This small town – Nkhata Bay – is heavily advertised as an alternative to busy Cape Maclear, further south on Lake Malawi. Well, we were not in Cape Maclear, but Nkhata Bay was the only place in Malawi where we had troubles finding a place to stay.
We literally checked out every hostels / hotels in and outside town. Luckily, the only place that had a room available was the Aqua Africa Lodge. Why lucky? From our room and the lovely terrace we saw nothing but nature, the picturesque bay, crystal clear water, lots of green and even a tiny beach. The other side of the building faced the small town and its lively market. The perfect place for us! We love being close to local bars, eateries and shops, but also enjoy gazing at quiet, green nature.
Unless you come to party for a few days at truly nice Backpacker Hostels, like Mayoka Village, scuba diving is the other option to spend your time here. Again, our hostel came in handy. All we had to do was climb down a few steps to the diving base. No lengthy boat trips, no swallowing salt water, all really easy. It is not the Red Sea in terms of marine wildlife and corrals, but night diving even got experienced divers hyped.
Our days we spent exploring the village, walking around for hours. This is how we learned that the well-built men clad in white overalls – tending fields and cutting down trees – were prisoners. One entire day they spent getting a boat afloat that was beached by a storm. These guys had a hell of a time, shouting, pulling ropes and splashing around the waters of Lake Malawi. They even get to watch serious soccer games: the field is right next to the prison. Even we developed a passion for this sport and watched several games during our stay.
Friday night we checked out Mayoka village: great ambience, well organized, but basically it is a traveler hang out like all others on this globe. It is built onto a steep slope set among large trees, which makes it really picturesque.