Lupita Island Beach Holidays : The Full Story : The East African Rift, one of the world’s geological wonders, is responsible for the formation of Lake Tanganyika, which forms Tanzania’s western border. This rift lake is divided among the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Zambia, and Burundi, with Tanzania holding the lion’s share. It is the world’s second-largest, deepest, and oldest freshwater lake (after Lake Baikal in Siberia) and is estimated to hold 16% of the world’s freshwater. It is home to hundreds of fish species, perhaps most notably over 250 endemic cichlids. The lake is an important part of the local people’s lives, providing both employment and food.
The only archipelago found in Lake Tanganyika is located in the southern part of the lake, approximately 180 kilometers south of the Mahale Mountains and 120 kilometers west of Katavi National Park. A number of these islands are uninhabited, but Lupita Island, located 5 kilometers from the mainland, is privately owned and operated as a luxury island retreat. This 130-acre outcrop rises 400 meters above the lake, with small trails winding up through the grass and shrub vegetation to the lodge at the top of the island. The island is home to a number of bird species, including the African fish eagle, black kite, collared sunbird, golden-breasted bunting, and malachite and pied kingfishers.
GETTING TO LUPITA ISLAND
Lupita Island is accessible from the mainland via the island’s private airstrip, Kipili. From there, it’s a 20-minute drive through the village to Lupita’s jetty, followed by a 15-minute speedboat ride to the island.
When it comes to getting to Kipili, you have several options. Flights to Western Tanzania are only scheduled twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays. On these days, Nomad Tanzania operates a flight to Katavi National Park and Mahale Mountains National Park for guests staying at their camps in these areas. This begins in Arusha and travels directly to the Serengeti, stopping only once during peak season. After that, you’d take a Safari Airlink flight from Katavi/Mahale to Kipili.
Auric Air also offers charter flights from the Serengeti to Kipili (via Katavi on request).
From southern Tanzania:
Scheduled flights follow the same schedule, departing only on Mondays and Thursdays. Safari Airlink operates flights from Dar es Salaam to the Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, the Mahale Mountains, Katavi National Park, and, upon request, Kipili. Following that route, you can get to Kipili from any of these locations.
WHERE TO STAY: THE ALL-INCLUSIVE ISLAND EXPERIENCE
Lupita Island, located in a cluster of small islands on Lake Tanganyika, is a remote, unspoiled private island with 130 acres of uninhabited space.
The resort provides luxurious, comfortable, mostly private accommodations that allow guests to unwind while taking in breathtaking views of the lake and mountains. Fine dining options, a gymnasium, spa, swimming pool, games room, bar & lounge, boma, and a beach shack are all available at the resort.
Hiking, kayaking, swimming, snorkeling, watersports, fishing, and other activities cater to all interests and age groups. Guests can explore and experience the local culture by visiting the nearby village and Kipili monastery.
Lupita Island Resort’s Cottages
Lupita Island Resort has ten individually designed cottages, all of which have breathtaking lake and mountain views from their open verandas, making the most of the balmy breezes and unforgettable sunsets. The property, which is scattered throughout a tropical forest of indigenous trees, strives to leave as little impact on the natural environment as possible. The smallest cottages are 1800 square feet, while the largest family suite is 2500 square feet.
The resort’s design features undulating roofs thatched with local grasses, and the lakeside of each room is completely open-air, allowing you to enjoy the lake breeze while immersing yourself in nature. Life’s stresses simply melt away as you relax under our refreshing waterfall showers. Each villa has a bathtub and a plunge pool on the deck or terrace, as well as a bar and a large living area perfect for relaxing or entertaining.
While on Lupita Island, each of the deluxe cottages offers spacious living. The open-plan design is completely private, with a large bathroom and open-air bath with a waterfall shower. The deluxe cottages have either a king bed or two large single beds. For a family of four, they can add two smaller children’s beds or bunk beds. For those times when you want to relax alone or with your partner, enjoy an ice-cold wine from your private bar in your sitting room while lying next to your plunge pool. All with breathtaking views of the lake.
Lupita Island Resort offers a spacious family cottage with two bathrooms and two bedrooms. It is larger than the deluxe cottages and has a bedroom with a King-sized bed and a private bathroom, as well as a separate sleeping area away from the adults, which also has its own private bathroom. A large open-plan sitting room with a bar, as well as an outdoor veranda and plunge pool. Waiters can deliver and serve meals to the cottage on special occasions when families want to celebrate something special in the luxury of their own suite.
ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE AT LUPITA ISLAND
Lupita Island is an ideal place to unwind and recharge before returning to the real world, so the schedule is flexible, allowing guests to spend their days as they please. There are numerous options for doing as much or little as desired.
