Nkhata Bay has become the second party location in Malawi. Cape Maclear in the very south of the lake is the most known one. Before the ferry stopped running to the southern part of the lake, these two places could be easily reached just by hopping on the boat.
To our great surprise, most lodges in Nkhata Bay were booked out when we arrived mid August. Something we had not seen anywhere else in Malawi. Luckily, we got a room in the dive center, which is right in the center of the village / town with access to a small but scenic stretch of beach. Since it sits on a small peninsula, it feels like being away from it all. Sitting on the quaint terrace you see nothing but the little bay with lots of trees around it. When we left through the main door we stepped right in the market. What else does it offer? The little restaurant / bar closes at 08:00 pm, the standard en suite room for 35 USD are simple but comfortable and above all quiet.
On our room-hunting trip, we got to see most “Lodges” (Hostels) in Nkhata Bay. THE place to be for party hungry travelers is Mayoka Lodge, perched on a steep hill. The bar and restaurant is indeed very welcoming and full with Backpackers of all ages. We did not see the rooms but were told that they are quite nice and the compost toilet has the feel of an Asian spa.
Since we stayed in the village, we noticed how few tourists made an effort to come there. With the popular lodges often a few kilometers away from the villages, there seems to be little incentive for most tourists to leave their lodges.
We spent an evening in Mayoka Village and felt like so often before in other hostels around the world. If it were not for the staff you would not even notice you are in Africa!