Chintheche is a settlement in the Nkhata Bay District of the Northern Region of Malawi, approximately 40 km south of Nkhata Bay. Nearby, you will find a concentration of small lodges, each boasting a private beach.
The Bandawe Mission, one of the earliest Christian missions in Malawi, is just a short drive south of Chintheche. It was the second attempt by Dr. Robert Laws to establish the Livingstonia Mission, named after David Livingstone. As with the first attempt at Cape Maclear, the missionaries ended up relocating farther north due to malaria. Remnants of the old Bandawe Mission can still be visited.
Where to Stay
We have listed some accommodation places in this area. If these don't suit you, we are more than happy to create your custom tour with your priorities.
Makuzi Beach Lodge
Makuzi Beach Lodge is the perfect place for people looking for complete privacy. It is situated on the beautiful northern Malawi lakeshore in its very own cove with tropical gardens and abundant bird and butterfly life.
It is a family-owned business that began in 1993. Local materials and expertise were used to build this eco-friendly paradise. Over the years, they have grown a vast garden full of exotic fruits, spices, vegetables, herbs, and other plants. Tours and cooking classes are available.
Makuzi Beach is a place to recharge the soul and reconnect with oneself or loved ones. It is the perfect place for those who work from home, artists, writers, or family and friends looking for a few days in paradise. Group retreats are also available.
At Makuzi Beach, they work hand in hand with the local community and welcome anyone who would like to spend some time volunteering in teaching, playing sports, assisting in planting trees, or any services you may have to offer.
Several accommodation options are available: there are 7 chalets, 1 family chalet, and 1 double fully self-catering cottage nestled in the garden, all with lake views. They also offer camping.
Mphandi Kuche Bar has a stunning, elevated view across the lake and to Mphandi Kuche Island which translates to “Place of the Morning Star”. This is the perfect place to enjoy the spectacular sunrises, sip away on a sundowner or enjoy star gazing in the evening.
The restaurant kitchen benefits from a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and spices grown in the gardens and locally. The fruits and vegetables on offer are dictated by the seasons and they can cater to any dietary needs and tastes.
Chintheche Inn is set in extensive, lush gardens dotted with splendid, shady trees. It overlooks Lake Malawi which stretches to the horizon. The distant Viphya Mountains form a dramatic backdrop.
There is a central dining area and bar, and meals often take place (weather permitting) under the stars or in a secluded corner of the garden, near the large swimming pool. Chintheche Inn boasts some of the finest beaches on the lakeside, as well as excellent freshwater activities such as boating and snorkeling. If you prefer plunging into a swimming pool, this option is also available.
Meeting and interacting with local people, biking through villages, and learning about the Chintheche Tree Planting initiative from the staff are just a little of what makes the friendly, laid-back Inn such a unique place to visit. Birdlife is abundant, while the reclusive mutable sun squirrel may be sighted in the gardens.
Accommodation consists of ten en-suite rooms, three are interconnecting, and all offer direct access to the beach and lake views. There are also three self-catering chalets with two twin bedrooms, although these do not have a view over the lake. All rooms are spacious and well thought out and feature twin beds, a fan, mosquito nets, a private veranda and drinking water.
Relax on the Beach: This one seems obvious. Soak in the views of Lake Malawi, while sunbathing in the soft sand, reading a good book, or spending quality time with your fellow travelers. Sunsets are especially beautiful.
Snorkeling: Discover the more than 1000 species of fish that call Lake Malawi their home, including 600 species of the colourful cichlids, which are endemic here. Some lodges offer snorkeling trips, or you can bring your own gear.
Kayaking: Kayaking is the perfect activity to enjoy the tranquility of the lake while being active. On calm days, the lake is so clear that you can see the fish swimming next to you. Go solo, or take your family and friends.
Other water sports: Feel the exhilarating breeze while you sail or windsurf across the lake’s shimmering surface.
Island Excursions: Mpandi Kucha Island is an excellent place for snorkeling, fishing, and spotting fish eagles.
Explore the village: The mission graves, the old Bandawe mission, and the community Chikumbuso Museum are some of the sights you can visit.
Horse Riding: 15km south of Chintheche is the very popular Kande Horse & Stables Guest House where horse riding is available. You can even ride the horses into the lake.
Birdwatching: Over 100 different species of birds have been counted in this area. Take your binoculars and go on a walk to discover them.
Fishing: You can hire fishing gear at some of the lodges, or arrange to go fishing with the locals.
Yoga: Yoga retreats and classes are available at Makuzi Beach Lodge by prior arrangement.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Chintheche is during the dry season between May and October. It’s a cooler time of year, with bright sunshine and fresh evenings, but still warm enough for a refreshing dip in the lake.
Temperatures start to rise in September and remain in the high twenties and early thirties throughout the rainy season, which goes from November to April. The heaviest rains usually happen in December, January and February.