This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Cape Maclear. To help you make friends with Cape Maclear before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
The highlight of many tourist's trip to Malawi, Cape Maclear sits on the southern shore of Lake Nyasa and has everything a visitor could ask for! Whether it be lazing on the beach, hiking in the hills, boating on the lake, snorkelling, you can do it here. Cape Maclear itself is a dusty village that survives on tourism. It's still a very authentic, rural village, but the closer to the lake edge you get, the more tourism takes over. Resorts, lodges and hostels are strung along the lakeside beach and suit all budgets. For backpackers, there are at least half a dozen hostels offering dorm beds or cheap huts. Most of these have small restaurants and the wi-fi signal is pretty good here.
The hostels in Cape Maclear offer a variety of experiences depending on whether you're looking for a party or peace and quiet. The village stretches for a few kilometres along the shore, so there's plenty of room for everyone. The hostels vary from large resort-type places, to small independent places, so take your choice. Your transport will drop you in the village right behind the string of guesthouses, so just walk along from one to the other and decide for yourself. At certain times of the year, it can get busy, so you might want to book ahead, as some places are very popular, but you'll never be short of a bed.
Transport to Cape Maclear is first via Monkey Bay, the larger settlement 18km to the south-east, where you change for a minibus or motorbike taxi along the scenic, surfaced road to Cape Maclear. Monkey Bay also has backpacker hostel accommodation, but of a much poorer quality and the area isn't as interesting as Cape Maclear.
All water activities are well covered by the guesthouses and there are independent operators also touting for business. Most places are of a very good standard as there is plenty of competition and there is no problem changing from one to another if you're not happy. Cape Maclear has become a backpackers' paradise and is an essential stop on any tour of Malawi.
Written by local enthusiast for Cape Maclear hostelsLondonroad