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Introducing Nkhata Bay

There's something distinctly Caribbean about this place; with banana-coloured fishing boats buzzing across the green bay, vivid market stalls hawking barbecued fish, and music filling the air. For backpackers there's a clutch of perfectly positioned guesthouses perched on cliffs tumbling down to the lake, plus a few upscale family options. Be careful not to entirely give yourself over to lotus eating though, for there are loads of activities to enjoy before you hammock flop; be it snorkelling, diving, fish-eagle feeding, kayaking or forest walks.

Strung along the coast from the town centre, most lodges are secreted in small bays. All are reached via a road that climbs up and down a hill to the next bay. Be careful of walking between town and your lodge at night; the road is unlit and muggings are not infrequent (though thanks to a heightened police presence they are getting less). Walk in numbers or take a guard from your lodge with you.