Blue Zebra Island Lodge


  • See Malawi's colourful cichlid fish
  • The only lodge on the island 
  • Enjoy a sunset cruise on Lake Malawi
  • Rest on a lounger or in a hammock
  • Savour French-inspired cuisine

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.

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Client Rating for Malawi 5/5 from 10 reviews

Beautiful views, pool, lodge. Slightly tired and in need of refurbishment. we asked for the mattress to be changed as it was so soggy. Confusion about which drinks were included which made us feel it was a bit commercial. Enjoyed the kayaks and snorkelling. Excellent food from their new cook, Heston. Took a while to meet the new managers, who were away at first. If the yoga retreat had been going on all the time we were there, it might have felt too much.

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