Southern Explorer – Mvuu & Mumbo Island

The Mvuu & Mumbo Island safari is an enchanting wildlife and beach holiday which is a great introduction to unspoilt Malawi. It could also be the basis for a longer stay (perhaps combining it with a fly-in safari  to the Nyika Plateau).

You stay first at one of the best loved safari camps in Malawi, Mvuu Wilderness Lodge in the Liwonde National Park. Next you travel by road north to Cape MacClear on the southern part of Lake Malawi. From here you are transferred by boat to Mumbo Island Camp for three magical nights of Robinson Cruscoe living – but with a great deal more comfort and style!

Accommodation at a glance:

1 night – Lilongwe at Heuglin’s Lodge or similar (BB)

3 nights – Mvuu Wilderness Lodge (Option 1)  or Mvuu Camp (Option 2), Liwonde National Park – Full Board & Game Activities

3 nights – Mumbo Island Camp (Option 1) or Makokola Retreat (Option 2), Lake Malawi – Full Board & Selected Activities

We have given the tour at two different price points. Option One combines 3 nights at Mvuu Lodge with 3 nights at Mumbo Island Camp. Option Two combines the more modest Mvuu Camp with the Makokola Retreart.

See Day by Day
Day 1

On arrival in Lilongwe, you are met and transferred to Heuglin’s Lodge or Latitude 13 for an overnight stay (BB basis)

(You need to overnight in Lilongwe because most of the flights arrive too late for you to transfer to Mvuu in daylight, let alone enjoy a safari activity…)

Accommodation: Latitude 13
Located in: Malawi

Days 2 to 43

This morning you are transferred to Liwonde National Park in Southern Malawi.

The Liwonde Park is a marvellous game reserve, lush and wild with the best game viewing in Malawi. It offers vintage safaris with a lush diversity of habitats. The wide and scenic Shire River, as well as riverine marsh, quiet lagoons, mopane woodland and open grassland, are home to crocodile, hippo, lion, leopard, large breeding herds of elephant, sable antelope and many other game.

Option 1 – Mvuu Wilderness Lodge, Full Board & Game Activities

Mvuu Wilderness Lodge is a small and very pretty luxury tented lodge of five tents including one honeymoon tent. The setting of Mvuu is hard to beat – on the edge of a lily-strewn lagoon just off the Shire River where elephant frequently come to drink. Five spacious ‘Hemingway-style’ en suite tents, recently enlarged, each have their own secluded viewing platform overlooking the lake.

Option 2 – Mvuu Camp,  Full Board & Game Activities

Mvuu Camp is the more modest option in Liwonde National Park. It is a clever mix of twelve stone and canvas chalets: eight en suite one bedroom chalets and four family chalets with two bedrooms sharing one bathroom. An impressive thatched dining and lounge area offers a magnificent vista of the Shire River. Meals are taken in the riverside restaurant or sometimes under the stars in their boma. The camp is perfect for families with a large swimming pool, children’s play area and curio shop.

Accommodation: Mvuu Lodge
Located in: Liwonde National Park - Malawi

Accommodation: Mvuu Camp
Located in: Liwonde National Park - Malawi

Days 5 to 8

Transfer to Mumbo Island on Lake Malawi, 3 nights

After a final early morning game activity, you are transferred by road to Cape Maclear where you meet your boat for the short boat transfer over to Mumbo Island in Lake Malawi.

Lake Malawi is the stellar attraction of Malawi, with miles of pristine sandy beaches, rocky outcrops and islands, with the call of the African fish eagle ever present. Picturesque fishing villages blend into the natural vegetation and everywhere people smile and seem delighted to see you. Water sports on Lake Malawi include scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking, sailing and just chilling out by the lapping waters.

Option 1 – Mumbo Island Camp, Fully Inclusive of Meals & Selected Activities

Mumbo Island Camp is a luxuriously rustic and private eco-lodge on an island in Lake Malawi National Park. This is a sort of fantasy lodge for short stay “Robinson Crusoes” amid ancient fig and baobab trees – but with a whole lot more comfort and style. You can relax in a hammock on your deck, swim in the clear fresh water or go beach-combing between the boulders. If its activity you are after, you can try kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving.

Alternative Option 2 – Makokola Retreat, Dinner, Bed & Breakfast

Accommodation: Mumbo Island Camp
Located in: Lake Malawi - Malawi

Day 8

Transfer to Lilongwe by road

On your last day, you cross by boat back to the mainland and are then transferred back to Lilongwe by road.

View Interactive Itinerary
See Route on Map
Accommodation, meals as specified, road transfers between Lilongwe and the lodges, boat transfers to Mumbo Island Camp and back, game activities in Liwonde National Park and non-motorised water activities at Lake Malawi, park fees
All drinks and motorised water sports such as diving at Mumbo
Best time to go:
Best between April & November
Health requirements:
Anti-malarial precautions essential
Slightly lower prices for parties of 4 or more
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