12 Best Things to Do in Mangochi, Monkey Bay and Cape Maclear, Malawi – 2023

12 Best Things to Do in Cape Maclear, Monkey Bay and Mangochi

Mangochi is a district located on the southern shore of Lake Malawi and is home to many popular beach resorts including Mangochi, Monkey Bay, and Cape Maclear.

However, Mangochi is also a unique town with a long history, and there are many other tourist attractions and activities in the area besides beaches.

In this article, we will introduce some of the best places and activities in Mangochi.

Discover a new Mangochi you never knew about.

Mangochi District in MalawiAll About Mangochi Basic Information about Mangochi Land Are...

Feel the Nature of Mangochi

Lake Malawi National Park

Lake Malawi is the third largest lake in Africa and the ninth largest in the world.

With its golden sandy beaches and glistening turquoise waters, Lake Malawi was dubbed “Lake of the Stars” by David Livingstone.

Lake Malawi National Park, located in Mangochi district, was the world’s first freshwater national park and was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

Of all the large Lake Malawi areas, only Lake Malawi National Park, with a total area of 94 km², has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site.

If you want to enjoy the beauty of Lake Malawi and its colorful freshwater fish, Lake Malawi National Park is a must visit.

Entrance Fee

International Visitors USD10
International Residents USD7
Malawians USD1
Accompanied Children Under 12 Free
Private Vehicles USD3 to USD7 (depending on weight)
Lake Malawi National Park in Mangochi, MalawiLake Malawi National Park Entrance Fee International Visitor...

Scuba Diving at Cape Maclear Scuba in Lake Malawi National Park

Lake Malawi is home to about 1,000 species of vivid freshwater fish, and it is said to have the largest variety of freshwater fish in the world, more than all the freshwater fish in Europe and North America combined.

Lake Malawi’s warm and clear waters make it one of the best freshwater diving destinations in the world.

Malawi is also considered one of the most affordable countries in Africa to obtain PADI (Professional Association for Diving Instructors) certification.

Established in 1996, Cape Maclear Scuba offers all PADI courses, from half-day courses for beginners to divemaster courses.

Classes are small, ensuring that you get the instruction and attention you need.

If you are looking for a special experience in Malawi, there is no reason not to try scuba diving.


Name Cape Maclear Scuba
Location Next to Thumbi View Lodge, Cape Maclear, Mangochi
Phone +265 (0) 999 952 488

Boat Trip to Otter Point and Thumbi West Island

Take a boat trip in Lake Malawi National Park.

Boat trips include activities such as snorkeling, local fish dishes and feeding African fish eagles.

Life jackets and snorkeling masks will be provided for snorkeling at Otter Point and Thumbi West Island. Feeding the fish is also available so you can see colorful fish up close.

For lunch, the guide will prepare an excellent meal of local fish such as Chambo and Kampango.

Another spectacular sight is African Fish Eagles, Malawi’s national bird, circling above and diving into the lake to catch the fish that the guide throws into the lake.


Name Cape Maclear Tour Guide Association
Phone +265 (0) 992 239 285
Cape Maclear in MangochiCape Maclear About Cape Maclear Cape Maclear is one of the busiest...

Take Ilala Ferry

The MV Ilala ferry is the main means of transportation to villages and towns on Lake Malawi and to the islands of Likoma and Chizumulu.

Built in 1949, the 50-meter-long ferry is used as both a passenger and cargo ship.

Seating types include standard cabin class, upper deck class, and second class, and it has a bar and restaurant.

It takes about three days to travel between Monkey Bay in the south and Chilumba in the north, but it is possible to board the ferry for only a part of the trip.

How about taking a cruise on magnificent Lake Malawi while feeling the cool breeze on the upper deck?

The sunrise and sunset views from the ferry are also very beautiful.

MV Ilala Ferry from Nkhata Bay to Likoma IslandMV Ilala Ferry from Nkhata Bay to Likoma Island About MV Ilala Ferr...

Enjoy Baobab

Mangochi is one of the districts with the most baobab trees in Malawi.

Baobabs are abundant in the southern part of Africa and are very popular among tourists visiting Africa.

When you visit Mangochi, enjoy the many baobabs.

The sweet and sour baobab fruit can be eaten like candy, and freezes made from the juice are also popular.

Baobab oil is also extracted from the seeds and sold as skin care oil.

Sunrise and Sunset over Lake Malawi

The Mangochi District is unique in that it is the only district in Malawi (except the Likoma District) where you can see both the sunrise from the lake and the sunset over the lake.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. In Malawi, since many districts are located on the west side of Lake Malawi, the sun never sets over Lake Malawi.

If you want to enjoy both the sunrise and the sunset over the lake, Cape Maclear is the place to stay.

