Domwe Island, Lake Malawi
Domwe Island is the largest island in Lake Malawi measuring 11 Km all the way around and reaching just over 400 m at its highest point. It is a wonderful combination of bush experience coupled with a “desert island” feeling.
Access to Domwe is by Kayak which can be single or double occupancy each of which ia large and stable. A motor launch accompanies you carrying supplies and all your gear on the 5 Km crossing. It is separated from the mainland by the narrow Ilala Gap which, due to fluctuations in lake level over the millennia, has been dry on several occasions. As a result Domwe Island, unlike all other Lake Malawi islands, is well populated with mammals which have crossed to the island during dry times.
Domwe Island Adventure Camp
Domwe Island Adventure Camp is basic yet exclusive. It lies behind a small beach on the island’s west side. The kitchen has two full-time staff members, and is fully stocked with fridges, pots and pans, crockery and cutlery but the camp is run on a self-catering basis, with guests making use of the kitchen facilities to prepare their own meals. Accommodation consists of three fully-furnished safari tents and two tent sites, complemented by a dining area with bar and a water sports shop.
The Island lies within an exclusive concession area, in turn part of the Lake Malawi National Park, which was the first freshwater marine reserve in the world. It was established to conserve the cichlid fish species and their marine habitat. The crystal clear waters provide excellent swimming and snorkelling; Scuba diving is available from several PADI dive-shops around Cape Maclear and the Domwe Dive School.
The lake contains over 1,000 different species of cichlid fish, many of which are indigenous to Lake Malawi. Cichlids happen to be the most popular fish kept in aquariums in the West, so you may see some familiar fish, in their natural habitat!
Domwe Island is ideal for active people: the size and topography provide some challenging nature trails and kayaking its circumference will delight those with a with a penchant for exploration. In between all the activity visitor can relax in tranquil surroundings with shady, secluded hammocks overlooking the shimmering water.
Domwe has an eclectic selection of mammals, including Samango monkey, civet cat, bush pig, bush baby, klipspringer and the yellow subspecies of Chacma baboon which means there is plenty for the wildlife enthusiast and unlike other national parks, the focus on Domwe is on small creatures. The largest mammal you are likely to see in this area is the Cape Clawless Otter, which is remarkably unafraid of humans and often approaches and joins guests for a snorkel or swim.
As far as reptiles are concerned Domwe has plenty of Rainbow Skinks and large Water Monitors. Snakes identified include the variegated bush snake and African rock python (both non-venomous!).
Bird life is dominated by Fish Eagles but there are many shyer and less common forest birds such as the Sombre Bulbul, Trumpeter Hornbill, White-breasted Cormorant, Water Thick-knee (Water Dikkop) Paradise Flycatcher and a variety of herons, weavers, doves and starlings – amongst others!