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“Complete paradise!”
Review of Fat Monkeys

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Fat Monkeys
Ranked #2 of 3 Cape Maclear B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed June 11, 2013

It is quite difficult to get to, but if you hire a bus/ taxi/ car it is very much worth it! The whole place is on sand making it so relaxed! The bar staff were friendly and didn't mind us staying up late, but the executive rooms and tents were far away enough that it does not disturb anyone! I stayed in Executive room one night, and dorm for 2, both were very comfortable, especially the executive room! Showers were also hot and clean! We also went to Gecko's for dinner which is about a 5-10 minute walk, but we still preferred the food at fat monkeys! Highly recommended!

Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
Thank georgia_m19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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60 - 66 of 85 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2013

I totally enjoyed my stay at Fat Monkeys. For me it was the best choice to stay there. Very relaxing atmosphere, nice food. Initially, I booked for two nights but I extended. I stayed in their tent with was cheap. But not only because of the price I liked the place but more because of the relaxed atmosphere, the nice views on the beach.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
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1  Thank JamboHouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

Three friends and I trekked to Cape Maclear from Lilongwe last week. We had booked Fat Monkeys pretty much at random, as Gecko's was full. After the long drive, we got out of our car and were shown to the dorm rooms by a lovely gentleman named Felix. I cannot tell you how our jaws dropped. As Felix showed us the lovely bunk beds, adorned with clean mosquito nets, we peeked out our front door around him to see the view... and the rest is history. For 10 USD a night on one day's notice, we had comfortable beds, a fan, a comfortable breakfast table right outside our room, and the most beautiful view. The lake was about 20 feet from our door, with clean beaches and lots of happy craftsmen ready to sell you cute wooden carvings, but limited to one side of the beach, so if you want to tan in peace and quiet, you can. Plus, Fat Monkeys had an awesome bar with cheap beer, gorgeous weather... we really couldn't have been happier. The only thing that would have made our stay at Fat Monkeys better would have been if we could have stayed longer!! Go snorkeling off Thembi Island, eat delicious fish, drink Carlsburgs (probably the best beer in the world), and know that I wish I could be there with you.

Room Tip: Stay in the dorm rooms. They open right onto the beach. Worth every penny of the absurdly cheap 10 U...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Katesurfer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 29, 2013

I spent 2 nights here at the end of a three week working trip to Malawi. I had spent most of the previous two weeks in a safari tent so the site of a double bed was most welcome!

The approach to Cape Maclear and Fat Monkeys is on a rather twisty bumpy road, which becomes untarred on entering the town itself. It is quite narrow, our safari truck nearly wiped out a few washing lines on the way. Fat Monkeys is in a secure compund, gated at the main entrance and with guards on the beachside. I stayed in one of the family rooms with a double bed and bunk beds (which were incredibly tall with no guard rails or ladder) and there were mosquito nets for every bed. The shower was great by Malawian standards although the hot water wasn't always reliable. As is usual in this area the tap water is not drinkable but there is plenty of cheap bottled water available. Bilharzia is rampant in Cape Maclear so swimming/paddling is not recommended.

The food is good, although a little expensive compared to other places in Malawi, and the bar is well stocked. There are several beach vendors nearby who, as is the norm, will try and approach at every opportunity. They are mainly harmless and some of the products are actually pretty good.

The campsite is right on the beachfront and was full to capacity whilst I was there. There were numerous sockets in the rooms I saw (although probably not enough to be adequate in the shared dorm rooms), and the wif-fi also worked well.

My main compaints about the place are:
- The owner openly berates her staff in front of paying guests, including swearing, which doesn't really help the relaxed atmosphere. This happened on more than one occasion.
- The music in the bar does play on quite late and could, I imagine, get tiresome if you're staying in the beachfront dorm rooms and want to have an early night (this didn't actually affect me though).

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Melanie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2013

The lodge looks nice and has a good location on the beach. It has a decent bar and an ok restaurant. We stayed in one of the double en-suite rooms which are expensive by Malawi standards. The room was nice but room was roasting as the fan and bed are all organised in the wrong places in the room! If you don't have your own car getting to and from cape maclear is a rough trip, whether by minbus or public bus (we got the public bus and stood for 5 1/2 hours) and once at Monkey bay the trucks that take you to cape maclear are a rip off. Unless you really don't mind difficult journey's I would say only go if you have you're on vehicle.

It's a nice place, but the rooms are a bit over-priced.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank A C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2013

Spent a week here and found the location spectacular, food very good, the staff to be friendly (like most Malawians) and the general cleanliness outstanding. The management went out of their way to make our (and all other residents) stay a memorable one. And that it was! It's good value for money but if you are looking for 5* then be prepared to pay for it and look elsewhere. You get more than you pay for here, or at least we did. Thanks to Karon & Geoff, Jade & Liam we really enjoyed our stay.

Room Tip: Choose the standalone bungalows for more than just a 'room'.
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  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank MarcGbay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 30, 2012

amazing, if your looking to have a chilled evening with music and good food. my first hot shower in Malawi, clean toilets. comfortable beds, had a good nights sleep. Really friendly staff, lovely to talk to. there is sufficient electricity, again rare in Malawi to places i have been. such a nice place, enjoyed my self a lot.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank armandabarsyte
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Fat Monkeys

Address: Cape Maclear, Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi
Location: Malawi > Lake Malawi National Park > Cape Maclear
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Cape Maclear
Price Range: $53 - $65 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 27
Also Known As:
Fat Monkeys Malawi/Cape Maclear

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