Butterfly Space is a socially responsible non-profit eco-lodge, giving back to our community in Nkhata Bay.

Alongside our bespoke accommodation, we support initiatives on & off-site within the local community. Whether you are a a family or backpacker wanting to kick back and relax, or a gap year intern looking to volunteer in Malawi, we have something for everyone.

“Our vision is to develop an inclusive space which supports projects that are beneficial & sustainable, to empower those who benefit from the projects to govern, encourage & develop them. We want to encourage not handouts, but self-advocacy, motivation, and self-development.”

Located on the crystal clear shores of Lake Malawi, everyone is welcome to enjoy this unique place. We have accommodation to suit all budgets, from a campsite to secluded self-contained chalets. We have a bar hosting regular events, a restaurant serving delicious international dishes and we host a range of activities for our guests!

The Eco-Lodge

From dormitories, naturally shaded lakeside camping to secluded bespoke self-contained chalets, there’s something for all requirements & budgets. You will love our picturesque & sociable lakeside bar that serves delicious cocktails, beers, & wines. The restaurant overlooks the lake & forested mountains of Nkhata Bay, offering a delicious international menu, which also serves pizza, smoothies & desserts. Stroll through our permaculture gardens, make free use of use our gym, snorkels & paddleboards or relax on our private beach in comfortable hammocks & enjoy this amazing space!

Who We Are

We are a registered UK charity trying to make positive changes to our community and environment. The owners, friends who met in Malawi, bought Butterfly Space in 2007 with a desire to develop a non-profit lodge and community hub to encourage socially responsible travel, offering affordable and impactful volunteering roles which provide educational, practical & creative opportunities. Butterfly Space is respectful of the environment with a focus on sustainability & green initiatives. The owners live on-site and work hands-on with the grassroots projects, working directly with the community, volunteers, and interns to make these projects succeed.

Josie and Alice

Our Community Projects

What makes us different?

Our non-profit status means that as a guest you can help us to financially support our diverse community projects. We are registered as a UK charity and reinvest 100% of our profits back into our community. 

Our unique Lodge has been chosen as Lonely Planet’s ‘Top Pick’ for accommodation in Nkhata Bay in the latest edition of Southern Africa where the lodge was highlighted for its picturesque beauty.  We are now excited to be featuring on MalawiTourism.com. 

Butterfly Space Eco Lodge, Nkhata Bay Accommodation, Malawi, volunteering, accommodation, guest house

Why Choose Malawi?

A small and easy-to-navigate country offering an abundance of activities and natural beauty, Malawi is the perfect country for all types of travelers, no matter what the budget. Labeled as the ‘warm heart of Africa’ because of the kind and friendly nature of its people, Malawi always makes its visitors feel welcomed and safe. An abundance of wildlife & nature can be enjoyed all over the country, boasting many affordable game reserves, national parks, world-class hiking at Mount Mulanje, and its prized jewel, the Lake. You can explore on scuba safaris, snorkel, swim & enjoy its golden sandy beaches & stunning views. The adventure of a lifetime awaits!

liwonde national park, butterfly space, malawi safari

Why Nkhata Bay?

The lively market town of Nkhata Bay, with its striking harbor, is surrounded by sheltered bays with forested, rocky headlands. The crystal clear waters here host abundant colorful fish and are so large you feel like you are swimming in the ocean! The town center is full of life, with vibrant markets, restaurants, and craft shops. The sense of community is truly the best part of Nkhata Bay, along with the abundance of activities for visitors to enjoy. Activities include village and mountain hikes, overnight canoe trips, drumming workshops, local cooking classes, boat trips, scuba diving, and more. See our ‘Activities‘ Page for more information.

