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Fondest memory: Gecko Lodge rocks the night in Cape Maclear. "PA-system" plays loud music in open-air until 3 AM in the week-ends. Very cool for young tourists, but definitive not OK for the locals who are living in their bamboo huts close to the loadspeakers. Is it an agreement between Gecko Lodge and the locals, or just a careless behaviour. The locals in Malawi are used to go to bed early at night and get up early in the morning. (See pictures of the bamboo huts and the loudspeakers)
Updated Dec 29, 2009
Favorite thing: Wonder if the locals are aware about radiant exposure?
Fondest memory: Mobile pylons are seen at the most remote places in Africa. Cape Maclear is no exception. The ugly pylons, masts and antennaes are a blot on the landscape.
Written Dec 11, 2009
Fondest memory: A boy with a drum walked around in the tourists area and played his drum while singing "How are you, I'm fine", over and over again. He wanted money for it, but this was OK. Better than begging, because there are some begging among the local children.
Written Dec 6, 2009
Fondest memory: Cape Maclear and Chembe village is a community with almost 13000 inhabitants on the north-western tip of the Nankumba penisula. It looks much smaller due to the basic infrastructure. The main road is just a dusty gravel road. Cape Maclear looks like a real beach resort, althought it's a lake. The long, sandy beach is beautiful. There are resorts and bamboo huts directly on the beach. The locals are apparently living in harmony with the tourists. They are doing their daily routines, wash their clothes, make food and have their small dugout canoes and fishingsboats right beside the tourists. Small children plays around on the beach. The African people are musical people. Especially in the morning you can hear the women sing when they are washing clothes. It gives a genuine African feeling. The evenings are also like this when the locals gather on the beach. Sitting on a chair and watch the sunset is really nice. It is understandable that backbackers have had Cape Maclear as one of their hidden gems.
You can easily see the western side of the lake from Cape Maclear. The nortern side is just water as far as you can see. But some small islands cover the view to the north.
Updated Dec 6, 2009
Favorite thing: Chembe water project stated to place water-taps throughout the village in 2006. And new taps have been installed lately. These taps deliver clean water to the people. Pumps pull water out of the lake from 150 meter. The water is first sent through a particle filter to remove debris and sediment. Then the water passes through a ultra-violet system to eliminate bacteria.
Updated Dec 6, 2009
Fondest memory: This is not the fondest memory or the favorite thing about Cape Maclear... Small children were carrying brinks from one place to another. They were doing this for many hours, but didn't complain. I don't know if the kids were in the same family, had a paid work or voluntary communal work.
Written Dec 5, 2009
Fondest memory: Cape Maclear contains a large community of poor African people. Many of the inhabitants lives in small mud houses or bamboo huts. There are also some houses made of bricks and corrugated iron.
Mud houses are made of wooden poles from trees. Then you make a circle of them about 3-4 metres across. Add twigs running horizontally round the poles and slap wet mud over it. Then add roof of grass, banana leaves or whatever you can find.
Written Dec 5, 2009
Favorite thing: I visited Cape Maclear in Jan 2008 and although there were still too many tourists there, it certainly was one of the worst places we stayed!
We had heard that it used to be 'the destination' but now it's quite overpriced, the beach looks a bit dirty, and the hassle from the beach boys is a NIGHTMARE!
Unless you stay within the confines of your accommodation at all times you will have boys constantly following you to make you buy something and if you step out for dinner you won't be able to enjoy as boys will sit at your table and try and sell you things all night.
Although there are still some friendly locals who are interested about you and want to tell you about themselves, it can be very stressful staying there as it's hard to get away!
Written Mar 9, 2008
Favorite thing: Although many travellers come to Chembe Village its still worth going. The beaches are excellent, the villagers are still friendly and the sunsets are unbelievable!
But beside of this - its also the best place if you want to take the ferry and have to wait a few days.
Fondest memory: THE SUNSETS!!!!
Written Feb 25, 2003
Fondest memory: Many local people in Cape Maclear are fishermen and the hole family take part in the business. The beach area of Cape Maclear is the base for their dugout canoes and fishing net maintainance.
Written Dec 12, 2009