Sitting on a beach on the northern shores of Lake Malawi, Ngala is a small, friendly lodge. The perfect place to wash off safari dust, mix with the locals, enjoy stunning views and surrounding scenery and get to know Malawi!
There are A-frame thatched chalets looking over the beach and executive and family rooms in the gardens, all with private seating areas at the front. The en-suite rooms are all large and very well furnished.
The main lodge building is spacious and houses the main bar and an internet cafe. There is a gorgeous swimming pool and recent tests of the water in the lake around the lodge have shown no traces of bilharzia along the main beach. Down on the beach, under shady trees surrounded by hammocks and seating is the 'Soggy Kwacha' bar open Tuesday to Sunday 10am - 7pm.
The restaurant is open from 6:30am until 9pm. Pizzas are a speciality made in a clay oven with special nights on Wednesday and Friday. There is also a full A La Carte menu. Local fish and fruits feature widely on the menu and the lodge has its own organic vegetable garden.
There are plenty of activities at and around the lodge. Swimming in the pool and the lake and snorkelling are popular. Guests have free use of paddle skis and hobbie cats. Sunset cruises, now known as "Sunset Swimdowner Cruises" are free to residents.
Trips to the hot springs, Unaka Lagoon or sunset cruises are available in the lodge motor boat "Kumbali". The hot springs are about one hour sail by boat where guests can explore the beach. Sometimes if the water is calm, the captain can find a spot where the spring emerges from the lake and you can swim in the warm water in the lake!
Unaka Lagoon is a nature spot which is home to crocodiles, hippos and a variety of bird life in a tranquil setting and is an ideal place to watch the sunset.
Guided village tours and a cultural evening of local cuisine coupled with a cultural dance show can be arranged.
Mountain bikes are available for hire by guests and can be used to explore the local area and plenty of village and cultural tours are available.
Further afield, available as a day trip, is also horse riding and scuba diving.
"This place is a hidden gem! I'm amazed at how quickly Sandy and Chris re-built and opened this lodge - given the usual 'African time' of things! I admire them for using all local products and providing excellent service and standards. The food was superb and the rooms really comfy. The only thing I'd point out is that the 'bungalow' rooms at the back of the garden are a bit of a walk to the beach (though near the pool), so if you want a beach front book one of the bigger A Frame rooms. The village walk we did from here was superb - I was sad we had to cut it short because of time constraints, the motorbike 'ambulance' was incredible and thanks to the lovely lady in the hospital who let us come and say hello to her literally new born little girl! If you like to interact with local people in a genuine, non touristy way, go to Ngala, you can spend days here in the village."
Tribes Travel, The Old Dairy, Wood Farm, Ipswich Road,
Otley, Suffolk, IP6 9JW.
Office hours: Monday - Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
Telephone: 01473 890499