Cape Maclear Travel Guide

  • Walking through Chembe village
    Walking through Chembe village
    by georeiser
  • Cape Maclear
    by Bisa1979
  • Cape Maclear
    by Bisa1979

Cape Maclear Things to Do

  • Lake Malawi National Park

    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.

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  • Thumbe island

    Thumbe (or Thumbi) island is one km from Cape Maclear beach (see picture). I had the pleasure to paddle with a macaro (dugout canoe) to this island. There are mostly rocky shores and the vegetation is overgrown. Nothing to do there.

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  • In the streets of Cape Maclear

    Cape Maclear and Chembe village is a community with almost 13000 inhabitants. It looks much smaller due to the basic infrastructure. The main road is a dusty gravel road.

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  • The beach

    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,...

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  • Sunset at Cape Maclear

    Cape Maclear is on the north-western tip of the peninsula, and the sunset is right in front of 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.

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  • glass bottom boat

    this is a must, get on the glass bottom boat and take a short cruise along lake malawi...you are guaranteed to see an array of rainbow fish..its awesome!

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Cape Maclear Restaurants

  • The restaurant at Gecko Lodge

    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,...

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  • The restaurant at Fat Monkeys

    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...

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  • The restaurant at Cape Mac Lodge

    Froggies restaurant at Cape Mac Lodge is a fine french restaurant. The restaurant close at 9 PM, but it is possible to speak with the staff and make arrangements later.

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Cape Maclear Nightlife

  • georeiser's Profile Photo

    by georeiser Written Dec 12, 2009

    The bar at Gecko Lodge rocks the night in Cape Maclear. Disco "PA-system" play loud music until 3 AM in the week-ends.

    Gecko Lodge rocks the nights in Cape Maclear Gecko Lodge rocks the nights in Cape Maclear Gecko Lodge rocks the nights in Cape Maclear
    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Backpacking
    • Beer Tasting

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Cape Maclear Transportation

  • Bus from Monkey Bay to Lilongwe

    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...

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  • Small boats

    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...

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  • Dugout canoe

    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...

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Cape Maclear Shopping

  • Do you want to buy fish

    A woman sold small fish on a table beside a gravel road. Street stalls like this are typical for Malawi where self-sufficiency is crucial. A charming way of doing small business. Small fish from Lake Malawi. One fish was 50 MKW (0,35 USD).

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  • Small shops and stalls

    Cape Maclear has only small shops and stalls where you can buy food and drinks. The size are not bigger than an ordinary kiosk. You can buy bread, softdrinks, beer, biscuits, chocolate and goodies.

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  • Local pre-paid SIM cards

    Local prepaid SIM cards are sold in many local shops in Cape Maclear. You can buy them almost everywhere. It's much cheaper to use a local SIM card inside Malawi than a foreign SIM card.The country code is +265.

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Cape Maclear Warnings and Dangers

  • Bilharzia

    "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...

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  • Dangerous spiders

    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.

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  • Malaria

    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...

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Cape Maclear Tourist Traps

  • Cape Maclear is no "food paradise"

    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.

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  • Transport from Monkey Bay to Cape...

    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...

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  • Lake Malawi National Park

    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)

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Cape Maclear What to Pack

  • Bring your own sun tan lotion

    Bring your own sun tan lotion, shaving foam and moisture cream. It's almost not possible to buy it in Cape Maclear.

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  • Torch

    At Cape Maclear there is hardly no electricity, so the roads are very dark (unless its full moon). Bring a torch!

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  • Cape Maclear Hotels

    0 Hotels in Cape Maclear

Cape Maclear Off The Beaten Path

  • Walking through Chembe village

    A walk through Chembe village is a pleasant experience. The people are living in very basic condition, but they are happy and you will be met with an accommodating attitude.

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  • Mawala Wa Mphini

    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...

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  • Missionary Graves

    A nice short walk is to the graves of the missionaries, who died there in 1875. When they tried to establish the first mission.The graves are not far from the entrance of to Lake Malawi National Park and the big baoba.

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Cape Maclear Sports & Outdoors

  • frockland's Profile Photo

    by frockland Updated Jul 13, 2004

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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 $

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Cape Maclear Favorites

  • Noise from Gecko Lodge

    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...

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  • Fishermen in Lake Malawi

    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.

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  • Road signs in Cape Maclear

    The main gravel road in Cape Maclear has some few home made road signs. Mostly to inform tourists where to find the guesthouses.

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Explore Deeper into Cape Maclear
Domestic animals
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Mobile pylons
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Bar, grocery and eating place Thomas's
Restaurants
The best restaurant in Cape Maclear
Restaurants
Labana restraunt
Restaurants
The drummer
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Cape Maclear intro
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Lake Malawi contains the largest number of fish
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Chembe water project
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Water contamination
Warnings and Dangers
Handmade crafts
Shopping
The beach sellers
Shopping
Bicycles
Transportation
Pick-ups to Cape Maclear
Transportation
Child workers in Cape Maclear
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Local African house
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Cape Maclear not great!
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Chembe Aids Project
Things to Do
Exellent food
Restaurants
Otter point
Things to Do
Hiking
Things to Do
Fresh water?
Warnings and Dangers
the back of a pickup!
Transportation
Potholes
Transportation
Over charging lifts
Warnings and Dangers
Dugout day trips, picknik, trekking tours
Things to Do
Waiting for the ferry
Favorites
Map of Cape Maclear

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