiting to greet us. It was kind of like arriving at someone’s home and being welcomed with open arms. First impressions last and so did the first actions of the people of Nkwichi because for our entire stay there they were just as friendly and welcoming.

For two days we lazed, lounged and did nothing more than swim, enjoy our “house” set amongst the trees, and eat. Breakfast we had at our house, nothing like a lazy start to the day, enjoying coffee and slowly getting up for the day. For lunch we could choose where we wanted to eat, be it on the beach or on the platform overlooking the lake, the location was always a perfect accompaniament. Dinner we enjoyed together with other guests and our hosts. This usually followed sundowner drinks around a fire on the beach, my favourite part of the day.

The highlights of a stay full of great memories would be the christmas carols sung to us around the fire on Christmas Eve. The choir is made up of young boys and girls, and some men and women from the Anglican church in a nearby village. It was a real gift for us to see such warmth and enjoyment in the singing. Having a bath full of bubbles in the outside bath while the rain fell through the tree canopy above.  A visit to the Nkwichi working farm, where they grow their own vegetables as well as teaching representatives from surrounding villages better farming practices, and paper recycling. Encouraging to see such committment to helping the community. Christmas dinner with loads of great food (they did a splendid job of catering for us vegetarians!) and pulling crackers filled with African beaded keyrings, nice touch. Walking on the beach without lifting my feet just to hear the sqeechy noise of the white sand, after all this is why the lodge is called “Nkwichi”, because of the sound of the sand underfoot!

We were very sad to leave, but that is the thing about treats, they don’t last forever, nor are they everyday occurrences. As in arriving to a warm welcome we left with a warm farewell, the staff lined up on the jetty waving until we could no longer see them, giving us one final perfect memory, and a lasting impression of how perfect Nkwichi is.

 Thank you Patrick and staff!!

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