Stunning scenery on the way to the lake
Namizimu Lake Camp
The lakeshore in this area (the South-Eastern extremity of the lake) is almost entirely untainted by tourist development and therefore remains largely preserved in its natural state. It is an important sanctuary for wildlife that has been displaced from much of the rest of Lake Malawi and provides a level of peace and privacy that is difficult to find in the more populated areas of the lake.

Known by locals as the ‘Barra’ - named for its proximity to the giant sand bar that crosses the mouth of the Upper Shire - this was the first British base on Lake Malawi, predating Monkey Bay. The waters opposite the Barra were the location, in 1914, of the first naval battle of World War One.

The Royal Navy steamer HMS Gwendolyn launched from Fort Johnstone and sunk a German warship in a very brief encounter that settled British control of the lake for the duration of the war. Pieces of the Gwendolyn, which was later broken up, make interesting features along this part of the lakeshore.

A unique wild life sanctuary
Another dream location for those interested in the natural world; hippo, otters and giant lake terrapins are frequently seen here as well as a vast array of bird life. It is the perfect place to see and photograph the African Fish Eagle (Nkhwazi), Malawi’s most famous creature and emblem, in a truly natural setting. A resident breeding pair is almost always visible swooping low or perched in the surrounding trees.

The Namizimu hairpins between the Retreat and Mangochi guarantee an exhilarating ride. The main road descending from the village of Chowe to the valley floor is the eastern partner of the famous hairpins of Golomoti. Brakes and eyes must be in good working condition! There are several routes to our lake pad from Namizimu, the final 8-10km being on fairly flat dirt tracks.

The Barra provides a good base for those who would like to explore the South-Eastern shores of Lake Malawi by kayak or canoe. The views of the Mangochi Mountain range stretching to Namizimu from the water are truly spectacular. Boat trips can be arranged in local dug-out canoes creating an alternative source of income for local fishermen, or you can bring your own canoe to launch from our pier.

We are currently exploring different potential routes and high camps for a ridge walk between our two properties. Please contact us with your specific interests and requirements if you are interested in taking part in one of these.

Sunsets on the pier
Being on the Eastern shores of the lake, our pier provides an ideal location to watch the sun set over the lake. In the twilight, playful otters and giant lake terrapins come out to hunt near the reed beds which glow with fire flies. Our guests return to an evening feast in the cool mountain air of Namizimu with stories of their sights.
Avenue leading to the lake
Stunning views between Namizimu and the Barra make the journey the destination. Avenue leading to the lake.
Main gun from HMS Gwendolyn HMS Gwendolyn
The gun from the HMS Gwendolyn, that can now be seen at the memorial tower in Mangochi. Royal Navy steamer HMS Gwendolyn was built in Glasgow, dismantled and then reassembled for the journey and reassembled at the Barra.
Open plains with tree Fish Eagle
Local scenery on the way to Barra. Fish eagle.
Cooling down at the lake Freedom on the motorbike!
Our team cools down in the lake as we build the pier. Freedom on the motorbike.





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