Malawi's first, most architecturally imaginative, environmentally friendly beach camp. We were the only renewable energy lodge in the whole of Malawi. A total of 45(forty five) x 70-120watt solar panels and 3 x 500watt windmills power the whole lodge. Each room has lights and a 12v fan, the bar has music, we have 3 x 240v freezers in our office, plus computer, printer, scanner, hf radio, sat phone and bushmail, all run by sun and wind power. Our water is pumped from the lake by an incredibly clever system of panel to pump, with a control box which alters the voltage depending on the sun strength. We have a 10,000 litre water tank under our restaurant floor which gravity feeds the main lodge, kitchen and 6 of the 10 rooms, and we have a second 20,000 litre tank which serves the manager's house,the remaining 4 rooms and we have also run a tap into the village which benefits approximately 70 of our closest neighbours. We average about 15,000 litres a day of free water. If we have surplus sun power we can use the spare water for irrigation, and grey water is recycled, or recharge our torch batteries and assist in car battery recharging for villagers' radios. The bliss is that unlike many bushcamps or beach hotels in Africa, we never hear the thump thump of a generator, never have horrific fuel or electricity bills, have never had a power cut, and light pollution is kept to a minimum.
Update for 2010. In 2003 power was supplied to the island and Kaya Mawa altered to run from mains power. In 2010 in a time of being environmentally conscious we have decided to move back to sustainable power supplies. We have installed every room with its own system of batteries/solar panel and inverter/charger so that you can enjoy 24 hour 2440 volt power. We have also taken away the wood burning water boilers and replaced them with solar geezers. As a fully functioning top end hotel, we still employ exclusively from the island. Despite advice from the dept of tourism to import labour from mainland hotel training schools, we have kept all our staff local. The bar man is an ex builder, the kitchen girls are ex sand carriers. Room cleaners, gardeners, boatmen, all came out of the old building teams, maintaining a sense of continuity and genuine pride. We have fathers and sons, 3 sisters, mother/daughters, and in one household 3 generations all work for KayaMawa, with the 4th coming in on mum's back occasionally. This combined with a policy of no fences(a row of trees marks the physical boundary), and not denying the community access to the lake, has created a genuine sense of group ownership.