Lake Chilwa is the third-largest lake in Malawi after Lake Malawi and Lake Malombe. It is in the western Zomba District, near the border with Mozambique. Approximately 60 km long and 40 km wide, the lake is surrounded by extensive wetlands. 335 villages with over 60,000 inhabitants engage in fishing the lake, and pull in over 17,000 metric tons each year, 20% of all the fish caught in Malawi. There is a large island in the middle of the lake called Chisi Island. The natives of the island have a wide knowledge of forest and lake usage. Located in the mountains of Chisi Island, there are a few fortified mountain sanctuaries, providing refuge and a place to go. Chisi Island is home to Mchenga, a large tree that is much wider than two humans standing side by side.
Location (15° 18′ S, 35° 42′ E)
Lake Chilwa is about 80 km northwest of Blantyre and 90 km southwest of Lake Malombe. The closest village is Kachulu on its eastern shore.
Tranquillity is assured at the spectacular Ku Chawe Inn, built on the edge of the soaring Zomba Plateau, 70 km from Blantyre in the green heart of Malawi. The Plateau is a lush forest reserve threaded with innumerable streams. The terraced gardens offer stunning views across the Shire Highland and the Phalombe Plain to Lake Chilwa. The Inn has an old-world restaurant, a traditional pub-style bar and a thatched honeymoon suite with its own private veranda. All rooms have colour satellite TV. Walking trails, jeep trips and riding provide an excellent way of exploring this picturesque part of the country.
Annie’s Lodge is found at the foot of Zomba Mountain, nestled between the Old Parliament buildings and the Zomba Botanical Gardens. The lodge is housed in one of Zomba’s many historical buildings. All 50 rooms have been equipped with DSTV and full internet access, and great pride is taken in the fact that the old colonial style, so typical of Zomba, has been preserved. All rooms are en-suite, offering satellite television, direct telephone service and full internet connectivity.