Mumbo Island

Location: Lake Malawi & Likoma Island | Malawi

Price guide: £££££ £200-£350 per person per night

Mumbo Island is a camp set on a pristine and deserted tropical island, part of the stunning Lake Malawi National Park. It ranks amongst the finest camps in Malawi. The whole island falls within an exclusive concession, guaranteeing privacy in paradise, and the welcoming staff here will go out of their way to offer you a memorable experience, whether you’re looking to scuba dive in the lake, laze in a hammock or hike through the island’s jungles.
Perfect forAdventurous souls seeking an edge-of-the-world island escape.
In the knowMumbo Island has never been populated, and is still in its natural state, with a thick covering of miombo woodland and ancient fig and baobab trees. In 1980 Lake Malawi National Park became the first freshwater marine reserve to be proclaimed on Earth, and was declared a Natural World Heritage Site in 1984.

Recommended for...

  • Hideaway
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Water activities
  • Adventure

Hotel Overview

Sense of place

Lake Malawi is a vast and unique freshwater lake, estimated to be between three and 20 million years old. It is 600km long, 80km wide and over 700m deep, is the southern extremity of the African Rift Valley and contains the largest number of fish species of any lake in the world - probably well over 500. The Mumbo Island camp itself is surrounded by huge, prehistoric-looking boulders and sandy beaches, from which the lake stretches endlessly into the horizon.

Rooms at Mumbo Island

Catering for just 14 guests, the camp features six tastefully-furnished tents with shaded decks, hammocks, bucket showers and eco-toilets. Built of timber, thatch and canvas, and perched on high rocks overlooking the water, the tents promise immersion in the natural world and evoke a Robinson Crusoe-style desert island atmosphere. At the same time, they are very comfortable and easy on the eye, with locally-made chitenjes textiles and furniture carved and hand-painted by local artisans.

With no Wi-Fi or electricity, this is a place to disconnect from the modern world and reconnect with nature and yourself - you can enjoy the comfort of hot water, though, thanks to solar power.

Food & drink

In keeping with the hotel’s unspoilt, rural location, food at Mumbo Island is simple, hearty and healthy, with buffet meals offered three times a day which rotate according to the availability of fresh ingredients. Start the day off with a breakfast of fruit, pastries, and egg and meat dishes, before enjoying a variety of fresh salads, comforting pasta and stir-fry dishes, and, of course, plenty of fresh fish, at lunch and dinner. Each morning you’ll be greeted with a delivery of coffee and biscuits to your room before you head down to breakfast.

Facilities

There are plenty of relaxation areas, with locally-made hammocks and cane chairs. 

Activities at Mumbo Island

The pristine expanse of Lake Malawi is right on your doorstep here, and there is a range of activities on offer to help you navigate its beautiful waters. Dive in and experience some of the best scuba diving in the world, with PADI-accredited courses on offer to help you learn or improve. Snorkelling is another way to explore the beautiful underwater landscapes, which are home to hundreds of colourful fish species. If you’d rather not get wet, you can explore otherworldly boulders and secret coves which surround the hotel in a kayak, or take advantage of the daily sunset cruises around the island.

Back on dry land, hiking is a great way to explore the forested interior of the island, which is dotted with the same huge boulders you’ll see on the beach and under the water.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

A 45-minute flight will take you from the Malawian capital, Lilongwe, to Monkey Bay. From there, it’s a 30-minute drive to Cape Maclear, followed by a 45-minute boat trip to Mumbo Island. 

Stay at Mumbo Island on these trips

More places to stay in Lake Malawi & Likoma Island

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