ENTERTAINING YOURSELF AT THE LODGE
Relaxing is of course the number one priority for most people staying here, but for those who can’t tame the urge to ‘do’, there are lots of activities on offer!
Having the river quite literally on our doorstep is a great incentive to get out the swimming costumes and sun cream, and head up the river valley.
You can either walk up the river itself or take the easier trail that follows the river up to the next set of waterfalls.
Walking up the river, you will come across several waterfalls, a rockslide and a champagne pool and if you’re lucky, you can spot such wildlife as Hammerkops, Baboons, Samango and Vervet monkeys, Fish Eagles, etc.
Walking beside the river you can spot wildlife as well as take in the spectacular views across to the lake and beyond to Tanzania. You can join the river further upstream and enjoy the powerful waterfalls that are guaranteed to wake you up!
For the very adventurous, we can organize a river trek that takes you several kilometers up the valley.
We recommend you take a guide up the river, as parts of it can be fast flowing and tricky to navigate. Our dogs are always happy to oblige!
Please note: during the rainy season, flash floods are not uncommon, and so a guide is mandatory. Always return to the lodge at the first signs of approaching rain.
Depending on fitness and time restraints, there are a number of short and longer hikes you can enjoy from the lodge. We offer a two day hike up to Banda, a small hillside village approximately 5 hours from the lodge (uphill for the most part). Banda is nestled in amongst coffee plantations and indiginous forest, with breathtaking views across the mountain. Stay the night with a local family before heading back down to the lodge the following day. Packed lunches are available along with a guide.
The azure waters around the shoreline play host to many species of cichlid: small freshwater fish indigenous and often unique to Lake Malawi. Among these is the ‘Zebra Ruarwe’ , as shown to the right. This cichlid is only found among the rocks around the lodge, so keep an eye out for it.
Snorkelling equipment is availablefor a very small charge from the bar. Please return after use.
Day and night fishing is available at or around the lodge; choose from a variety of fishing hot spots where you might get to catch your own dinner or at least a good tan! Bait, equipment and advice are available at the bar; just ask our friendly staff. We can also arrange trips with local fishermen on request.
ROCK AND BALCONY JUMPING
Only for the brave of heart! For those of you who like to relax with a quick burst of adrenaline, these jumps are guaranteed to get your blood pumping and your heart soaring. Depending on the season and thus the height of the lake, you will freefall between 6 and 8 metres into the clear waters below. The rock offers a choice of heights to jump off, from the beginner jump at about 1 metre, through the intermediate 2-3 metres, up to the formidable 8 metre leap. The balcony takes no prisoners with only the high jump available.
Please note: management takes no responsibility for the safety of anyone crazy enough to throw themselves off cliffs (or balconies)!
What nicer way to view your surroundings than on the open water! We can organize excursions by either motorized boat or by dugout (traditional boat carved from a single teak tree trunk) to as far as Usisya in the south or Tcharo in the north, or to any of the stunningly isolated beaches and villages in between.
Ruarwe village is only a short walk south of the lodge, and there are numerous hamlets and small communities to the immediate north. Why not go and have a look around, meet the local Tombuca people and experience a slice of village life yourself. Locals are always happy to meet new faces and swop stories, and you will come away with a much greater sense of the country and its customs. This is after all what most of you are here for!
Nyumba ya Masambiro, the village community centre is an amazing development for Ruarwe and the whole area and is definitely worth a visit. Set up by our good friend Rosa Nissim in 2009 it seeks to provide educational, vocational and health support for all the people from our community. They have a wonderful library, permaculture gardens and lots of other projects to check out and the friendly staff are always happy to show our guests around. There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer with them if you have the time, skills and inclination. Visit www.phunzira.org for more information.
Ruarwe is still largely untouched; government plans to build a road connecting Ruarwe with the rest of the country have been put on the back burner a number of times due to its isolated geographical position – mountains surrounding three sides and a lake lapping at the feet of the village. Similarly, electricity is promised but for now local people still rely on paraffin and wood fires.
NB For all activities, a packed lunch is available from the kitchen at only MK1500 per person.
We have an extensive selection of books ranging from wildlife through Japanese gardens to Stephen King, so there should be something to suit most tastes. You can find them by the bar and sometimes in the rooms. Please note: all books at the lodge are for reference purposes only and some are very dear to us. Please don’t take them away with you!
A good way to get a little adrenaline pumping without the need to jump off tall rocks, we have a good selection of games available at the bar, including Monopoly, Boggle, Scrabble, playing cards, Backgammon, and Chess.
BAR AND RESTAURANT
Last but certainly not least, what better way to while away the day than to sit at one of the world’s most remote bars with a cold drink in one hand, freshly made vegetarian cuisine on the table and a world class view in front of you.