Beautiful beaches,indescribable sunsets, friendly locals
not the easiest to get in and out of - but that may be a good thing
malawi is gold
Lake Malawi National Park is located a little bit further south west in the peninsula, not far from Cape Maclear. It's a freshwater national park with tropical fish. The park is a World Heritage Site, and includes a land area around the cape and up to 100 metres off shore. You have to pay to get in.more
The beach of Cape Maclear is on the north-western tip of the penisula. The water is calm here compared to other places at the lake. 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 "Domwe island" cover the view to the north.Cape Maclear looks like a real beach resort,...more
The restaurant and eating area in Gecko Lodge is one of the best in Cape Maclear. The food taste good, but is a bit expensive for a "backpacker budget". The restaurant close at 9 PM, like most of the restaurants in Cape Maclear. But you can some snacks later. Egg, bacon, toast, beans. This is the best breakfast in Cape Maclear, but costs 1000 MKW,...more
The restaurant in Fat Monkeys Lodge was driven by some locals who had their own business. The food could have been better and cheaper. Although the eating area and bar in front of the shore line was very nice. The sunset view is the best I have seen. (see other tip).The restaurant close at 9 PM, like most of the restaurants in Cape Maclear. Pizza...more
The bar at Gecko Lodge rocks the night in Cape Maclear. Disco "PA-system" play loud music until 3 AM in the week-ends.
Monkey Bay is the last stop for the bus to Cape Maclear. From Monkey Bay to Lilongwe you have two options. My advice is to take the bus on the new road along the southern tip of Lake Malawi to Golomoti, and then straight to Lilongwe. But the bus leaves early in the morning. The last option is to take a minibus or pick-up to Mangochi and further...more
Some of the locals have small boats, and beach boys often try to sell guided tours or other trips to tourists. A man offered me the trip from Cape Maclear to Senga bay, another resort on the western side of Lake Malawi, for 120 USD. I tried to bargain, but he wouldn't accept a lower price. The trip should take 3 hours with the boat on picture 1 (25...more
Dugout conoe is a hollowed tree trunk. Dugouts canoes are paddled in Lake Malawi, and are mostly used for fishing and transport. It's the most common means of communication in the lake. I had the pleasure to try this canoe in the lake. I thought it would be original and fun to try an African dugout canoe instead of the plastic canoe. The dugout...more
"Bilharzia" is a human disease caused by parasitic worms called Schistosomes. Calm freshwater in Africa normally carries the parasite. It is said that the population of snails in Lake Malawi carry the parasite. But the locals denies it and say a Danish project eliminated the parasite some years ago. I paddled in the lake for more than one hour with...more
This Camel spider was in my bungalow at Fat Monkeys in Cape Maclear. Camel spiders are usually found in the Arab countries and can be up to 12 cm. This one was aprox 5-6 cm. They are not venomous, but can be dangerous since the mechanical effect of a bite will cause a huge wound which will are infections caused by bacteria.more
Lake Malawi is high malaria zone. Especially during the rainy season. The American reception clerk at Fat Monkeys got malaria with headache and fever when I was there in August 2009. It shows how important it is to take anti-malaria drugs, even in the dry season. I have good experience with Doxycyclin tablets, and have never been sick on my trips...more
You must make plans for your late dinner because all the eating places in Cape Maclear close at 9 PM. You can not buy typical foreign food at the shops if you plan to make your own meal.Cape Maclear is also not the place to gain weight. The meals are often served in smaller portions to satisfy a hungry man.more
If you arrive Monkey Bay after dark and shall go to Cape Maclear, you may be asked by locals to take a privat pick-up. The regular transports don't drive after dark and they will try to charge you a very high price since they know you are stuck in Monkey Bay. Monkey Bay has nothing to offer tourists. Make sure to be at Monkey Bay before dark. If...more
Its not directly a tourist trap but to pay 5 US $ entrance fee to get into the worlds first "underwater national park" is quite hefty! The idea is brilliant but the lack of money made it declining. The naval exhibition is in a very poor state, which is a big pity! (1998)more
About 5 kilometres from Chembe Village on the road to Monkey Bay is a place called Mwala Wa Mphini which means as much as ?rock of the tribal face scars. The place is about a hundred metres off the road, so watch the signpost. The rocks with its Scars is looking like they were done by an artist but they are geological formations! If you feel like...more
There are more than 500 different species of fish in Lake Malawi and about 350 are endemic! The lake is famous for it Cichlids. They can easy be spotted in the crystal clear waters. Snorkelling and scuba diving are quite exciting (if you like fish)!
Equipment: There are several places where equipment can be hired. The only 5 Starsdiving facility in the country is Scuba Shack. They offer introduction dives, casual dives, PADI courses (from beginners to instructor courses), technical diving courses etc.
PADI - Open water is 175 $
PADI - Advance 150 $
Casual dives 35 $
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...more