Blue Zebra Island Lodge is on Nankoma Island, part of the Marelli archipelago, in Lake Malawi. It's within the national park and the clear waters are teeming with colourful tropical fish, making it ideal for snorkelling and diving. You can also go for walks on the island, spotting some of the 300 species of birds that occur here. Blue Zebra is the only lodge on the island, so you'll have the whole place to yourself.
There are 4 luxury chalets near the pool which each sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children, all with en-suite bathrooms. There are a further 3 tented luxury chalets a little further from the main lodge: the kingfisher accommodates 2 adults and has a sitting room with views of Lake Malawi, the cormorant can sleep a family of 4, and the fish eagle can accommodate 4 adults and has a private veranda with views of the lake.
Lake-based activities include swimming, snorkelling, diving and kayaking, so waterlovers will be in seventh heaven! You can also take boat trips on the lake to other islands. The sundowner cruise is popular way to crown a day at Blue Zebra. If you want to stretch your legs you can take a walk round the island, keeping your eyes and ears open for fish eagles, as Lake Malawi has the highest concentration of this species in Africa.
At the lodge you can doze in a lakeside hammock, indulge in some delicious fresh seafood, swim in the pool and top up your tan. Look out for the cute, but cheeky bushbabies, who won't wait to be asked to share any snacks!
Open: Blue Zebra Island Lodge is open all year.
Location: Blue Zebra Island Lodge is in Lake Malawi National Park. It is on the otherwise uninhabited Nankoma Island, the largest of the 3 islands of the Marelli archipelago, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its abundant cichlid fish. The lodge is about a 2 hour drive from Lilongwe, with safe parking on the mainland and a short boat ride to Nankoma. There is no jetty here so you need to wade through shallow water to arrive - all part of the experience!
Rooms: There are 3 executive tented chalets. The kingfisher is spacious, with a sitting area as we as a bedroom, overlooking the lake. The cormorant can accommodate 2 adults plus 2 children under 12 on 2 large sleeping couches. The fish eagle is ideal for families, wit 2 bedrooms, a large lounge and veranda with lake views. All executive chalets are en-suite. They are secluded, set a short walk from the main lodge. The 4 luxury chalets are nearer the pool and main area. They sleep up to 2 adults and 2 children each and are all en-suite. There are also 5 safari chalets, set on the hillside away from the lodge. These offer self-contained accommodation with their own living and dining areas and are used for groups of watersports and diving enthusiasts. Mosquito nets and fans are provided in all chalets.
Activities: Water-based activities include snorkelling and diving, both great ways to observe the colourful cichlids and reefs. Snorkelling equipment is provided, free for guest use. Divers of all levels from complete novice - the lodge has a dive centre and experienced instructor who can help novice divers and offers PADI courses to experienced are welcome. You can use one of the 6 kayaks at the lodge to propel yourself though he waters exploring the coastline, looking out for birds and otters. Boat trips to the other 2 islands in the archipelago and to go fishing are popular. There are sunset cruises, too. On land you can follow the nature trail round the island, keeping your eyes open for birds and other wildlife.
Facilities: The lodge has an infinity pool overlooking the lake, and a large sundeck with sun loungers and hammocks. The main thatched area is open-sided, light and airy, and houses the dining area and bar. A walkway leads past the pool over the water to a covered terrace, a great place for sundowner drinks. There are several sitting areas scattered across the lodge grounds.
Dining: The food is good French-based cuisine and meals are eaten at individual tables.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. They should be kept under supervision at all times.
Health: This is a malarial area.
Communication: There is limited Wi-Fi internet access.