United Kingdom’s (UK) The Times Magazine has listed Likoma Island as one of the best 30 secret islands in the world to visit this year.
The island, which is on the Mozambican side of Lake Malawi, is listed as one of the best four in Africa.
This is according to the magazine’s edition of February 4 2017 written by James Ellis and headlined Great Escapes: The 30 Best Secret Islands. Ellis says the listed islands are the world’s “best places to really get away from it all”.
“Likoma is the larger of two inhabited islands on Lake Malawi and is very traditional – the locals make their living fishing or farming rice and cassava. The island has hundreds of huge baobab trees and a number of sandy beaches.
“Kaya Mawa is a small lodge built on a rocky outcrop beside the lake and is a great choice for families, given stays are in eco-chic cottages or a four-bedroom house that comes with its own chef, butler, nanny and speedboat.
“Seven nights’ full board from £3 650 per person, including flights and activities such as mountain biking, sailing, snorkelling and paddle boarding,” states the magazine.
The other three islands listed in Africa are Mfangano Island, Kenya; Thanda Island, Tanzania; and São Tomé and Príncipe Island off the coast of Gabon.
The other islands in the top 30 are from Europe, Southeast Asia, Indian Ocean, America and South Pacific.
The international recognition has excited the Department of Tourism which says it will enhance the country’s tourism brand “as it helps increase visibility, attractiveness and competitiveness of Malawi as a tourist destination”.
Despite making it to such an elite list, Likoma remains an unexploited island in the tourism industry. It also remains underdeveloped in terms of transport and infrastructure.
However, the department’s principal tourism officer (marketing) Sarah Njanji said the recently upgraded airport on the island to international status has opened up the country’s premier tourist destination to more international visitors.
“The island is now directly connected to the other big tourism attractions such as Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and South Luangwa National Park in Zambia; some of the common attractions within the region which are commonly packaged jointly with Lake Malawi by international tour operators,” said Njanji.