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Malawi Safari

Mumbo Island Camp

Lake Malawi National Park, Malawi

Snorkeling in Lake Malawi at Mumbo Island Camp
Return to Map of Malawi

View images of Mumbo Island Camp: Mumbo Island Images


Mumbo Island is a pristine and otherwise-deserted tropical island floating on the blue waters of Lake Malawi National Park, the first Park in the world set aside for the protection of freshwater fish. With crystal clear waters and innumerable species of cichlid fish, the National Park offers what is often considered the best freshwater scuba diving in the world and the best snorkelling on the Lake.

Lake Malawi is Africa's third largest lake and stretches over 500 kilometres from north to south. Palm fringed beaches and soaring mountains surround the warm crystal clear waters and picturesque fishing villages dot the shoreline as they have unchanged for thousands of years. The lake supports over 400 species of fish, many endemic; the fascinating cichlid species of this lake (and Lakes Tanganyika and Victoria) are very popular in the tropical fish trade.

The northern lakeshore is the lushest region of the country with remnant patches of tropical rainforest and the dramatic backdrop of the Viphya Mountains. This is the setting for Chintheche Inn. Just south of Nkhata Bay, Chintheche Inn has a wonderful, broad sandy beach and extensive grounds with many fine indigenous trees. Chintheche Inn is operated by Wilderness Safaris.

Accommodation            For images of Mumbo Island, click Mumbo Island Images
Mumbo Island is an intimate tented camp, accommodating 14 guests, comprises tastefully furnished, comfortable tents with hot bucket showers and 'eco-loos'. The camp is perched on rocks high above the water and blends in 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.

There is a dining area, bar and water sport gazebo, all of timber, thatch and canvas, and all adhering to the principles of eco-architecture. Unlike most island destinations in the region, Mumbo Island has never been populated by humans and is still in its natural state. This, together with the focus on non-motorised water sports, makes Mumbo Island ideal for the active outdoors enthusiast.

The most popular activities here are snorkelling through the crystal-clear water and lazing in a hammock or in the 'chill-out' area, contemplating the stunning scenery. Other activities include diving (Mumbo is a PADI registered resort, offering beginner, advanced and specialty courses, as well as gear hire and casual dives), swimming, kayaking, and birdwatching. Guests have the option of boating or paddling, exploring the granitic islands in a freshwater Rift Valley lake.

Geography and Wildlife
At approximately 600km from north to south and in places up to 80km wide, Lake Malawi, the third largest water body in Africa, constitutes roughly 20% of the surface area of this small country.

Lake Malawi is famed for the abundance and diversity of its fish life and holds a greater array of freshwater fish species than any other lake on Earth and more than all of Europe and North America combined. The majority of these are colourful fish called cichlids (their local name is mbuna) of which the Lake contains more than 400 types, 30% of all known species. Other fish species such as chambo form the primary protein source of the nearly 20 000 people that live on the lakeshore and beyond.

Lake Malawi National Park was established for the protection of the cichlid fish and their habitat, thus presenting cichlid enthusiasts with world-class observation opportunities in terms of number and diversity of species, optimum viewing conditions, and ease of access from the camp on Mumbo Island.

As far as the non-aquatic wildlife is concerned, the island lends itself to observing the little creatures that inhabit it.

On Mumbo Island the mammals present are the spotted-necked otter and the rarer Cape clawless otter. The spotted-necked variety is remarkably unafraid of humans and often approaches and joins guests for a snorkel or swim! Mumbo is noteworthy for the high occurrence of rainbow skinks and large water monitors in particular. Snakes identified include the variegated bush snake and African rock python (both non-venomous).

Bird life is abundant, dominated by the ubiquitous African Fish-Eagles, but enthusiasts will be rewarded with sightings of the shyer and less common forest birds that inhabit the bush around the tents, such as, for example, the north-eastern race hypoxanthus variety of Sombre Greenbul. Other species seen include African Harrier-Hawk, Trumpeter Hornbill, White-breasted Cormorant, Water Thick-Knee, African Paradise-Flycatcher and a variety of herons, weavers, doves and starlings amongst others.

In Lake Malawi National Park at the southern end of the Lake, our operation at Mumbo Island supports Malawi's Department of National Parks and Wildlife in combating illegal fishing operations.

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For further information about Malawi, click More Malawi

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