Cape Maclear Transportation Tips by georeiser
Cape Maclear Transportation: 7 reviews and 14 photos
Bus from Monkey Bay to Lilongwe
Monkey Bay is the last stop for the bus to Cape Maclear. From Monkey Bay to Lilongwe you have two options. My advice is to take the bus on the new road along the southern tip of Lake Malawi to Golomoti, and then straight to Lilongwe. But the bus leaves early in the morning.
The last option is to take a minibus or pick-up to Mangochi and further down all the way to Balaka and Liwonde before turning north towards Lilongwe. The trip takes all the day, but you will see some "off-the-beaten-path" villages on the road.
The ticket costs 1700 MKW from Monkey Bay to Lilongwe.
Small boats in Cape Maclear
Some of the locals have small boats, and beach boys often try to sell guided tours or other trips to tourists. A man offered me the trip from Cape Maclear to Senga bay, another resort on the western side of Lake Malawi, for 120 USD. I tried to bargain, but he wouldn't accept a lower price. The trip should take 3 hours with the boat on picture 1 (25 horse power engine).
Dugout canoe in Lake Malawi
Dugout conoe is a hollowed tree trunk. Dugouts canoes are paddled in Lake Malawi, and are mostly used for fishing and transport. It's the most common means of communication in the lake. I had the pleasure to try this canoe in the lake. I thought it would be original and fun to try an African dugout canoe instead of the plastic canoe.
The dugout canoe is heavy and slow, and it's not easy to handle and keep steady. You shall sit on top of the canoe, and make sure your weight is right in the center. Your legs will be in the hole. It's best you try without shoes because it will be water inside the canoe. The first time I tried it the canoe rotated and all people fell into the water. I'm glad I did't carry my camera or mobil phone. After one hour we managed the special technique, and headed for Thumbe island. The island is one km from the beach, and the trip took one hour. And one hour back to the beach. It was once in a lifetime and never again. My bottom was terrible for days.
Bicycles in Cape Maclear
Cheap Chinese bicycles are in many cases the best means of transport by the poor population in Cape Maclear, as it is in the rest of Malawi.
Pick-ups to Cape Maclear
The road from Monkey Bay to Cape Maclear goes on a gravelled road through the jungle and crossing a hill. It's a very bumpy, but fun and picturesque travel. It takes about 30-40 minutes, and costs 1500 MKW (10 USD) per person on the back of a pick-up (locals pay less). Make sure to be at Monkey Bay before dark because the regular transports don't drive after dark. If not, ask locals in Monkey Bay to drive. The price is high, and there are small chances to bargain. And Monkey Bay has nothing to offer tourists. (The vehicles are often pick-ups and 4-wheel drive cars since the roads are so bad. August 2009).
Type: Car/Motor Home
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