Malawi Adventure Holiday- Island Hopping

The Lake Malawi Island Hopping Adventure is a world-class sea kayaking trail that covers 25km in three days of paddling. This trip is a fantastic chance to explore Malawi and is perfect for family holidays. Adventurers spend two nights in each of the Kayak Africa camps on Domwe Island and Mumbo Island. The trail is fully-supported and fully-catered, leaving guests free to focus on exploring and relaxing at will.

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Malawi Adventure Holiday Itinerary

 Day 1: Arrival at Lilongwe (D)

After arrival in Lilongwe (LLW) you will be met and transferred to Lilongwe – Cape Maclear . It will take about 3½ hours. Then you will have a dinner in lakeshore lodge “Gecko Lounge”.

Overnight in “Gecko Lounge”.

Day 2: Domwe Island (B,L,D)

After a leisurely breakfast we will paddle to Domwe Island ( about 5km). This is a short paddle and will take around 1 hour.
The lunch will be provided at 1pm and features various pasta dishes, quiche, pizza or chippatis served with a large salad. When not kayaking you might enjoy swimming in the crystal clear, warm, fresh lake water which is one of the charms of the islands, as is snorkelling: Lake Malawi is a World Heritage Site for its abundance of freshwater fish life and is famous for its beautiful tropical cichlids. Snorkelling along the island shore is like swimming in an aquarium. Snorkel gear is provided. There is also a PADI certified dive school so scuba dives and courses can be arranged – at an extra cost.

Both of the islands we visit have plenty of walking trails, and hikes around them are well worth the effort – the islands are forested with miombo woodland which features a remarkable variety of trees therefore is great for birding.

You will stay overnight in Island Camp “Domwe Island” (safari tent) . Domwe Island has three large (permanent) walk in safari tents sleeping two each and two thatched tent decks. Each tent sleeps 2 people and is furnished with beds, white linen, comfy chairs and a hammock on the deck. If your group is bigger than 6, we will set up dome tents and bedding for you on the thatched decks.

Overnight in Island Camp “Domwe Island” (safari tent)

Day 3: Domwe Island (B,L,D)

This day you will enjoy spending your time in Island Domwe. This Island is staffed by a team of three island men who look after you, service the tents, put out solar lanterns at night, wash dishes etc. A chef is going to be there to cook your meals. . A local guide will help you with kayaking questions and accompany you on longer paddles. There are many suitable long or short paddles and the local guide will be able to advise you on them. Domwe Island lends itself to exploration up and down its coastline. You can also plan a trip to circumnavigate the island, but take the weather into account as the west side of the island catches the wind and can get rough. All kayakers should be back on the island by dusk. We don’t recommend night time kayaking on the lake.

Your typical evening could consist of a sunset paddle, a gin and tonic on the deck to watch the sun set, a warm bucket shower in the reed bathroom and then a delicious dinner served in the beautiful dining area overlooking the lake. Evenings are lovely, balmy and with a night sky to awe you. You will see the local fishing boats heading out towards the deeper waters, lit by paraffin lamps. You may hear the fishermen calling to one another over the water. There are very few animals on the islands – but on Domwe you will see bushpig and civets come to the kitchen after dark (neither will harm humans!)

Overnight in Island Camp “Domwe Island” (safari tent)

Day 4: Domwe Island to Mumbo Island  (B,L,D)

You will have a breakfast cooked by our chef, at a time you decide on the night before. Typically breakfast consists of a fresh fruit salad, freshly baked rolls, eggs, bacon and tomatoes cooked to order. We also provide cereal should guests prefer. Afterwards, please be ready for kayaking from Domwe Island to Mumbo Island (about 8 km). We recommend you to wear a long sleeve cotton shirt to keep the sun off, a good sun hat, light cotton shorts or trousers, a swimming costume and a kikoi or towel. We plan to departure at 11 h but in consultation with our local guide, you can plan a route and set off at any time you like. You may be lucky enough to see the resident Spotted Necked Otter on both islands, and an abundance of birds. Domwe Island has more wildlife as it was at one time attached to the mainland, so it has populations of baboon, samango monkey, vervet monkey, bush pigs and civets. The only mammals on Mumbo Island are the otters and bats. Once again home is a large walk-in tent.

Overnight Island camp “Mumbo Island”

Day 5: Mumbo Island (B,L,D)

It is up to you to decide when you are going to wake up. Once you are on the island you time is your own.
Today you are going to spend your time in Mumbo Island. Mumbo Island has a team of 7 local staff, and an island manager who is there to answer questions and assist in any way needed. This island is only 3kms in circumference and is beautiful to paddle around at any time of day. Mumbo Island has large walk in tents on thatched decks and three reed and thatch bungalows. All tents have en suite bathrooms and toilets which look like the usual toilet, but use wood shavings instead of a water flush.

Overnight Island camp “Mumbo Island”

Day 6: Mumbo Island (B,L,D)

You will spend the morning at Mumbo Island. We will then paddle back to the mainland (about 10km paddle).

Overnight in “Gecko Lounge”

Day 7: Transfer back to Lilongwe (B)

You are going to be transferred to Cape Maclear-Lilongwe.
Flight home from Lilongwe (LLW)

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Pioneer Expeditions
Average rating:  
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  • Duration7 days / 6 days
  • Price£1,595$2,095
    Excluding international flights.
  • Tailormade DeparturesMar-Jan - min 2 pax

Extraordinary Sights

Malawi- Hammock Malawi - Hammock Sea view - Malawi Hammock - Malawi Sunset Aerial view of Mumbo Island Dining Mumbo from boat view Boat out at sea Jumping from a boat - Malawi Malawi Natives Local folk Sea Kayaks Sunset views Enjoying the views with your family Candlelit dinner Fishermen out at sea Domwe Tent Swimming on your Malawi Island Hopping Adventure Boat out to sea
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