"Likoma Island" Likoma Island by frockland

Likoma Island Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 62 photos

"Chipyela" - Place of fire!

North east of Nkhotakota, only a few kilometres off Mosambiques coast, are the two Islands "Likoma" and "Chizumulu" located. Likoma is eight kilometres long and about three kilometres large. There are about 9000 inhabitants living.
Witchcraft was wide spread on the island, which can be seen in its old name ?Chipyela? ? place of fire. Women, who were suspected to be witches, were burnt here until the end of the 19th century. The name ?Likoma? means pleasant or nice.

In 1882 Reverent William Johnson arrived at the lake coming from Zanzibar. He was on the opinion the best way to evangelise the local tribes, could be managed by using a boat. In 1885 the Charles Janson was brought to the lake. Likoma became a base for the missionaryıs activities.
In the early 20th century a cathedral was built as a sign for a successful establishment of Christian belief. Therefore the size of the church was as Westminster Abbey in London. (100m x 30m) All material was brought to the island carried on the heads of hundreds of porters. Inside the cathedral there are stones from Canterbury, soil from Jerusalem, carvings from Oberammergau and a wooden cross made out of the tree underneath David Livingstones heart is buried.
It said that Likoma sank a few centimetre because of the "heavy" cathedral, which is the main attraction nowadays!

Chizumule Island

At the end of 1995 the variety of food available on Likoma Island was quite limited. There was enough ?nsima?, ?capenta? (small dried fish) and cookies but beside of that ? nothing! Amongst the few (7) ?azungu? visitors there was the rumour spread that the situation on Chizumulu was nearly like paradise. Proper meals even with meat! So everybody took the first chance to sail to the smaller Island. After 9 hours on the lake we arrived at ?Kubira Lodge?. The friendly Manger came to introduce the staff to the new visitors. ?This is our cook. His name is Better!? The guy next to me whispered: ?I hope things don?t become worse!? But it wasn?t like that. The food Better prepared was unbelievable delicious!

Don´t miss Chizumulu Island!

Information about Chizumulu can be find in the Likoma section.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Remote Island if you want to get away from it all
  • Cons:Very hot and not too much food!
  • Last visit to Likoma Island: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (26)

Comments (7)

  • Apr 8, 2010 at 4:35 AM

    I'm going to work as a volunteer on the island. Before I go to Likoma I stay in Zomba. I prefer to take a flight to Likoma because I'm traveling alone. Do you think I could get myself a seet on the charter flight of Kaya Mawa and how can I contact them?

  • uza's Profile Photo
    Feb 9, 2005 at 3:02 PM

    nice photo "Enjoying the sunset" on Likoma Island :) really hearthbreaking :) I feel falling in love with u.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Aug 11, 2004 at 8:02 AM

    Definitely off the main stream of tourism!!! Excellent page! It looks like lovely islands!

  • awayhome's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2004 at 7:07 AM

    so interesting Likama island. beeautiful place, wish to go there someday, great page. happy travel=)))

  • thelittlevoice's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2004 at 8:06 AM

    very interesting place!

  • Aug 29, 2003 at 4:16 PM

    I lived on this island with my wife for two years in the early 70's(72-74). I was on a two year CUSO contract as a school teacher at Likoma Island Secondary School. This island is indeed a very beautiful place!!!

  • zentrinko's Profile Photo
    Jan 21, 2003 at 7:51 AM

    Off the beaten path maybe, but extremely interesting! Terrific pics, tips and t'logs..really a great page


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