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danilbruce Cape Maclear - A travel report by Daniel
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Cape Maclear,  Malawi - flag Malawi
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danilbruce's travel reports

Sunny Lake Malawi

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Cape Maclear travelogue picture
I stayed in Cape Maclear in 1990. It is a resort area hemmed in by Lake Malawi National Park. The lake is beautiful, blue, and clear. There are hilly islands covered by forests just offshore and low mountains in the background.

Favourite spots:
My favorite spot was on the beach. It is a nice sandy beach and the water is cool. When ambitious I would walk up the beach to Otter Point to snorkel, but usually I just sat on the beach drinking Carlsburg. I got a terrible sunburn while here, but I blame in on the anti-malarial medication. Lake Malawi is one of the few lakes in Africa that is safe to swim in, because bilharzia is rare here.

What's really great:
The best excursion is renting a dugout canoe with guide, which cost about $10US and going to the nearby island for snorkeling. Each rock grotto in the lake seems to have different varieties of beautiful tropical fish.

There are some old graves of some missionaries who died in Cape Maclear in Colonial times nearby which makes for a pleasant walking excursion.

I stayed at Stevens Resthouse which is right on the beach. The rooms were simple concrete structures with shared facilities and no electricity. For a few extra cents, I bought candles to light the room at night. There was a nice backpacker social scene there, mostly people chatting, playing cards, and drinking beer. Cape Maclear also had a campground and a more upscale resort.
I met an American from New York who had been travelling around Africa nonstop for six years. He made beaded jewelry as he had learned to make at the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana. He said the Masai in Kenya loved his jewelry and bought a lot of it. I still grin at the thought of tourists taking pictures of Masai tribesman admiring the beauty of their traditional jewelry, when actually it is Blackfoot as made by a New Yorker.

The Stevens Resthouse restuarant and bar was on the honor system. I would write down on my tab what meals and/or beer I drank and pay bill just before I left. Anytime I wanted a beer, I just went to fridge and got one. There were two choices of meal on the menu fish or chicken, and about every other day there was not enough fish so you had to have chicken.

Other recommendations:
Cape Maclear travelogue picture
Getting to Cape Maclear is on a bumpy unpaved road from Monkey Bay. There was no public transportation so I ended making the journey both ways on the back of a pickup truck. On the way out of Cape Maclear, I shared the ride with a large catch of fish and everything of mine ended up smelling of fish. But it was still fun and quite an experience.

Published on Friday October 24th, 2003

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Wed, Sep 29 2004 - 11:19 AM rating by rangutan

A surprisingly rare report from a place and country that only few know of!

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