Options to suit every taste!

Cape Maclear offers a range of accommodation to suit everyone

From downright basic to utterly gorgeous! With more than ten recommended options you should find the prefect place to suit your needs in Cape Maclear, be it exclusive barefoot luxury, a room with a bed, camping, or anything in-between. To give you an idea pricewise we have used symbols from the following scale (all per person per night): $ - up to USD50; $$ - USD50 to USD150; $$$ - over USD150. And remember - we at Kayak Africa can make any bookings on your behalf.

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Mumbo Island - private island paradise 10km offshore

Mumbo island lies a 45 minute boat ride away from the bustle of Cape Maclear. Board Kayak Africa's wooden boat, drink in hand, and chug off to this deserted tropical island - which comes with all the luxuries you could need: three delicious meals a day, all gear (kayak and snorkel), famously attentive and charming staff, lovely walk-in tents, beds with pure white cotton sheets and a pristine beach with fresh, turquoise water to have the swim of your life in!
Mumbo is an eco resort run entirely off-grid and with great sensitivity to the pristine and incredibly beautiful natural environment. Mumbo sleeps only fourteen guests at the maximum. This is a real undiscovered gem, and a treat for the body and soul. (Price $$$)
For Bookings and Information email: letsgo@kayakafrica.com
For our website: www.mumboisland.com

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Domwe Island - go wild!

As beautiful and as efficiently and sensitively run as Mumbo, but cheaper because it is self-catering, is Domwe Island, Kayak Africa’s “adventure island”. Here you have a choice of staying in a fully equipped safari tent, with bedding, towels and a hammock on its shady deck, or you can camp on a thatched raised tent deck. You can bring your own tent, or don’t bother and simply book a dome tent, mattresses and bedding from Kayak Africa and it will all be set up for you when you arrive. There is a fully-stocked kitchen to cook in – but if you feel like a real break, hire one of their great chefs for only $30 a day and he’ll whip up fresh rolls for breakfast and anything from roast chicken to home made pasta for you while you laze on the beach or explore the island on foot or by kayak. All gear (kayaks and snorkel sets) can be hired per day from Kayak Africa’s reception at Cape Maclear. (Price $)
Email for Bookings: letsgo@kayakafrica.com
See our website: www.kayakafrica.com

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Mgoza Lodge

More rough around the edges, but with its own easy charm is Mgoza Lodge and Restaurant. Its gruff owner, Alan, sports much the same qualities as his place. Mgoza has one of the coolest gardens with old established shade trees, comfy cane furniture dotted about and a very relaxed atmosphere. The food is excellent and very reasonable, (Alan used to cater for huge corporate events), the elevated bar is has great views and a cool breeze and the chalets are en suite and very comfortable. Laid back, baby! (Price $)
Their Telephone Numbers: +265 (0) 995632105 or +265 (0) 995539082
For Bookings and Information email: info@mgozalodge.com
For their website: www.mgozalodge.com

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Gecko Lounge

If lazing about in a hammock, sipping a cold beer, watching a match on the telly and then partying up a storm that night after scoffing a huge pizza sounds your cuppa tea, head to the Gecko Lounge which offers all the aforementioned and more. Gecko boasts the best beachside bar on the strip, the owner is Paul – aka DJ Chembe and also the guy who runs the Chembe Village Trust: a groovy humanitarian in a wheelchair. Gecko’s barmen are cool and laidback, but the beer is always cold and the place is efficiently run. The pizzas are also epic! Accommodation at Gecko is in self-catering chalets, rooms or a dorm – all very clean and efficiently set up. The place is set in green shady lawns and with a long stretch of gorgeous beach – with a volleyball net for the energetic. A great place for the young set. (Price $)
Their Telephone Number: +265 (0) 999787322
For Bookings and Information email: geckolounge.bookings@gmail.com
For their website: www.geckolounge.net

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Chembe Eagles Nest

Right at the opposite end of the beach from the National Park, is Chembe Eagle’s Nest. A South African owned concern consisting of a number of small chalets set in a shady garden, some en suite and others which share a bathroom, a campsite and a huge, well-run restaurant and bar, Chembe Eagle’s Nest gets very busy in the season, but is a lovely quiet place out of season. The beach is relatively private since it is set away from the main village, but it is quite close to the fishing village, which makes for an interesting visit. (Price $$)
Their Telephone Numbers: +265 (0) 994278335 or +265 (0) 999242691
For Bookings and Information email: enquiries@chembenest.com
For their website: www.chembenest.com

