This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




With its unique, all-embracing approach to tourism, Nkwichi is intrinsically linked to the surrounding communities and their natural environment.

Dedicated to conserving the pristine lakeshore and virgin wilderness in which it operates, Nkwichi engages with the local Nyanja people in their development and helps preserve and enhance their colourful culture.

Nkwichi is entwined in the fabric of local life by the lake. It offers the experience of barefoot luxury in a true African wilderness setting and leaves an indelible imprint of an authentic Africa in your heart.


In 1994 two brothers, Patrick and Paul Simkin, discussing the opportunities for development in Africa, conceived a tourism initiative that would bring in guests and revenue, offering unparalleled beauty and comfort, yet at the same time help local people in the area to receive the benefits of modern development.

They set about looking for a place, and luck soon followed when a friend, Lola Castro, who had been working on a programme repatriating refugees returning from Malawi after the end of the civil war, told of the untouched beauty and wilderness on the Mozambique shores of Lake Malawi. After a canoeing expedition up the little-explored coastline, a potential site for the lodge was discovered. And what a site it turned out to be.

For many years, the unique beach, where the lodge is now built, was known as ‘Mchenga Nkwichi’ by the local fishermen of the lake. Named after the squeaking noise made when you walk on the sugar-fine sand, in the local ChiNyanja language Nkwichi literally means ‘Squeaking Sands’.

The name Nkwichi stuck, and construction started on the lodge, built using local materials by local craftsmen. Designed to fit in with the local environment, using the natural features of the land, the lodge may have grown in stature from humble beginnings but has never lost its feeling of intimacy, gathering awards and guests on the way.

Nkwichi Lodge became the catalyst for the Manda Wilderness Project, a far-reaching bid to help people in the area around Nkwichi Lodge enjoy the benefits of modern development, including the results of tourism. Through combining tourism with conservation and community development, the project so has so far positively affected the lives of 20,000 people, and helped ensure the preservation of one of Africa’s most beautiful places.


Nkwichi LodgeThe lodge consists of five chalets and one private house, all designed to be low-impact and built using as much local natural material as possible such as local stone, bamboo and thatching grass. This means, in the event of its removal, the environment would return to its natural state within two years. The size of the lodge has been kept deliberately small to reduce the effects on the environment.

Efforts have been made to minimise energy consumption at the lodge. The main source of power comes from solar panels and the use of petrol and paraffin is kept to a minimum, while waste is recycled and composted wherever possible. 

Nkwichi has been one of the biggest single employers in the province of Niassa, employing up to 40 permanent staff from neighbouring villages, as well as numerous daily contractors. A survey suggested that each staff member supports 15 others from their salary meaning that the lodge directly supported the lives of over 600 people. Post-Covid we have had to reduce the size of the team significantly, and hope to build it back up in the future.

It is also estimated that there are knock-on benefits from the lodge for thousands of people, more than half the population of the villages in the area. The lodge buys as many supplies locally as possible – including vegetables and building materials. Some of the staff, who all receive comprehensive training at the lodge, have gone on to set up their own successful businesses, including accommodation, restaurants and even hairdressers!