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Kaya Mawa Lodge on Likoma Island offers activities including sailing and snorkelling © Malawi Tourism
Commonly regarded as an itinerary-wrecker, Likoma’s easy going charm is positively addictive, and many travellers find themselves happily whiling away the days on this baobab-studded isle.
The island of Likoma, 8km long and 3km wide, lies within Mozambican waters but is territorially part of Malawi, mainly as a result of its long association with Scottish missionaries. Today, the island’s main attraction for travellers is its isolation from the mainland and mellow atmosphere. This is no conventional tropical-island paradise, though the beaches really are splendid with the mountainous Mozambican shore rising above them, while the interior has a certain austere charm, particularly the southern plains which are covered in massive baobabs, shady mango trees and studded with impressive granite outcrops. Likoma has always generated a great deal of interest among travellers, but it remains surprisingly little visited. Above all, perhaps, Likoma has an overwhelmingly friendly mood, making it a good place to get to know ordinary Malawians.