Mumbo Island, Lake Malawi: The Lowdown

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If you’re a water baby dreaming of a laid-back island hideaway, then Mumbo is the Robinson Crusoe dream. This is a fabulous back-to-nature eco lodge on two tiny private islands on Lake Malawi.

What’s Mumbo Island really like?

First-off: if you are dreaming of a 5* luxury resort, and pumping entertainment, then Mumbo is almost certainly not for you. It’s wild, extremely down to earth and thoroughly wonderful; a muddle of boulders, sand and trees cast adrift on the azure waters of Lake Malawi.  It’s a 45-minute boat ride from Cape Maclear till you step ashore on Mumbo’s wooden jetty. The main area is thatched and open-sided so you feel the lake breezes and hear the calls of the fish eagles on the air. Meals are simple and wholesome, and entertainment pretty much finishes with the firepit and a few board games. There are only six charming rustic rooms at Mumbo. Two tents and three chalets are a short walk across a wooden bridge from the main lodge. These all look out over the lake, and the feel is extremely peaceful and natural, with wooden decks, cane furniture, and recycled glasses. Bathrooms have bucket showers, dry-composter eco-loos and biodegradable shower products. There is also a larger family tent tucked away in the forest on the main island which does not look out at the lake, but is otherwise very similar in feel to the other rooms.

What can I do at Mumbo Island?

First and foremost, people come to Mumbo to relax.  There are plenty of secluded spots and hammocks to slumber in with a good book, and a few gentle walking trails around the island. There is also diving and snorkelling on offer- Mumbo has a PADI dive school and Lake Malawi is full of brightly coloured fish. If you are keen to dive please let us know in advance so we can pre-book it.

Giving back at Mumbo: Mumbo’s eco credentials are impressive, and the lodge does everything it can to minimise its footprint on the fragile environment of the lake. Waste is transported back to the mainland, water is generally solar heated, loos are composters and most of the lighting is by paraffin lantern.

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