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“Secret island hideaway paradise on Lake Malawi” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mumbo Island

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Mumbo Island
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Malawi, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park 48, Malawi   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Stamford, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
107 reviews 107 reviews
34 hotel reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
69 helpful votes 69 helpful votes
“Secret island hideaway paradise on Lake Malawi”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2013

Sometimes on your travels you discover a place that takes your breath away - Mumbo Island is one such place. Located about 45 minutes boat ride from Cape Maclear on Lake Malawi, this secret hideway is an eco lodge. No electricity; no mains supplies; no flush toilets (long drop compost toilets here); and absolutely no stress. Island host Juliet is perfect for this special place - she values peace, tranquility and simplicity - but is attentive, friendly, and a personification of the island experience. Raised chalets on a rocky outcrop are simply furnished with bucket showers - but any mod cons would ruin the place. Food was excellent and we enjoyed snorkelling; kayaking and walks on the island. It is all about doing nothing though - slowing down; thinking; reading; chatting; resting and sleeping. We just loved the place and can't praise it enough. If you are going to Lake Malawi - you HAVE to stay on Mumbo Island...

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Baltimore, Maryland
Top Contributor
150 reviews 150 reviews
33 hotel reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 19, 2013

I know the title is high praise, but, until now (except for my own home) I have never been to a place that I wanted to come back to over and over again. This is it. My favorite place. After 4 days on Mumbo I wasn't sure how I would stop talking about it to anyone who would listen to me. I wrote a blog post about the place that says it all, so go to globalstaci.com/blog to read it.

If laying down your electronics and hanging out in a hammock while someone takes the best care to feed you and attend to your comfort sounds good to you, buy your ticket. Now before someone else beats you to it (there's only space for 14 guests!).

Room Tip: There is no swimming pool, but you don't need one, the beach and the lake surround you! We stay...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Livingstone, Zambia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2013

True island experience, play out all your shipwrecked fantasies here at Mumbo. Beautiful, secluded, the only place to stay around Cape Maclear - give the mainland a miss and head straight here. Bliss. Dombwe is lovely too but fishermen are noisy at night and ruin the experience.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Garrison, Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2013

What an amazing slice of paradise. 3 nights of total relaxation surrounded by nature, water and the starriest skies I have ever experienced. Not having any electricity only added to the feeling of extreme peace and relaxation.
Juliet (the manager) was so attentive and so much fun to be with. She truly helped to make our stay enjoyable.
The meals, atmosphere and service were exceptional. Bungalow #5 was a beautiful spot for sleeping and taking in the sunrise and starry nights. Waking up to the sound of the lapping water, birds and coffee and biscuits delivered to our deck was a lovely and relaxing touch.
Kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and interacting with the staff in the evenings were highlights. But then again, everything about Mumbo is a highlight.
A great way to spend a birthday with my old and new friends.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Guildford
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2013

Perfect escape from the modern world. Great relaxing environment with ample water sports available. Great location, staff and food. The accommodation is luxury tents but sleeping outside in the hammock was spot on. There's on electricity, internet or phone coverage but for the 3 days I was there it was just perfect.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
54 reviews 54 reviews
35 hotel reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2013

Mumbo Island is one of those places that you wake up every morning, and stand on your balcony saying "how did I never know this place existed?" Its tempting to keep these kind of places secret so that they stay unspoiled, and so far Mumbo Island shows absolutely no sign of being anything but a serene paradise.

From the moment you arrive at the departure point at Cape Maclear the beauty of the entire area is astounding. The lake stretching beyond the horizon, little frothy waves lapping on the sand and the friendly welcoming committee handing you a cold drink for the trip.

We spent 5 nights on the island and could probably have stayed longer it went too quickly. The Island is truly a relaxed "Robinson Crusoe" experience in all the best ways. Absolutely no electricity (so charge your e-reader before you come otherwise it has to go back to the mainland for charging), dry-compost toilets, and bucket showers make this a very back to nature experience. Only 2G on the phone also means that its only phone calls and no emails. The simple bamboo and thatch huts with hammocks, comfortable deck chairs and stunning, stunning views means its tempting to spend all your time in your hut - and why not? We are generally not room dwellers when on holidays but we found ourselves just sitting for hours on our deck watching the lake and its goings-on. Coffee and simple biscuits are delivered every morning at 6:30am, so if the sunrise hasn't woken you up through the bamboo walls the coffee man gets your day going early.

Meals are simple with little choice but we enjoyed everything that was served and never went hungry. To be honest with no electricity the chef is a genius turning out a parade of tasty meals and snacks.

While on the Island we did our Padi Open Water certification and had a ball with our instructor Patrick, and helper Freddie. If your a scuba dive this place is a rare treat - fresh water, no hippos or crocs and full of beautiful aquarium fish including the quite astounding mouth-breaders! If your aren't into scuba snorkelling is just as good and kayaks are available to go to one of the more remote areas of the island. No motorised water sports (thank goodness) but that makes Mumbo all the better in my book.

In summary, I've travelled many places and seen many things but this place has lodged itself in my brain never to be forgotten. And I couldn't think of a better to thing to have in there.

Room Tip: Ask for a hut, rather than a tent.
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2013

Still basking in the afterglow of Mumbo Island, with visions of glorious sunrises and sunsets, neon-colored fish and soaring fish eagles. Laying low in the hammock on the deck of our tent, mesmerized by the stars and sound of the waves. Snorkeling, kayaking, hiking steep trails. Generous meals of simple, healthy food, all served up with kindness by the staff. A truly memorable get-away in every sense.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mumbo Island

Address: Malawi, Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park 48, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Cape Maclear
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Cape Maclear
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a pristine, practically deserted tropical island, the eco-friendly Mumbo Camp is surrounded by crystal-clear waters. Lake Malawi National Park is the first in the world set aside for the protection of freshwater fish and therefore, not surprisingly, one of the best freshwater diving locations on the planet. To set the scene, your accommodation – one of six en-suite tents – is perched on rocks high above the water and shaded by lush foliage. With an idyllic lake view, you can while the hours away on the hammock on your private deck. Refreshments are served in the dining area and pub. Be warned, this lazy island lifestyle is contagious!Did you know?Mumbo Island Camp has partnered with Malawi's Department of National Parks and Wildlife to put an end to illegal fishing operations in this sanctuary.Lake Malawi is Africa's third largest and second deepest lake. Mumbo is just one of the miombo woodland islands that pepper the lake. Your activities include scuba diving and snorkelling, while kayaking and boating allow you to explore the surrounding granitic islands.Over 2 000 species of colourful freshwater fish grace our lake. Spotted-necked otter are often seen while the rarer Cape clawless otter, less so. On the island you can see rainbow skinks and large water monitors. Bird life is abundant, dominated by the ever-present African Fish-Eagles. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mumbo Island Malawi/Cape Maclear

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