Mumbo Island Camp




  •  Mumbo Island is a fantasy lodge for short stay "Robinson Crusoes"
  •  Relax in a hammock, swim in the clear fresh water or go beach-combing between the boulders that line the water's edge
  •  Those looking for activity can try sea kayaking, snorkelling or scuba diving
  •  Mumbo is eco-friendly and uses sustainable materials
  •  Ideal for active family safaris in Malawi with a family tent available

Mumbo Island Camp is a luxuriously rustic and private eco-lodge on a practically deserted tropical island in Lake Malawi National Park, approx. 45 mins by boat from the lakeshore.

The actual camp lies under ancient fig and baobab trees. There are five reed chalets under thatch with wooden decks, each with glorious views over Lake Malawi. To get there, you head over a charming wooden bridge. Below the multi-coloured cichlid fish put on a show for snorkellers. Here you can enjoy kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, snorkelling or simply swaying in a shady hammock on your private deck.


The simply furnished reed chalets of Mumbo Island Camp are tucked into the lush foliage amongst the granite boulders. All have uninterrupted views across Lake Malawi. Each is simply furnished with its own shaded viewing deck and hammock. Next to each chalet is a simple bathroom with hot bucket showers and 'eco-loos'. (These are environmentally-friendly dry composter toilets to be precise. Non smelly!) Some bathrooms are adjacent to the chalets, almost en suite. And some are a few metres away depending on each chalet setting.

The family unit is in the forest, closer to the main areas. It has two twin bedded tents sharing one bathroom and a small sitting area. So that the camp takes 14 people in total. (The family tent is not raised high so there are no nasty drops to worry about. But it's important to note that it doesn't have a view.)


The most popular activities here are diving or snorkelling through the crystal-clear waters, lazing in a hammock in the 'chill-out' area or on your private deck, contemplating the breathtaking scenery. Each evening you can enjoy a boat cruise or even paddle around the headland to watch the sky turn scarlet, accompanied by the sound of mewing fish eagles and splashing otters.

Lake Malawi National Park is the first freshwater marine reserve in Africa and became a World Heritage Site in 1984. The warm waters of Lake Malawi National Park boast some 2000 species. It's no wonder this region of Lake Malawi is often considered the best freshwater diving and snorkelling location in the world.

Mumbo Island Camp is a PADI registered resort. Beginner, advanced and speciality courses in scuba diving are on offer, as well as gear hire and casual dives. The waters in this part of Lake Malawi are particularly clear making this one of the best dive sites on Lake Malawi. Plus keen birders will enjoy looking out for the plentiful Fish Eagles. You can also enjoy swimming, kayaking, and bird watching with guided or self-guided trails through around the island to various viewpoints.


Mumbo Island Camp adheres to strict principles of sustainable building, so the dining area, bar and water sport gazebo, are all hand built from timber, thatch and canvas.

Unlike most island destinations, Mumbo Island has never been populated by humans and is still in its natural state. This, together with the focus on non-motorised water sports, makes Mumbo Island Camp ideal for the active outdoors enthusiast.

Mumbo Island Camp on the map


Click on the Green Dot to see Room Images

Mumbo Island Camp - Standard Tents

There are five twin bedded tents. Please note that the single beds can be pushed together to make a double bed.


Mumbo Island Camp - Family Tent

There is one family tent with four single beds. Please note that the single beds can be pushed together to make a double bed.


Still a rustic island paradise – Mumbo Island

I last saw Mumbo island back 2014 and so i was keen to see how it was now. Bottom line is it hasn't changed at all. I still think it is absolutely charming and I would love to go back and spend 2-3 nights there with my family.

(Please read my original review, as well as my comments still stand)

BUT it is very rustic and it will not suit everyone. There are five reed chalets set on a tiny island connected by a wooden walkway to the beach on Mumbo Island. They are very simply furnished with a private bathroom complete with eco-loo and bucket showers. Some of these are almost en suite. But some are a few metres away.

We can request specific chalets but which one we would recommend depends on when you are visiting. I loved all of them but each was slightly different.

I am not so keen on the Forest family tented unit. So personally I would wait to come here with older children/teenagers so that you can all stay in the reed chalets.

This is ideal for people who love the idea of a digital detox and who don't need loads of activities. You can enjoy some kayaking (50-60 mins to kayak around the island), a sunset cruise with sundowners, even a sunset kayak though then you have to balance your drinks so not as restful. There are easy walks around the island and snorkeling.

But really its all about relaxing on the beach with a good book, having an afternoon siesta or enjoying a family board game.

Food is simple but delicious. The main lodge is also rustic but charming (to my taste).

Important Notes

Dec to mid March – they don’t recommend, even though they are open as it is simply so hot. October – very hot and dry. November is hot but very pretty with orange and yellow NEW leaves (go figure!)

No electricity so cameras and phones should be fully charged on arrival. (Though there is one spot in the main lodge where you can sometimes charge but it is not guaranteed. Think digital detox.

No electricity means no fans or air-con in the chalets. So think about whether you can cope with sleeping in the heat if you come in Oct or November.

They can offer PADi or RAID dive courses via cape Maclear Scuba (pre-booked basis)

They can offer massages (again if pre-booked). Moira will come out to the island to do them.

Any dietary requirements need to be given ahead of time so that they can get in supplies from Lilongwe, as the local shops at Cape Maclear sell only regular items,

Cedarberg : Kate Bergh


Full Board & Accommodation, non-motorised water sports and scheduled return transfers between camp and the island.

Family Suitability

Family-friendly all ages

Malaria Rating

Malarial area year-round

Good For

Adventure, Birding, Hiking, Nature, Watersports, Wildlife