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Ulisa Bay afternoon lakoma island lake malawi

Ulisa Bay on Lakoma Island – Lake Malawi

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Ulisa Bay on Lakoma Island in Lake Malawi was a good rest – 5 slothful days – away from my long Cairo to Cape Town overland trip.

Ulisa Bay afternoon lakoma island lake malawi
Ulisa Bay dusk view from lodge restaurant balcony.

Travel Advice for Ulisa Bay on Lakoma Island – Lake Malawi


The only accommodation at the bay is Ulisa Bay Lodge, ran by Chris, a sincere, middle-aged Englishman who has fully integrated within the community, including language, low-key locally-inclusive business, Malawi wife and kid.

Looking to tiny Ulisa Bay on Lokoma Island.

> This is NOT a sponsored post or written for freebies. I only encountered this place by chance – late on arrival early evening on the ferry, I met the SA couple, who said tag along with them, as I had no plans as to where to stay on this island of very limited accommodation options.

Sunset and looking towards another island – that also belongs to Malawi and like Lakoma, it is actually located within the territorial waters of Mozambique’s side of Lake Malawi.

Transport to Lakoma Island is via a twice-weekly ferry

But check locally, as the schedules are prone to changes.

Boys in surf of Ulisa bay, playing up for the camera.

Phone ahead / email / organize with the lodge a pick-up vehicle to Ulisa Bay, as it’s a meandering 2.5 km from the ferry point.

Kids dwarfed by ancient Baobab trees on Lakoma Island; Red fishing nets - spread like a squid
Kids dwarfed by ancient Baobab trees on Lakoma Island; Red fishing nets – spread like a squid.

Accommodation at Ulisa Bay: $20 a room (great for couples).

A beautifully scenic and tranquil location. Yet, nearby some chilled village action to watch, along with tasty food, great service, simple amenities with thoughtful extras.

birds-lakoma-island-lake-malawi
LEFT: Woman carrying mud-bricks. RIGHT: Every morning birds on mass partying – wondrously-noisy nests of a finch colony and occasional fishing eagles in trees next to my bungalow. But also Cormorants and Storks on the lake shore; and also a Hawk sparring mid-air in crazy dog-fights with large Raven.

Ulisa Bay Lodge was a new, brilliant choice on the island – and the only place in Ulisa Bay.

The other two lodges on Lakona Island are well out of range for backpackers. One is expensive and upmarket. And the other, is exceedingly elitist.

Vodka sunsets …  mostly I drank the day away on my balcony or nearby – de-saturating from the journey and loving the environment. And drinking nightly with a chilled, young South African couple. He a journalist  – breaking corruption, getting threats;  she a fashion designer. Both from Jo’burg. Dusk to late sessions of everything alcoholic. One evening – elevated on San Pedro – drinking on the small sand beach, waves, rocks, stars – shooting the sh*t, loving nature and the universe … Look up. Malawi is known locally as “The Lake of Stars”.

Travels in Malawi – 2013