Experience an oasis of natural beauty at Mumbo Island, the ultimate paradise of untouched wonder. Surround yourself with lush, dense vegetation and an abundance of wildlife as you explore one kilometer of pristine natural beauty in the vast Lake Malawi National Park. Discover a world beneath the waves as you take in the breathtaking views while snorkeling and SCUBA diving. Marvel at the incredible variety of brilliant colored cichlid fish swimming amongst massive underwater boulders – all set against crystal clear water. Welcome to a place where years-old tradition meets modern amenities in harmony for one unforgettable getaway. Here, discover true rest and relaxation surrounded by a tranquil atmosphere with nothing but nature’s perfection to keep you company.

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The tiny camp caters for only fourteen guests (five double chalets and one four-bed forest unit). The chalets are tastefully furnished with shaded decks, hammocks, hot bucket showers and ‘eco-loos’. A dining area with bar, lovely lounge under a baobab tree and a watersport gazebo and beach shower and loos complete camp infrastructure. The whole camp is built of timber, thatch and canvas, and is perched on high rocks overlooking the water, blending with the African bush to create a ‘Robinson Crusoe’ atmosphere of rustic charm.

THE CHALETS & TENTS
The five reed chalets are situated on the tiny islet of “Jumbo”, reached by a wooden bridge from Mumbo’s main beach. The dining area, lounge and forest chalet are tucked into the forest on the main island.

Chalets are set as far apart from one another as possible to guarantee privacy. Each chalet has its own en suite bathroom, deck with hammock and a spectacular view over the turquoise waters of Mumbo. Bed linens are of 100% cotton, grass mats and cane furniture are made locally, the water bottles and glasses are recycled wine bottles made on the island and the kikoi throws, for use as beach wraps, are sourced from Kenya. We have tried to cater for every comfort, whilst keeping everything as simple and local as possible.

THE BATHROOMS
Mumbo’s en suite bathrooms are constructed from reeds and wood. They feature beautiful wooden basin surrounds, reed shower floors, suspended bucket showers (heated by solar), eco-loos with wooden seats and biodegradable shower treats in glass bottles with carved wooden stoppers. They all have gorgeous lake views too, and are often built to incorporate the trees and rocks growing around them.

Our ‘dry composter’ loos work beautifully and without any odour. We provide fragrant wood shavings to use instead of flushing with water. And eventually the waste is transported back to the mainland to be buried for a year and then used as fantastic compost in the gardens and in tree growing projects. Great recycling!

“GREEN” DECOR ON MUMBO
Every cushion on the island has been covered with a fabulous array of chitenjes cloths from the local market. Beds are woven of local cane, and all the wooden furniture was made in our workshops and features fine hand-painted detailing done by Marzi, one of the founders of Mumbo camp. Our comfortable cane chairs were woven in Malawi. The decor work is all carried out by local craftsmen – the village tailor upholsters, the carvers carve all the bottle stoppers, ashtrays, mirror frames and the many little details which make Mumbo so special: everything that can be is done on site or in the village. This is very different from many upmarket African lodges, where interior decorators import almost everything they use…

When we re-covered the cushions this year, some of the chitenje fabric was still in good nick, so we paid the village tailor to make 100 new shirts and dresses for the orphans of Chembe Village. A great story of re-using and re-cycling!

MEAL OPTIONS:

Full catering (three meals per day) is available at an extra cost.

Chef hire is available for those who can bring their own food.
All catering and chef hire must be prebooked.

You can swim in the warm, crystal clear waters; snorkel in secluded, fish-filled bays; kayak around the island and explore hidden coves and caves; hike along carefully laid trails which traverse the island and meander through the beautiful Miombo forest – or you can take it easy and enjoy the beach from the comfort of the beach loungers, swing in your private hammock on your tent deck or take tea in our comfortable lounge. We have a small book exchange and a selection of games – not least of which is the local game of bawo.

All activities are optional – you choose how to spend your time with us.

Kayak and snorkelling gear may be hired for use in the sheltered bays at the camps.
Longer guided kayak excursions and a sunset cruise can be booked while on the island.
SCUBA diving is on offer but must be booked in advance.

KAYAKING
The protected waters of the National Park bring sea kayaking within reach of anyone, irrespective of fitness or experience. The two-person kayaks are large and stable, and the guides are local residents with an intimate knowledge of the area. Guests with a sense of adventure have the option of kayaking out to Mumbo Island from reception on the beach at Cape Maclear. All gear is provided and included in the price.

SCUBA
Experience an underwater world of giant granite boulders and hundreds of multi-coloured freshwater tropical fish! Lake Malawi is a great place to SCUBA dive, ideally suited to beginners or those who prefer relaxed diving with no dangers. Mumbo is a PADI registered resort, offering beginner, advanced and specialty courses, as well as gear hire and casual dives. Diving courses and casual dives are not included in the price and must preferably be booked before you visit.

Cape Maclear Scuba offer PADI courses from Beginner to Divemaster in a relaxed, friendly and professional environment. The classes are small and the focus is on safety and fun. Cape Maclear Scuba’s dive instructor is Rob Assad, originally a Joburg boy, although he’s been there for years, assisted by Divemaster Fred Wadi, a local Cape Maclear guy. Both chaps are highly rated by all those who dive with them.

There are many dive options, from the famous Zimbawe rocks off Mumbo for deep dives, granite pinnacles, caves, and much more. You can even do a night dive if that thrills you. Frogman pride themselves on having zero dive accidents in the 12 years they have been diving at Cape Maclear.

SNORKELING
The colourful Cichlid fish, coupled with the massive granite boulders that make up much of the underwater terrain, makes for a truly remarkable and unusual snorkeling experience, which once again is enhanced by the calm, warm and clear fresh-water. The island’s only mammals – the Spotted-neck Otter – are remarkably tame and sometimes join guests for a swim or snorkel!

HIKING
Nature trails weave their way through the massive granite boulders that constitute the island. The island is heavily wooded, hosting baobab (Adansonia digitata) and several species of Ficus, Sterculia, Khaya, Albizia and Brachystegia. A map is provided in every tent and extras are available at the bar. There are no poisonous snakes or dangerous animals on Mumbo, so you can walk anywhere with confidence and are rewarded by magnificent views. Our guide will take a guided walk every morning at 9:30 on request.

OR JUST RELAX!
All this may sound very energetic and only some of us find relaxation through exercise. Others may find that swinging in the hammock on their private deck overlooking the lake is more to their taste. Others may find reading a book in the comfy shaded lounge deck very relaxing. Or one could learn to play the local game of bawo, or settle in for a game of chess on the hand-inlaid and carved chess board. There is a games cupboard full of choices and a small book exchange on the lounge deck. There are also many quiet places to get away from everyone and simply relax in whatever way you need.

 

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