what to expect
Madzi Kuwala is not a boutique hotel nor fully catered lodge. It is a self catering house in an idyllic setting providing the perfect getaway for groups of friends and family looking for a relaxed, exclusive retreat where they can essentially do what they please. No fixed schedules, meals or activities - it's all about you and we encourage visitors to treat the house as they would their own home. While we have invested extensively in refurbishing the house and ensuring it has most of the basics to make your stay comfortable, we realize there are some limitations to what we have been able to achieve. Please take a moment to read the information below so we can manage your expectations and enjoy your stay with us.
Madzi Kuwala is a self catering lake shore cottage , and although a good dose of Botox and TLC has the old dame looking great, it is an old building with its fair share of problems, however the location and comfortable feel will more than make up for her creaking joints.
Bedroom 1 – king size bed, large mosquito net, ceiling fan, en-suite shower, seating area & built in cupboards.
Bedroom 2 – 2 single beds, en-suite shower, one large net covers both beds, shared bedside table. No cupboards – ceiling fan.
Bedroom 3 – small room with single bunk beds Ideal for 2 younger children. One mozzie net covers both beds. Free standing fan. Small shower shared with Room 4.
Bedroom 4 – double bed, large mosquito net, ceiling fan, 2 side tables, single cupboard. Shower shared with Room 3.
Bedroom 5 – 2 single beds, individual mosquito nets, shared bedside table, built in cupboards and ceiling fan, shared bathroom.
Bedroom 6 – king-size bed, mosquito net and ceiling fan, single built in cupboards. Shared bathroom with Room 5.
STRICTLY A MAXIMUM 12 GUESTS (INCLUDING CHILDREN AND INFANTS) WILL BE ACCOMMODATED - ADDITIONAL GUESTS WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE AND ARE NOT ACCEPTED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. CAMPING ON THE GARDENS IS NOT PERMITTED.
The Madzi Kuwala team comprises of 2 house attendants, Mike and Samuel who are responsible for cleaning the house, laundry and assisting guests in the kitchen. Please note that while they both have some skill in the kitchen and can prepare basic breakfasts, simple meals, salads etc, they are not trained chefs and require supervision and guidance in preparing meals and setting tables to your liking. The grounds are cared for by Brighton who will also ensure the pool is clean and water is pumped to the water storage tanks. Samuel and Brighton are happy to assist in the launching of boats for guests having their own boats. 2 night watchmen will ensure that garden and deck furniture is packed away when guests go to bed in the evenings and are on duty from 6pm to 6am every day.
There are mosquito nets in all 6 bedrooms – these are a new addition and are put down in the evenings by the house staff. They will also spray each room during turn down. Please keep the interior doors closed, and you will find with the gauze on the windows and a spray of Doom the mozzies will be kept at bay. Mozzie mats are in all rooms. All guests are advised to pack your own insect repellent and spray for excess mozzies...our supply of toxins is limited.
swimming pool & boat house
The swimming pool is essentially a small plunge pool with a salt water chlorinator and is ideal for cooling off during the day. The grounds staff clean the pool each day however guests should be warned that during the rainy season (December - April) heavy rain does cause the pool to gather silt from run off rain water and can change colour for a few days. Guests are asked to refrain from taking any glasses or bottles into the pool for obvious safety reasons. We strongly advise against swimming in the lake after dark and guests are reminded that hippos and, on rare occassions, crocodiles have been seen in the lake. Swimming is entirely at guests own risk and we accept no liability for any accidents that occur at the property. Diving off the deck intop the lake is also strictly prohibited - the water is shallow and rocks are often hidden beneath the sand. The boat house has some old windsurfer boards which guests are welcome to use. Boat excusrions can be organised through Norman Carr cottage - a short stroll down the beach. A slipway is available for use by any guests wishing to launch their own boats into the lake.
Madzi Kuwala is a 30 year old house – with thirty year old plumbing, and as such has some of the problems associated with this. Water for showers, geysers etc. is pumped directly from the lake. At times silt can clog up the pipes and affect water pressure. While we regularly maintain the system we apologise should the pressure drop. Two hot water geysers feed the house, they may take time for water to run through but there should be sufficient hot water for a full house, assuming Escom (Malawi's unpredictable and notoriously unreliable electricity supply authority) is playing along.
drinks & water
There is a bar fridge under the bar counter in the house – is an additional bottle cooler outside on the patio with ample of space to keep drinks cold. We keep a stock of drinks at the house to ensure that you have cold drinks available on arrival. Guests are required to replace any drinks they take from the house stock before they leave and are reminded that the same combination of drinks is left behind. We keep 40 Carlsberg Greens and 40 soft drinks which include Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Soda Water and Tonic Waters. Our house keepers make ice from boiled water and should have the chest freezer well stocked with ice for your stay (he does occasionally forget about making new ice so don't hesitate to remind him during your stay!!!). We do not provide bottled drinking water and guests are reminded to bring their own supply.
kitchen & catering facilities
Our kitchen is small but functional with a 6 plate gas stove and oven. A large upright fridge freezer is permanently in the kitchen, and a small chest freezer (mainly used for ice) is available for keeping food frozen. A very old, but astoundingly effective, bottle cooler is located on the patio area for drinks while a glass drink fridge is located under the bar counter. There is an old style charcoal Braai / Barbeque - not kettle or gas ...you will need to bring your own charcoal, fire lighters or wood. The cottage has a full selection of good quality crockery and cutlery for 12 guests as well as all glasses and a good selection of kitchen equipment including pots, pan, kitchen utensils, casserole dishes and serving platters. A limited selection of children’s plastic plates etc are available. A microwave, toaster and electric kettle make up the selection of electrical appliances in the house.
Madzi Guests are kindly asked to report any breakages to the housekeeping staff. A book is available to record any breakages and guests will be required to pay for any items damaged or broken during your stay. Feel free to contact Ulendo's reservations office for details of arrangements which can be made to facilitate payment for breakages.
power & generator
Monkey Bay lays claim to one of the most dilapidated antique power grids in the country. We have had the entire house rewired and this means that some of the modern trip switches are very sensitive and trip when power spikes or drops... a regular problem. Often a phase will drop. This is not unique to our house, it is a problem throughout the area and thus power can be erratic! There is a backup generator and we do try to keep a small supply of diesel, but in the current fuel climate it is difficult to maintain. Guests wishing to be guaranteed backup power need to bring their own diesel for the genset. The staff can fill it and run it – If the cottage diesel is used it should be replenished before you leave.
We try to keep a stock of Charlotte Rhys shower gel, shampoo & hand soap in all the bedrooms, please note that this is not guaranteed as supplies can be erratic. Guests are kindly requested not to take these bathroom amenities with them when they leave as they are refilled for the next visitors to the house. We do provide toilet paper so no need to bring your own!
linen & towels
All beds have 2 changes of white cotton linen which includes fitted sheets, a flat sheet and a duvet. It seldom gets cold at the lake, however spare blankets are provided in each room. Bath & hand towels are provided as well as towels for the swimming pool and beach. Please note that fresh linen is fitted to all beds on arrival and will be changed weekly. Fresh towels are provided on request.
As the house is rented on an exclusive basis, you are welcome to bring pets but we would ask that you ensure they are kept under control at all times and do not harass any of the staff nor locals, fishermen or curio sellers in the area. We would also ask that guests clean up after their pets and ensure pets do not jump or rest on any of the furniture.
what to bring
All food stuffs .. salt , pepper , tea , coffee etc / Toiletries / peaceful sleep / doom / charcoal/ diesel if you need the generator.... And of course your swimming costume and relaxation on you mind
please read our full terms and conditions