Situated on the lovely Chikale beach resides the beautiful Njaya Lodge – overlooking the stunning crystal clear waters of Lake Malawi. Glorious Banana palms, bamboo, flame trees, and jacarandas can be found encircling Njaya, generating a mellow and natural feel of the area.
Njaya lodge was founded in 1993 by still current owners Paul and Clare Norrish. Built from scratch on what once was a simple maize field to go on to become an impressive sanctuary for fellow travelers. Njaya lodge offers an alluring decor following a Moroccan theme and bohemian vibe, creating a perfect relaxing ambiance.
The general manager Gilbert, and particularly staff Kingston, and Dixon were completely attentive. Dixon was a delight to see each day, his warm presence kicked each morning off with many laughs and his bright attitude was enough to cheer you up even before morning coffee. I have to admit Dixon won Agnes and I over with his fantastic cocktails, truthfully some of the best I’ve ever had.. Gilbert was wonderful , the hospitality we received was outstanding. We felt at ease, and able to enjoy sitting up till all hours in perfectly laid back surroundings of the well stocked bar and lounge.
Arriving at almost 4am, we had the privilege of spending one night in “Garden Chalet 1”. In the morning we were given the option whether we wanted to spend the whole trip in the chalet or opt for moving to the beach cottage – we took the latter. The beach cottage was delicate in structure, definitely needing a little touch up or two. The cottage consisted of two rooms – one up stairs the other down.. unfortunately the staircase connecting the two had been removed for people were falling through, so getting to the bathroom meant going downstairs via outside. However, the view of Lake Malawi was magnificent and we had our own private pathway leading towards the beach – though not a trek you could make in the dark.
While visiting Chikale beach we met three captivating men, no older than 25. Very friendly characters whom we ended up spending a lot of our time with. Eventually, Joseph (the eldest presumably) asked if he could show us some of the art work and jewelry they create – we automatically fell in love. The boys offered to personalize items for us and we ended up buying some of the most charming little bits and pieces, all for a brilliant price. They even taught me how to play Bao “board”, a traditional East African game in which I am now addicted too. The most heart breaking conversation took place when the young men did not want money from us but rather asked if we had any old t-shirts or other clothing they could trade to have for their younger sisters. Sadly we only had enough clothes to get through a few days on the road, so we had to settle for giving them money for their work. The boys on the beach were more polite, friendly, and enjoyable to know – more than the market stalls up the road.
The whole experience at Njaya was one I will not be quick to forget. Hopefully I will have the chance to return sometime in the future and I would recommend Njaya for others – specifically couples, or group of friends.
Njaya offers various activities from: Driving, Boat trips, Kayaking, hiking, rock jumping , horse riding, and volunteering.
More information can be found at:
Unfortunately these photos are not my own due to a camera malfunction. Nevertheless, with the consent of Paul Norrish I have used a few from Njaya Lodge site.
Peace, A. xo