What People Say

Butterfly Space
4.3
Based on 40 reviews
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Mahana Myriam
Mahana Myriam
11:47 26 Nov 21
Amazing location and view. Very nice vibes and people. Great concept. Value for money +++.
Torbjörn Wester
Torbjörn Wester
14:30 24 Nov 21
Wonderful place with the lake as your neighbor. Friendly, including atmosphere makes Butterfly feel like your home.... It’s by far the best lodge to stay in Malawi if you want to be in one place for a longer period of time. I worked here from my laptop for 17 days and thanks to excellent cellphone reception internet is reliable and fast even by European standards.Food is also great.read more
Jeremy Whipp
Jeremy Whipp
10:38 29 Oct 21
The best place in Malawi by far. Run by the most awesome crew of Josie, Holly, Stefan and their team, they make such... welcoming, fun, and hospitable hosts. We have lived our time here so much, the food is delicious, great access to the lake via a private beach, and butterfly is such a force for good in the community. Couldn’t rate it higher!read more
Stephan van den Berg
Stephan van den Berg
00:19 14 Oct 21
Not the best if you want a quiet night of sleep. Music till after 02:00.
Sophie Schegg
Sophie Schegg
11:42 05 Oct 21
The place is beautiful and staff are amazing. Good vibes ! Lots of travelers and many activites to do.
precious divala
precious divala
05:25 04 Oct 21
Liked the food
Herbert Bolokonya
Herbert Bolokonya
18:51 30 Sep 21
Best place for a tranquil experience. If you want to connect with nature this is the place to be. Not 5 star but you... will enjoy the viewread more
Lee West
Lee West
04:47 07 Sep 21
Didn’t stay here but went to some of their parties/gatherings on the beach. Great music and art. Good atmosphere.
Luke Wetherall
Luke Wetherall
09:47 18 May 21
The best lodge in Nkhata bay! Right on the shores of Lake Malawi. Brilliant atmosphere and comfortable rooms. The... owners are super nice and will go out of their way to make sure you have the best time. Top tip, say yes to the organised the boat ride!read more
Travel Malawi with Mervis
Travel Malawi with Mervis
10:09 20 Apr 21
Affordable rates, unique accomodation, good vibes and great hosts, Good food and it's an eco lodge. I highly recommend.
Throttle Adventures
Throttle Adventures
17:02 05 Nov 19
This backpackers is simply awesome. Built on a hill so don’t expect flush toilets. They use composite toilets and... showers which are great. The staff are amazing. The food delicious. Lots of things to do around. Kayaking from the backpackers. Nice pub by the lake with good music. We had a great time here and extended our stay like 3 times.read more
Jill Kelsall
Jill Kelsall
13:10 16 Sep 19
This is a beautiful setting and indeed the people are kind and welcoming. They have good live music some nights. ... However, the Butterfly Space suffers from poor management. In our four days here their own "treated" water supply ran dry several times, so toilets could not be flushed etc. for several hours. When we brought this to their attention, they said they'd turn it on even though the chlorine had not had time to take effect. I, my partner and at least two other guests became ill in this time. With dubious "water treatment", and facing a miserable gastric illness, staving off dehydration by using our Grayl bottle was difficult as no water came through the taps. In addition they ran out of bottled water on the day we arrived and over all four subsequent days no bottled water was available. The staff and the guests wash clothes in the lake with OMO. The kitchen ran out of gas for cooking and substituted charcoal, despite their so called "eco" brand. The menu is problematic as they have none of the ingredients required to make most of the dishes such as fruit, milk, and other basics. The rooms are grubby, paint is faded or dirty and the bedding is coarse and hot. Mattresses are very thin. The common areas are overrun with ants and the bathrooms host palmetto bugs (big cockroaches). The bar man is distracted or asleep most of the time and seems burdened by simple requests. Laundry was done and returned dry but so wrinkled that I had to wet it and hang it to dry again. It is a shame that more energy is not devoted to maintenance and provisioning, as this space is wonderful and the lake is entrancing.read more
Stefan Karakashian
Stefan Karakashian
12:21 06 Aug 19
Butterfly Space is a warm and friendly environment in which I was made to feel right at home during my stay. This... non-profit lodge supports a wide range of exceptional community projects which are well worth getting involved in. We also had many lovely times chilling on the decked area next to the bar looking out onto Lake Malawi. Best of luck!read more
Gomezgani mhango
Gomezgani mhango
23:06 01 Jul 19
Great place to be. I enjoyed the sunrise, it was beautiful along the stress of Lake Malawi. Good food, stylish... apartments. Great customer service. Thumbs up.read more
Jeroen Annelies
Jeroen Annelies
13:10 06 Jun 19
We love staying at Butterfly, especially now they have done a lot of work recently. The place is so much nicer and... cleaner than it was before! You can see they have new management with eye for detail who puts love into the lodge.The philosophy of Butterfly is fantastic; their love for the community, the nice mix of locals, expats and travelers in the bar, and not to forget - one of the best places for a sundowner.read more
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