Welcome to Blue Zebra Island Lodge, located on the incredible Nankoma Island off the coast of Africa! As one of the most unique and unforgettable places in the world, experience a vacation like no other here at Blue Zebra Island. Offering breathtaking views of white sand beaches and crystal clear waters, this eco-friendly paradise is made even better by its team of welcoming hospitality staff.

Named after a colorful Cichlid fish, Blue Zebra has been lovingly designed and constructed with you in mind. Relax and ease into island life with the best possible stay hosted by our friendly front of house team who are dedicated to making your vacation dreams come true. And don’t forget—you’ll always find a warm welcome from our over 30 permanent staff members who make up our Blue Zebra family.Come and experience the beauty of Malawi at Giannakis Lodge, where you can take in the magnificent views of Marelli Islands. Owned and operated by the Yiannakis family for over 90 years, Giannakis Lodge is proud to be part of the Malawian government’s conservation efforts that help preserve these stunning islands. Guests can enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience with comfortable accommodations, great food offerings, and plenty of exciting activities. Visit Giannakis Lodge and escape into a serene paradise surrounded by lush landscapes and friendly wildlife that will leave you wanting to return again and again.



Superior Family Cottage 
An open-planned house with a lounge, dining area and two en-suite bedrooms with queen beds. Two single beds can be added to the master bedroom. Experience breathtaking views and bird-watching from the balcony.
Accommodates up to 6 guests when adding single beds. Minimum 2 adults.

Executive Family Chalets
We have two of these spacious safari-style family chalets: Malachite (central) and Fisheagle (secluded). Two bedrooms (one twin, one double) separated by a lounge leading out to a large balcony overlooking Lake Malawi.
Accommodates 2 adults and 3 children, or up to 4 adults. Minimum 2 adults.

Executive Chalets
Two secluded Executive Chalets immersed in nature, named Kingfisher and Cormorant. Both chalets boast stunning views across Lake Malawi. Great for honeymooners, couples and solo travellers.
Accommodates up to 2 adults. Cormorant has a sofa bed (U12) and can have a single bed added.

Lake Safari Tents
Smaller than executives but quaint and comfortable. We have three central and one secluded tent. Central: Heron and Darter (doubles) and Hornbill (twin). Bulbul (double) is the furthest from the communal area.
Accommodate up to 2 adults, with sofa beds for 1 or 2 children under 12, depending on the room.

The Fig-Tree Bar:
What better way to spend an afternoon than splashing about in the swimming pool, or chilling out on deck chairs with a refreshing cocktail (or mocktail). We also have a variety of local and imported drinks on offer and a selection of South African wines. If you have any special requests or preferences, please let us know in advance.

Bee-Eater Restaurant:
Named after a frequent visitor to the island, the African bee-eater, our open-air restaurant looks over Baobab Garden, the pool area and Lake Malawi. Dining at Blue Zebra Island Lodge is a leisurely and tasteful experience. There is no à la carte menu: a daily set menu is prepared around seasonal foods and catered to all dietary requirements. Creatively inspired by international cuisine with a touch of Malawi, prepared by a team of local Chefs.

All packages are inclusive of meals: full breakfast, 2-course lunch and 3-course dinner. Daily afternoon tea is set up at the pool at 16:00. Advance request should be given for special requirements, given that it may be difficult to get some ingredients to the island.

Blue Zebra is the perfect destination for an unforgettable adventure tucked away in the heart of Lake Malawi. With its stunning infinity pool and breathtaking views, you can relax and take in the beauty of the lake while sipping a refreshing MGT (Malawi gin & tonic). Discover the local wildlife with guided nature trails or go birdwatching to experience all that Malawi has to offer. Challenge yourself with activities like kayaking, snorkeling, or even seasonal scuba. Later, make sure to check out the Island Spa for total rejuvenation. For whatever your style and taste may be, Blue Zebra has something for everyone! Come explore paradise and find your own little slice of heaven at Blue Zebra!

