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Mumbo Island Camp

Mumbo Island Camp

Mumbo Island Camp is situated on an island in Lake Malawi, and visitors will gaze in wonder at the crystal clear water. The lake’s more than 2,000 species of freshwater fish are a greater variety than any other lake on Earth and more than all of Europe and North America combined. The majority of these are colorful fish are cichlids (locally named mbuna). All but five of over 350 species of the cichlids are endemic to Lake Malawi.

Mumbo Island is accessed by motorboat or kayak, departing from Cape Maclear. Motorboats can reach the islnd in 45 minutes, while a leisurely kayak trip will take at least a couple of hours.

Much of Lake Malawi’s astounding underwater diversity is protected within the Lake Malawi National Park (centered at Cape Maclear in the south), a World Heritage Site and the first area in the world set aside for the protection of freshwater fish. Lake Malawi is Africa's third largest and second deepest lake, measuring about 400 miles north to south and fifty miles wide in places. The lake dominates the eastern side of Malawi, constituting roughly 20% of the country’s surface area. Lake Malawi is an essential part of the cultural heritage of Malawians and is a vast trove of natural resources. A number of islands pepper the lake, separated from the mainland by alternating bands of sandy flats and deep water. Palm-fringed beaches and soaring mountains surround the warm, crystal-clear waters of Lake Malawi. Picturesque fishing villages dot the shoreline, their cultures unchanged for thousands of years.

Mumbo Island Camp has five twin tents that are accessed via a pontoon bridge from the main beach and dining area. The tents are perched on rocks high above the water and are shaded by lush foliage. Each tent has bucket showers, “eco-loos,” and a wooden deck with hammocks. A twin-tented family unit is tucked into the forest near the main beach. The main beach has a dining area, bar, and water sport gazebo built with timber, canvas, and thatch.

Lake Malawi offers some of the best freshwater scuba diving in the world, and Mumbo Island is the best snorkeling on the Lake. The island lies six miles northwest of Cape Maclear, where the reception and the nearest road access are located.

The shores of Lake Malawi are well known for their animal diversity. Not surprisingly, water birds are particularly abundant. On Mumbo Island itself spotted-necked otter and the rarer cape clawless otter occur. Spotted-necked otter are curious creatures and are remarkably unafraid of humans. They often join guests for a snorkel or swim. In addition, it is common to find quite a number of rainbow skink. Two species of non-venomous snake inhabit the island, namely the variegated bush snake and African rock python.

Activities at Mumbo Island Camp focus on the lake! Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and swimming are the favorites. Birding on the island is particularly enjoyable. Five nature trails on the island are clearly marked and can be explored with a guide.

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