If you ever want to experience what slow life is all about there is only one place in Malawi that can give you this experience and that is the cape Maclear. Cape Maclear also known as Chembe is located on the shores of Lake Malawi. This old fishing village is very easy to get to as there is only one road that is used to access it which means you cannot get lost in any way. The total amount of people that live in Maclear amounts to about 10,000 and it is divided into two parts that is the central part of the village is occupied by fishermen and other locals whereas the other parts of the town are used to accommodate tourists.
As you head into the Maclear fishing village, you need to be ready for the dusty roads during the dry season and when it comes to the rainy season the road turns to be muddy and therefore you need to be careful while driving irrelevant of the time that you are going to go and tour the village. Cape Maclear will give you a proper insight about how the Malawians live especially those that do not live in towns and these will show you how the average local Africans go about in their day to day life.
If you have not hired a car to drive you to Maclear, you can take the bus that leaves Lilongwe every day to Monkey Bay where you will get another truck that will take you to the Maclear village and you need to carry extra cash on you just in case you need to spend on an abrupt program.
Cape Maclear does not have a lot of activities for tourists to carry out but if you are bored to the extreme, there are a few activities that you can carry out and thee have been written down so that you can get to choose what you want to do best when you are at the cape Maclear.
The Pete Aqualand is located near the Monkeys Bay lodge. It offers boat rides along the Lake Malawi from cape Maclear and this is one of the many ways that you get to experience the cool breeze from the Lake and explore some of the islands that are found in the area. All you need to do is pay a small fee for the boat trip and make sure that you also ask for a life jacket and go with your tour guide.
The Chembe village project Centre is one of the projects that was set up to help the locals improve on their skills and their standards of living. Tourists are also encouraged to help out by lending a hand to the project both physical and financial wise and this helps with improvement of the tourism industry in the cape Maclear.
The missionary graves that are located in the Northern part of the cape Maclear are part of the tourist attraction sites in the town. The graves are where the first missionaries who came into the country around the 18th century were laid to rest and when you visit the graves, a tour guide will tell you more about the missionaries and what they did when they first visited the country and the many projects that they did.
The cape Maclear has a lot of beaches that are spread around the Lake Malawi and you can visit them so that you can relax while enjoying a picnic with your family.
Once you visit cape Maclear, you will learn more about the locals that live in the area go about fishing and the various local methods that they use when it comes to preserving and you can enjoy spot fishing as well. Lake Malawi is the only fresh body in the country and there are many fish species that you will find all you need is to get a local fish boy to get you the tools that you will use for fishing at an extremely small cost.
The hiking through cape Maclear is not too long and there are several routes that you can use while trekking but the easiest starts from the missionary graves into the village Centre and the other hard ones go around the Lake Malawi into the village and since these routes are much harder and not clearly marked, it is better if you take a tour guide with you so that you do not get lost along the way.
Most of the activities that are carried out in cape Maclear are not that tiring since it is referred to as a perfect get away for all those that want some peace and quiet.
There are many accommodation facilities that are found in the cape Maclear and these come in three categories that is the budget friendly accommodation facilities, mid-range accommodation facilities and luxury accommodation facilities.
Some of the budget accommodation facilities where you can stay while in cape Maclear include the following:
The Malambe camp has basic accommodation facilities and these come in form of huts that were constructed with bamboo trees and they also have tents that they put up for a small fee. They offer activities like boat rides, snorkeling and walking trips around cape Maclear. The camp offers guests good food at the restaurants and they also have a great bar where you get to relax especially in the evenings.
The Steven’s Guest house is not the best accommodation for one to stay in but if you are short on money, then this is the only possible solution that you have when it comes to accommodation. The guest house is believed to have been constructed many decades ago and it offers some basic rooms with twin beds, a bathroom and the good thing about them is that they also offer a mosquito net which means you will avoid the mosquito bites.
The Dome Island is one of the camps where tourists can stay while they visit the cape Maclear and the best way to get there is by riding a boat to the facilities. Since it is located far away from the rest of the accommodations, it is the perfect get away from other tourists and perfect for family gatherings. They offer good meals from their restaurant, self-contained tents and you also get to relax at the beach.
Some of the mid-range accommodation facilities that are located in the cape Maclear include the following:
The Mgoza lodge offers good self-contained rooms that have a good view of the lake side and the beach. These offer you all the privacy that you need and a room goes for about 60 dollars a night, they provide good meals at their restaurant and they also provide their guests with some extra activities to keep you occupied.
The cape Mac lodge is located near the Monkeys lodge and it offers tourists with some of the best self-contained rooms that offer privacy to the guests and not forgetting the good food that is prepared at the restaurants and their bar where you can relax while enjoying the nature around. The lodge has both double and single rooms and it is up to you to choose which one you want best and it also offers their visitors a swimming pool where you can relax after a long day.
The Chembe Eagles Nest is a mid-range accommodation facility that offers their visitors with self-contained rooms that have a very good view of the sunset. They have extremely good meals both local and international and these are prepared by a chef and they also have an open bar that is open throughout for the visitors. Many activities are also offered by the lodge and these include boat riding, trekking through the cape Maclear and lake side camping.
The Fat monkeys is also amid- range accommodation facility in cape Maclear and these have all kinds of rooms available that fit in everyone’s taste that is single rooms, double en suite rooms, family rooms and double rooms. It is the perfect place for all those who love back packing and they provide you with all the meals that you need from breakfast to dinner.
Cape Maclear has one luxury hotel and it is known as the Mumbo Island. They seven tents that are all self-contained and these are set up in a bush which gives all the visitors of the feel of the wilderness in Malawi. They provide good meals that are both local and international and a wide range of activities for guests.