The waters of Lake Tanganyika are clear and calm, making them ideal for water sports. Guests can use kayaks and canoes to explore the beaches of the islands. Snorkeling and PADI-certified scuba diving are available to take you to the underwater world of Lake Tanganyika, which is home to hundreds of cichlid species found nowhere else on the planet.
Add a Safari
Lupita Island can arrange fantastic safari excursions. Encompassing the entire country of Tanzania in a fantastic safari experience lasting 3 to 21 days or more Using the northern circuit and the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater in conjunction with the vast Serengeti, and then on to the more wild Selous and Ruaha in the south and south-west, and finally to Lupita Island. From Lupita, you can take a 4×4 safari vehicle with a guide to Katavi National Park for a couple of days and spend time in an incredible, rarely visited park teeming with hippo, elephants, and crocodiles. There are open marshlands as far as the eye can see, with few tourists and only a few hours’ drive from Lupita Island.
Visit the ruins of a monastery built in the 1860s by the Italian White Fathers in Kipili. The missionaries purchased slaves in order to save and hide them, and they also adopted orphans.
The old Kipili monastery is an engineering marvel. Every brick and nail was lovingly crafted by hand to create a monastery church, dormitories, a refectory, and missionary housing for the religious order. It was not an easy life for these brave fathers; disease and malaria played a significant role in reducing the population at the settlement.
It can be seen tucked away in the Thivk treeline on the hillside overlooking Kipili Bay. A fascinating visit that is only 15 minutes away from the Mainland jetty.
Join us for a fantastic day of fun on a private beach. Spend a relaxing afternoon on the sands or snorkeling around the nearby rocks.
A fully catered beach buffet is served on white tablecloths with your choice of wine or cocktail, mixed to order by our experienced bartender.
Sip your sparkling wine while relaxing in the crystal-clear waters. As you return to Lupita by wooden lake boat, watch the sun set on the horizon.
Windsor Rose is the lake’s grand old lady. The 46-foot cruise ship was built in the early 1980s and transported overland from Lake Kariba in Zimbabwe to Lake Tanganyika. Fish from the deck, dive into the mile-deep water, or simply relax with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while watching the sunset over the lake. The boat stewards bring you ice-cold drinks and canapes while you relax on board or swim in a mile of water off the bough. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the top decks as you slowly circle the island.
Our two-man kayaks are a great way to see the islands from a different angle, with incredible visibility into the depths. Why not paddle out to a beach picnic prepared by our staff? Keep your eyes peeled for sea otters!
Snorkeling, swimming, and diving
Swim in the warm shallows or snorkel along one of the island’s many hidden coves, which are teeming with brightly colored cichlids native to the lake. There are no currents and excellent visibility. Snorkeling and PADI-certified scuba diving are available to explore Lake Tanganyika’s underwater world.
Snorkeling in Lake Tanganyika is an unforgettable experience. There’s no sticky, salty water to clean up after, just silky soft skin in temperatures that hover around 25 degrees all year. As far as the eye can see, the water is crystal clear.
Try your hand at fishing with a hand line and an oar, accompanied by an experienced local fisherman in his wooden boat. Alternatively, you can go all out on a speedboat and fish with rods and equipment.
Lake Tanganyika’s freshwater fish are probably the healthiest in the world. There is no pollution, only large, healthy fish.
Spa and gym
The spa and wellness center is located on Lupita Island’s hillside, with spectacular views of Lake Tanganyika and the surrounding mountains.
The spa offers classic treatments using essential oils and tried-and-true massage techniques while balancing the rustic grace of the natural landscape with the relaxing salon facilities. Natural treatments with our experienced therapists will renew and hydrate your skin while also feeding your soul—a welcome treat after a day in the sun.
For the more energetic, enjoy our strategically placed open-sided gym on one of the island’s higher points. Allowing for pleasant breezes while working out on our extensive gym equipment.
Our games room is popular with both teenagers and adults. A pool table, a foosball table, table tennis, and darts are all available for use at any time. Plan a family tournament or a knockabout with friends before dinner. A variety of board games are available for those quiet evenings when the day’s activities have sapped your energy.
Pool and pool bar
Relax by our lovely freshwater pool under the African skies, sipping an ice-cold cocktail from the pool bar. Swim up to the water bar to cool off after a day of sunbathing. The pool is set apart from the main area for privacy and tranquility.
The Kipili church choir has been visiting Lupita since we first opened in 2008. They are completely self-sufficient and proud of their singing. A lively leader choreographs a group of 20 to 30 men and women of varying ages to sing traditional songs and perform African dances. They have managed to save enough donations over the years to construct their church building in Kipili village. Their performance is a one-of-a-kind treat for our guests.