It took me six months to arrive on the shores of Lake Malawi with my bicycle and just two more weeks until I would find the absolute best place to visit in Malawi, Nkhata Bay. Back then I had no expectations, but I can honestly say, they would have been surpassed regardless of how high they might have been in the first place. It’s a mostly unassuming town at first but once you reach the shoreline and in particular, some of the guesthouses in Nkhata Bay you will understand the reason for why it is so popular.
Nkhata Bay: The best place to visit in Malawi
Hidden away in a small bay toward the north of Lake Malawi, Nkhata Bay is well known to volunteers and backpackers alike, but the sleepy nature of the town suggests otherwise. Although there may not be a plethora of places to eat or shopping options, the guesthouses provide everything you could need and there are many activities and things to do in the surrounding area.
Take for example volunteer projects in Nkhata Bay – they are everywhere. Whether you wish to work at a local clinic, a primary school or help construct a small village; Nkhata Bay is the best place to volunteer in Malawi. Another highlight is the opportunity to swim, kayak or dive in Lake Malawi; there are any boats available, as well as easy access for swimming and several scuba diving operators. And then there are the hidden coves and beaches nearby which are perfect for relaxing and forgetting about the busy world in which we are living.
Malawi is still relatively untouched in comparison with much of Africa and indeed the world which is one of the reasons I loved it so much. But there is also a lot more to this small town than meets the eye, not the least of which are the great guesthouses which line the cliff side on either side of the bay. I stayed here for 3 weeks back in 2014 – it was supposed to be just a few days – which should tell you everything you need to know.