Venice Beach itself is incredible, with fantastic scenery and a great village vibe.
However, after leaving the backpackers in the morning and getting back to town we realised both myself and my partner had had all of our large US Dollar notes stolen. These notes were in our bags, in our private room the entire time we were there.
Upon realising and telling various people both in Monkey Bay itself and in other parts of Malawi later in our travels, 3 other people informed us they had either had money stolen or knew of people who had money stolen from Venice Beach as well.
I would definitely recommend anyone in Monkey Bay stays somewhere else but visits Venice Beach during the day for a swim and to relax on the beach.
This is the best hotel I've ever stayed in, and I've stayed in some of the most famous hotels in the world. It's small -- I think seven rooms. The rooms are beautiful, with big beds, cotton sheets and an enormous mosquito net so you don't feel hemmed in. Each one includes an open-air shower, which is a delightful experience, and an airy ante-room. The cottages are almost on the beach, so you can wake up and sit in solitary splendour watching the sun rise over the millpond-smooth lake. The food is very very good -- a great English breakfast, fresh fruit (ah! pawpaw!), fish (ah! chambo!), lamb, steak, fresh vegetables, good local coffee and tea -- served out on the deck overlooking the beach. The service is fantastic -- attentive without being in the least bit obtrusive. Included in the price are boat trips on the lake -- Captain Crispin will take you snorkelling in the Kumbali, and owners Taffy & Jenny -- a priceless couple -- will take you out onto the lake to watch the sun go down on the hippos while you sip gin & tonic or wine, all the while gently squabbling in an old-married-couple kind of way. The only extras are the bar tab, and the price of drinks is extremely reasonable. All kinds of delightfully eccentric people are liable to drop by and astonish you with their travellers' tales. For $140 a night it's the best deal in the world. They need to make a special Six Star category for this place, I can't recommend it highly enough.
Rooms - perfect, especially the under-the-stars shower
View - perfect, especially at sunrise and sunset
Food - superb
Service - ditto
Entertainment - don't miss the Taffy & Jenny show
To inform readers that Njobvu backpackers is no longer in it's original setting. Birgit moved "lock, stock & barrel" to White Rock ( WELCOME INN) where one can find a very tranquil oasis set in beautiful scrub & gardens within easy waking distance of the lake. A great bar is to be found & smashing food. Birgit still need volunteers for the orphanage being built close by --Free bed & board in return for work! not a bad deal! without doubt the best place I've stayed in the area.
Three kilometers out of town on the Mangochi road is the "Njobvu Backpackers". Also known as "White Rock".
"White Rock" as everybody calls this place, is run by Birgit Albers who is manager of the "Back To School Foundation". There are three double rooms with toilettes and showers and one dorm. The rooms are basic but large.
A pool is under repair and might be ready now for a refreshing swim. Drinks are available in the "Welcome Inn" bar . Its a place where it is easy to meet locals.
Sandy the cook will prepare simple dishes.
The place is an inexpensive place as Birgit is charging local and not Mzungu prices!
Birgit is offering free accommodation for volunteers!*
Right next to the "harbor" is this decent looking place. if you arrive late at night with one of the boats it worth checking to avoid the dark main street!
Sorry didn´t check it but it was looking pretty ok!
This place is located near the lake with a nice sandy beach in the village of Masasa about 1,5 km away from Monkey Bay.
This place seems to be one of the never finished ones. The main building is still under construction.
They have rooms for:
single 700 MKW
double 1200 MKW
dorm 350 MKW
There is a place to eat and a bar. Internet access is possible if the phone line is working (1000 MKW / hrs)
The manager calls himself "Capatin Alex".
"Njobvu Lodge" is located behind the market, where the mini busses leave. Its a very friendly place. Its secure and camping is possible. A bed is 250 MKW.
The place is run by Birgit Albers a German lady with Australian passport. She is also running a social project with schools and students. If you want to work with the project, she will offer you free accomodation. She knows well about Malawi!!!
There is also a restaurant and email possibility (if the phone line is ok) for 1000 MKW / hrs.
Information about the project will follow soon
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