Kelvin, the owner, is a fantastic Rasta man committed to making his guests comfortable and have fun. His place is located within a 5 minute walk of Mayoka Village towards town. This great little café is on a porch that overlooks the lake. He has great tea, and a variety of food. I suggest the banana pancakes, I could eat those all day. Outside the café Kelvin sells artwork (paintings, carvings, jewelry etc) made by him and his friends. It’s a great place to hang out or to buy souvenirs as he will negotiate a price with you but wont be as pushy as some of the vendors next door. When I was there in 2015, he was also talking about staring his own lodge on the hillside, so that might be finished by now, I would like to try staying there if I returned to Nkhata Bay
This cute little two story café is on the left right before you hit town coming from Mayoka Village. I was drawn in by the promise of ice cream from the display board outside. The ice cream was delicious and hit the spot on a hot December day. I didn’t order the food, although what my friends got looked great, but it was a nice place to hang out, drink a beer, and listen to some decent music. I wish I went back a second time.
I absolutely loved this place. It’s a little haven away from reality. The prices were great. Accomodations range from camping, to dorms, to private chalets. I stayed in a chalet for most of the trip, and then switched to the dorms for the last few days. The chalets are clean, with mosquito nets and fans. Our chalet had a beautiful wrap around porch, outdoor shower, and a nice indoor one too. The dorms are clean as well, and I felt safe keeping my belongings on my bed. There is a nice outdoor shared shower and a compost toilet for those of you that are eco friendly. Everywhere you go on this compound overlooks the bright blue lake. It is on the edge of a cliff, there are a lot of stairs so this place definitely isn’t wheelchair friendly, or “I have bad knees” friendly. It’s a good workout though. They have different dinners scheduled every night for decent prices. There were other travelers coming in and out all week, so it was a great place to meet people. The owner was very friendly and helpful, I suggest getting to know him and his family, they have a ton of interesting stories and advice. As far as the lake, Mayoka has kayaks for guests to use, a raft out on the lake, and they occasionally do boat trips out to a cliff that, if you’re brave enough, you can jump off of into the lake. Occasionally you’ll see a monitor lizard, they live among the rocks, but they try to stay out of your way. Everything you buy here is put on a tab. You can pay off your tab in Malawian Kwacha or USD whenever you’d like. Butterfly Space is a lodge right next door and they sometimes have small concerts and art activities going on that you can join in on. I’d recommend going to visit it at least. Mayoka is about a 15 minute walk to town with gorgeous views of the lake the whole way, it also passes through a pretty decent art market. The men will be pushy with getting you to buy their things, but don’t forget to bargain for prices!