Cape Maclear is situated on the southern lake shore. It is about 20 kms from Monkey Bay.
It's a great place to do a boattrip. The local guys organise these trips and guide you to the nicest areas.
Snorkeling is great, but again be careful with the bilarzia disease !!!!!
Very close to Cape Maclear is Lake Malawi national park. You have to pay to get in.
While making a boattour, the guys get you in the park through a back entrance and so you can visit the many islands that are around without having to pay the entrance fee, because you dont really visit the park.
Teh local guys organise the tour. Ask around because prices can be very different. The average cost of a boattrip is about 50 US for the party and it takes up to 2 hours.
Make sure you get to see the fisheagles. It is amazing how they catch the fish with their claws.
The boat people usually buy small fishes, throw them in the air and then you can see the eagles coming down from the baobabs and take the fish out of the water. You cant believe your eyes when they pass the little boat you are in, at about 2 meters at a very high speed. Fantastic !!!!!!
When we lived in Malawi, my family made a trip to Lake Malawi. We had so much fun in the water, kayaking and swimming. By the way, if you don't already know, kayaking gives you a bit of a work out, so if you want some exercise, I highly recommend it! The experience was really special to me because although I was only between the ages of 5-8 (can't remember which yeaer it was exactly), it was a family trip and we all had a great time! Also, I remember that there were tons of baboons (monkeys, for those who are not familiar with the term) milling around the place. People aren't allowed to feed them, otherwise, they might become too comfortable around people and who knows what might happen then!
A couple of 100 metres from the entrance of the Malawi National park, at Cape Maclear, there is a small number of missionary graves, indicating the last resting place of Dr. William Black and some other missionaries.
They tried to establish a mission, but in the end all got killed by malaria.
Small, little lodges and shops are located at the shores of the lake at Cape Maclear.
Lots of youngster hang around and try to sell their woodcarvings and other stuff.
I bought a Malawi Bowl game, made of ebony wood. Not expensive and a nice souvenir.
Liwonde National Park is a really a nice way to see African wildlife and feel like you are alone in the wilderness. Liwonde is a huge park almost 600 sq km and what is really nice is you can stay in a real African village a traditional rural Malawian village. The one and only lodge are tents in the Mvuu Wilderness Lodge it is a tiny cute place very cozy in stunningly beautiful setting. The Birdlife is just amazing, in fact along with the parks in Northern Botswana this is as good as it gets for Bird lovers. it is prolific with the park regarded as one of the finest birding spots in Africa. Lots of animals as well elephant, hippos, lions, reedbuck, oribi, leopard, serval. crocodile, sable antelope, impala to name a few.
The first day we strolled around in the old town, not far from our resthouse, and visited the market.
At the market it was very busy. The African swinging music accompanied us.
Everything for sale has its own area at the market: vegetables like cassave, fruits, thatch, wood , aluminum goods and so on.
I liked it to walk around and to feel the atmosphere, the easiest and quickest way to be back with my both feet on the African soil.
It was the first time my friend accompanied me. For him was Malawi a nice and friendly country to start his African experience.
Malawi is also called "Africa for beginners"
Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi.
Llilongwe has two centres, 3 KM apart, the Old Town and the New City, called City Centre. The old town has soul, in the new town not much happens.
Most visitors arrive in the old town, so we did. The heart of the old town is the market.
The old town with its vivid market is a pleasant place to stroll around. There are some bars and cheap hotels. In the Asian quarter are small shops selling clothes, household utensils and stuff like that.
Lake Malawi is one of the main attractions of the country. At the southern end of the lake is the Nankumba Peninsula and Cape Maclear is the tip.
From Monkey Bay, the boatferries- and bus- terminal, you can easily reach Cape Maclear penisula.
Cape Maclear is a very popular spot with travellers, been described as backpackers Mecca and the African answer to Katmandhu and Marrakech.
We stayed in lovely roundavels at the beach with sun, sand, water and breathtaking sunsets in front, like paradise. What more could we wish?
The Lake Malawi National Park covers most of the peninsula Cape Maclear, the surrounding lake and nine off-shore islands.
This park is the most important freshwater fish sanctuary in Africa.
Several fishing villages, like Chembe, remain unprotected enclaves within the Park .
From the Golden Sands entrance gate and the Park headquarters a small path leads to the hills overlooking the bay. After a few hundred meters you see first the small graveyard of the missionaries.
After the graves the path goes uphill. There are several routes. The shortest one, we did, was one and a half hour.
It's a nice walk to do early in the morning.
The area of Cape Maclear and the Lake Malawi National Park is very scenic.
The beaches are ringed by forested hills and faced by several islands. The sunsets are spectacular.
The underwater world offers the opportunity to see a diversity of colourful fishes. There is a underwater snorkelling trail, with a waterproof map provided.
Going to one of the small island can give you the real Robinson Crusoe feeling.
You can sit on the beach, walk a trail, do all kind of watersports, but the nicest thing to do is making a boattrip organised by the local people to one of the islands in the Lake Malawi National Park.
These trips include a fish barbecue. Every resthouse offers these trips, but it can be useful to shop around an ask other travellers for recommendations.
We made an halfday trip from 1 pm till dusk for a few dollars per person.
It's wonderful to be on the water of Lake Malawi. The views at the peninsula and the island are really beautiful.
Dug-out canoes with local people pass by.
Sometimes some local canoes come to visiti our boat, because the people have some goods for sale, like selfmade jewellery. The vendors in Malawi behave very friendly.
On the lake we saw some fish-eagles. The crew of our boat tried to lure them with small fishes.
The 40 KM stretch of the Shire River in the Liwonde National Park has more than 2000 hippo's, so one every 20 meters. This must be one of the densest hippo populations on the African continent.
Also there are a lot of crocodiles in the Shire River and some are very large.
We didn't see any crocodile during our boatride or our stay, the only thing we saw, was a young hippo wounded by the attack of a crocodile.
And we didn't see an hippo at every 20M either, but we saw them anyway.
So we saw a group during the boatride, rather far away and we watched some from the Hippo Bar at our lodge. And we heard them very loudly from our hotelroom during the night.
From the boat we saw three times 5 or 7 elephants on the green banks of the Shire River. In Liwonde National Park are 800 elephants, so it's rather common to see one or more herds.
In the park are only a few lions. Cheetahs and giraffes are absent . Rhino's are reintroduced in the parc, sponsored by J&B whiskey. So the two rhinos have the name Justerini and Brooks
Further there are antelope species like waterbuck, bushbuck, impala, kudu and sable and there is a lot of birdlife.
The Zomba Plateau is immediately to the east of the town of Zomba with sheer escarpments rising more than thousand metre above thye plain.
The Zomba Plateau is one of the most popular areas in Malawi for walking and hiking. The plateau is protected in Malawi's oldest forest reserve (1913). There is not much wilderness, like in other Malawi's highland areas. There is a road to the top and the plateau itself is covered by motorable tracks and by many foothpaths.
We visited the plateau only for one day.
If you like to stay longer, there is an hotel and a campsite.
In the weekend the Zomba Plateau is popular with local residents.
I had a wonderful stay at Madidi Lodge in April 2011. The manager/owners are very friendly and...more
2 HANNOVER AVENUE, Blantyre, MA 1
Good for: Couples
We stopped here for lunch on a trip through the area. It was a beautiful setting on a patio...more
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