About Likoma Island
Likoma Island is the larger of two inhabited
islands on Lake Malawi. Together with nearby Chizumulu island it
makes up the Likoma District.
Although they are surrounded by
Mozambican territorial waters, they both belong to Malawi because
they were colonised by Anglican missionaries.
Likoma is serviced by a new airstrip and can
be reached by plane from Lilongwe or by ferry from the port of Nkhata
Bay on the mainland of Malawi.
Smaller boats including dhows cross the strait
between Likoma and Chizumulu, and also between Likoma and Cobwe
The island supports
a population of about 8,000 people. Their economic activities
include fishing (as illustrated in the picture at the bottom of
this page) and some
There is only electricity on the island between
6am and noon and 2pm until 10pm when it is usually switched off
to save generator fuel.
There are several unpaved roads running a handful
of cars, but walking is the only practical transport. The island
includes a cathederal and some accomodation for visitors, including
the Kaya Mawa Lodge.
Likoma is covered mostly by grassland, but has
large numbers of baobab trees and a smaller number of Mango trees.
On the surface it is a paradise island of
sandy beaches, spectacular views and stunning sunsets. For much
of its population, illness is rife, life expectancy is low, and
opportunities are almost non-existent.