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The town of Mangochi lies close to the southern shores of Lake Malawi and north of the smaller Lake Malombe. The uncrowded beaches on Lake Malawi’s vast body of water will have you believing you are on an island surrounded by calm clear seas.
ChiChewa is Malawi’s official language but children are taught to speak English at secondary school, now widely spoken throughout the country.
The Mangochi Lake District is approximately 190km from Malawi’s largest city Blantyre, easily reached on the tarred M10 freeway yet remote enough to enjoy your privacy on the lake shores.
Malawians are a peaceful and friendly nation, the country is stable and the Malawian Kwacha currency will guarantee a holiday of excellent value.
Mangochi has a tropical savanna climate, it’s a true paradise for sun worshippers!
Things to do
A beach holiday wouldn’t be a beach holiday without a glut of watersports and resorts based in Mangochi all offer the necessary amenities. Catamarans and dinghies are readily available and some resorts offer waterskiing too. Other more relaxing options are snorkeling and swimming or just lying on the beach, soaking up the sun.
Visit the Mpale Cultural Village to experience much of Malawi’s culture and watch the traditional Beni dancers perform. The village has a museum and restaurant on the premises.
The Kungoni Centre of Culture and Art at the nearby Mua Mission is a fascinating mission station (dated 1902) that showcases the Chewa, Ngoni and Yao cultures. Artistic pieces drawn from local communities are on display at the art gallery. The owner is a somewhat charismatic ex-Canadian.
The National Park at Cape Maclear – known to the locals as Chembe – is unique in that it’s one of only a few aquatic national parks worldwide. The area has countless coves in which to enjoy the clear waters. Also at the site is a small aquarium and guided tours of their museum.
While at Cape Maclear do some shopping of genuine Malawian goods at the Gaiatar boutique.
Try and coincide your visit to Malawi with the Lake of Stars Festival held every September in Mangochi for a super rocking music weekend.
Where to Eat
Visit the Lusuwilo Bar and Restaurant at the Mpale Cultural Village for an authentic African meal. The barbequed poultry dish Nkhunda yootcha pamakala is recommended.
Namalikhate Lodge and Restaurant at the Mau Mission offers simple but tasty dishes prepared using only ingredients sourced locally. Book well in advance.
The restaurant at Mgoza Lodge in Cape Maclear overlooks the lake and offers good value and well-presented meals.
Try Malawi’s favourite snack, the dried Chambo fish.
Most lake resorts have dining facilities on the premises.
If you would like to mingle with the locals, call in at the Sun City Nightclub & Restaurant in Mangochi. Late night venue with DJ on the decks.
Enjoy a cocktail outdoors under the Lapa at the Twin Towers Lodge’s Baobab Bar.
Boma/Hiccups Pub in Cape Maclear is a relaxed outdoor venue where you relax with a drink or try one of their standard dishes with a Malawian twist.
Where to Stay
The top quality resorts in this area all front Lake Malawi with private beaches and every amenity available to you. These resorts will cater to your every need and ensure a fun filled and relaxing holiday.
Air International flights are serviced by either the capital Lilongwe or Blantyre airports. A chartered flight is necessary to reach Mongachi Airport.
Car Rental Various car rental agencies operate out of the major cities, book your vehicle online.
Taxis Traditional taxi companies operate in the main cities only and in rural towns, bicycle taxis are available for short journeys.
Did you know?
The 700m deep Lake Malawi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lies at the southern end of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. In some places, the lake is 75km wide and roughly 1000 species of fish have been recorded here.
Holiday and business visas are required for most countries, check your visa status with a travel agent before departing.
Be aware that both Malaria and Bilharzia are prevalent in Malawi, take the necessary precautions.
Malawian women traditionally wear the Chitenje, a colourful and patterned sarong which sometimes acts as a baby sling too.
Many Malawians name their children based on emotional feelings identified prior to and during the birth. Expect to hear names such as Happy and Chastity.
Malawians love to hear their language spoken by visitors, take a moment to learn the three most used phrases: Moni (mor-nee) is Hello, Zikomo (zee-kor-mor) is Thank You and Yendani Bwino (yen-dar-nee bwee-nor) meaning Safe Travel.