Malawi Archaeology

In Likoma

The island of Likoma is in the northern part of Lake Malawi, within the territorial waters of Mozambique but part of malawi and linked to the rest of the country by the steamer service. The impressive Anglican Cathedral of St Peter should not be missed but it is kept locked unless there is a service in progress. The Cathedral has stained glass windows and elaborate choir stalls carved from soapstones.The crucifix above the alter was carved from wood from the tree where Livingstone's hut was burried near lake Bangweulu in Zambia. The Cathedral measures over 100m long by 25m wide. It was dedicated to St Peter and is still standing today as one of Malawi's most remarkable buildings. For another slant on local religion contact the Akuzike Resthouse which is in Chipyela, From Akuzike Resthouse you will also be introduced to the witch doctor. Chipyela (the island's largest town) lies between the cathedral and jetty, and is named after the spot where witches used to be burnt. Another good excursion is a boat trip to Cobue on the Mozambican shore of the lake where there is a large ruined church - visas aren't problems for day trips.

Getting There & Away: Most people travel to Likoma Island by lake steamer. The island is only about 10 km off the coast of Mozambique, and dhows sail to the town of Cobue (Kobway), which has an immigration office, from where you can continue through Mozambique.


Do not miss the town of Livingstonia (Khondowe) where the magnificent 300m-high Manchewe waterfall that crashes down the Rift Valley can be found - about 2km outside town. Surrounded by lush rainforest, this waterfall is truly spectacular, and crawling to edge is a vertigo-inducing experience. To get to the falls from Livingstonia town, walk back towards Chitimba for about 2km until you see the Manchewe Falls Grocery. A short path directly opposite the grocery leads to edge of the waterfall.


Nkhotakota distills the essence of Africa. Centre of the flourishing Arab slave trade route when Livingstone first arrived there, it is still a large settlement with busy trading stores and a mosque with a splendidly carved Arab door. A large avenue of kapok trees, reputedly dating back to 1895 and the even older wild fig trees are unique features of this small town.

Last Updated on Sunday 22nd November 2009