By Eutychus Yamikani
Imagine a gothic cathedral on a tiny island in a tropical sea.St Peter, holding the keys to the Gates of Heaven, gazes across the rocky shoreline edged with indigo and ultramarine, to the mountains of Mozambique; the biblical rooster at his feet remarkably looking African.
This is Likoma Island, a patch of Malawi in Mozambican waters, since the island was the headquarters of the Universities Mission (Anglican) in the late 1890’s.
Chosen as protection from constantly warring tribes, a rocky castle with a natural moat.
The first Bishop, Chauncey Maples, drowned shortly after his appointment when his boat capsized n a storm; he was on his way to this place, though the cathedral itself was built a decade later.
Stay, if you can, for the service on Sunday, when the grace of bricks and girders are fleshed out by joyful Malawian voices raised in harmony; it’s a stirring experience for both tourists and believers.
The island boasts very few vehicles but many paths criss-cross it.
Boats will ferry you around the island, across to Mozambique, or to the smaller island of Chizumulu.And know that there are sudden fierce storms-between Likoma and Nkhata Bay.
A visit to Likoma, on the ubiquitous m.v,Ilala or by private air charter, is unlike any experience anywhere else. Here the heart slows to a different rhythm.