Island Hopping Adventure on Lake Malawi

Malawi 71
Image by al_green via Flickr

Escape the dust and bustle of mainland Africa and discover the beauty and serenity of Malawi’s Lake of Stars. Situated within the Lake Malawi National Park, the island wilderness camps, Domwe and Mumbo, are the ideal bases from which to explore and enjoy this outdoor paradise.

For action-junkies there’s a choice of kayaking, scuba diving, swimming, snorkeling, nature trails, bird-watching and fishing, while a shady hammock or the beach are perfect retreats for those wanting to unwind and relax with a good book.

Kayak Africa’s (one of the leading kayak tour operators) thatch and reed base camp is located on the beach in Chembe village, within the Lake Malawi National Park. The oldest, traditional fishing village on the lake, Chembe still maintains an unspoiled and very African aura, and being relatively prosperous, provides the visitor with a perspective of African people in successful, customary co-existence with their surroundings.

The lake in the vicinity of Chembe is sprinkled with isolated and uninhabited islands, which, under the protection of the Malawi Parks Board, remain a haven to myriad marine and bird life. With shorelines of alternating beach and impressive boulder formations, and a crown of lush African bush, the islands provide a true Robinson Crusoe atmosphere and a special opportunity to experience a unique part of Africa.

An island hopping adventure is a blend of relaxation and activity in an outdoor paradise. The journey is undertaken in Klepper sea kayaks – designed for ocean use. The great comfort, easy handling and remarkable speed of these craft make them exceptionally safe and render paddling experience and fitness unnecessary. Their silent, person-powered operation makes them ideal for game viewing and optimizes the wildlife experience of the participant.

Island Hopping Adventure

Explore the islands and waters of the National Park by sea kayak or boat. Overnight in the fully-equipped island camps with your personal Malawian chef and guide to provide for your every need. The total distance of this three-island trip is 25km, well within the capability of anyone irrespective of fitness or kayaking experience.

Island Kayak and Scuba Safari

Over a 1000 species of tropical fish in an underwater boulder garden. Fresh, warm water, no currents or waves and excellent visibility all year round. Combine six days on the islands with the PADI-certified Open Water Diver course, an advanced or specialty course, or enjoy unlimited diving.

Combine kayaking, scuba diving and quality hammock time to suit your situation. Trips can be of any duration up to six days. Boats are available for those unwilling to kayak, and all members of the party need not be divers.

Bring with you:

  •     Cool, loose clothing including a light sweater, trousers, sandals and walking shoes.
  •     Swimsuit and towel.
  •     Sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellant.
  •     Camera, film, flashlight and a good book.
  •     Fishing tackle.
  •     Wine and spirits. Beer and soft drinks are available locally.


Contact your doctor or pharmacist about malaria prophylactics.

How to get to Malawi

  •     Driving: It takes two to three days to reach Malawi from Johannesburg. The distance is 2000 to 2500 km, depending on your route. The roads are reasonable, certainly within the capability of an ordinary car.
  •     Flying: Air Malawi fly from Johannesburg daily to either Lilongwe or Blantyre.

Samet Bilir writes about technology trends, digital camera reviews, and photography, such as SLR camera reviews. To read more articles from him click here.

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