Chintheche, Bandawe, Kande, and Dwangwa
The beaches along the 198km stretch of the lakeshore M5 between Nkhotakota and Nkhata Bay are close to paradise, with its perfect arcs of white golden sand punctuated by jagged rocky outcrops, patches of Brachystegia woodland, and even some remnant forest.
Chintheche is a beach town located about 40km south of Nkhata Bay. It has Caribbean style beaches that are full of white sand fringed by tropical plants and dazzling blue water. It’s a popular weekend destination for tourists and residents from Lilongwe.
Chintheche boasts a concentration of resorts and lodges, each having its own beach. The lodges include Chintheche Inn, which is the ideal venue for destination weddings, romantic getaways, team retreats or even fun-filled family holiday; and the charming Makuzi Beach lodge with its individually decorated stone chalets. For groups or families is The Beach House, built in a colonial style on a wonderful stretch of beach. It’ a good base for day trips to Bandawe and Kande. Chintheche was also home to the original Lake of Stars Music festival from 2004 to 2007 before it moved south.
Activities include a variety of mountain biking trails that pass through local fishing villages and markets. Village tours can be arranged to provide a unique window into rural communities. A wide variety of water-sports are available, including kayaking, snorkeling and boat rides.
There is a site of historical interest in Bandawe. This was the location for the second attempt by Dr Robert Laws to establish a Livingstonia Mission. The old mission site is still functional church stand on a hilly peninsula with a number of missionary graves. The mission can easily be visited as a day trip from any of the lakeshore resorts between Kande and Chintheche, and Bandawe Point is also the site of Makuzi Beach Lodge, a lovely resort set on one of Malawi’s most stunning beaches.
Kande is situated about 75km north of Dwangwa and is one of the best places to chill out and relax along the shores of Lake Malawi with clear blue water that is safe swimming with shallow depth and free of rocks. Horse riding is one of the most popular activities in this area. Kande Horse is nestled in amongst the forest, allowing the trees to provide you with a respite from the sun. Kande Horse has about 20 beautiful horses, for all levels and ages. Take a 1- or 2-hour ride through the forest or down the beach ending in the unforgettable experience of swimming with your horse.
Dwangwa is located about 50km north of Nkhotakota. This is a satellite to the Illovo Sugar Estate but the lakeshore is a fishing community. Ngala Beach Lodge is situated about 15km north of Dwangwa and has recently been renovated completely. It is now one of the country’s top lakeshore resorts.