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TRAVEL
Kaya Mawa Lodge
by Karen Day
on 25 February 2009
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Going on a luxury vacation can often inspire feelings of guilt, especially when the world is in such a turbulent state. Part of a growing socially conscious tourism trend, Kaya Mawa Lodge on Likoma Island mixes indulgence with giving back, simultaneously offering its guests total raw beauty with the opportunity to help the local Nkhwazi Village community.

Teeming with more species of freshwater fish than any other lake in the world, the tropical island lies between the friendly African countries of Malawi and Mozambique. The lodge itself was built solely by hand by local and neighboring villagers, who had help and direction from Andrew Came, who "discovered" the island while on his way from Cape Town to Cairo in 1989. The first westerner to stay in the Nkhwazi Village for 50 years, Andrew befriended the villagers and Headman Mtaya who gave him a plot of land to build a mud hut. Andrew returned to the island in 1994 where he was invited, with business partner Will Sutton, to construct the island's first hotel.

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With kayaks, a fully equipped dive center, water skiing and hiking, there's plenty to do besides relax, but the high-end hotel is dedicated to responsible tourism, and the staff at Maya Kawa encourage you to visit the Nkhwazi Village during your stay by attending cultural gatherings or getting involved in community projects.

To book one of the eight chalets, contact the hotel for availability or send a request via Kiwi Collection. Rates start at $320.

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