Nature Trails & Wildlife
Connect with nature as you wander Nankoma Island and soak in the enchanting natural beauty of this unspoiled paradise. Shoreline trail around the island is only 2.3km and more of a leisurely stroll, but steeper paths lead to the top where breath-taking panoramic views are worth the climb.

At the crack of dawn you may be lucky to see the elusive Duiker and Bushbuck. Other wildlife include Tortoises, Chameleons camouflaged in trees, Monitor Lizards, Rainbow Skinks, Otters and thriving Birdlife. A few Bushbabies live on the island too, but they are nocturnal so you will only spot or hear them at night.

The islands have been evaluated as an ideal location for certain species to thrive without predators, as well as a safe haven for some rescued animals. All animals are protected and valued for their roles in the ecosystem.

Malawi is world renowned as a birdwatcher’s paradise. The country boasts over 650 different species of birds. Lake Malawi provides an ideal habitat for bird life and is said to have the highest concentration of African Fish Eagles (Malawi’s National Bird) on the continent. Their cry is frequently heard echoing around Nankoma Island and you’ll often see this majestic bird circling high above, searching the waters, preparing for its next magnificent swooping attack.

The Marellis sing with a plethora of exotic bird life, supporting an estimated 350 species. In 2019 the first pair of nesting African Pitta’s (Pitta Angolensis / Angolan Pitta) were spotted – a rare and spectacular migratory bird deemed “the holy grail of African birds”. More common sightings include the peculiar trumpeter hornbill, paradise-flycatcher, cormorants, sunbirds, bee-eaters, kingfishers, owls, storks, swifts, thrushes, weavers and spinetails.

The protection offered by the parks UNESCO status, coupled with the fact that the islands are un-inhabited, isolated and free of monkeys has provided a rare natural haven and breeding ground for birds.

Kayaks are available for use any time of day with no additional charges. There are 4 single and 2 double kayaks.

Kayaking around Nankoma Island takes about 45min-1hr, but for the more active and adventurous you can kayak all 3 islands in 2.5 – 3 hours. For a shorter kayak, there are rocky outcrops close to shore. When the lake is calm and clear you can see colourful Cichlids swimming below. Other possible sightings: otters, monitor lizards, birdlife (especially Cormorants and African Fish-Eagles).

Rarely does one have such effortless and immediate access to a site teaming with aquatic life. Just a few meters off the shore you will experience Malawi’s renowned Cichlids in their natural splendour. 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 species who we are named after.

The best sites depend on lake levels and the time of year. Snorkel equipment is free to use for offshore snorkelling. At an additional charge, snorkel trips can be arranged to Maleri and/or Nakantenga Islands.

Our dive season typically runs from May to November – this is when the visibility should be best (outside of the rainy season). Divers must have their PADI OW or equivalent certification. We may not always have a divemaster on site, so if you are interested in diving with us please enquire in advance.

Soar over Lake Malawi at high speed! We have a range of water-sports to keep you entertained. Prices from $35 per person / 20 minute session.

Motorized watersports are weather dependent. They can be booked once at the lodge, around the daily boat schedule. No experience required – our enthusiastic boatmen, James and Idrissa, will happily show you the ropes.

Cruise around the Marelli islands and experience an awe-inspiring Lake Malawi sunset out on the water. Every sunset is different and 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 sometimes be spotted along the mainland. Ride along the shore looking for hippo families in their wild environment outside the park boundaries.

Prices from $20 per adult; children under 12 at half price.
Supplements will apply for private hire.

What would an island getaway be without a bit of pampering? The Island Spa is the perfect place to settle into holiday mode and completely unwind.

Massages on offer: Back, Neck & Shoulder; Swedish; Aromatherapy; Deep Tissue; Indian Head Massage & Foot Massage. Other treatments: Manicures and Pedicures.

Prices range from $25 – $45 depending on treatment and duration. Children at half price.

An ideal space for you to practice yoga while you switch off from the outside world, break-away from routine and embrace restorative immersion in nature.

Bring along your yoga mat and set up for self-practice on your balcony looking over Lake Malawi. The lodge has a few spare yoga mats for you to use. We don’t have a yoga instructor on site, but we have a few yoga weekends throughout the year