Lake Malawi is Malawi’s stellar attraction, great for kayaking, diving and yachting.
March to September
Lake Malawi is the stellar attraction of a Malawi safari, enriching every aspect of its life. A stay at one of the Lake Malawi resorts is the ideal wind-down at the end of your Malawi safari. Effectively it doubles as a ‘beach stay’. The sandy shores of Lake Malawi are by far the closest “beach” to the prime game reserve of South Luangwa and Kafue.
This vast expanse of bright blue water makes up some 20% of the whole of Malawi! Over 2,000 species of fish occur in the crystal-clear waters of Lake Malawi. This includes the colourful endemic cichlids that are easily spotted when snorkelling.
A quirky off-the-beaten-track destination on Lake Malawi is Likoma Island. This is a remote island near the Mozambique border with a cathedral which would be at home in Britain. All mixed in with a laid back tropical island ambiance.
The beautiful mountainous terrain surrounding much of Lake Malawi doesn’t make for productive farming. So the lake itself is a vital part of the Malawi economy. Fish such as chambo and kapenta make up the main protein source for the lakeside people. So at night, the lake is sparkling with the tiny lights of the fishermen using lights and paddle bangs to attract the fish.
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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).
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,
Africa Travel Specialist
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