Largely unexplored and rarely visited by Westerners, the northern shores of Lake Malawi offer a breathtaking example of Africa at its most attractive. The steep backdrop of forested hills is lined with sandy beaches and dotted with idyllic fishing villages.

The vast azure lake stretches to the horizon where on a clear day the hills of Tanzania blush in the evening sun.


60 kilometres north of Nkhata Bay, at the mouth of the Lizunkhuni river, a cool and picturesque waterfall tumbles into the alluring waters of Lake Malawi. The hills are overhung with jungle canopies and rocky outcrops, home to baboons and monkeys, otters, bush babies, civets, genets, etc  and a huge variety of Africa’s rich bird-life including fish eagles, hornbills, hammerkops and at least four types of kingfisher.

Zulunkhuni River Lodge nestles amongst the rocks and boulders alongside this waterfall. Its lush, tropical gardens are shaded by mango, avocado, citrus and banana trees and provide a safe haven for humans and animals alike.

How do I get there?

The journey might not be the easiest but we can assure you that the destination is worth it! A map will be added here soon..

To and from Nkhata Bay:

1. Chilembwe Ferry – The ferry leaves 7am on a Sunday morning. It takes about 3 hours and will cost you approx. MK5,300 for a second class (but relatively comfortable) seat. It is advisable to arrive a little earlier to ensure time for buying tickets and smooth embarkation. You can buy refreshments on the boat and you can choose to sit inside a (sometimes) air conditioned room or outdoor deck. This ferry is temporarily replacing the MV Ilala, which usually takes 2 hours longer to arrive in Ruarwe but at a significantly cheaper price.

2. The Fumbani Local Boat – The Fumbani leaves 8am on a Wednesday and takes anything between 5 and 10 hours. It cost 3000 MK. Make sure you take some food and drinks with you as you cannot buy anything on the boat.

3. Private Boat Hire – This takes 5 hours and can leave whenever you want. The cost is around 120,000MK.

To travel back you van take the Chilimbwe on Monday morning or the Fumbani on Friday morning, the duration of the trip and prices are the same.

We can help you to get on the boat and get tickets if you have decided which option you go for, contact us on our email (info@lake-paradise.com) or send a message to Blessings, our local man in Nkatha Bay (+265999071914).

From Mzuzu:

You can take a shared taxi (1500MK) to Nkatha bay and get on the ferry or boat there or you can travel to Usisiya , and hike from there. There is a stunning road through the North Viphya mountains to Usisya which you can travel either by your own high clearance car or using local matolas which leave Mzuzu every day at 11am from outside Jenda Hotel.

From Usisiya:

You can take the beautiful hike from Usisiya to us. It is about 20 kilometers and you can do it in one or two days. More information on this hike will be available to download soon. Anotheroption is to hire a boat north to Ruarwe (prices vary, ask for the Temwa building on arrival where staff can help you to arrange transport).

From Livingstonia:

If you are a real adventurer and keen to explore the beautiful and largely untouched northern region of Malawi then this one is for you. You can hike from Livingstonia (Lukwe or Mushroom Farm) to us in 3 or 4 days. It is not easy but so rewarding! More detailed information on this hike will be available soon.

From Chilumba/Mlowe:

1. The Chilimbwe ferry – The ferry leaves Chilumba on Monday morning 4am and Mlowe at 6:30 and you will arrive in Ruarwe around 9. A ticket cost 5700MK from Chilumba and 4700MK from Mlowe. You can buy refreshments on the boat and you can choose to sit inside in a (sometimes) air conditioned room or on the outside deck. (The regular ferry (the Ilala) is out for maintenance at the moment so these are the details for it’s replacement, when the Ilala is up and running again your journey will be a bit cheaper and take a few hours longer.)

2. You can rent a local boat.

3. You can hike.

Please note: all prices quoted are subject to change at any time.