Blue Zebra Cichlid
Blue Zebra Cichlid – Credit: Ad Koning

Blue Zebra, the idyllic island lodge set on the deserted Marelli Islands in the the Lake Malawi National Park, has been voted the ‘Best Location in Malawi’ in the recent Safari Awards, as well as picking up a raft of other awards across a variety of categories!

The Safari Awards give credit to lodges in/near wildlife reserves “that go over and above your expectations”, offering ‘unique, awe-inspiring & memorable’ Safari experiences. Blue Zebra have made their way onto the scene, with shining results, winning the following awards.

Best Location in Malawi

Ross OC Jennings / Three Wheels Co.
Undoubtably one of Lake Malawis Finest” Ross OC Jennings / Three Wheels Co.

Nankoma Island, a wild island paradise in Lake Malawi National Park (part of the Marelli Island group). Only 2 hours drive from Lilongwe airport, followed by an adventurous 20 minute boat ride. Executive safari-style canvas chalets are immersed in nature, with breathtaking views over the lake. Whether the island is lush & green after the rains, or the leaves have fallen, nature trails are spectacularly lined with giant Baobab’s & enchanting fig trees. It’s a mere 2.4km around the island, explored by foot, kayak, or boat.

Best Family Experience in Malawi

Not only are the family chalets spacious, comfortable and inviting: the lodge offers numerous activities to keep everyone in the family entertained. Those wanting to totally chill-out can relax by the infinity pool: parents with cocktails, children with mocktails; or unwind at Nightjar Spa. There are plenty toys for toddlers, and for varying ages: board games, interactive & competitive lawn games. For the more adventurous: nature trails, snorkelling trips, kayaking, water-sports & seasonal diving.

Best Marine Safari Experience in Malawi

The islands are surrounded by incredible marine-life, under the protection of Lake Malawi National Park. Unique species of cichlids can be spotted (including the Blue Zebra). The African fish eagle glides above; cormorants dart through the water catching fish; elusive otters play amongst rocky outcrops and monitor lizards swim through the reeds. Whether you’re in or on the water, it’s a delightful experience! Snorkelling in freshwater is like being in an aquarium, although best outside of the rainy season. Diving is on offer seasonally (May – September). Kayaking around Nankoma Island, or 3 hours to circumnavigate all 3 islands (Nankoma, Maleri and Nakatenga). For calm evenings, a sunset cruise is a must!

Congratulations are in order for winning gold in the above, as well as:

Silver: most romantic safari experience and best community focused

Bronze: best value; design; ecologically responsible & cuisine

For those looking to plan their next Malawi Safari experience, be sure to include Blue Zebra in your itinerary! An ideal getaway for nature lovers looking for a combination of adventure and relaxation in a tranquil, private setting.

Find out more on their website here or download their brochure here.

For the full list of nominations and other Malawi winners take a look here and here.

Source: Malawi Tourism