Well, figuring out how to get to Nkhata Bay really depends on your starting point doesn’t it?! Take for example if you are travelling from Blantyre to Nkhata Bay; this is a solid 9 hour drive whereas taking a bus from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay takes approximately 6 hours.
How to get to Nkhata Bay from Lilongwe
Transport in Malawi can be a bit of a nightmare, expect it, embrace it, and move on with your life. Besides, finding out how to get to Nkhata Bay is worth the effort and when you arrive in this idyllic little fishermans’ town on the shores of Lake Malawi, it’s likely you won’t be taking the return journey any time soon.
Firstly, you need to take the bus from Lilongwe to Mzuzu in order to reach Nkhata Bay and the only real alternative to this option is by forking out on an expensive taxi – it’s up to you.
How much is a taxi from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay? Approximately $150.
Taking a bus from Lilongwe to Mzuzu
That being said, it’s just one day of travel and once you find out how to get to Nkhata Bay there is actually a couple of really nice backpackers or hostels in Mzuzu to stay in overnight if you wish to break up the journey. Furthermore, from this point it is just a couple of hours until you reach Nkhata Bay by minibus. Again, accept it, embrace it and move on with your life.
Cycling Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay
If you plan to cycle from Lilongwe to Nkhata Bay, the best route in terms of how to get to Nkhata Bay from Lilongwe is to travel directly toward the lake from Lilongwe before turning north. Should you take a short cut toward the north east of Malawi, you will run into problems as there is a National Park in this region does not permit anyone to pass on a bicycle – this happened to me. That said, you could always travel directly north to Mzuzu but it is largely uninspiring to travel this busy road while it also means missing out on most of the lake side views and places to stay.
Where to stay in Mzuzu Town
Mzuzu town is quite small with a local market, some banks and a large shopping centre. Although there is not much in terms of things to do in Mzuzu, you could quite easily spend a night or two here relaxing in a nice guesthouse and enjoying the laid back vibe with a coffee or two in between.
The condition of the bus while travelling from Lilonge to Nkhata Bay may not be exceptional but it should get you there and costs next to nothing to do so.
Where to stay in Nkhata Bay
Many guesthouses and hostels in Nkhata Bay are dotted around the town so you won’t take long to find somewhere to stay. In fact, finding a guesthouse is easier than figuring out how to get to Nkhata Bay. That being said, there are some truly amazing places to stay in Nkhata Bay which come highly recommended and receive five star reviews online such as Nkhata Bay Guesthouse.
Flying to Nkhata Bay
It must also be pointed out there is always an option to take a flight with a local airline so be sure to check out Skyscanner for flights to Mzuzu or Lilongwe if travelling from another country.