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A Guide To Exploring Mumbo Island, Malawi

Welcome to Mumbo Island, an exceptional slice of paradise. A unique island, giving travellers a well-rounded experience of the uninhabited islands in the Lake Malawi National Park. Offering everything from swimming in the the crystal clear waters to hiking to relaxing on the beach, this spot is hard to beat for romance. Perfect for a pristine holiday or honeymoon destination with abundant fun activities on offer.

We also recommend our guide to the Lake of Stars Festival in Malawi.

Why you should visit

This tiny island (1 kilometer in diameter) is a enticing beautiful spot, never been populated and is still in its natural state. Meaning you don’t have to jostle with numerous visitors and unwanted noises. Explore the nature and abundance of fresh water activities – amazing kayaking, snorkelling and SCUBA fun. Enjoy ample tranquility and barefoot luxury while visiting here.

When to go

Mumbo Island enjoys favourable weather throughout the year. Malawi is nicknamed “Warm Heart of Africa” due to the hot weather of the country, but also due to the kind, loving nature of the people. This island gets to benefit from this weather, which means that the water will always be warm enough to swim in. Sunny, pleasant days and nights are expected.

How to get around

Exploring Mumbo Island - Kayak Africa
You’re one kayak away from exploring the island. © Mumbo Island operated by Kayak Africa

The nearest international airports to Mumbo Island are Malawi’s two international airports in Lilongwe and Chileka. It is easy to visit the island from within Malawi, from the island’s reception on the beach at Cape Maclear. Once at reception, you can catch the Kayak Africa boat to the island (takes around 45 minutes), or rent a kayak and paddle out to the island (around 10 km). Buses run along the length of Mumbo Island, a great way for some cultural exposure. When in the island, visitors can explore the island by foot and kayak. Just ask the team, the are welcoming and efficient.

What to see and do

All activities are optional – how you to spend your time is completely up to you. There’s always a trained guide. They can take you on morning walking trail or afternoon sunset cruise around the island.


Depending on your energy, swimming could be a relaxation or you could just at your stay private deck overlooking the lake. Read books in the comfy shaded lounge deck. Tourists could learn to play the local game of bawo, or settle in for a game of chess on the hand-inlaid and carved chess board. Mumbo Island is a piece of paradise, simply relax in whatever way you need.


Explore the island’s nature trails weave their way through the massive granite boulders. The island is heavily wooded, hosting baobab and several species of Ficus, Sterculia and Brachystegia. There’s a map provided in every tent and extras are available at the bar. There are no poisonous snakes or dangerous animals on the island. Feel to walk around and get rewarded by magnificent views.


Irrespective of fitness or experience, the guides are local residents with an intimate knowledge of the area. Visitors can get in tune with their sense of adventure. The protected waters of the National Park bring sea kayaking within reach of anyone.


Visitors sometimes can the opportunity to swim or snorkel in the calm, warm and clear fresh-water with the spotted-necked otter. Enjoy the underwater terrain made up of colourful Cichlid fish, coupled with the massive granite boulders.


Lake Malawi is a great place to SCUBA dive, the island’s guests can experience an underwater world of hundreds of multi-coloured freshwater tropical fish. The island offers a registered resort, offering beginner, advanced and specialty courses. There are many dive options to satisfy your interests!

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Have you ever stayed somewhere with no electricity or cell service offering a complete place to disconnect? Mumbo Island was one of the most special places I have been – it looks like it’s in the middle of the ocean, but is in fact in the middle of a lake. The best part was that we had it all to ourselves, just our @travelgirlsgetaways group and all the nature that lives on the island! We got to disconnect from the outside world and just connect with one another. We kayaked and relaxed at the beach, told stories around a campfire, ate dinner by candle light and were welcomed to the island by a choir – swipe to see photos! Plus they even have a clever way to ensure you still get a hot shower! (join us next year to find out what it is ?) ⠀ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧⠀ Find out more about our Malawi Safari And Charity Trip in 2019 on @travelgirlsgetaways and in the links in my bio. ⠀ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧ ✧⠀ #wearetravelgirls #travelgirlsgetaways #wearetravelgirlsmalawi2018 #malawi #africa #wanderafrica #mumboisland #lakemalawi #travelandleisure #beautifulmatters #beautifuldestinations

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