Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) FAQ, Mozambique

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Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) in Mozambique

  • What are the best towns to go to in Lake Niassa?

    Going from South of Lake Niassa to North Lake Niassa, the first town is:

    Meponda - A small rural fishing village (55km tar road from Lichinga).
    Metangula - Another beautiful fishing village which is more populated than Meponda (150km tar road along the main road 249 from Lichinga).
    Cobue - is the most popular town along Lake Niassa (110km gravel road from Lichinga), as Cobue is the 'stepping stone' town to Likoma Island, Malawi. Luxury resorts are located in and nearby Cobue.

  • Is there a petrol station in Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi)?

    Lake Niassa is a big lake, stretching 250km in Mozambique, so when travelling to any of the towns in Lake Niassa (see towns below), you will most likely go through the town Lichinga which is where you must fill your tank up with petrol.

    Keep in mind that it's best to pay for petrol in local currency (Meticais) as it is more expensive to pay for petrol in Rands or Dollars. Petrol is more expensive the further north you travel!

  • Do I need a 4x4 to get to Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi)?

    No, Meponda and Metangula can be reached on tar road where there is gravel road from Metangula to Cobue.

    We always recommend that you do take a 4x4, because you won't be limited to exploration and you will be able to get around much easier without the possibility of getting stuck.

    Tyres should be deflated to -800 bar to be able to drive on the soft sand.

  • Is it okay to drive at night?

    We advise you not to drive at night.

  • Are there Banks or ATMS in Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi)?

    We recommend you draw money and enough cash in Lichinga which is on-route to Lake Niassa or before you leave to go on holiday.

    Be prepared and draw more than enough money in South Africa to avoid inconveniences. Keep the money in a safe / discreet place.

  • Are there credit card facilities in Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi)?

    You will have to check with the lodge that you are staying at if they have credit card facilities.

    Best to check first to avoid dissapointment.

  • Is there a shopping mall or can I buy groceries in Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi)?

    There are local markets along the Lake shores at the towns Meponda, Metangula and Cobue where locals sell fish, fresh produce, bread and fruit. Lichinga has got a supermarket where you can buy more basic supplies.

    We also advise that you buy and take your own vacuum packed meat from South Africa for the first night or 2 (if you are going to be self catering) in a cooler box with ice so that you can ground and get to know the area. Check with the Lodge if they sell ice or if they have a freezer to store your meat during your stay.

  • Is Lake Niassa (Lake Malawi) a Malaria area? Do I need to take Malaria Tablets?

    Yes, Mozambique as a whole is a Malaria risk Area / Country. We recommend you take precautions and visit your nearest Doctor (you now need a prescription for Malaria Tablets) to prescribe you with what's recommended.

    Be prepared and take other Prophylactics like Insect Repellent sprays, Mosquito Coils, light long sleeve tops and bottoms to further prevent bites.

Quick Fact:

Lake Malawi is famous for its huge swarms of lake flies! These tiny harmless flies, which when they hatch, form huge plumes resembling smoke rising up from the water. The local children find them a real treat and when they land on shore they gather them up by the handful then make them into "cakes" fry then eat them!

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