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Tuckaways

Smaller, more stylish and still very reasonable, is Tuckaways – a row of beachside reed cabins with small decks furnished with relaxed deck chairs right overlooking the water. The interiors use local décor items like chitenje cloths and carvings very stylishly and there is a delightful shady garden strung with hanging ‘egg’ cane chairs behind the cabins. The bathrooms are shared (though there are plans for en suites afoot) but spacious and clean. There is also a family room set back from the beach, which is great for parents with children or groups travelling together. Tuckaways is also the office for the Chembe Village Community Trust, and anyone is welcome to visit them and ask for a guided tour of any of the projects currently on the go. There are no cooking facilities here, so most guests walk the few metres up the beach to the Gecko Lounge restaurant to eat, but there are many other local eateries which offer good meals. (Price $)
For Bookings and Information email: bookings.geckolounge@gmail.com
For their website: www.tuckawaysmw.com

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The Funky Cichlid

A place to stay, play and be happy! 'Funkys' backpacker-lodge, managed by Duncs & Jen from South Africa/Botswana, is great for groups and young or adventurous travelers. The popular deck is an ideal sundowner spot as visitors come together for a G&T and set up their cameras for an awesome sunset view, before the party starts! Their local chefs make a delicious Fish Curry, although the 'Funky Burger' is a must! You can rent Kayaks, Paddle Boards & Snorkels to explore the nearby National Park, Otter's Point & Thumbi Island Beach, or just kick-back relax in the hammocks. Accommodation is basic but comfortable, with very reasonably priced dorm beds, single, twin or double rooms. (Price $)
Telephone Numbers: +265 (0) 999969076 or +265 (0) 992036363
For Bookings and Information email: jen@malawianstyle.com
For their website: www.thefunkycichlid.com

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Cape Mac Lodge

If you are more sedate, you could chose to stay and dine on French cuisine in Cape Mac Lodge, run by Josiane and her daughter, Nathalie. Josiane is a force to be reckoned with: a gravel-voiced, tiny, cropped-haired French woman who speaks her mind and sometimes rather intimidates her guests, but her heart is in the right place, her food is delicious and her lodge is immaculate and very first world – it even boasts a Jacuzzi with a view of the beach, and a sparkling blue swimming pool (one of only two in the village – the other is at Danforth Yachting.) Great for those wanting a first world experience in Africa. (Price $$)
For Bookings and Information email: capemaclodge@yahoo.com
For their website: www.capemaclodge.com

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Danforth Yachting

Danforth is right at the other end of the beach, set among the company-owned lakeside cottages (some of which can be rented on a self-catering basis). As such, it is much more removed from the life of the village and more of a conventional first world lodge. It is an adapted 70’s bungalow, with a smart beachside restaurant, a pool, lots of watersports equipment and an immaculate kitchen producing very good food. All of this is exclusively for the use of its own guests, however, so don’t wander in and expect a welcome. But if you are staying there, there is much to do and Howard and Michelle are experienced and charming hosts. (Price $$$)
For Bookings and Information email: info@danforthyachting.com
For our website: www.danforthyachting.com

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Fat Monkeys

Fat Monkeys is a well-established backpackers and overlander destination. It has huge grounds, a shady campsite and a couple of rows of simply-appointed rooms, a few of which are en suite, but most of which share a bathroom/shower complex. Good for young travellers as there are often overlander groups dotting the campsite and chilling on the beach. FM’s has a large bar and restaurant and the local tour operators run many boat trips from here. (Price $)
For Bookings and Information email: fatmonkeys@africaonline.net

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Thumbi View Lodge

Mr Stevens Place is still around but with new owners and now goes under the name Thumbi View Lodge. It has a central location, within walking distance of everything in town and is upgraded to modern standards. They offer 7 Luxury en-suite rooms with warm water and the only en-suite dorms in town. Dive with Cape Maclear Scuba which is on site, take a local dug out around the island or just relax on the beach with a cocktail.
(Price $)
For Bookings and Information email: info@thumbiviewlodge.com
For their website: www.thumbiviewlodge.com

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Golden Sands, National Park campsite

This is the ramshackle and run-down local headquarters of the National Parks of Malawi and is well worth a visit. There is an education centre, a couple of offices, a few run-down rondavels and a camp site (with no running water, but the staff will happily look after you and bring you buckets of water from the lake.) The ruins of the old hotel which thrived in the 1950’s are still standing, if overgrown with flowering creepers, and there is a small local bar which operates as and when it has stock. On Sundays the local 'academics' hold chess tournaments under the shade trees as they sip a green (local Carlsberg beer). You can paddle here, or walk, but almost no-one bothers, thus missing a fantastic, history infused place with much local colour. (Price $)
Contact details: None. Just turn up, pay the entrance fee at the gate and find someone to point out where to camp in the grounds of the old hotel.

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