Covering 100km in five days of paddling, the route has it all: secluded bays, deserted islands, mile-long beaches and open-water crossings. Days will be spent paddling, swimming, snorkeling and generally working up an appetite. Overnight stops are at a variety of lodges and campsites along the way.
Sea Kayaking Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Lilongwe (D)
After arriving in Lilongwe International Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to the southern lakeshore.
You will stay overnight at Nanchengwa Lodge.
Day 2: To Chirombo Bay (B,L,D)
After a breakfast we will have a familiarization and safety briefing on the beach. We will then set off for the 22km to Chirombo Bay near Monkey Bay. A team leader, experienced kayak guide and driver will be our support crew. Today is our longest paddle and will take around six hours (if you travel at 5kms an hour which is an average speed.) We will stop regularly for rests if necessary. We will stop around midday for lunch (a packed lunch consisting of various salads, rolls, fruit and snacks).
We will end up at Chirombo bay where we will set up camp for the night. You are always welcome to get involved in setting up your tents, but there will be a team on hand to help.
Camp overnight at Chirombo Bay.
Day 3: Kayaking to Domwe Island, Lake Malawi National Park (B,L,D)
We will wake up early (around sunrise) and a leisurely breakfast will be cooked by a local guide and chef.A typical breakfast consists of fresh fruit, freshly baked rolls and cereal. We will set off around 8am (as we prefer to paddle in the morning, rather than the heat of the day) on our 20km paddle past Monkey Bay and the mountains of the Nankumba Peninsula en route to Domwe Island in the Lake Malawi National Park. The kayaking should take around 5 hours. We should be at the next camp site by early to mid-afternoon, giving plenty of time to relax before night falls.
You will stay overnight in Domwe Island Camp, which are permanent walk-in safari tents set on large thatched wooden decks furnished with cane beds, cotton bedding, large comfy armchairs and a hammock on the deck.
Day 4: Mumbo Island (B,L,D)
Right after breakfast (of eggs and bacon) we are going to have an introduction to the open water with a relatively short 8km paddle to Mumbo Island, also in the Lake Malawi National Park. This short water crossing between the islands will take around an hour. So you will have plenty of time to relax and have fun today – you may 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 lakeshore is like swimming in an aquarium. Snorkel gear is provided. There are also waking trails that are well worth the effort – the islands are forested with miombo woodland which features a remarkable variety of trees and is great for birding.
Overnight in Mumbo Island Camp, this also has permanent walk in safari tents with en-suite bathrooms.
Day 5: Mumbo Island (B,L,D)
Today is a rest day spent on Mumbo Island exploring the island and the surrounding water.
A typical evening on this trip consists of a sunset paddle, a gin and tonic on the lake shore to watch the sun set, a braai around the camp fire and then to bed! 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 can see civets come to the kitchen after dark (they won’t harm humans!). Please bear in mind that there are mosquitoes but not in problem numbers. All tents are netted and we do recommend that you use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and trousers as evening falls.
Overnight in Mumbo Island Camp.
Day 6: Mumbo Island to the Maleri Islands (B,L,D)
After enjoying a rest day, it is a time for the real thing: 25km of open water between Mumbo Island and the Maleri Islands. This will take around 6 hours. Tonight we will set up camp again, this time on the Maleri Islands.
Overnight in on the Maleri Islands.
Day 7: To Senga Bay (B,L,D)
Today is the final leg of 20km to Senga Bay on the west shore of the lake. It will take us around 5 hours.
Overnight at Livingstone beach campsite.
Day 8: Transfer to Lilongwe Airport (B)
After breakfast, we will transfer by road to Lilongwe airport for your return flight home – or if you prefer to extend your stay, please ask us for ideas.
Submit your review