Cape Maclear or Chembe is a small fishing village found on the shores of lake Malawi. A long stretch of honey colored sand, surrounded by beautiful mountains and dazzling warm turquoise waters of the lake Malawi, sunset cruises to beautiful islands etc ,are some of the reasons why so much hype is thrown on Cape Maclear. Cape Maclear is a leading tourist destination in Malawi and is known to be the busiest in the whole region. This being the case the area is bustling with resorts, bars, restaurants and there is over 10 places in terms of accommodation to choose from. From downright basic to utterly gorgeous luxury there is everything for everyone. There are various activities that you do while at Cape Maclear including : kayaking, snorkeling,hiking ,boat cruises, diving or even just chilling by the beach.
Cape Maclear is very popular with backpackers and you are bound to make new friends while there. Important to note is that when you are near Lake Malawi please do not drink tap water as it usually is pumped directly from the lake therefore not safe for consumption. Also Bilharzia is quite common along areas that surround lake Malawi and at Cape Maclear incidences of the disease are atleast 3 times higher than anywhere else in Lake Malawi. Therefore it is compulsory for you to take Bilharzia prevention pills at least 6-8 weeks after exposure (Lake Malawi).
We left monkey bay after 4 days of blissful relaxation by the beach and headed out to Cape Maclear. The friendly staff at Mufasa Backpackers got us a taxi to take us to Cape Maclear. However on the way we had to alight as the road had been blocked off after a lorry transporting beer had an accident and overturned on the road. Beer fest!!LOL. Nope, do not even think about it haha. Our driver managed to get us motorbikes which we got on and proceeded to Cape Maclear. For those wondering if we got some beer, erm unfortunately we did not ;-(.
There is just something so wonderful about being on a bike and cruising through rural Africa surrounded by farms, people working on the farms waving at you,children running after the bike,breathing in the fresh air, beautiful green landscape..*sigh*. Magical.
We had decided to stay at Malambe camp in one of their cool bamboo huts. Malambe camp is very very pocket friendly, they have very good food and are right on the beach. We got a beach hut which was about 100 meters from the beach for 10 USD per night. The hut is made from Bamboo sticks and has a bamboo floor too, a lovely bed in the middle, a mosquito net, a bedside table and it comes with a battery powered torch.Nice and old school right?. For all you urban millennials worried about charging your phones and laptops, you can do that at the Bar. Did I mention Malawi is the cheapest country we have been to? Yep,it is.They even have a dorm room which I think cost 3 USD per night and you can also camp for around 5 USD. I checked out the dorm room and it was nice too, but we wanted the hut. Malambe Camp also allows you to use their kitchen if you would prefer to make your own meals and I took advantage of that and it gave us an opportunity to venture out into the village to buy cheap groceries and make our own meals once in a while.Their food is also reasonably priced and I loooooved their spicy chicken curry with rice. Yum Yum. The staff at Malambe are so nice and will go out of their way to make sure your stay is amazing.
When we got there they welcomed us so nicely and we checked into our hut before hurriedly changing into our swim suits and heading to the beach. Unlike at Mufasa backpackers the beach here is not private and you will spot locals, other tourists and notorious craftsmen who will try to hustle you to buy things. The staff from the resorts will in most cases always be on the lookout to ensure that their guests are not disturbed and will chase away the craftsmen.
We spent a great deal of our first few days swimming, kayaking,reading and chilling by the beach.It was wonderful and we loved every single second of it. Our first evening there we got to enjoy a first of many Malawian beautiful sunsets. It was spectacular. While we were there some young kids came up to us saying they have a band and if they could play something for us. We later learnt that the kids do that everyday after school so they can make extra cash to buy school stuff. Very smart kids.They played us and other tourists a few jams and it was so nice teaching them some English words. I think in our entire trip,Cape Maclear is the place where i read most books. My laptop was not working, i had poor phone connection and i barely thought about the outside world. It was just us, yoga, books ,lots of water and the perfect beach:-).
As usual, yoga by the beach brought by yours truly was amazing :). Do not forget to share your thoughts below as i love reading your comments <3.
Yogie On The Move.