Travel: Luxury Eco Lodge Kaya Mawa by Way of the Lake of Stars Festival
Kaya Mawa / Lake of Stars [Malawi]
[Image credit: Kaya Mawa]
At the moment, there seems to be a festival taking place everywhere you turn and not to be outdone Malawi will soon host what has been dubbed ‘Simply the finest festival in the world’ by noted UK leading music magazine; Q Magazine… high praise indeed! In partnership with arts and development organisations from the UK, the three-day extravaganza entitled the ‘Lake of Stars’ has rapidly made a name for itself across the region and beyond since launching in 2004. The showcase has grown considerably over the years; attracting top musicians, DJs and artists from Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, and off course Malawi as well international talent from Sweden, Canada and the UK.
The award-winning festival was set up as a platform promoting Malawian arts and tourism to the international world and to attract visitors to the country; aiding economic development. Along the picturesque shores of Lake Malawi; the country’s most well-known tourist attraction, local and international visitors enjoy music, dance, theatre, spoken word, market stalls, film and exhibitions from over 90 notable artists, and this year the festival will be held from 30th September to 2nd October at the Sunbird Nkopola Lodge in Mangochi, Malawi. …but all that partying can take its toll, and if a few days of ‘recuperation’ is needed then head to the tranquil far northeast of the Lake where you will find Likoma Island, a place covered with mango trees and ancient baobabs and encircled with white sandy beaches and rocky coves; and home to Kaya Mawa, a luxury eco-lodge rated by Condé Nast Traveller magazine as one of the ten most romantic destinations. Unique in that it was built entirely by hand with no power tools; Kaya Mawa is an environmentally-friendly Lodge that was completed in 2000 after construction started in 1995 and is a place that takes community spirit seriously. Keeping things local, the workforce is drawn from the three villages that border the Lodge; from carpenters to stonemasons who assisted with the build to the Lodge staff, many of whom were involved in the construction and moved over once the Lodge was operational in a process that has built up a strong family atmosphere, one of mutual trust and respect between the villagers, owners of the Lodge and the guests who come stay. The Lodge prides itself on running on renewable energy without comprising its high standards and guests comforts; so if you really can’t bear to be totally cut off from the outside world; internet, printer, scanner and telephone access is available running on solar and wind power.
[Image credit: Kaya Mawa – Luxury Travel Magazine]
Kaya Mawa is made up of ten houses ranging from standard to premium depending on the level of privacy you are seeking; two of the houses are suitable for families and a third for honeymooning guests. Large beds, stunning views of the crystal clear water, private plunge pools, foliage-covered walkways and relaxing lounge areas are just some of the features available. Dine on local and international cuisine in the restaurant and reflect on past events by the bar which is perfectly situated to provide the refreshment to accompany a spectacular sunset over the Lake.
[Image credits: Kaya Mawa]
Occupying one-fifth of Malawi, Lake Malawi is one of Africa’s greatest lakes; the third-largest in the region. At 575km long and 85km at its widest point, the Lake’s existence can be traced back to 500BC. Populated with large numbers of freshwater fish, Lake Malawi is of economic importance to the country not only drawing tourists but is also a source of living for many Malawians; fishermen, net makers, canoe makers and of course fish traders who sell the catch to the mainland. Despite all this activity, the Lake has remained relatively unspoiled, thanks to government efforts in not letting the Lake become over-commercialised and visitors can enjoy relatively un-crowded beaches, a variety of water sports and views of the spectacular birdlife including kingfisher, heron and fish eagle.
[Image credit: Likoma Island – Kaya Mawa]
…party then relax in Malawian style
Additional information sourced from: www.ecoafrica.com/africa
For further information and to book visit: www.kayamawa.com
Bookings can be made via Eco Luxury, visit: www.ecoluxury.com
For further information about the Lake of Stars festival visit: www.lakeofstars.org