Rating: Modest Price from: £130 - £150 pp full board
Mumbo Island is run by Kayak Africa an adventure-safari operator specialising in sea kayak and small boat safaris on Lake Malawi, and hike-bike-kayak safaris around Southern Malawi. They operate a base camp at Cape Maclear with a dive school and other activities available. Mumbo Island is also part of the prestigious Wilderness Safaris portfolio of properties.
Mumbo Island is a pristine and deserted natural island, and the undisputed jewel of the Lake Malawi National Park. A stay on Mumbo, whether a relaxing, castaway experience, or something more adventurous, is truly memorable. From the deck of your room gaze into the clear waters of the lake with the myriad of colourful cichlid fish. Snorkelling here is a delight, your own personal fish tank!
Mumbo Island camp is best described as 'rustic comfort' and has a dining area and lounge bar, the rooms have en-suite toilets and showers (the toilets are eco compost loos), and a four-bed family unit. Each tented room is privately located being separated by large natural boulders and bushes.
The waters around the island are clean and calm, and allow all guests - irrespective of fitness or experience - to enjoy sea kayaking, snorkeling and SCUBA diving. The island's only mammals -Spotted-necked Otters and Cape Clawless Otters - are remarkably playful and regularly join guests for a snorkel or swim. There are many lizards on the islands, including a large number of monitor lizards and small colourful varieties too. Listen to the haunting cry of the majestic Fish Eagle as they circle the huge boulders of the island hunting their prey! There are marked nature trails around the main island and some lovely look out points.
Photographs by Dana Allen, Alistair Berg & Nick Aldrige, courtesy of Wilderness Safaris
Open: Mumbo Island Camp is open from late February till early January each year.
Location: The camp is on Mumbo Island, 1km in diameter, in Lake Malawi National Park near the Cape Maclear peninsula. The camp has a reception on the mainland from where you can make the 45 minute boat ride across to the island. There are kayaks available if you prefer to make the 10km crossing independently, with your bags transported by boat. The nearest airstrip is at The Makokola Retreat about an hours’ drive from Cape Maclear.
Rooms: There are 6 rooms including a 4-bed family unit. These include both reed chalets and walk-in tents. All have en-suite bathrooms with bucket showers and eco toilets. Each tent has its own shaded deck with a hammock. Beds can be configured as twins or doubles. The camp sleeps a maximum of 14 guests.
Activities: Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and fishing are available in and on Lake Malawi. Mumbo is a PADI registered resort and the scuba diving is excellent. You can go for walks on the island following way-marked trails, hike to secluded coves using maps provided by staff, and go bird spotting. Guides are available to accompany walking and kayaking trips if you wish, though this is not compulsory. A post-breakfast guided walk can be arranged on request, and each afternoon there is a sunset cruise round the island with a coolbox for sundowner drinks. Cultural trips to nearby villages can be arranged.
Facilities: The camp has a restaurant and bar both overlooking the lake. The lounge provides ample shaded seating and there is a book swap service and a supply of board games so you should have plenty to keep you occupied. There are lots of private areas where you can relax. The camp provides a laundry service, pay locally. There is no electricity on the island, and there is solar powered lighting as well as lamps, after dark.
Dining: Meals are eaten at individual tables in the lakeside restaurant.
Children: Children of all ages are welcome. There is a family unit with 4 beds.
Health: This is a malaria area.
Communication: There is no internet access.
This 2-centre Malawi holiday is a perfect safari & beach combination, staying in lovely locations.
"The sun made a big difference to the Island which lost some of its magic on the day when it was cloudy. Swimming in the Lake was the highlight along with boat trips around the island at sunset"