Cap Maclear - on the shore of Lake Malawi

Cape Maclear Travel Blog

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Zomba town
After a couple of enjoyable days at the Zomba Plateau we headed for Cape Maclear. Passing through Zomba town we met several lorries and pick-up trucks with singing people in the back. It turned out that there was a Church Choir Festival. It was lovely to listen to, and they all seemed in such a good spirit.

On our way we passed through several villages, which were interesting with their Saturday Market. Here you could buy just about anything. So colourfull. The scenery which passed by was dry and dusty all the way to Cape Maclear. Part of the way we were driving on dirt roads. Arriving in Cape Maclear it was very nice to finally see the famous Lake Malawi.

Lake Malawi occupies one fifth of the country’s total area.
Singing church choir
It is the third largest lake in Africa. The Lake is also called "the calendar lake". Its approximate dimensions are 365 miles (590 km) north to south and 52 miles (85 km) broad. The surface of the Lake is 1550ft (470m) above sea level. Lake Malawi National Park is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It encompasses both land and lake, protecting the trees from deforestation and the fish from over-fishing.

Cape Maclear provides a great range of water based activities on the lake and have a wide range of accommodation, bars and restaurants. We stayed at the Danforth Yachting and had all water sports included. This included sailing, water-skiing, snorkeling and kayaking. When we arrived we learned that the lake has bilharzia. This is a parasitic disease. Bhilharizia often is a chronic illness that can damage internal organs.
Our bus
It is the second most devastating parasitic disease after malaria. They say that the parasite stays 100-200 meters along the shore, so it is safe to swim and snorkel further out in the lake, but I was not going to take that chance. Some of my friends went snorkeling. Stuart was the only one water skiing. He gulped a lot of water and in the evening did not feel well. If it was the water or food poisoning - I don´t know. We stayed at the lodge and used their pool. Really a pity when you´re at such a nice beach and just want to throw yourself into the water. In my opinion, to include all the water sport in our package price was a cheeky way to do it. Getting use to pay for a lot of water activities we couldn´t really use. A trick form their side, to make money on the activities that they otherwise would not have been able to sell.
Saturday market


The drawback to the beach in front of the village of Chembe is that you get hazzeled all the time. A bunch of beach boy touts constantly try to sell you boat trips, talk English, look at curios, feed fish eagles , drink beers etc. We ended up staying in the "safety" of our lodge.

Cape Maclear was the first site of Dr Robert Law´s Livingstonia Mission. It was established in 1875, but abandoned a few years later on account of the high incidence of Malaria in the area. Several of the missionaries at Cape Maclear died of malaria. Their graves can bee seen near the entrance to the Golden Sand Rest Camp.

If you don´t have your own vehicle the way to get to Cape Maclear is by bus to Monkey Bay and then with a pick-up truck to the village of Chembe on Cape Maclear. Watch out for the pick-up trucks, they very often overcharge travelers.
sarahsan says:
You are so right! Even the water they purify and serve at the lodges is from the lake.
Posted on: Oct 03, 2009
Clarafina says:
I found out when staying at Lake Malawi that the water used in the showers etc is straight from the lake, so you really can't avoid the bilharzia even if you don't go swimming!
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
pbug31 says:
looks beautiful
Posted on: Oct 02, 2009
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Zomba town
Zomba town
Singing church choir
Singing church choir
Our bus
Our bus
Saturday market
Saturday market
Saturday market
Saturday market
Saturday market
Saturday market
On the road to Cape Maclear
On the road to Cape Maclear
Market
Market
Market
Market
A village mosque
A village mosque
A village mosque
A village mosque
Waiting for the bus
Waiting for the bus
Getting on the bus
Getting on the bus
So dry
So dry
Very dry
Very dry
Danforth Yachting, Cape Maclear
Danforth Yachting, Cape Maclear
Lake Malawi National Park
Lake Malawi National Park
Regulations, Lake Malawi National …
Regulations, Lake Malawi National…
Yellow baboon
Yellow baboon
Yellow baboon
Yellow baboon
Local children
Local children
The wash of the day
The wash of the day
RIP
RIP
RIP
RIP
In memory of missionaries who died…
In memory of missionaries who die…
Chembe Village
Chembe Village
Striped goat
Striped goat
A fisherman on West Thube Island
A fisherman on West Thube Island
Our snorkel equipment
Our snorkel equipment
Our snorkel equipment
Our snorkel equipment
Very clear water
Very clear water
Some fishes
Some fishes
Paul snorkeling
Paul snorkeling
Chembe village
Chembe village
Chembe village
Chembe village
Chembe village
Chembe village
Chembe village
Chembe village
Beach life in Chembe village
Beach life in Chembe village
Fishermen
Fishermen
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle
African Fish Eagle protecting his …
African Fish Eagle protecting his…
Fishermen
Fishermen
Cape Maclear
photo by: sarahsan