BLUE ZEBRA ISLAND LODGE
Nestled on Nankoma Island, and part of the Marelli Archipelago, the Blue Zebra Island Lodge is an idyllic luxury retreat on Africa’s most beautiful lake. With a selection of tastefully designed tented chalets and a team of well-trained staff, this spot is undoubtably one of Lake Malawi’s finest.
As soon as we stepped off the boat onto the jetty we were welcomed by Blue Zebra’s exceptionally warm and smiley staff who whisked us to reception and charged our hands with a welcome drink. After our brief introduction to the island, we dropped our bags in our rooms and went for a wander. The island, a mere 1km by 500m, was large enough to go on a decent explore but also small enough that it didn’t feel too overwhelming. Many of the chalets are dotted around the island, but there are a decent selection close to the restaurant area. After scoping out the best spots for sunset, photos and some trail running, we heading back to the restaurant for our first lunch.
The afternoon presented itself with a few options. Bird watching, snorkelling and canoeing, all of which seemed a little too strenuous for our first day, so we opted for the pool instead! Out of all the spots on the island, the poolside was hands down one of the nicest areas. It’s an easy place to unwind, relax and take in a bit of Lake Malawi. To our surprise, only a couple of hours after lunch, we were being served poolside afternoon tea with freshly baked cupcakes!
As the sun began to set over the horizon, we grabbed a drink from the poolside bar and listened to the chorus of jungle sounds take over the island. It wasn’t long before we were chased in by the darkness and retreated to the restaurant for dinner. One of the lovely aspects of Blue Zebra is the food. Rather than having an overwhelming menu, everyday the chefs conjure up a delectable selection of dishes to be chosen every morning and served up as soon as you’re seated. A particularly favourite of ours were the fish tacos!
If you’re looking to get away and truly detach from the modern day buzz, Blue Zebra is not a bad choice. There’s something to be said for places that tend towards a technology-free experience and I’m certain it has positive results. The evenings on Nankoma island are dark, starry and full of natural sounds and I have to admit it’s one of the few solid nights sleep that I had in Malawi.
Our last day on the island was spent doing a lovely mixture of canoeing, swimming, running, relaxing and most importantly, eating. I may have mentioned already, but the food on the island was pretty spectacular! We also made it our aim to get to the top of the island and it was worth if for the view alone. As we boarded the speedboat back to the mainland we felt sad to be leaving, but fully refreshed and ready for the ongoing journey.