Ferry services in Malawi – A ferry trip across Lake Malawi is highly recommended. This can be experienced on board the 620 tonne ‘Ilala’, which has recently been fitted with new engines. The ‘Ilala’ has a passenger capacity of 400 and provides an essential means of travel both for tourists and for local people, who transport goods for trading. The ‘Ilala’ goes to the Mozambican territory of Likoma Island as well as to Ulisa Bay Lodge, Kaya Mawa and Mango Drift. The ferry operates on a weekly schedule between Chipoka and Chilumba, with nine other stops en route including Nkhotakota, Nkhata Bay, Likoma Island and Metangula on the Mozambique shore. It travels northbound Saturday to Monday and southbound Tuesday to Thursday.
Accommodation on board the ‘Ilala’ is charming, with five double cabins (one en-suite) and two single cabins on the upper decks for tourists. The top deck above the cabins is reserved for cabin-class passengers except when in port. There is a spacious recreation area with a covered bar.
Ferry services in Malawi – Situated in the north-eastern corner of Lake Malawi set in Mozambican waters lies the small unspoiled Likoma Island. The island is surrounded by crystal clear waters, sandy beaches, and an abundance of cichlids – some of which are endemic of the Likoma area.
The island is only 17km², and has one town, Likoma Town, here you will find Central Africa’s third largest cathedral, St Peter’s.
Bearing in mind the size of Likoma Island there isn’t an endless number of things to do, however, you will find some breathtaking experiences. Diving off the island is good and you will be able to swim with the brightly coloured cichlids. There are over 20 dive sites around Likoma Island for you to explore. Another water based activity, boat trips; you can take boat trips around the island, to the nearby Chizumulu Island or to neighbouring Mozambique.
If you want to explore the island and visit the various island villages, you can on foot, alternatively you can seek a thrill and hire a mountain bike or quad-bike. Whilst on your excursion be sure to visit the old Baobab on the New Market Place. Nowadays, the baobab is hollow and sometimes used as a storeroom.
St Peters Cathedral is the same size as Winchester Cathedral in England, which is one of the largest in Europe. Work began in 1903 and completed in 1911. This vast building has some interesting features including stained glass and carved soapstone choir stalls.
Dancing competitions known locally as malipenga are frequently held at weekends and are extremely interesting to watch due to the traditional instruments that are used and the eccentric colonial costumes the men wear. If you are visiting over a weekend watching one of the dance competitions is a must.
Back to the cathedral! The clock tower provides a stunning view across Likoma. After a tour of the cathedral, you can head to the roof, climb across the bells and the clockwork and take in the beautiful scenery.
If you want to escape to an island paradise steeped in culture then Likoma is for you. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and marvel at the colonial infrastructure. Likoma is ideal for couples and honeymooners.