Serious late post. No excuses. Hope you enjoy the read and photographs! 🙂
In the last week of my stay in Malawi just as the World Cup finals were coming up and I was packing up to leave home, I had my final debate for a last possible trip in Malawi. Blue Zebra Island had been on my list for a fair while; although it’d taken me a while to get dates confirmed. (I should point out that Jen, who I’d been in contact with, had been incredibly patient with all of my e-mails). I also had a cousin who had traveled all the way from Australia on an internship to Malawi and I was determined to take her to the lake – but of course. Hence my visit to Blue Zebra Island materialised.
Driving towards and past Salima was an easy ride from Lilongwe, the warm afternoon air and winding roads pleasing to the eye as we made our way to the pick-up point. A little into the lake, we spotted the speedboat waiting for us, and a bustle of locals came to help us with our luggage – not that we had too much for the two night stay. The blue waters past the boat beckoned to us as we made our way through the water (make sure you’re wearing shorts and flip flops for this!) to get into the speedboat.
15 minutes of speeding to our destination, Blue Zebra Island awaited us. Unfortunately being on the speedboat didn’t allow me to take pictures of my first sight of this gorgeous location, but the photos below will definitely do justice!
We were warmly welcomed by the main operations manager, Ken, who gave us our brief before showing us into our beautiful rooms. We’d opted to stay in the family chalet, which consists of two rooms, a spacious hall and a stone-walled bathroom. It was quite the space!
Not to mention our own deck and the view of the lake that we had right outside it 🙂
We’d been informed of the wide variety of things to do on the island – plenty and more for our stay. However given that we’d just gotten in, a little bit of exploration seemed to beckon to us. Making our way from our chalet ‘Malachite’ and through the island we got into one comfortable corner where we chatted from the early evening till sundown, with the golden light spread across the lake into a beautiful sunset.
There’s nothing like lounging on a deck and watching the sun go down with practically an island to yourself. Apart from another couple, we were the only ones residing on the island – a luxury we truly embraced.
I’d been praying for a clear night sky in order to be able to see some stars after dinner, and we got really lucky. Malawi is known for it’s gorgeous night sky – the lack of external light making it easy to for the astro-lovers to gaze the night away. After our delicious meal, we sat outside on the lawn and simply gazed at the night sky… The winter air was cold on our skin and jackets were brought out quickly to allow us to enjoy the ceiling view.
It was then that Ken stopped by and reminded us that there were snakes on the island, and just to be a little wary (especially at night). Nothing poisonous or dangerous, but suffice to say my cousin moved away from the grass!
The next morning we woke up way after sunrise. I’d meant to wake up in time for this, however we’d been quite comfortable and I personally didn’t want to get out of bed!
We made our way for breakfast at the open dining area; the options ever-so mouthwatering from peanut butter and banana topped french toast, to the classic eggs and bacon, and much more.
Post-breakfast the plan was to take the nature trail around the island. Prepped up for the warmth that the sun was going to bring, we took the local map and set off. It took about 45 minutes to an hour, with breathtaking views of sparkling blue waters…
To rock formations right by the lake…
To exploring massive trees, such as the fig tree we stumbled upon!
To more views of the lake…
To forest-like terrain…
Suffice to say we loved being able to explore the island and see so much. I should point out that it had admittedly been a little warmer than we’d expected though.
We came back to lounge by the pool before lunch, relaxing in the shade of the umbrellas, and basking in the view before us.
Lunch was a simplified affair after our heavy breakfast. The next debate was to either snorkel by the bay area or to take the kayak out into the waters. Opting for the latter, we took a double kayak and made our way around the past the shore and beyond. In all honesty, we didn’t make it all the way around, but we did spot a beautiful fish eagle and enjoyed being out on the lake. 🙂
As the light turned golden again the reading deck out on the waters called out to us to relax that evening. I had brought a couple of books and had been looking forward to relaxing on this deck with a good book!
With this, I also took the opportunity of the golden light to snap some photographs of my cousin and I. If I took a 360 degrees turn, each angle was such a pretty sight!
Watching the sun down from the deck this time was pretty too…
Another star-gazing night after dinner and our second night at Blue Zebra Island had come to an end.
The next morning, I made sure to wake up for the sun rise. Ken had mentioned that the beach right by my room had the view of this, and it was a very pretty sight right indeed!
After all the excitement, relaxation and luxury that we’d indulged in at Blue Zebra Island during the weekend, is it a surprise that we were disappointed to be leaving this perfect getaway? However all good things must come to an end, and there’s no doubt that I can’t wait to be making another trip to this beautiful location at Lake Malawi National Park.
More about Blue Zebra Island Lodge
Located in Lake Malawi National Park, Blue Zebra Island Lodge is an uninhabited island that will take you away from your weekly work stress. An utterly beautiful location, the island is an easy 15-20 minute speedboat ride from Senga Bay, an easy 1 and a half to 2 hour drive from Lilongwe.
Things to do at Blue Zebra Island
- Scuba Diving
- While diving isn’t currently operating from the island, check in with them in advance to see if it’s possible to arrange an external instructor for your visit
- Exploring the nature trails in and around the island
- Bird watching
- Relaxing by the gorgeous pool
- Boat trips (a sunset one maybe?)
When to visit
Given that the island predominantly has tropical weather, my personal recommendation would be to visit between March and September; just after the rains and even towards the latter months where it will be quite cool.
About the host
I didn’t get a chance to meet Jen who I’d been in contact with for bookings, however she’d been wonderful at keeping in contact and giving me various options for my stay. On the island itself we’d been in touch with the operations manager Ken, who had been professional and friendly throughout our stay.
Although hosts of various lodges may not stay long-term, I believe that if I’ve had a good experience with the host I’d like to mention them in my blogs.
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway to yourself, do consider Blue Zebra Island Lodge – we had a wonderful time. 🙂
Check out the sneak peek I made for Blue Zebra Island Lodge!