Kapiri Mtende: Malawi’s Newest Lakeside Resort

I recently had the honour of being one of the first guests to stay at Kapiri Mtende Resort when it opened in November 2020.

This hidden gem is found along Karonga lakeshore in Malawi’s northern region, about 42 kilometers from the Tanzanian border. This was my first time in Karonga and what an amazing welcome I received from Kapiri Mtende


Karonga lakeshore is a different kind of beautiful. Before Karonga I had been to Monkey Bay and Salima in the southern and central regions. I had also been to Nkhata Bay (read: Nkhata Bae) in the northern region but none of those compare to Karonga. Granted, all of Lake Malawi is indescribably captivating and I imagine everyone has found their own pocket that cannot be compared to another. Mine is Karonga.


Kapiri Mtende has now become my favourite accommodation in Karonga. The resort is a few kilometres outside the town itself and if, like me, you are using public transport there is a designated driver that can pick you up from Karonga town.
Upon arrival you will be met by very friendly staff who will gladly assist you with the quick check in process.

The Rooms

Kapiri Mtende has 23 rooms, all beautifully furnished with a comfortable bed, a fridge and satellite TV, but the star of all the rooms is air-conditioning, a very welcome treat in the Karonga heat. My favourite was the water pressure. Having been in Malawi for over a year, water pressure is usually a problem in some areas but at Kapiri Mtende this was the least of my worries.
All facilities are sparkling clean and well taken care of.


The Restaurant

The restaurant and bar are top tier, serving a variety of local dishes, the star of which is the famed tilapia, Chambo in Chichewa. Probably the biggest one I’ve seen in Malawi. Other meals include rice, specifically kilombero rice which is grown in Karonga and well known for being fragrant than rice grown anywhere else in the country, chicken, beef and an assortment of vegetables. I was personally assured by management that they are working on extending the menu. The bar has an amazing wine and whiskey list and all beers and local spirits at incredibly low prices. Weekends are very busy as Karonga locals come in numbers to have drinks and wind down after a long work week.


Prices

Kapiri Mtende is quite affordable with rates at MK30 000 (R600) for a single room and MK40 000 (R800) for a double room. All prices include bed and breakfast.
One of my most favourite features of Kapiri Mtende is the beautiful paved pathway that stretches from the restaurant and ends a few meters from the lake itself. At the end of the pathway is a bar and deck worthy of a sunrise breakfast or sundowners.

If you cannot find another reason to go, go for the intense sunrise. Wake up before sunrise, sit and face Tanzania, whose mountains can be seen from this part of Malawi, and just watch as nature puts on a show.

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