The crystal clear warm waters of Lake Malawi National Park are home to around 2000 species of tropical freshwater fish. From Mumbo Island Camp in the heart of this protected area you can enjoy some of the best freshwater diving and snorkelling in the world with comfortable ‘safari style’ accommodation.
The camp sits on tiny Mumbo Island, a pretty much deserted island with some walking trails and it has never been populated by humans, so is a haven for natural history. I have actually been snorkelling in these shallow clear waters and followed by inquisative Monitor Lizards swimming past me – looking as if they are still living in the age of the dinosaurs! Snorkelling here is just like putting your head into a fish tank – the gorgeous blue and orange cichlid fish are all around you – they are even sometimes visible from the deck of your room, metres above the water. I have seen some of the best sunsets, sunrises and moon rises over the water of anywhere in Africa from Mumbo Island, it’s pure Robinson Crusoe getaway stuff! It’s a great place for the outdoor enthusiast and water sport lover as well as the diving of course. It’s also perfect if you just want to hang in a hammock or snooze away from your island ‘perch’! There is a chill out lounge area too. There is a PADI registered dive centre, offering beginner, advanced and specialty courses in scuba diving, as well as gear hire and casual dives. Swimming, kayaking, and birdwatching are also popular with an abundance of Fish Eagles and plenty of waders. Otters can sometimes be seen around the shores and the island is home to many species of lizards. For the more intrepid, there are boating and paddling options, exploring the granite islands in a freshwater Rift Valley lake.
Accommodation at the camp consists of tastefully furnished, comfortable tents with hot bucket showers and ‘eco-loos’. There is a limit of only 14 guests at a time, and the rooms perched on rocks high above the water – blending with the environment perfectly to create a place of rustic charm and minimal impact. Tucked into the lush foliage, each tent is fully furnished with its own shaded view-deck and hammock. Mumbo Island Camp adheres to strict principles of eco-architecture, so the dining area, bar and water sport gazebo, are all hand built from timber, thatch and canvas.
To get to Mumbo Island you can fly to Club Makokola’s airstrip and drive or more often you’ll be road transferred or self drive from other parts of Southern Malawi. Mumbo makes a great ‘beach break’ for those who love nature and the outdoors and combines well with a safari in Liwonde National Park a few hours away, or with a longer African Safari in South Luangwa National Park in Zambia.
Having spent a lot of time working in and travelling around Malawi and Zambia, I can offer you the perfect tailor made holiday to Malawi and I’m an African Safari Specialist – ask me about including Mumbo Island in your next trip!