Mwala wa Mphini

About 2 km from Cape Maclear in Lake Malawi National Park, there is a huge rock called “Mwala wa Mphini”. Mwala wa Mphini means “rock with traditional scars” in Chichewa language.

This huge rock is carved with erosion grooves that resemble the facial scars of tribal people.

Many people believe the rock is sacred with special healing powers, and local healers sometimes carve the rock to make concoctions.

A sign is posted along the main road from Monkey Bay to Cape Maclear, so you can’t miss it.

Visit Cultural and Histrorical Sites in Mangochi

Lake Malawi Museum

The Lake Malawi Museum is one of the few museums in Malawi, located close to the Queen Victoria Monument near the Bakili Muluzi Bridge in Mangochi.

It features many exhibits on natural history, ethnographic history and especially those related to the Yao people who live in Mangochi where the museum is located.

It is recommended for those interested in Malawi’s history and for families traveling with children.


Name Lake Malawi Museum
Location Near the Queen Victoria Memorial Tower, Mangochi
Phone +265 (0) 1 594 346
Opening Hours 7:30 -16:20 (Mon-Sun)
Lake Malawi Museum in Mangochi, MalawiLake Malawi Museum About Lake Malawi Museum Name Lake Malaw...

Queen Victoria Memorial Tower and 6PR Hotchkiss Gun

In the town of Mangochi, near the Bakili Muluzi Bridge, there is a quaint brick monument tower built in 1901 to honor colonial-era Queen Victoria (1837-1901).

Next to the monument tower is 6 PR Hotchkiss gun taken from the British gunboat, Gwendolen, which patrolled Lake Malawi from 1889 to 1940 and sank the German battleship Hermann von Westmann in 1914, and a stone monument commemorating the lives of 145 passengers and crew who lost their lives when the MV Vipha sank on July 30, 1946.

It is located near the Bakili Muluzi Bridge, so if you are passing by, be sure to stop by.

Queen Victoria Memorial Tower and 6PR Hotchkiss Gun in Mangochi, MalawiQueen Victoria Memorial Tower and 6PR Hotchkiss Gun About Queen Vic...

Experience a Taste of Malawi in Mangochi

Froggies Restaurant

Located in Cape Maclear, Froggies Restaurant serves French cuisine, which is rare in Malawi.

Some say that the French cuisine at Froggy’s Restaurant is the best in Malawi.

The homemade ice creams are also popular.

If you are looking for a special culinary experience in Mangochi, Froggy’s Restaurant in Cape Mac Lodge is the place to go.


Name Cape Mac Lodge & Froggies Restaurant
Location Chembe Village, Cape Maclear, Mangochi
Phone +265 (0) 999 412 266
Cape Mac Lodge & Froggies Restaurant in Cape MaclearCape Mac Lodge & Froggies Restaurant Basic Information about ...

Enjoy Local Food

Name Zathu Cape Community Kitchen & Bar
Cuisine Malawian Cuisine
Location Main Chembe Road, Cape Maclear, Malawi
Phone +265 (0) 988 448 464
+265 (0) 888 452 077
Opening Hours Everyday Lunch and Dinner time
(Breakfast also available upon prior reservation)

Officially opened in August 2022, ZATHU offers delicious, healthy local cuisine and friendly service in Cape Maclear.

The food is excellent, using fresh fish from Lake Malawi such as Chambo, Kampango and usipa, and vegetables from a communal vegetable garden managed by members of local football clubs collaborating with the A-GOAL project.

The restaurant also provides a platform for locals and visitors/tourists to get together and share ideas for co-generating solutions, as well as vocational training opportunities for local youth.

If you are looking for fresh, delicious local food at an affordable price in Cape Maclear, you should definitely stop by Zathu Cape Community Kitchen & Bar.

ZATHU Cape Community Kitchen & Bar (Malawian Cuisine) Cape Maclear, MangochiZATHU Cape Community Kitchen & Bar About ZATHU Cape Community K...

Other Activities in Mangochi

Play Golf

Located alongside the Makokola Retreat, the exclusive beach resort in Mangochi, Mlambe Golf Club offers 9 holes of par 3 golf in a unique setting surrounded by giant baobab trees that are hundreds of years old.

Beautiful birds such as Malachite Kingfishers, Lilac Breast Rollers, Grey Herons, and Fish Eagles can be glimpsed during play, and the unspoiled terrain forms the course that is not only beautiful but challenging as well.

The golf course is open to day visitors as well.

If you are bored with water activities at the lake, why not play at this one-of-a-kind golf course?

Club rentals are available.


Name Mlambe Golf Club, the Makokola Retreat
Location Nkopola, Mangochi
Phone +265 (0) 888 796 424
The Makokola Retreat in MangochiThe Makokola Retreat Basic Information about The Makokola Retreat...

Find Out More about Mangochi

Mangochi District in MalawiAll About Mangochi Basic Information about Mangochi Land Are...