When I tell you I was touring Africa overland by public transport I bet one of the first things that come to your mind is: backpacking. Don’t worry, I understand and a normal guest staying at Lupita Island doesn’t come to Kipili by public bus and a boda-boda. But I like to be that exception… I did all of the above: the public transport, the motorbike and yes I also enjoyed an exclusive villa on Lupita Island for 2 days.
My overland trip in Africa was to get a feel of the countries I was crossing. Rather than visiting the main tourist destinations, I was instead having local experiences. I stayed in chaotic little towns where people had not seen tourists in a long time and had the most crazy bus rides.
Some of my adventures I turned into videos, check out my YouTube channel: Traveltomtom. I definitely lost it a couple times on my way from Cape Town to Tanzania, so when I got the chance to stay at Lupita Island I appreciated it even more than ever!
Lupita Island vlog
Here is a video of my stay at Lupita Island with the villa, the activities, the views and much more.
Where is Lupita Island?
When talking about traveling to Tanzania it is of course Kilimanjaro, Serengeti and Zanzibar what people come up with first. But I decided to explore a completely different side of the country and I headed towards West Tanzania.
A big part of West Tanzania is flanked by Lake Tanganyika. Although not that well-known, it is one of the worlds biggest lakes with a max length of 673 kilometers long and a max width of 73 kilometers. It borders Zambia in the South, Congo DRC in the West, Burundi in the North and Tanzania on its East shores.
It holds a couple cool facts. Lang Tanganyika is:
- World’s second deepest lake
- World’s second biggest body of fresh water
- World’s second oldest lake
It is only Lake Baikal in Russia that beats Lake Tanganyika in all the above.
But wait this blog is not about Lake Tanganyika, but about Lupita Island. I guess you feel it coming already… Lupita Island is an island in Lake Tanganyika.
Traveling to Tanzania? Stay connected and buy a local sim card. Click here for a complete guide buying a sim card in Tanzania. For the record there is a good 4G signal in the gym at Lupita Island.
Exclusive private island
Lupita Island is a secluded resort island only accessible for hotel guests. There are only a few luxury lodges scattered around the island and they are all unique in its kind.
In total Lupita Island has 14 villas, that are spread over the island in such a way that complete privacy is guaranteed.
The villas with thatched roofs are semi open and from the bed and bathroom you have endless views over Lake Tanganyika. The villas are located higher up on the island for the most incredible vistas over the lake and all the way to the mountains in Congo DRC.
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My experiences staying at Lupita Island
Officially Lupita Island wasn’t even operating because of the global pandemic. Still I got the chance to experience what it was like, however, I was going to be the only guest on the island!
Unbelievable but it was real. Such an exclusive island in the middle of a lake all for myself. Can you imagine?
The villa I was staying in was called Villa Nr.7 - Livingstone. It was the family suite with a separate living room, an extra bedroom with 2 beds plus bathroom. Obviously I didn’t use any of that and left that side of the villa untouched for the whole stay.
My massive open master bedroom and separate bathroom with a big open air bathtub was more than enough for me already.
After all the hassle of traveling overland in Africa, staying at such a gorgeous and exclusive luxury lodge on Lake Tanganyika felt so amazing. Trust me... have a look at my video from my bus journey from Lusaka, Zambia to Tanzania.
Of course I used the open air bathtub at night for watching stars and I didn’t have to wait too long before I saw my first shooting star. Watching stars at Lupita Island is definitely a must. Lake Tanganyika is located in such a remote and non-touristy part of Tanzania that you can see the whole milky-way.
In the morning you are woken up by the sounds of nature. No need to set your alarm, there are endless chirping birds that will gently wake you up. When you then see the colorful orange and pink morning sky I am sure you start your day with a laugh.
There is no coffee machine in the room, but you are assigned a butler, so I am sure you can call for a cup of coffee when you wake up in the early morning.
Apart from enjoying my amazing villa with my little private plunge pool I roamed around the island. I went to the gym, swam in the main pool, went on a canoe trip, went snorkeling to see the little colorful fish in Lake Tanganyika, had drinks at the main bar, watched sunset up on the incredible viewing deck in the main lobby, sat by the bonfire and ended my day at Lupita Island with delicious food at a dinner table for 1!
It was a bit hilarious to have dinner for 1, but luckily there was amazing staff around that I had little chats with and who definitely made my stay at Lupita Island fantastic.
The next day I did more or less the same again, but not a single moment I got bored. When visiting Lupita Island you don’t come for an active holiday. The serenity of a remote island on a lake far away from the popular tourist destinations in Tanzania is pure bless.
However Lupita Island is able to arrange all kind of day trips like a Chimpanzee trekking in the famous Mahale Mountain National Park, visiting the incredible Kalambo Falls close to the Zambia border, trekking with primates in Gombe National Park, fishing trips on Lake Tanganyika and much more.
I just kept it simple, but enjoyed every minute on Lupita Island with a big smile! And of course flew my drone multiple times.
While enjoying an ice cold Kilimanjaro beer on the viewing deck for sunset I once again had one of those moments where I was grateful for all the things this travel blogging life is giving me.
Sitting in the comfy sofa overlooking one of the world’s biggest lakes, staring in the distance towards a country (Congo DRC) that I have never visited so far, I realized life is pretty damn epic!
Thanks to the staff and the management of Lupita Island to let me experience this exclusive luxury lodge/island/resort on Lake Tanganyika.
It was definitely one of the highlights of my Tanzania trip! In the visitors book I wrote:
I will be back, but next time I bring a girl! :)