Domwe Island is the largest unpopulated island in Lake Malawi and is separated from the mainland by a narrow gap. The camp on the island is very basic yet exclusive and even boasts its very own private beach surrounded by natural rock formations. It is a great place for those wanting a real African experience, with catering options available. There are 3 fully furnished safari tents, as well as 2 tent sites as well as a dining area with a bar; a rustic and peaceful getaway.
“If you want a real rustic African experience then Domwe Island is a great place to head to for a couple of days. The safari tents are basic but comfortable with your very own deck. The windows and entrance are made from mosquito gauze, designed to keep you cool (as there is no power on this island). Take one of the kayaks out to Mumbo Island and snorkel with the Cichlids.”
Mike Varndell, Managing Founder – Dec 2018
If you are heading to Domwe island then you are venturing away from all your luxuries, but you are getting a truly unique experience with the gorgeous Lake Malawi as your backdrop. Make your way to the island by boat or kayak and make sure you bring everything you need with you as it is self-catered. The kitchen is stocked with solar fridges, pots, pans as well as cutlery and crockery. If you need supplies then Cape Maclear is only 25km away to get any extras you may need; it really is a great experience for the whole family!
At Domwe they want to make an as little environmental impact as possible, keeping to, and maintaining the nature of the island. The loos are dry compost toilets, once the waste is removed, it’s buried for a year and then used as compost in the gardens on the mainland. All kitchen waste is disposed of in the same way, or it is burned or recycled. Cooking is all done on gas stoves and water is pumped from the lake and then chlorinated on the island. Even the wooden decks and thatch on the safari tents are sourced locally. Domwe is definitely doing their bit for the environment!
Hidden in the woods and your very own private beach, this is a great little find at the lake. Enjoy the peace and quiet away from the busy outside world and take a couple of days to recuperate. If you have the energy, then get into one of the kayaks and head to the gorgeous Thumbi Island across the way. The waters get clearer as you get close to the island and you can see the fish below your kayak, stop off and enjoy a snorkel or swim in the crystal clear waters.
LOW Season: 10 Jan – 30 Jun
HIGH Season: 1 Jul – 9 Jan
$: USD 0 – USD250/pppn
$$: USD 251 – USD600/pppn
$$$: USD 601 – USD1,000/pppn
The price categories give you an idea of the nightly cost per person for this accommodation.
“Fantastic sunsets. Basic facilities – shared composting toilet and bucket shower. But great setting. If kayaking to the island ask your guide to follow the shoreline rather than take the direct route. It is much more interesting to see the fishing village rather than just paddle across open water. An easy paddle taking about 1.5 hours.”
“We had a perfect stay on Domwe Island. We enjoyed the kayak to the island and had a really special time- snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters, excellent food, very luxurious accommodation, a great wilderness feel. Ashid, Richard and Daglas were so great- thank you! We actually stayed another night (unplanned) as it was so great! Would definitely return and stay here- the best holiday ever! Recommend hiking up to the rock for sundowners!”
“Domwe Island is pure relaxation, on the island you’ll find everything you need to spend a few days in a state of bliss and relaxation. There are only four chalets, so the place never gets crowded and the experience always has an exclusive feel to it. Comforts are basic, yet its simplicity ensures that the place is completely sustainable and beautifully built in the island’s nature without altering it. You can choose whether to bring your own food or, for an extra price, have your meals cooked by the staff. We picked te second option, our meals were always tasty and abundant. There are several walks and small treks one can take on the island, and you can book kayaks and snorkeling gear to use during your stay. We recommend kayaking to the island to get there (a guide will come with you and a boat will take your luggage there)!”