Mayoka Village

Lodge in Nkhata Bay

Cleverly shaped around the rocky topography of a cliff, boutique-style Mayoka cascades down in a series of beautiful bamboo-and-stone chalets. There are myriad romantic nooks for taking in the lake below or grabbing some rays on sunloungers. The waterfront bar-restaurant (mains MK2500) is a beach hideaway serving cocktails and dishes from wraps and burgers to Malawian red-bean stew.

Chalets are creatively designed and finished with tasteful furniture, fans and, in some cases, wraparound verandas and outdoor showers. Check out what must be Nkhata Bay's most stylish composting loo with a view.

Activities on offer include boat trips to feed the fish eagles (US$10), sunset and full-moon cruises, snorkelling, fishing and cliff jumping. Hiking maps are available. Free fun includes stand-up paddleboards, canoes, kayaks and a boat trip. If a long stay sounds appealing, there are teaching placements in the resident school.