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Reviewed 4 February 2013

I can keep this very short
Food - Excellent
Staff - Brillant
Rooms - Breathtaking
Lake amazing
Other highlights included a quad bike tour of the village, a boat trip around the island and the local church group singing at night.
The only negagtives to my trip is that SA Airlines lost my lugguge (nothing to do with Kaya Maya) so lock or get your bags wrapped as SA Airlines have a very bad reputation for pilferage.
All in all Kaya maya was 10/10

Room Tip: Our room had its own private jetty into the lake which was a great way to wake every morning
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank phil b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 February 2013

A belated thank you for making so welcome. We enjoyed your hospitality, your team has created a lovely relaxed lodge in an amazing idyllic island location, it's a peaceful haven for your guests and a home away from home! A great start to our family New Year Malawi trip and we were booked in by recommendation.
The hosts cater to their guests quietly ensuring they have everything they need, organising trips or just leaving them in peace. Who cares about the rain when you've got good company and it only rained on our last day, how lucky were we!

The rooms or private lodges are tastefully unique and amazingly comfortable with electric, flush toilets and hot water which was a surprise considering how remote the resort is. Each lodge had its own entrance to the lake and privacy, and just perfect for a early morning swim and snorkel. Large beach, quiet and empty and so lovely to stop and unwind.........the lake was warm and delicious swimming in fresh water.
Explored the colourful island life where we experienced a lovely warm and low-key welcome from islanders, especially enjoyed the Malipenga dancing competition! Loved the lamplit dinners with tables dotted along the beach, amazed at the excellent quality of the food, and size of the wine glasses!
Such a special place to celebrate the New Year in with our family, happy memories, thank you.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Pauline B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 5 December 2012

The hotel and the rooms are just great, they have managed to do each bedroom with a lot of taste (each of them looks like more like a suite as we asked to see a few of them and they all are different) and the entire island is absolutely charming. The dinners on the beach, the boat rides around the island, the sailing, the snorkling, the diving, the best barman in Malawi, the food (pre-set menu but very good cook) and all this in luxury. The manager and his team are clearly putting a lot of attention in making sure that every guest feels at home and you can just see and feel the love they have for this remote and protected African island. I can only say that it is a MUST go if you like to relax in luxury in that region of Africa. (they also have an incredible massage therapist).
The 6 days we spend there have been a real discovery in a most beautiful and luxurious set-up possible. We were amazed by the quality of staff and all the little attention they have to make your trip special. Great service.
We had an absolutely great time at Kaya Mawa

ps: Go and see the village dances if you are there on a weekend, unique experience. Frankie, the beach master was great staff member, always there to entertain you.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Pumba186338
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 26 October 2012

Before arriving to Kaya Mawa, my friends and I expected our stay there to be the perfect R&R ending to a wonderful safari trip in Africa. The lake is beautiful, with very clear water. The resort is very quaint, however seems to be in disrepair and has intermittent power. Not having reliable electricity to provide power to the fans in the cottages would not be a problem if not for the fact that the breeze completely dies at night there. This is apparently a natural phenomenon there, which is why the lake is like glass there in the morning. The one-bathroom cottage in which we stayed had a plumbing leak which we reported within the first hour of arriving. We departed on the fourth day without resolution to the plumbing issue. The resort seemed to be without certain provisions. After my first sleepless night there I would have gladly left the next day. Apparently Kaya Mawa translates to "maybe tomorrow", which seems to be their approach to customer service.

Room Tip: If you are going to go, despite my review, then be sure to get a premium cottage, and good luck!
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with friends
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10  Thank Edward H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
kayamawa, Owner at Kaya Mawa, responded to this reviewResponded 28 October 2012

At Kaya Mawa we are as ever mortified to receive any negative feedback, this is in fact our first for a couple of years now and testament to just how hard we have worked to improve out product and service. To have criticism of both of these from guests who left saying in the visitors book -

"Zikomo, beautiful place to unwind after a long trip"

baffles me.

In response to the issues that these guests have had here:
Leaking toilet. To be exact it was a leaking toilet cystern and therefor fresh water and not sewage, whilst there is no excuse for faulty equipment we, like all African lodges, are in a constant battle to keep things running seemlessly for our guests, occasionally Africa gets one over on you. We were informed by the guest that the loo was leaking, we immediately sent our plumber down to inspect and fix. Where we let our guard down, as managers, was by not double checking when the plumber had told us that he had fixed the loo ... that it was really fixed. For this I can only apologise and would have to the guests face had they told me at the time further I would have offered them an upgrade or activity as compensation to ensure they left happy. As far as I am aware they did not complain about the leaking cystern after this until I heard about it from their agent upon arriving back in the States. We have had no guests in that loo, since they left and have now addressed the issue again. It stems from us upgrading our water supply to the rooms two weeks ago allowing guests to have a pressure shower.

The power. Likoma island is a remote island on the Mozambique side of Lake Malawi. Our only way of getting heavy supplies for all of us on the island is via a ferry called the IIlala, this has been out of service for 6 months now. We get our fresh produce flowin in. Part of these supplies is the fuel the governement sends over to run the power station. With only local boats running and the issues of fuel shortages in the country in general the generators run for only 6-8 hours a day. At Kaya Mawa we run off a combination of power supplies, including mains power, solar and batteries. If the mains power is not running for at least 10 hours a day then our batteries will deplete themselves from heavy usage, which is what happened here. We do own a back up generator but we only run it when needed to reduce our carbon footprint. Had I known that these guests were struggling with the heat at night I would have happily turned the generator on just for them. However, again I only found out when the guests had returned to the States.

During these guests stay both I and my general manager had sat down with them on more than one occasion to see how their stay was going to ensure that everything was going well. At no time did they intimate their feelings towards Kaya Mawa as anything but positive thus I am flabbergasted by this report.

Their complaints, whilst valid, could have been addressed here had they simply told us.

We try our very hardest to make sure everybody has reason to leave lovely comments in our visitors book, like the one these guests did....but obviously meaning it.

I am mortified that these guest had such a terrible time here, my apologies that Kaya Mawa was everything that it is and for not living up to their expectations we will as ever strive to make it even better.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 23 October 2012

It's a little tough to get to. That is about the only negative that I can think of, and to be honest it is part of the charm. The adventure of flying in via a four seater aircraft, and the complete absence of other tourists on the island make the time getting there time well spent.

The owners have created a truly idyllic island paradise. The fact that they are able to provide fine dining and a real luxury experience in such a remote location is a testament to their passion for the business.

My wife and I went there on a "babymoon" and it was the perfect break. We stayed for four nights and if it wasn't for the kid back at home we would have stayed longer. The water sports were fantastic, and between snorkelling, sailing, diving, kayaking, kite surfing and waterskiing we were never at a loss of things to do. The lodge also arranges some great excursions onto the island which we really enjoyed. The island has very few tourists so you really do get a feeling for authentic Malawian life, and there is none of the curio selling etc that you experience in tourism areas on the mainland.

I can't recommend this place enough. We look forward to getting back there in the not too distant future, hopefully with the whole family next time round.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank campsbayrich
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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