Tropical Paradise

Saturday, November 26, 2016
Cape Maclear, Southern Region, Malawi
Welcome back to our blog, we have been on a tropical island in the middle of lake Malawi which has no electricity, internet access or proper toilets, the showers are buckets with a shower head underneath and the rooms are large tents under a canopy but like almost everywhere in Africa, mobile phones worked. Getting there was fun, we paddled the 10km in a kayak!
We were in a two man kayak, I put Gill in the front, so I could check she was rowing, and our guide had his own kayak with a few bags strapped on, I hoped they were safety flares or other emergency equipment but it might have been his lunch . He did stress it was 10km and would take 2 hours, this seemed very optimistic to us.
The first 30 seconds were terrifying as the kayak seemed very unstable but it was far too early to give up, after a few minutes we were both a bit more confident. The first 3km was in the lee of an island so fairly smooth going. Once we got into open water it was a lot choppier especially as the wind and waves were coming from the side which made us roll a little and did not move us forward. Around the 7km mark the launch carrying our bags and supplies for the island came past, this timing is by design to give us a chance to give up, but although we were both quite tired like good brits we carried on. On the boat were five South African 20 year old men who were taking the soft option to the island, we hope they were embarrassed at being shown up by two oldies doing it the proper way.
Slowly but surely the island became bigger, the last 500m seemed to take for ever and by then we were much lower as we had taken on some water but just under two hours after leaving Cape Maclear we arrived on Mumbo Island, exactly as promised.The setting is amazing, exactly as they said in the brochure, turquoise clear water, big rocks, sandy beach, everyone's idea of a tropical island. Our tent was on top of a rock about 50ft above the lake with birds big and small zooming about and great views. The water was like bathing in a tropical fish tank, in fact many of the fish in tropical fish tanks originally came from lake Malawi. If you stand still they all come and nibble your extremities, we did not see any crocodiles, however when walking around the island we did come across plenty of monitor lizards.We are now back on the mainland spending two nights in Cape Maclear before moving inland to have a look at a few old paintings.
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2018-08-21