Blue Zebra

Blue Zebra is the perfect getaway for nature lovers looking for a combination of adventure and relaxation in a tranquil, private setting. Exclusively situated on Nankoma Island, a wild paradise in Lake Malawi National Park (UNESCO World Heritage site), the lodge is unobtrusive and eco-friendly, operating on solar power. Offering a unique and sustainable travel experience, Blue Zebra is a conservation driven lodge working with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in Malawi to protect three islands making up the Marelli group: Nankoma, Maleri, and Nakantenga. These uninhabited islands are home to a vast array of fresh water fish, including some of the most rare and colorful in the world. They support diverse flora and fauna and are a bird watcher's paradise.

Lodge accommodations are a unique set-up with 9 en-suite safari-style tented chalets and 1 Superior Cottage overlooking Lake Malawi. Secluded executive chalets boast stunning views from private balconies, some with lake access. The chalets are set in an unspoiled environment and completely immersed in nature.

Guests can enjoy the spa, infinity pool, cocktail bar, restaurant, games room, meetings room and curio shop. Lodge activities include nature trails, birding, kayaking, snorkeling, seasonal scuba, water-sports, sunset cruise. Just a 2 hour drive from Lilongwe, this is a great combination with Zambian Safaris as well as various wildlife parks in Malawi.

Superior Family Cottage - (1 ROOM)

The only structure which is not Safari-Tent Style. A large, open planned cottage (house) with a lounge and dining area and two en-suite bedrooms (one queen, one double). 2 single beds can be added to the main room. The master bedroom has ample cupboard space with a built in dressing table and an open bathroom with a shower and bathtub. The second bedroom is a smaller en-suite double room opening onto the lake-facing balcony.

Executive Family Chalets - (2 ROOMS)

2 Executive Family Chalets: Malachite and Fisheagle. Spacious en-suite safari-style tented chalets each with 2 bedrooms, a lounge and bathroom. Private lake-facing balconies. Typically for families of up to 5 (2 adults & up to 3 children) or up to 4 adults. Main room: 1 queen bed / Twin room: 2 single beds / U12's sofa bed in the lounge

FISHEAGLE: located around the side of the island with a long stairway entrance, in a natural and very private setting.

MALACHITE: located just behind reception at the lodge entrance. Private but closer to lodge facilities.

Executive Chalets - (2 ROOMS)

2 standard Executive Chalets: Kingfisher & Cormorant. En-suite safari-style tented chalets. Both exclusively located around the side of the island with private lake-facing balconies.

CORMORANT: 1 queen bed & 2 sofa beds for U12's. Best for couples / young families.

Furthest executive chalet from the communal area. Stairway from the balcony down to boulders which meet the lake.

KINGFISHER: 1 queen bed & a mini-lounge. Best for couples / solo travelers.

Long stairway entrance down to a private cove with a small beach & lake-access.

Lake Safari Tents - (5 ROOMS)

Lake Safari Tents: Bulbul, Darter, Heron, Hornbill & Nightjar

En-suite safari-style tents, smaller than executives but quaint and comfortable. 3 doubles, 1 twin, 1 single. Some have sofa beds for U12s.

BULBUL: 1 queen bed

the furthest chalet from the communal area overlooking the lake & a private beach. At the entrance to nature trails.

DARTER: 1 queen bed & 2 sofa beds\

Centrally located, nearest the restaurant, no stairs, largest balcony.

HERON: 1 queen bed & 2 sofa beds

Centrally located, small stairway entrance.

HORNBILL: 2 single beds & 1 sofa bed

Centrally located in-between Darter & Heron, small stairway entrance.

NIGHTJAR: 1 single bed

Centrally located above reception.

Nature Trails

Explore the wonderfully wild paths around and over Nankoma Island & connect with nature. The further you go the smaller you feel as you walk among massive Baobab trees. Venture off track to The Ancient Fig for a halfway break and soak in the enchanting natural beauty of this unspoiled paradise. The main trail around the island is only 2.3km. Enjoy the thriving birdlife, look out for the elusive Red Duiker along the top path, Chameleons camouflaged in in trees, Monitor Lizards along the shore. Early-birds will catch a stunning sunrise!


Explore the Marelli Archipelago by kayak - a great way to get out and explore the coves and coastal wildlife up close. It takes around 45min-1hr around Nankoma Island, but for the more active and adventurous you can kayak all 3 islands in around 2.5 - 3 hours. For a shorter kayak, there are rocky outcrops close to shore. Paddle around and spot all the different kinds of colorful fish. Other possible sightings: otters, monitor lizards, bird-life (especially Cormorants and African Fish-Eagles). 6 kayaks available: 4 single & 2 double.

Snorkeling & Seasonal Scuba

Rarely does one have such effortless and immediate access to a site teaming with aquatic life. Just a few meters off the shore, experience Malawi’s renowned Cichlids in all their natural splendor. Famed for their vivid and vibrant colours, the Islands are home to species unique not only to Lake Malawi, but many to these islands! Look out for the Blue Zebra! The best sites depend on lake levels and the time of year. Snorkel equipment is free to use for off-shore snorkeling. At an additional charge, snorkel trips can be arranged to Maleri and/or Nakantenga Islands. Diving is on offer seasonally (around May - November), for certified divers.

Boat Cruises

Cruise around the Marelli islands and experience an awe inspiring Lake Malawi sunset out on the water - MGT (Malawi Gin & Tonic) or your sun downer of choice in hand. Every sunset is different & it's always an unforgettable event as the sun gently dips below the low lying Nkhotakota hills in the distance. Depending on the time of year, you may be able to do a Hippo Cruise. Hippo's cannot reach Nankoma Island, but they can usually be spotted along the mainland.Ride along the shore looking for hippo families in their wild environment outside the park boundaries.


Malawi is world renowned as a birdwatchers paradise. The country boasts over 650 different species of birds, 10% of which are native species non-existent anywhere else on the globe. Lake Malawi provides an ideal habitat for bird life has the highest concentration of African Fish Eagles on the continent. Their cry is heard frequently echoing across the skies over Nankoma Island. There are over 350 species at the islands - best seen in the dry season. Take a bird check-list around the island and tick of how many you see.

For more information on the lodge, click HERE